Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

needle for piercing ears
  • Northwest Coast peoples
  • needle for piercing ears, late 1800s–2007
  • Where object was made: United States or British Columbia, Canada
  • bone or ivory, carving
  • Object Length/Width: 6.2 x 0.4 cm
    Object Length/Width: 2 7/16 x 1/8 in
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4973

The very thin awl has a sharp point at one end. The opposite end is slightly larger with three raised bumps, not points.

The raised bumps are intended to keep the needle from sliding all the way through. The girl will wear the needle until it is replaced with an earring.