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Martha's Vineyard Museum

Handiwork created by whalers using the parts of harvested marine mammals, most commonly the bones and teeth of sperm whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walruses. Whalers carved elaborate images and letters into the bone and highlighted them using a pigment like candle black, soot, and tobacco juice. Whalers also created small sculptures from the same material, as well as domestic objects such as pie crimps, combs or a busks. A maker of scrimshaw was called a scrimshander.

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