Item Records

This page shows all the information we have about this item. Both the institution that physically holds this item, and RRN members have contributed the knowledge on this page. You’re looking at the item record provided by the holding institution. If you scroll further down the page, you’ll see the information from RRN members, and can share your own knowledge too.

The RRN processes the information it receives from each institution to make it more readable and easier to search. If you’re doing in-depth research on this item, be sure to take a look at the Data Source tab to see the information exactly as it was provided by the institution.

These records are easy to share because each has a unique web address. You can copy and paste the location from your browser’s address bar into an email, word document, or chat message to share this item with others.

  • Data
  • Data Source

This information was automatically generated from data provided by National Museum of Natural History. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


From card: "Fish Spear Heads."Source of the information below: Inuvialuit Pitqusiit Inuuniarutait: Inuvialuit Living History, The MacFarlane Collection website, by the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre (ICRC), Inuvik, N.W.T., Canada (website credits here ), entry on this artifact , retrieved 1-28-2020: Two ivory harpoon heads tipped with iron blades. The body of each of the harpoon heads has a single set of paired barbs, and the iron blades are also barbed. The blades are secured in blades slot by rivets. One has a copper rivet, and the rivet on the other harpoon is made of iron. These items were originally identified in the Smithsonian Institution's catalogue as 'fish spear heads', but the size and style is consistent with harpoon heads used for hunting sea mammals. More information here: Harpoons are used for hunting sea mammals such as seals and whales. They have a point, or 'head', that separates from the rest of the harpoon and remains attached to the quarry. A line running from the harpoon head is held by the hunter or attached to a float, allowing the animal or fish to be retrieved. Thrusting harpoons, used for hunting seals at breathing holes on the sea ice, generally have long foreshafts that swivel inside a socket piece attached to the harpoon shaft in order to release the harpoon head. Throwing harpoons used for hunting seals and whales in open water normally have foreshafts that are more securely fixed to the harpoon shaft. Both types are found in the MacFarlane Collection.

Item History

With an account, you can ask other users a question about this item. Request an Account

With an account, you can submit information about this item and have it visible to all users and institutions on the RRN. Request an Account

Similar Items