Thursday, May 4, 2017

You want how many?

Ancient Harpoons of Nunavut provides a
reference illustration, the size range, and
the most common material types for the
most common harpoon heads found in the
Canadian Arctic.
I started a fun new order today for Nunavik Sivunitsavut.  I'm making 14 harpoon heads from ivory, antler and whalebone to represent much of the variability that is found in Dorset and Thule culture artifacts from the Canadian Arctic.  In 1998, Doug Stenton and Robert Park published a book called Ancient Harpoon Heads of Nunavut: An Illustrated Guide.  I've used this publication as a reference many times in the past, but this is the first time that someone has asked me to make ALL of the harpoon heads in the book.  The only pieces that I won't be making are the Pre-Dorset examples and one whaling harpoon head.  Other than that, I'm making every harpoon head on every page in the book.  I started the reproductions this morning and they they are coming along quickly, although I'm sure that Paretto's Law is at play;  I've put in the 20% of effort that produces 80% of the results.  Finishing these pieces and their accompanying endblades will take at least another week.

The seven harpoon heads in the upper left hand corner are all Dorset Palaeoeskimo styles.  The seven running through the middle are all Thule Inuit.  The loner in the lower right hand corner is a Beothuk reproduction for another order.  This will be the most diverse collection of harpoon heads that I have every produced at one time.
 Photo Credits: Tim Rast


  1. These are really cool - what kind of ivory are you using?

  2. I use walrus ivory from the West Baffin Co-op in Cape Dorset. It's been several years since I lost bought some, but at the time I called them up, then they e-mailed me photos of the tusks that they had in stock, and mailed me the ones that I wanted.


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