Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • Native Alaskan peoples
  • float, late 1800s–early 1900s
  • Where object was made: District of Alaska or Alaska Territory (present-day Alaska), United States
  • sealskin, plant fiber, wood, paint
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 41 x 44 x 51 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 16 1/8 x 17 5/16 x 20 1/16 in
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5532

The float is made from the nearly intact skin of a seal. The holes at either end of the legs were closed with wooden pegs and plant fiber cord binding. Both ends are painted red with two thin black and one thin red line. The red teardrop shapes with thin red and black lines around the stump were created when closing the leg holes, also with a plant fiber cord. There is a black triangle between. The remainder is left brown.

There is a thick twisted plant fiber rope from one end to the other.