About the object

A Bering Sea Punuk Eskimo Walrus Ivory Bowman’s Wrist Guard

500–1200 AD

Size:

8.5cm x 4.2cm, 2cm deep - 3¼ ins x 1½ ins, ¾ ins deep

Provenance:

Ex Private American collection 

Wrist guards were developed during the Punuk period as a protection against the slap of the bowstring on the inside of the left wrist after the arrow had been released.

The old Bering Sea hunters decorated objects with incised designs and spirit images in the belief that their beauty, which honoured the animal spirits, drew game to the hunter and strengthened the power of the weapon being used.

The absence of identical designs on Punuk Eskimo art suggests that it was produced by individual hunters rather than by designated craft specialists.

Dimensions

8.5cm high, 4.2cm wide, 2cm deep