2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

Influence of Western Arrival in the Culture of Arctic Peoples as Evidenced by a Walrus Tusk Cribbage Board
Collin D. Ashmore
Dr. Sara Orel, Faculty Mentor

Among the items in the substantial collection of objects donated to Truman State University by 1925 graduate Wendell Cordle is a cribbage board made from a walrus tusk. The cribbage board represents the effects of cultural influence upon natives of the Arctic from the gold prospectors in the early 1900s and the tourists who followed. While the object was created using a native Arctic medium and technique, and also includes scrimshawed scenes from traditional native life, the game of cribbage itself is a European invention and would have been unknown among Arctic natives until contact with Western society. However, due to the game’s popularity and the demand for souvenirs by Westerners, production of cribbage boards became a viable way of profitably interacting with the newcomers.

Keywords: non-western art, Arctic, Wendell Cordle, tourism, cribbage, scrimshaw, walrus

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 29-1
Location: OP 2210
Time: 2:15

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