Inupiaq Seal/Walrus Skin Armor

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor: dated 1945 by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq.

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor
~ Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017.

Even though many of the tribes in what is known Alaska are seen as very peaceful people, conflicts and warfare did occur, to the extent that the Inupiaq and Chukotkan men had created armor. There were two basic types (1) plate armor made of bone, ivory, antler, or iron plates lashed together and (2) band armor consisting of telescoping bands of hide. Both of these were worn over ordinary clothing and extended from head to toe. The armor was accompanied often with helmets, cuirasses, shields, shin guards, wrist guards, and neck protectors. The armor was strong enough to be invincible to arrows (except close range). Plate armor was made from dozens of ivory plates carved from walrus tusks.First evidence of this armor was found in Chukotka at various Punuk sites/excavations. Large quantities of armor plates were also discovered at western Thule at Barrow from the 15th century. The would fight with spears (defense), bows/arrows (attack), lances, knives, and slingshots. By the early 19th century after contact with Euro-Americans, they incorporated muzzle loaded guns.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “weapons and tools” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

The armor depicted here is dated to 1945 CE (Common Era) and was made by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq. Made of Walrus skin, seal skin, wood. This ingenious type of armor was created to protect men in battle. Fashioned from the thick hide of a walrus, the armor is made in several collapsible concentric rings that girdle the soldier’s body but are flexible to allow movement. The upper section protects the head and neck region with bendable ‘elbow joints’. Arrows would bounce off the thick hide.

    Additional references:
  • Buron, Ernest S. “Alliance and Conflict: The World System of the Inupaiq Eskimo

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor: dated 1945 by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq. Made of Walrus skin, seal skin, wood. This ingenious type of armor was created to protect men in battle. Fashioned from the thick hide of a walrus, the armor is made in several collapisble concentric rings that girdle the soldier’s body but are flexible to allow movement. The upper section protects the head and neck region with bendable ‘elbow joints’. Arrows would bounce off the thick hide. Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor: dated 1945 by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq. Made of Walrus skin, seal skin, wood. This ingenious type of armor was created to protect men in battle. Fashioned from the thick hide of a walrus, the armor is made in several collapisble concentric rings that girdle the soldier’s body but are flexible to allow movement. The upper section protects the head and neck region with bendable ‘elbow joints’. Arrows would bounce off the thick hide. Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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