Issue 2 (43)

EAGLES, BEASTS, AND GODS: ART OF THE OLD BERING SEA HUNTING COMPLEX
Year 2014 Number 2(43)
Pages 72-78 Type scientific article
UDC 903.2(798) BBK 63.442.14(7-4)
Authors Fitzhugh William W.
Topic MAN OF ARCTIC
Summary The article presents the analysis of art forms of the Old Bering Sea (OBS) Hunting Complex, namely the decoration of toggling harpoons and spear-throwers. Other cultural traditions, e.g. Okvik and modern Eskimo traditions are also reviewed. The author gives a detailed analysis of various decoration elements including the images of predator helping-spirits wolf-like animals, the toothy semi-human masked faces, as well as birds of prey. A separate study was made of the socalled winged objects. The author mentioned several stages in the evolution of artistic and historical traditions in the OBS art: from abstract geometric, to symbolic representational forms, and back to abstract decorative designs. By way of conclusion it was noted that the Okvik art tradition might be traced back to decorative styles of the south-west of Alaska and the Aleutian islands, while the OBS tradition had its roots in the eastern Asia traditions. Combination of these two styles gave birth to one of the great world art traditions.
Keywords old Bering sea hunting complex, harpoons, spear-throwers, art traditions, Eskimo, helping-spirits
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