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eider duck blanket

Greenland Inuit peoplesmid 1800s–1895

Spencer Museum of Art

Spencer Museum of Art
Lawrence, United States

Bird skins were a particularly resourceful material used by the Inuit for the construction of clothing. The eider duck has very thick feathers covering its warm down that enable it to dive in icy waters. The Inuit often used these duck skins to make clothing and blankets which were much warmer than seal skin and could be used when caribou or other thick furs were not available. Both sides of this blanket are made from eider duck skins that have had the contour feathers plucked out, leaving only the thick, soft down underneath. The front of the blanket is made from the skins of male ducks and uses the natural color patterns of the birds’ feathers to create the scalloped stripes in the center and the green, black, and white decorative border.

Details

  • Title: eider duck blanket
  • Creator: Greenland Inuit peoples
  • Date Created: mid 1800s–1895
  • Physical Dimensions: Object Length/Width: 195.5 x 142.5 cm, Object Length/Width: 76 15/16 x 56 1/8 in
  • Type: coverings
  • Medium: eider duck skin

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