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Inupiaq Snow Goggles

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Design, Ethnographic & Ancient Art

Inupiaq Snow Goggles

The narrow slits and full length visor would considerably lessen the dangers of snow blindness

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Inupiaq Snow Goggles

Alaska

19th Century

The goggles are of wood with sinew for attachment.

To the front is a visor over the two eye slits on the shaped goggles. On the reverse they have been smoothly hollowed for the comfort of the wearer.

The Inupiaq have lived in the far North of Alaska for 4,000 years and learned to survive in the unyielding harsh environment of the Arctic where they hunt seals, caribou and whale. Natural resources are precious and these goggles were probably made from the driftwood found floating in the rivers which could have travelled many hundreds of miles to reach this desolate area. The goggles are very finely carved with a visor to protect from the sun above and the two narrow eye slits to protect the eyes from the sun reflecting off the dazzling snow.

Provenance:
Bill and Carol Wolf Collection, Hawthorne, New Jersey U.S.

1676/2985

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