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Anthropologists believe that the use of two labret plugs at the corners of the lower lip protected Inuit men while hunting at sea. The labrets seemed to mimic either walrus tusks or the white patches at the sides of killer whales, providing for a spiritual transformation from human to animal that was to aid them in the water.

Inuit ivory and bone amulets.

Arctic Yup'ik Eskimo mask, early 1900s. Wood, pigment, feathers. 33 7/8 x 23 1/2"

Fox A.D. 800–1850- Punuk or Thule. Walrus ivory. Princeton University Art Museum

Standing Man Unknown (Inuit Artist, East Coast of Hudson Bay) c. 1940-1960