This Eskimo knife dates from 1100 to 1400. With a shaft attached to its base, it becomes a perfectly balanced harpoon. Its walrus-bone handle is inscribed with a primitive drawing of a polar bear and it has a 3-inch flint spear blade. It was discovered in 1860 at Point Barrow, Alaska, on Utkiavwin tribal lands, by Rochester NH native Charles F. Hall, an Arctic explorer. Hall made two perilous voyages to Alaska and a third to Greenland, hoping to reach the North Pole. He died aboard his last ship “Polaris” of suspected arsenic poisoning in 1871. A Union NH resident related to Hall donated it to the Museum.
W1, Indigenous Cultures Gallery