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Culture:Native American; Inuit
Title:Cribbage Board
Date Made:ca. 1920-1940
Type:Recreational Gear
Materials:walrus tusk with engraving
Place Made:United States; Alaska; Inuit Nunangat (Northern Canada--Nunavut, northern Ontario, Newfoundland, Labrador, Northwest Territories); Northern Alaska and Little Diomede Island
Measurements:3/4 x 11 3/4 x 1 3/8 in.; 1.905 x 29.845 x 3.4925 cm
Accession Number:  SC 1960.152
Credit Line:Gift of Charlotte Heussy McAllister, class of 1930
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

This cribbage board, made from a walrus tusk, features intricately carved animals--two fish on the left and an owl on the right. Its reverse shows a line of fish, seal, fox, and caribou. The designs signal that an Inuit artist created the item to resemble a European cribbage board while using scrimshaw, a uniquely Inuit form of decoration. After the permanent arrival of Europeans (in the forms of missionaries and traders) during the 1700s-1800s, European goods became common in Inuit households. Signaling a melding of European and Inuit customs, this gaming board was sold to tourists or European settler colonists as a "curio." AP2018

Label Text:
Examined as pert of Fogg Conservation Survey 3/76-2/77, removed old labels

cribbage; walrus; tusks

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