ESK7 - Eskimo Woman's Knife (Ulu). Carved Walrus Ivory Handle.

   This type of broad bladed knife with the blade often inset into the handle, generally termed a “woman's knife”. The is the tool that women used for all of their cutting tasks—chopping meat and blubber, skinning animals (and sometimes in the case of walruses, splitting their hides), cleaning fish, sewing, etc. This example has a clean steel blade, 5 1/2” wide at the edge which taper on each side to a rounded top, being 2 1/2” deep. A steel post firmly clenches the blade and is solidly buried in Walrus ivory handle. The blade and post are clean and without rust or corrosion. This use of metal clearly dates the tool to the Eskimo “historic” period after the arrival of non-Eskimos from both the east (Canada and the US) and from the West (Russian and Siberian traders). This is when iron and steel became available (roughly after the late 1700s). The honey colored patina on the Walrus Ivory handle suggests that this Ulu was made late in the 19th Century to early in the 20th. The handle is somewhat unusual because at one side it is carved present an excellent image of the head of a polar bear, with eyes, ears, cheeks and nose, looking slightly to its left. I don't know if this was carved by the woman who used it, or by her husband. This sort of figural carving is not common in Ulus. Fine.

           Price - $270.00

To order, email
RETURN to forsale lis.