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  • Effigy!

    Yay! An effigy, not the odd-shaped rock you were expecting. Got your attention though. Another item from my travels.

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    This was found on Vancouver Island (not by me). A small fishing/hunting charm probably of Pacific Northwest culture and perhaps Coast Salish. I believe it’s a sea otter. There are no suitable flat surfaces that allow it to be stood up or laid down without rolling, so it’s the kind of thing that would have been held or tucked into a pocket or pouch as a good luck charm.

    I know there are lots of modern tourist repros around but all of those I saw were more ‘realistic’ representations than this. Apart from being a found item, under the ‘scope there’s no sign of any modern tooling marks and there is at least some mineralisation/patination. So, I think the best we can say for it is that it was ‘traditionally’ made, isn’t modern, but may not be ancient either. Nice little piece though don’t you think?

    Any idea what the lithic might be? I’m not good on identifying polished rocks. In the rough is so much easier.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

  • #2
    Cool piece. My best guess-it’s some kind of Quartz stone. Indigenous Bone and Ivory carvings are more common up in those regions and farther up but I’ve seen a few stone pieces. The fact it was a surface find is great.

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    • #3
      Saw effigy than your name under it and yes, I was glad it was you.
      Cool little piece.
      Searching the fields of Northwest Indiana and Southwestern Michigan

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      • #4
        That’s a neat little piece for sure. There are some old Hong Shan dynasty pieces that resemble that style as well. Most of them are made from jade and are drilled to wear as a charm. Very interesting little pieces. Like most things nowadays there are 1000 fake ones for every real one but there are real ones still out there.

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        • #5
          Perhaps chlorite I have seen it in black, white and green. Green is the most common I have seen. I am pretty sure serpentiine is found in white as well as green. Beautiful piece Roger.
          TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

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          • #6
            beautiful little piece

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            • #7
              Nice aquisition indeed

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              • #8
                Hey Roger, That is a cool looking effigy.
                Michigan Yooper
                If You Don’t Stand for Something, You’ll Fall for Anything

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                • #9
                  Cool...seal effigy perhaps??

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                  • #10
                    That is a cool little piece. If you got to see the otters floating on their backs while eating/sleeping that pose looks very otter-like.

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                    • painshill
                      painshill commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yes... I'm pretty sure it's meant to be a sea ottter, rather than a seal.

                  • #11
                    That should be very translucent and looks like quartz, or quartzite, with maybe a few mica crystal inclusions. No doubt a seal otter, and a very unique artifact!!
                    http://www.ravensrelics.com/

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                    • #12
                      I'll bet whoever lost it was gutted.

                      Useless factoid #43: apart from occasional discolouration seen in young poultry, the sea otter is the only animal to have pink bones. That comes from a diet high in sea urchins which contain the red pigment 'echinochrome'.
                      I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

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                      • clovisoid
                        clovisoid commented
                        Editing a comment
                        No where else would we get factoids like that... I'm going to use that somewhere in a presentation.

                      • clovisoid
                        clovisoid commented
                        Editing a comment
                        No where else would we get factoids like that... I'm going to use that somewhere in a presentation.

                    • #13
                      Ver nice effigy. BTW, sea otters are the only marine mammal known to use stone tools. To the best of my knowledge. At a young age, the mother otter teaches her offspring to select a suitable rock from the ocean bottom, and then how to use it....

                      Last edited by CMD; 10-09-2019, 06:07 PM.
                      Rhode Island

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                      • painshill
                        painshill commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yes. I think that's right. They also have a loose pouch of skin under each foreleg that extends across the chest and they use these pouches (preferentially the left hand one) to both bring food to the surface and to store rocks for feeding use. They use the rocks both for dislodging shellfish from whatever they are attached to and breaking open the shells they've collected. Fascinating creatures to watch.

                        One other thing about the effigy which is obvious from closer examination is that some of the features were original to the pebble that was used and haven't been carved from scratch. Looks like the maker found an oddly-shaped pebble that was suggestive of the animal, further embellished it to improve the resemblance and then carved the facial features.

                    • #14
                      That is a trinket to be treasured!

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