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  • Charm. Museum of the Americas. Madrid © Ministerio de Cultura

    Charm. Museum of the Americas. Madrid © Ministerio de Cultura



Rites, worship and beliefs



Original title

Museum of the Americas

A charm made from a walrus tusk, decorated with extraordinary delicate details and one of the most relevant ethnographic works in the museum.

This small sculpture represents a duck, with a perforated protuberance underneath, in which there is a cord and a fragment of tusk is hanging from it. It is the oldest piece from the Northeast Coast of America of which there is exact documentation of when it was found. It happened during the first Spanish expedition to Nootka, led by Juan Pérez in 1774. Thanks to the valuable information collected by the members of the expedition, we know that the chip on the beak is old, that a woman used to carry it, and that it was probably a charm for protection.


Details of the work


Height = 4.3 cm; Length = 6.9 cm; Width = 2.6 cm

Carved, etched, drilled and polished

Walrus tusk, vegetable fibre and tooth

Place of production
Canada (North America)


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