Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Labret

mengkuk “labret”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Also called:
cungarpak “labret”
Language: Central Yup'ik

The old custom of wearing ornaments through piercings in the lower lip was already disappearing by the 1870s when this labret was purchased on Nunivak Island. The curved ivory piece fit inside the mouth against the gum. Labret styles varied from village to village; this one was crafted from red and white trade beads.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Nunivak Island, Alaska
Object Category: Ornaments, jewelry
Dimensions: Length: 5.1cm
Accession Date: 1874
Source: William H. Dall (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E016204