Inuit dislocating shaft toggle harpoon

R1364.73, harpoon, Inuit, wood, bone, hide, 34 cm x 5 cm, Collection of Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada.

Inuit dislocating shaft toggle harpoon

Inuit dislocating shaft toggle harpoon.

Inuit developed a dislocating technology that allows harpoon heads to toggle in the flesh of the animal. In this way, the harpoon will not slip or cut itself back out. Inuit used this same technology to devise a way of carrying heavy objects such as walrus or small whales up onto shore or even out of the water, securing them so they would not sink.

The end of the dislocating shaft is pushed into the flesh. It will dislocate and by pulling on the leather strap/handle, the hunter can secure the animal. The know at the top of the handle can be used to secure to a longer rope giving better leverage for hauling up the animal. The designs on the end may indicate the number of kills or may be a personal identifying mark.