TRANSFORMATIONAL GREENLAND ESKIMO IVORY "TUPILAK" SHAMAN'S MAGIC CHARM
Origin: Greenland, Greenland Eskimo (Provenance: Found in a collection of antique Nautical and Maritime items in Cape Code Massachusetts)
Period/Date: Circa 1930-40's
Materials: Walrus Ivory
Description: Here's a very unique pendant representing a human "tupilak" figure. It depicts a contorted human with reversed body and was worn by a Shaman to offer constant protection against witchcraft. The reversed body-head suggest that the wearer of this charm became omnipotent, and was aware of all threats from behind, above, and beneath him. When resting against the chest the position of the figure is kneeling in a subservient posture to the wearer yet is also vigilantly looking outward. Witchcraft was common among this culture and a skilled shaman could make a real malicious "tupilak" to do his bidding against enemies. Thus protection against such an attack was necessary. It is in very good condition with only some minor hair lines cracks which is characteristic of old ivory. It is worn and smooth to the touch having acquired a mellow aged patina especially on the back side. The hands are pierced though for a hanging cord. A wonderful and enchanting object with transformational qualities!
Dimensions: Height 3" (7.7 cm), Width 1 5/8" (4 cm)