October 27, 2015
Material: Walrus Ivory
Location: St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
Period: Early 1900's
Size: 20mm x 30mm x 14mm / 23mm x 35mm (height x width x wearable surface / height of flared back x width of flared back)
An oval walrus ivory labret for a center lip piercing (labret) by the Inuit culture. This piece was collected on St. Lawrence Island off the coast of Alaska, USA. The piece is flared with a concave back and the wearing size is approximately 25mm.
The Inuit (a group of ethnically similar cultures ranging from Siberia, Russia through the Canadian Arctic to Greenland) represent one of the few North American body modifying cultures. In particular, modification of the lips with adornment jewelry from bone, ivory and jet were practiced. Inuit cultures also represent one of the few North America jade cultures, having used the material for utilitarian purposes due to its extreme hardness and durability.