The native peoples of Alaska carve intricate ivory amulets
This little charm was made by the peoples that inhabited the Alaskan peninsula in the American continent’s northwest circa 1870 or 1880. They were master carvers, and many examples of ivory objects still survive today. This otter was usually tied to a kayak’s cockpit so that it would bring good fortune.
The lines on each side of the amulet represent the ribs, which were believed to house the animal’s soul, and the middle row is the spine. The placement of the hands and the fact that it is on its back is meant to mimic the pose real otters adopt when they eat.