Snow Goggles (USA), Created before 1916
This is a Snow goggles.
Snow goggles, which reduce the amount of sunlight entering the eye, are the surest protection against snow blindness—an extremely debilitating condi¬tion caused by excessive ultraviolet radiation reflected off snow-covered landscapes. Conditions are especially hazardous in springtime, when the sun is brighter. This hand-carved, finely contoured ivory goggles made by the northwest Alaskan Iñupiat is one of a number of styles, all of which fit comfortably over the eyes. Some examples from the region incorporate visors, and some are made of wood, but they all feature either slits, as here, or small holes. These piercings allowed the wearers to see without squinting, but they also enhanced the user’s vision, like a pinhole camera. This was particularly useful when hunting seal or white foxes in the spring. Although occasionally referred to as “snow glasses,” they represent an improvement over goggles with glass lenses, because they never fogged up.
It is credited
National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, 5/4349.
Our curators have highlighted 1 object that are related to this one.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 2.7 x 11.2 x 2 cm (1 1/16 x 4 7/16 x 13/16 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.