Friday, September 6, 2013

Arctic Artifact Reproductions for Piqqusilirivvik

Ulu and other finished pieces.
The order for the Piqqusilirivvik Inuit Cultural Learning facility in Clyde River, Nunavut is completed and ready to ship.  The full order includes a 13 piece Dorset Palaeoeskimo set and four Thule/Inuit reproductions.  Its a good collection of pieces to compare and contrast the differences in technology between the earlier and later Arctic cultures.  The small, knapped stone pieces in the Dorset Palaeoeskimo set stand out against the ground stone and metal bladed tools that dominate the Thule/Inuit tradition.

 Dorset Palaeoeskimo Reproductions:

A) Complete Dorset Palaeoeskimo Harpoon.  Chert endblade, antler harpoon head, whalebone foreshaft, tamrack main shaft, braided sinew lanyard, sealskin line and lashing.  This is the aged Dorset harpoon from the previous post.

B) Tip-fluted endblade. Knapped from chert using percussion and pressure flaking.

C) Self-bladed harpoon head. Carved from antler and antiqued with tea and charcoal.

D) Lance head.  Ground and polished slate.

E) Side-scraper. Knapped from chert using percussion and pressure flaking.

F) Knife.  A small side-notched knife knapped from chert using percussion and pressure flaking.

G) Microblade core.  This small lump of jasper is the core that the 6 microblades (F) were struck from.

H) Microblades. Knapped from jasper using pressure to prepare the platforms and percussion to detach the blades.  The six blades refit on to the core (G).  Usually I try to get five blades in a sequence to refit, but the very skinny one is actually an accidental blade removal that came off with the first blade and then one of the blades in the middle got kind of wide on me, so its more like four microblades and two half-microblades.

You can see the difference in size and scale in this photo between the Thule harpoon and the earlier Dorset Palaeoeskimo harpoon. (click to enlarge)

Thule/Inuit Reproductions:

Ulu (lower left), Thule Harpoon (pointing to the left),
two Copper Inuit Arrows (pointing down)
Ulu: Ground slate, whalebone and sinew lashings.  The holes in the slate were drilled with a bow drill and the ulu edge is sharpened on one side only to create a sharp, strong multipurpose cutting and scraping edge.

Thule Harpoon: Nephrite endblade, walrus ivory harpoon head, whalebone foreshaft, spruce main shaft, sealkin bindings and line, ivory finger rest, whalebone tension piece and tension piece knob, walrus ivory butt and pin. For an explanation of how a harpoon like this is assembled and functions, check out this blog post called; "How does a Thule harpoon work?"

Copper Inuit Arrows: Copper endblade and rivet, antler foreshaft, pine main shaft, ptarmigan and gull feathers, sinew lashings.

Dorset Palaeoeskimo and Thule/Inuit Reproductions for Piqqusilirivvik
Photo Credits: Tim Rast

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