Native American, northern Canada, Inuit peoples, ca. 19th century CE. A caribou bone miniature anthropomorphic figure with a simply formed body, incised facial details that give the impression of depicting an aged person, and relief arms. Also in relief, between the arms, is something that may be a fish, seal, or oar - something that the figure is meant to be holding. A perforation at the top of the head shows that this was once worn as an amulet, and the remains of sinew are in the holes. Size: 0.65" W x 1.45" H (1.7 cm x 3.7 cm); 4.7" H (11.9 cm) on included custom stand.For thousands of years and across the thousands of miles that encompass the Arctic world, people have carved miniatures from bone, antler, and ivory. Many seem to have been used as toggles, amulets, or charms, while, in the past, many also seem to have had shamanic power. In indigenous Arctic cosmology, all living beings have a "tarniq" or a "tarninga" which means a shade or image that is, literally, a tiny human or tiny animal with the same appearance. This is comparable to the Western idea of a soul. If the living being was somehow separated from his or her tarniq, they would fall ill, and, without shamanic intervention, ultimately die. This concept of a miniature representing a soul seems intimately linked with the practice of creating miniatures. Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back. A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids. We ship worldwide and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience. #136369
Creamy patina on surface.