Object photography

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Object description

  • Pennacook artist
  • Sculpture, made 16th century, excavation 1830
  • Basalt
  • Salem, Massachusetts, United States
  • H: 4 5/8 in, W: 2 1/2 in, D: 5 in (H: 11.7 cm, W: 6.3 cm, D: 12.7 cm)
  • Gift of Miss Bessie Eaton, 1898
  • E50296
  • Captures a bear's energy, even while sculpted as a very simple form
  • Probably represents a clan ancestor or protector

This rare and early sculpture of a black bear was likely created just before the first epidemics decimated Northeast Native populations, following contact with Europeans. Native Northeastern people revered bears for their great strength and believed in their spiritual powers.