Needle case set, Inuit.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Six objects on a leather strip, part of a needle case set asociated with the Inuit of the Bering Strait. The set is made from leather, bone, ivory and stone. From left to right, the second item is a thimble holder. Inuit women used thimbles made from hide and these were slid onto the holder for safekeeping. The third could be an amulet. The fourth item is a doll or an amulet, very posibly a fertility charm. The fifth item is either an awl, for making holes in thick hide, or a boot creaser. Using the thin flat end of the boot creaser as a scraper would keep the tiny pleats in a boot in order. The fifth item may have used to hold sinew thread. A small piece has broken off this object. The objects have been coloured brown by contact with human skin, showing that the items have been used a lot.