Tupilak #9 by Harald Maque

Artist: Harald Maque
Material: Caribou Antler
Dimensions: 7″ long, 3.5″ high, 0.5″ wide
Price: $275
Description: Tupilak #9, carved from caribou antler, strikingly resembles a prehistoric fish. Moreover, the intricate detail showcases its deep spiritual significance.

About Tupilaks

Tupilaks are a cornerstone of Greenlandic Inuit art, vividly depicting spiritual creatures. Historically, Inuit craftsmen created tupilaks to cast spells on their enemies. Consequently, modern tupilaks come in diverse forms, including human and animal shapes. Additionally, they are crafted from various materials such as narwhal tusk, walrus tusk, wood, and caribou antler.

Early European explorers, captivated by the legend of the tupilak, inspired Inuit artists to carve these figures from sperm whale teeth. As time went on, tupilaks evolved into highly coveted collectibles. Furthermore, today’s tupilak figures often feature skeletal motifs, representing mythical figures or spirits of the dead. These motifs, such as ribs and other skeletal parts, highlight the powerful spiritual essence of the figures.

Animal-shaped tupilaks often blend human characteristics, reflecting the connection between the spiritual and physical worlds. Therefore, they are not only artistic masterpieces but also significant cultural symbols.

Explore our selection of tupilaks at Tribal Crafts and learn more about the art of Greenland at Abe Books.

prehistoric fish antler tupilak

Harald Maque    Inuit

Caribou antler tupilak – 3.5 x 7 x 0.5 inches