Tupilak from East Greenland # 34. Inuit Carving

Tupilak from East Greenland. Carved from a reindeer antler.

2.6 inches - 6.5 cm tall.

1 x 1.2 inches - 2.5 x 3 cm in diameter.

What is a Tupilak?

Its origin lies in the remote past of Greenland´s culture, when the Tupilak was an imaginary animal, made up of a bundle of bones, peat and skin. A certain magical power was attributed to the Tupilak.

When the first white man, the Greenland explorer Captain Gustav Holm reached Ammassalik in 1884, one of the things he asked was what a Tupilak looks like. The people of Ammassalik found it difficult to make a sketch of it, and therefore they carved it in wood. This was the start of the Tupilak production in wood, bone, tooth and antler, gradually spreading all over Greenland.

Tupilak figures are made in most town and settlements in Greenland. However, the main production and the best carvers are to be found in the Ammassalik district in East greenland where the origin lies

Den Kongelige Gr ønlanske Handel 1959