Heavy harpoon for hunting whales. Kodiak Eskimos. USA , Alaska state, Kodiak. North America, The North-West of the continent, Alaska, Kodiak Island.

Heavy harpoon for hunting whales
Collection MAE RAS: № 2868-194
Image ID: 4086198
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Museum inventory number:
№ 2868-194
Title:
Heavy harpoon for hunting whales
Ethnicity:
Kodiak Eskimos
Place:
USA , Alaska state, Kodiak
Geography:
North America, The North-West of the continent, Alaska, Kodiak Island
Collector:
Billings Joseph, English mariner in Russian service, leader of the Northeastern Geographical Expedition (1785-1794) for exploration of the North Pacific
Materials:
wood, bone, urinary bladder, paint, iron
Dimensions:
length 243 cm, diameter of the shaft 3.3 cm, length of the bladder with its plug 32 cm, width of the bladder 9 cm
Commentation:
“The shooters (hunters) traveling in single-hatched kayaks, would select yearling whales because their meat and carcass (fat—S.K.) would be more tender and tasty. When they spotted such a whale they would get no closer than three sazhens to it, trying to launch a harpoon under its side blade, which is what they call a flipper here, and then try to get away from it as quickly and carefully as possible so that the whale does not hit the hunter when making its dive or the wave caused by its dive does not overturn his kayak. If the harpoon does not hit the side flipper, he throws a harpoon under the back flipper or under the tail. The whale dives when it is wounded. When a harpoon hits its mark a whale will die in three days” (Gedeon 1994: 84).
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