A fine and rare Koniag Eskimo atlatl

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Lot 2019
A fine and rare Koniag Eskimo atlatl

Sold for US$ 18,750 inc. premium

Native American Art

4 Jun 2012, 12:00 PDT

San Francisco

A fine and rare Koniag Eskimo atlatl
With pierced and conforming grip to accommodate the throwing hand, the tapering shaft with raised median ridge inset with sea otter teeth, carved to emulate an otter lying on its back, its hands gathered at the abdomen, the same image seen from a side profile with the appearance of a wolf's head, very fine patina of age and use.
length 19 1/2in

Footnotes

  • Cf:
    Brown, Steven, 2006, p. 44; and Varjola, Pirjo, pp. 306-307

    The word atlatl is of Aztec origin and has come to be used in reference to a number of such implements serving, essentially, as an extension of the user's arm increasing the speed, thrust and distance of his projectile. Amongst Eskimo people like the Koniag, a throwing board of this sort would have been used by a sea otter hunter in his kayak. The overall form is strikingly modern and aerodynamic - a case of pure form following function. The dual image of both prey and predator empowers the hunter and his weapon. As such, it is a classic example of a rare form illustrating the complex and often magical relationship between the hunter and the hunted.
Contacts
A fine and rare Koniag Eskimo atlatl
A fine and rare Koniag Eskimo atlatl
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