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whale effigy


Inupiaq people


Not currently on view


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Attribution Incomplete Notice

Collections and items in our institution have incomplete, inaccurate, and/or missing attribution. We are using this notice to clearly identify this material so that it can be updated, or corrected by communities of origin. Our institution is committed to collaboration and partnerships to address this problem of incorrect or missing attribution.

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Open to Collaborate Notice

Our institution is committed to the development of new modes of collaboration, engagement, and partnership with Indigenous peoples for the care and stewardship of past and future heritage collections.

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Traditional Knowledge Notice

The TK Notice is a visible notification that there are accompanying cultural rights and responsibilities that need further attention for any future sharing and use of this material. The TK Notice may indicate that TK Labels are in development and their implementation is being negotiated. For more information about the TK Notice, visit

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Artwork Details

Creation Date
walrus ivory with blackened incisions
Object Types
sculptures, effigies

1-1/4 x 5-1/4 x 1-3/4 in.

Mark Description

Inscribed in collector's hand, black paint, back side: TOWNSEND # 3179 | 673

Accession Number
Credit Line

Gift of Mr. Earl C. Townsend, Jr.

No Known Rights Holder

Native Arts of the Americas

Color Palette

Collection of Robert E. Bell [1914-2006] {1}, Norman, Oklahoma; Earl C. Townsend [1914-2007], Indianapolis, Indiana; given to the John Herron Art Institute, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, in 1961. {1} Robert Bell was a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma

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Metadata about the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s collection comes from Newfields’ records and research. In some cases, information may be incomplete and research is ongoing. Newfields’ goal is to have as up-to-date metadata as possible, therefore, this information is subject to change. Newfields collections’ metadata is available under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) waiver, which allows for re-use without legal restrictions.

Artworks that appear in the image file(s) above may be in copyright or have other legal and/or cultural restrictions to their use. For clarity, Newfields does not claim copyright to the image files created by Newfields of artworks in the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s collection. Newfields makes every effort to ascertain the copyright status of artworks in the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s collection. Please refer to the statement above for information about the current copyright status of the artwork. Additionally, some artworks may include Local Context’s Notices or Labels that attribute cultural authority of the artwork’s heritage and data.

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This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [MA-251861-OMS-22].