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Author Topic: Greenlandic tupilaks (and other traditional arctic crafts and knives)  (Read 19203 times)
netrin
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August 30, 2011, 07:09:05 PM
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Hi sub-arctic friends,

I'm selling Greenlandic tupilaks which are traditional magic figures made from bone (sorry I'm not exporting human bone, don't ask), claws, tusks, or more recently from precious metals. These often-grotesque statues are used to curse or magically kill enemies, though none of those I'm selling will have been 'activated' Smiley. All of them are hand made from native wild animals such as reindeer, muskox, pheasant, fox, seal, whale, walrus, and polar bear (can not export sea mamals to most countries).

Shipping is a bit slow and expensive from Greenland, but otherwise I can get good deals on the pieces and the profits will be shared with the artists. They come in numerous shapes and sizes, from cute to ugly and scary. Key chains are about 7 BTC, large complex pieces can be 50 BTC or much more. I'm also selling beautiful hand-made modern and traditional knives, but first, I'd like to scope out the interest. Let me know what country you are in so we can trade only legal animal products. Note that the Greenlanders use and consume all of the animal even when killed in self defense, the sale of these products support the local economy.

Wikipedia has a decent description

Google images





Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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August 31, 2011, 01:36:44 AM
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You have some lovely stuff on offer!  How did you come into contact with the artists?  Are you from Greenland yourself?

I'm in the United States, and collect art.  I might be interested in both small/inexpensive pieces of work that I can give as gifts for birthdays and Christmas, and also larger/more elaborate work for my own collection.  I'd prefer to avoid items made from material from polar bears or other endangered species; it's one thing for the Inuit to hunt them or defend themselves from attack, and a completely different matter for somebody to buy items made of that stuff and thereby bump up collector demand for it.  However, any material from reindeer, fox, and other non-endangered species (land animals mostly) would be fine.  I'd also prefer to avoid items intended to curse enemies, just so that I can honestly tell recipients what their gift is for and not freak them out. (Some relatives are prone to be superstitious or might have religious objections.)  But charms and other items whose original intent was not to hurt people would be fine.

You can PM me or get my email address from my web site, which is listed on my profile.
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August 31, 2011, 02:01:57 AM
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I'll take a 3 BTC one, made out of the most endangered animal you're allowed to ship to the US, with the most malevolent purpose within that price range.  That is, I'd prefer one that's supposed to kill over one to curse, and one that's designed to kill your enemy, his children, and his children's children over one that's just supposed to kill your enemy.

Shoot me a pm with the shipping costs before you buy anything though.
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August 31, 2011, 02:40:03 AM
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Greenlandic Tupilak

Handmade cursed figures carved from reindeer antler

18cm (7 inches)

USD$ 160 or EUR€ 125, free shipping world-wide (latest price)






Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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August 31, 2011, 03:00:00 AM
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You have some lovely stuff on offer!  How did you come into contact with the artists?  Are you from Greenland yourself?

I know some of the artists personally, which is a given considering there are only 57 000 people on the entire island though it's 3x bigger than Texas or France.


I'm in the United States, and collect art.  I might be interested in both small/inexpensive pieces of work that I can give as gifts for birthdays and Christmas

That would be a good idea. You'll get nailed on the shipping, but I can bundle a bunch in the same package for about the same shipping price. I'll take a photograph of some samples in the small/inexpensive range.


I'd prefer to avoid items made from material from polar bears or other endangered species; it's one thing for the Inuit to hunt them or defend themselves from attack, and a completely different matter for somebody to buy items made of that stuff and thereby bump up collector demand for it.

Mentioning polar bear was a marketing stunt. It's available but few can afford it. We try to scare the bears away from town, not kill them. I prefer to think the Greenlanders would not be tempted to poach bears for any price.

Note that seal are not endangered, but I believe the US has an import ban on all sea mammalian products. I'll double check.


I'd also prefer to avoid items intended to curse enemies, just so that I can honestly tell recipients what their gift is for and not freak them out. (Some relatives are prone to be superstitious or might have religious objections.)  But charms and other items whose original intent was not to hurt people would be fine.

The tradition is to curse. In fact... this gets complicated... people only die because they've disrespected life, whether animals or fellow man. If someone dies, it's assumed he was cursed. Maybe he deserved it. For example, when a seal is hunted it is thanked, the seal is respected, the spirit is fed water and offered gifts. If the seal is honored he may help the hunter in the future otherwise he may harm the hunter. A great hunter respects his prey. If he dies, it was probably because someone was jealous.

Anyway, in the past tupilak were pretty rare. Today with some tourist opportunity tupilak are more common and no curse is attached to them. To activate them you'd take some hair from the victim, perhaps some blood, and drown it with the tupilak. Or something like that. I'll go search for a more authoritative exploitation explanation.

Its all intent, but the tradition is for magic not beauty. Other fine bone sculptures and figures are also common today such as polar bears and whale (made from reindeer bone/antler). These can be necklaces too. In fact, seal claws are pretty wild looking, though I don't think I can export them to the States.


I'll take a 3 BTC one, made out of the most endangered animal you're allowed to ship to the US

What are endangered and what are illegal to import have little to do with each other. Some seal and whale which are not endangered are still illegal to be imported into the United States. I won't trade in endangered species anyway. How about the most 'exotic' from an American perspective, like muskox, sledge dog, arctic hare?


malevolent purpose within that price range.  That is, I'd prefer one that's supposed to kill over one to curse, and one that's designed to kill your enemy, his children, and his children's children over one that's just supposed to kill your enemy.

Interesting. Well part of that is upon you, like digging up their ancestors or extracting their blood, semen, spit, etc. I'll see what I can dig up. Smiley


Shoot me a pm with the shipping costs before you buy anything though.

If you get some friends together, I can send a combined package. Otherwise I think the shipping cost might be on par with the piece. Though, Kgo, as we've done business together in the past, I might use you as the guinea pig sale. I'll accept the risks.

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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August 31, 2011, 03:10:48 AM
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I'll take a 3 BTC one, made out of the most endangered animal you're allowed to ship to the US

What are 'endangered' and what are illegal to import have little to do with each other. Some seal and whale which are not endangered are still illegal to be imported into the United States. I won't trade in endangered species anyway. How about the most 'exotic' from an American perspective, like muskox, sledge dog, arctic hare?


muskox sounds the most exotic to me if that's possible.

Quote

If you get some friends together, I can send a combined package. Otherwise I think the shipping cost might be on par with the piece. Though, Kgo, as we've done business together in the past, I might use you as the guinea pig sale. I'll accept the risks.

I was thinking I could go as high as 5 for a 3BTC item + shipping if you want to price that out. 

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August 31, 2011, 03:21:46 AM
 #7

Muskox bone is textured and very beautiful. I'm sailing and climbing north of Kapisillit near the icesheet (1657m, top right of map) late tomorrow and should be back next week with photos of some bone options. I'll also have more clarity on US shipping and import law then (if not tomorrow).



UPDATE: OK, so these pieces are nearly the same shape. They are carved into humpback whale tails (a glorious site to see the broad tail as these beasts dive deep).  On the left below is reindeer antler (reversed in the other photo). The reindeer is a particularly nice piece because the colors look a bit like a whale does (though much lighter). But in the middle below is muskox horn carved quite thin (but still indestructible) and colors come through in beautiful patterns. In other words, it matches everything. You boys might not know this, but your girlfriends want this.

These whale tails and Nuummioq are going for $32 or €25.





Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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August 31, 2011, 04:23:55 PM
 #8

I am interested in some bigger pieces.  I am in the United States of America.  Can you show me some pieces you can offer?  Thank you!
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September 07, 2011, 01:48:24 AM
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Can you upload some more pics of actual pieces to get a good comparison of the materials? I am very interested in a variety pack. I've got some cursin' to do.

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓▓ ONEDICE.ME ▓▓▓▓▓ BEST DICE EXPERIENCE ▓▓▓▓ PLAY OR INVEST ▓▓▓▓▓▓
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September 09, 2011, 08:13:35 AM
 #10

Very interested!,

This is amazing work's from what I've seen so far.
I live in California, United States. Would you mind give me some quotes on what you offer and some possible shipping costs?
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September 09, 2011, 03:46:07 PM
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Bitcoin Classifieds: Tupilak Oqaq ("tongue") cursed figure, reindeer

Handmade cursed figures carved from reindeer antler

14cm (5 inches) from Kulusuk, East Greenland

USD$ 320 or EUR€ 250, Free shipping world-wide (check realtime price)






Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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September 09, 2011, 03:49:46 PM
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Are you yourself Greenlandic, or just visiting the area?
netrin
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September 09, 2011, 05:09:37 PM
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I am not Greenlandic. I moved from Denmark to Nuuk two years ago.

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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September 11, 2011, 11:40:55 PM
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where can one see what is for sale? just slap up a very simple web page showing the pieces and the
price next to it with your email address to work out a sale.

you have to take a risk here.. buy several pieces and put it up for all to see with a price tag please.
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September 13, 2011, 11:55:56 PM
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where can one see what is for sale? just slap up a very simple web page showing the pieces and the
price next to it with your email address to work out a sale.

you have to take a risk here.. buy several pieces and put it up for all to see with a price tag please.

This.  Get some free website and list your items.  I won't buy till around Christmas.

1DcXvfJdeJch9uptKopte5XQarTtj5ZjpL
netrin
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September 14, 2011, 03:40:01 AM
 #16

Tupilak keychain from Greenland

Handmade cursed figures carved from reindeer antler

4cm-7cm (1.5-3 inches)

USD$ 25 or EUR€ 20, Free shipping world-wide (check realtime price)






Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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September 14, 2011, 03:45:36 AM
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I'm good for one.  pm me a payment address.
netrin
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September 14, 2011, 04:01:30 AM
 #18

Bitcoin Classifieds: Greenlandic Muskox Necklace

Hand carved from muskox horn, smooth and polished, revealing the beautiful semi-transparent textures.

4cm (1.5 inches)

USD$ 32 or EUR€ 25, Free shipping world-wide (check realtime price)

I'm not happy with these photos. The polished horn is like cloudy flowing ice. You can faintly see the black strip through the piece, a millimeters under the surface. In fact, I think I might keep it. Smiley




Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
netrin
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September 14, 2011, 05:31:59 AM
 #19

Greenlandic cursed Tupilak

Handmade cursed figures carved from reindeer antler

All of these specific pieces have been sold

10-11cm (4 inches)

USD$ 64 or EUR€ 50, Free shipping world-wide (check realtime price)









Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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September 14, 2011, 07:11:16 AM
 #20

omg, this is sooo legit looking... Now i just gotta scrap 20 BTC....

Does that shipping include USA? or just Greenland pricing?
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