Inupiaq Art

The Inupiaq homeland is in Northwest Alaska and North Alaska. The Portland Art Museum has some Inupiaq items on display.


Shown above: Inupiaq mask made about 1900 from wood


Shown above. Inupiaq pipe made about 1900 from ivory, wood, and paint. The art work on the pipe shows a walrus hunt in which the hunter appears to be using an atlatl. This pipe is about eight inches in length.


Shown above: a wooden Inupiaq mask made about 1890.


Shown above: a model Inupiaq umiak made about 1920.

The Inupiaq used a large open skin boat known as the umiak.  Most of these boats were 15-20 feet long, but there are reports of some as long as 50 feet. The umiak was constructed by lashing seal skins to a wooden frame. In his book The Native People of Alaska, Steve Langdon reports:

“Umiaks were used for hunting whale and walrus, and for travel and trading voyages. Large models could carry up to 15 people and a ton of cargo quite comfortably.”


Shown above: Inupiaq snow goggles made about 1900. Snow goggles such as these are used to prevent snowblindness.


Shown above: Inupiaq basket made about 1940.


Shown above: Inupiaq mask made from whalebone about 1900


Shown above: a collection of small Inupiaq artifacts.





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