was slung with a thong and whalebone, so that it could be suspended.
Its weight is so considerable as to make it somewhat burdensome for
wear on the person, but as one of these Eskimo wore a stone weighing
two pounds suspended from a belt, the jade artefact may really have
been worn in this way. The form suggests that of a sinker, as was also
the case with the two-pound stone, and it may have earned its repute as
a talisman from having been used in former times by some exceptionally
fortunate or skilful fisherman, in the belief that it would transmit
his good luck to anyone wearing it.16 An artefact of
somewhat similar form, 1.4 inches in length, and made of red jasper,
came from the same locality; this was slung in a sinew band for
native Greenlanders of a couple of centuries ago had a great variety of
amulets, and Hans Egede, in his Description of Greenland, notes these
"Amulets or Pomanders" which the natives wore about the neck or arms,
the materials being of the most heterogeneous kind, pieces of old wood,
old fragments of stone, bones of various animals, the bill and claws of
certain birds, and many other objects whose form or associations had
suggested the possession of a magic potency.18 A similar
account of old Greenland amulets is given by David Crantz, another
early author, who even asserts that some of the amulets were so
grotesque that the natives themselves occasionally laughed at them. In
the absence of any more definite talisman, recourse was sometimes had
to the expedient of binding a leather strap over the forehead or around
the arm.19 Possibly, however, some
"Ibid., p. 438; see flg. 425.
"Ibid., p. 439.
»Haue Egede, "Λ Description of Greenland," London, 1745, p. 104 (Eng. trans.).
β David Crantz, " The History of Greenland," London, 1767, vol. i, p. 218 (Eng. trans.).