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April 2018

Entries from May 2018

Collections Highlight E395465: Bone Flesher

E395465
By Tiffany Priest

This object was donated by Dr. John Cooper at the Catholic University of America and acquired by the museum in 1956. The bone flesher was a gift of Mrs. Geo. Rbt Norn in 1931 and was collected from Ft. Resolution near the shore of Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada.  This bone flesher is affiliated with the Chipewyan, an Athapaskan-speaking Canada Native group. It is made from a section of moose leg bone, with the distal end cut into a finely serrated chisel edge and is approximately 12.5” long and 1” wide. This bone flesher would have been used to process animal hide to remove a thin layer of fat and flesh prior to the tanning process. The proximal condyle is wrapped in hide with a loop handle to provide a better grip for using the tool and the beveled end would have removed the residual flesh and fat. This step in processing is crucial in preparing a hide. If the hide was not prepared properly the uncured leather or fur could become rancid.

See more incredible Circumpolar objects by exploring the Anthropology Collections Search online!


Collections Highlight E48384: Weight

E48384
By Tiffany Priest

This weight, made from plumbago, also known as graphite, and carved in the image of a bowhead whale, was donated by Edward Nelson in 1882. It was collected from Sledge Island in Alaska. The catalog record notation says, “Used on line to be passed over the flukes or body of a dead whale and made fast to it”. The purpose was to help secure a line so the whale could be towed to shore. This object was featured in the “Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska” exhibit which focused on the cultures of Alaska and Siberia from the end of the Ice Age to modern times and was on display from 1988 to 1989.