BRUNSWICK – Two new exhibits highlighting northern crafts have opened at The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum on the Bowdoin College campus. Both are on view in the lobby of Hubbard Hall through Oct. 31

“Weaving a New Tradition: Baleen Baskets from North Alaska” highlights the elegant forms of 20th-century baskets made by North Alaskan Inupiat. Black and grey baleen, harvested from the mouths of bowhead and grey whales, is cut into strips and woven into lidded baskets. Carved ivory and bone knobs, or finials, and starter pieces, some simple and others elaborately carved, add further distinctiveness to the baskets.

Accompanying the baleen baskets is a photographic exhibit, “Beautiful Utility: A Look at Inuit Crafts.”

Northern people have a long tradition of fashioning practical objects for everyday use and for trade, and more recently for sale. These skillfully made objects are often elaborately decorated, either in traditional styles or reflecting more recent decorative innovations.

This exhibit looks at a cross-section of crafts, depicted through historic photographs of Inuit craftspeople from across the Arctic building kayaks and snow houses, sewing skins, and decorating clothing and dolls, among other activities.

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, phone (207) 725-3416.

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