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bear chin and lytta

Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford
Item: bear chin and lytta

Date: pre-1888

Area: James Bay

Catalogue number: Pitt Rivers 1888.43.3

Dimensions: Chin: length 13.5cm; width 10cm; lytta: length 6cm; width 1.3cm

Technique: Chin skin has been stretched, and red dots painted on the flesh side; lytta wrapped in blue braid and outlined with beads; lytta once attached to chin.

Motifs: dots

Collector: Donated by Walter Haydon, Esq. in 1888.

Notes: The bear chin consists of the skin under the bear's chin and the lower lip, all of which is removed, de-fleshed, stretched and made into a charm. The lytta is the small worm-like fibrous structure of cartilage, muscle and connective tissue found in the tongue of various carnivores, including bear.

References: Oberholtzer, Cath. 1989. If Bears Could Talk. Actes du vingtième congrès des Algonquinistes. Ed. par William Cowan. Ottawa: Carleton University. Pp.267-278.