Inuit Jet (Lignite) Labret

October 27, 2015

Material: Jet (Lignite)
Culture: Inuit
Location: Unknown
Period: 1800's
Size: 15mm x 24mm (wearing size x back width)
Weight: 4g

An oval lip plug carved from jet material from the Inuit culture. The Inuit are a group of similar cultures that range from Siberia through Northern Canada and Greenland. This piece was purchased by a collector in Tuscon, Arizona in 1967 according to the documentation we have on it. The piece shows many tooth marks and abrasions as jet is a quite soft material. This is a beautiful example of the traditional "t-back" oval labret which remains to this day the standard shape for stretched center lip piercings. 

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.

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