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Peary's 1908-09 North Pole Expedition: objects

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Image: Harpoon head

Harpoon head
Greenland hunting / fishing

3 7/8 x 1 x 7/8 in. (10 x 3 x 2 cm)

Inuit (aka Eskimo, Inuk)

Object Type: hunting / fishing
Creation Places: North America, Greenland, Northwest Greenland
Medium and Support: ivory
Credit Line: Gift of Donald and Miriam MacMillan
Accession Number: 1967.183.a
Arctic hunters used harpoons to capture marine animals. The harpoon head is attached to a strong line, at the end of a throwing shaft. When the animal is struck, the head and line detach from the shaft, which floats free while the harpoon head and its line stays in the animal. Even if the animal sinks, the hunter can still retrieve it.

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