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Author Topic: Greenlandic tupilaks (and other traditional arctic crafts and knives)  (Read 19214 times)
netrin
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September 16, 2011, 12:23:42 AM
 #21

Hi Everyone,

The artists are pretty excited about the Tupilak project and look forward to hearing some feedback about their creations from people in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and all the islands of the world. While many don't even have an email address, most understand that displaying their work on the net could bring many benefits, including a steadier income, new techniques, tools, and cultural exchange. Some, to be honest, couldn't care less as long as I pay them cash (same for bitcoin).

I don't think this would be possible without bitcoin. I believe that bitcoin helps bring the world to higher latitudes from where we can send a slice of the Arctic back. Most here, just as anywhere, don't want to deal with international money transfers, pay pal, and certainly not fraud. The fact that I can pay artists in cash, receive digital cash from customers, and send a package the same day is a game changer. None the less, this is an experiment, a proof of concept. I posted photos from a sample of pieces with more soon to come. If it works out, we'll display more variety of works, from hunting knives, masks, kayak (qajaq) accessories, drums... But to get things started on Tupilaks, I've slashed prices 15% to 35% and shipping is free, by which I really mean free, to just about anywhere in the world.

I'd love to know what you all think, ideas for new pieces, or how we could make things better.

Thanks for your support,
Netrin

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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September 16, 2011, 03:23:21 AM
 #22

Netrin extended the new discount to me even though I had already ordered.  He's a class act.
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September 17, 2011, 02:23:15 AM
 #23

Ulu, Greenlandic knife

Ulu are Inuit knives, traditionally used by women to cut the deep fatty skin of whale, seal, and walrus. They're great for chopping up veggies and herbs.

10 cm (4 inch) curved steal blade

USD$ 230 or EUR€ 180, Free world-wide shipping (latest price)

These pieces are completely hand made by an expert artisan in Nuuk, Greenland. The blade is forged by hand. The handle is polished reindeer antler. Both are connected by an elegant brass whale motif.





Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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September 17, 2011, 03:08:03 AM
 #24

Muskox horn Tupilak from Greenland

Handmade cursed figures carved from muskox horn


13cm (5 inches)

USD$ 63 or EUR€ 50, Free shipping world-wide (latest price)

Muskox horn is a softer material than reindeer antler. Because detail work is more difficult to produce than with reindeer, muskox tupilak are uncommon. The semi-transparent creamy textured fibers of muskox horn make a beautiful decoration in a sunlit window.






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 19, 2011, 10:54:59 PM
 #25

Tupilak keychain Auction starting at 1 BTC

I've posted an auction up on Tosaki's new Bitmit auction site. I've been playing with the site for a few hours now and it looks solid and Tosaki's been very responsive to my feedback. Just to test it out, I've started an auction at 1 BTC for a tupilak keychain. The bid will expire in a week.





Handmade cursed figures carved from reindeer antler

4cm-7cm (1.5-3 inches)

FREE Shipping worldwide

Greenlandic tupilaks are traditional magic figures made from bone, 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'. All of them are hand made from native wild animals such as reindeer, muskox, pheasant, fox, (seal, whale, and polar bear not available for export). Reindeer antler is most common because it is very durable and lends itself to detailed carving. Less common are muskox horn, which is a beautiful semi-transparent textured material, but softer and not as easily carved. Reindeer and muskox can be exported to most countries.

Tupilak come in numerous shapes and sizes, from cute to ugly and scary. These keychains are about the size of a finger.

Profits will be shared with the artists. 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.

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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September 23, 2011, 07:06:28 PM
 #26

Just going to bump this, because it is awesome.

netrin
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September 23, 2011, 10:44:37 PM
 #27

Just going to bump this, because it is awesome.

Tusind tak skal du have!

Hey, why not bid on the auction. It's currently cheaper than the shipping stamps! http://en.bitmit.net/trade/i/24-tupilak-keychain-from-greenland

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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September 28, 2011, 05:43:49 PM
 #28

I just got my Tupilak, complete with instructions suitable for my nefarious purposes.

Even though I saw a picture of it, I was still really impressed with the actual item.

As netrin said, shipping was a little slow, but it was totally worth the wait.
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October 08, 2011, 06:55:52 PM
 #29

These are awsome!

netrin
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October 08, 2011, 07:32:08 PM
 #30

Thanks. These are only some samples I've picked up in the last month, and are currently decorating my home. If there is any one style (here or elsewhere on the net), I'm sure I can find something similar or even commission a new piece.

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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October 08, 2011, 07:33:14 PM
 #31

They are cursed. Please avoid.  Grin
netrin
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October 08, 2011, 07:45:20 PM
 #32

They are cursed. Please avoid.  Grin

Actually they are not ...yet. Wink I'll include some instructions with each delivery. Typically, you dig up ancestor (or children) bones, collect some artifact of your specific victim (blood, hair will do) and send them off to sea or deep into a glacier. Real 'activated' curses are difficult to find, because they've typically been buried, lost or drowned along with their victim.

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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October 09, 2011, 04:32:19 PM
 #33

The black magic near the Thai Cambodian boarder is very much like this. The witches here have the whole country scared, no joke.
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October 09, 2011, 10:50:55 PM
 #34

Interesting. I'd like to know a bit more about these witches. Are they related to krasue ghosts? Do they use artifacts like tupilak or voodoo dolls?



In Greenland, there are shamans but they are not evil. I don't think there's a tradition of an 'occupational witch' conjuring devious plans alone. They say there is no such word 'alone' rather, in the arctic one is 'dead'. There is a tradition of qivitoq which is something like wanderer spirit. People removed themselves from the community due to shame, elderly who wish not to be a burden, women who couldn't bare children, etc. Basically they wander off into the cold and return to nature. If their body is not found, perhaps they are still wandering, most certainly as a spirit, for no one can survive the winter darkness alone. Many abnormalities and misfortune are attributed to the qivitoq spirit.

Creating tupilak was not an occupational tradition, but very personal and secret. It is believed that often someone dies because someone/thing willed him harm. A hunter who disrespects his prey may be killed by the offended animal spirit or a jealous lover may have created a tupilak leading to his misfortune. I believe there were a lot more deaths attributed to tupilak than the number of cursed tupilak ever created, but we'll never know.

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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October 09, 2011, 11:05:55 PM
 #35


Here's a story Knud Rasmussen collected prior to 1921

NUKÚNGUASIK, WHO ESCAPED FROM THE TUPILAK

NUKÚNGUASIK, it is said, had land in a place with many brothers. When the brothers made a catch, they gave him meat for the pot; he himself had no wife. One day he rowed northward in his kayak, and suddenly he took it into his head to row over to a big island which he had never visited before, and now wished to see. He landed, and went up to look at the land, and it was very beautiful there.

 And here he came upon the middle one of many brothers, busy with something or other down in a hollow, and whispering all the time. So he crawled stealthily towards him, and when he had come closer, he heard him whispering these words:

 "You are to bite Nukúnguasik to death; you are to bite Nukúnguasik to death."

 And then it was clear that he was making a Tupilak, and stood there now telling it what to do. But suddenly Nukúnguasik slapped him on the side and said: "But where is this Nukúnguasik?"

 And the man was so frightened at this that he fell down dead.

 And then Nukúnguasik saw that the man had been letting the Tupilak sniff at his body. And the Tupilak was now alive, and lay there sniffing. But Nukúnguasik, being afraid of the Tupilak....

(I'll let you finish the second half of the story from whence I nicked it http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/inu/eft/eft07.htm)

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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October 10, 2011, 06:04:36 AM
 #36

Well now I'm just worried. Will my tupilak eat me if I mess up the programming??

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓▓ ONEDICE.ME ▓▓▓▓▓ BEST DICE EXPERIENCE ▓▓▓▓ PLAY OR INVEST ▓▓▓▓▓▓
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netrin
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October 10, 2011, 08:10:12 AM
 #37

I don't recommend commanding the tupilak to "eat me!" ... but just to be on the safe side, I'll do a bit more research. Smiley

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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October 10, 2011, 11:59:51 PM
 #38

I don't recommend commanding the tupilak to "eat me!" ... but just to be on the safe side, I'll do a bit more research. Smiley

I was just cracking a joke about the end of the story. I ended up reading a bunch of the folk-lore on that site. It's friggin' awesome, but sort of difficult to keep track of due to the crazy names.

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓
▓▓ ONEDICE.ME ▓▓▓▓▓ BEST DICE EXPERIENCE ▓▓▓▓ PLAY OR INVEST ▓▓▓▓▓▓
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netrin
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October 11, 2011, 01:34:02 AM
 #39

In the tupilak story, I thought the prepositions were confusing. "he saw that he let him sniff him". I guess I could rewrite them as Knud originally wrote them in Danish. I don't know the name Nukúnguasik, it looks East Greenlandic, but similar to Nukanunnguaq or the old spelling Nukánguaĸ which is like sweet little (younger) brother.

While looking that name up in the official name book, I came across 'Anarfinnguaq', 'Anarfínguaĸ' and 'Anarfik' which at best translates as something like

sweet delicate toilet

But it's a bit more crazy in Greenlandic, because words are built up from stems. So anar encompasses everything shitty, from smell to color to texture. Fik is just the place of and the -guaq ending gives it the charming diminutive character, a bit like -ie in doggie, sweetie, or -ita in Spanish. I don't know anyone with that name, never seen it written, but there it is in the 'official' record.

Glad you enjoyed the stories.

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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October 18, 2011, 06:00:03 AM
 #40

They are cursed. Please avoid.  Grin

Actually they are not ...yet. Wink I'll include some instructions with each delivery. Typically, you dig up ancestor (or children) bones, collect some artifact of your specific victim (blood, hair will do) and send them off to sea or deep into a glacier. Real 'activated' curses are difficult to find, because they've typically been buried, lost or drowned along with their victim.

The description said they're cursed.  So that's just advertising?

And are they made of bone?  You sometimes suggest it but you also say you can't export it out of Greenland so it sounds like a no.

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