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Smithsonian institution. Bureau of ethnology. 

Ninth annual report | of the | Bureau of ethnology | to the | 
secretary of the Smithsonian institution | 1887-'88 | by | J. W. 
Powell | director | [Vignette] | 
Washington \ government printing office | 1892 
8°. xlvi, 617 pp. 8 pi. 

Powell (John Wesley). 

Ninth annual report | of the | Bureau of ethnology | to the | 
secretary of the Smithsonian institution | 1887-88 | by | J. W. 
Powell | director | [Vignette] | 

Washington | government printing office | 1892 

8°. xlvi, 617 pp. 8 pi. 

[Smithsonian institution. Bureau of ethnology.] 

Ninth annual report | of the | Bureau of ethnology | to the | 
secretary of the Smithsonian institution | 1887-'88 | by | J. W. 
Powell | director | [Vignette] | 

Washington | government printing office | 1892 

8°. xlvi, 617 pp. 8 pi. 

[Smithsonian institution. Bureau of ethnology. ] 




1 8 8 7 - ' 8 8 









Letter of transmittal xxi 

Introduction xxm 

Publications xxiv 

Field work xxv 

Mound expl orations xxv 

Work of Prof. Cyrus Thomas xxv 

General field studies xxvn 

Work of the Director xxvn 

Work of Mr. James Stevensou xxvn 

Work of Mr. W. H. Holmes xxix 

Work of Messrs. V. and C. Mindeleif xxx 

Work of Mr. A.M. Stephen '. xxxn 

Work of Mr. James Mooney xxxn 

Pictography xxxn 

Work of Mr. W. J. Hoffman xxxm 

Work of Col. Garrick Mallery xxxm 

Office work xxxv 

Work of the Director xxxv 

Work of Col. Garrick Mallery xxxv 

Work of Mr. Walter J. Hoffman xxxv 

Work of Mr. Henry W. Henshaw xxxv 

Work of Mr. Albert S. Gatschct xxxvi 

Work of Mr. J. Owen Dorsey xxxvn 

Work of Mr. Jeremiah Curtin xxxvn 

Work of Mr. James C. Pilling xxxvn 

Work of Mr. James Mooney xxxvm 

Work of Mr. Cyrus Thomas xxxvm 

Work of Mr. Henry L. Reynolds ; xxxvm 

Work of Mr. Gerard Fowke xxxvm 

Work of Mr. William H. Holmes xxxvm 

Work of Mr. Victor Mindeleff xl 

Work of Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff XL 

Work of Dr. Washington Matthews xli 

Work of Mr. E. W. Nelson xli 

Work of Mr. John N. B. Hewitt xli 

Accompanying papers xlii 

Ethnological results of the Point Barrow Expedition, by John Murdock . . xlii 

The Medicine-men of the Apaches, by Capt. John G. Bourke xliii 

Financial statement xlvi 





Introduction 19 

List of works consulted 20 

Situation and surroundings 26 

Climate 30 

People 33 

Physical characteristics 33 

Pathology 39 

Psychical characteristics 40 

Tribal phenomena - 42 

Social surroundings 43 

Contact with uncivilized people 43 

Other Eskimo 43 

Indians 49 

Contact with civilized people 51 

Natural resources 55 

Animals 55 

Mammals 55 

Birds 56 

Fishes 58 

Insects and other invertebrates 59 

Plants 59 

Minerals 60 

Culture 61 

Means of subsistence 61 

Food - 61 

Substances used for food 61 

Means of preparing food 63 

Time and frequency of eating 63 

Drinks - - 64 

Narcotics 65 

Habitations 72 

The winter house 72 

Arrangement in villages 79 

Snow houses 81 

Tents 83 

Household utensils 86 

For holding and carrying food, water, etc 86 

Canteens 86 

Wallets, etc 86 

Buckets and tubs 86 

Meat bowls 89 

For preparing food 90 

Pots of stone and other materials 90 

Bone crushers 93 

For serving and eating food 99 

Trays 99 

Drinking vessels i 101 

Whalebone cups 101 

Spoons and ladles 104 

Miscellaneous household utensils 105 

Lamps 105 

Clothing 109 


Culture — Continued. Page. 
Clothing — Contiuued. 

Material 109 

Style of dress 110 

Head clothing 112 

Frocks 113 

Mantles 121 

Rainfrocks 122 

Arm clothing 123 

Mittens 123 

Gloves 124 

Leg and foot clothing 125 

Breeches 125 

Pantaloons 126 

Stockings 129 

Boots and shoes 129 

Parts of dress 135 

Belts 135 

Ornaments 138 

Personal adornment 138 

Skin ornamentation 138 

Tattooing 138 

Painting 140 

Head ornaments 140 

Method of wearing the hair 140 

Head bands 142 

Ear rings 142 

Labrets 143 

Neck ornaments 148 

Ornaments of the limbs - 148 

Bracelets 148 

Finger rings 149 

Miscellaneous ornaments 149 

Beads 149 

Toilet articles 149 

Implements of general use, etc 150 

Tools 150 

Knives 150 

Adzes 165 

Chisels 172 

Whalebone shaves 173 

Saws 174 

Drills and borers 175 

Hammers 182 

Files 182 

Whetstones 183 

Tool boxes and bags 185 

Weapons 191 

Projectile weapons 193 

Firearms 193 

Whaling guns 195 

Bows 195 

Arrows 201 

Bear arrows 202 

Bow cases and quivers 207 

Bracers 209 


Culture — Continued. Page. 

Weapons — Continued. 

Bird darts 210 

Seal darts 214 

Harpoons 218 

Thrusting weapons 233 

Harpoons 233 

Lances 240 

Throwing weapons 244 

Hunting implements other than weapons 246 

Floats 246 

Flipper toggles 247 

Harpoon boxes 247 

Nets 251 

Seal calls 253 

Seal rattles 254 

Seal indicators 254 

Sealing stools •_ 255 

Seal drags 256 

Whalebone wolf-killers 259 

Traps 260 

Snow-goggles 260 

Meat cache markers 262 

Methods of hunting 263 

The polar bear , 263 

The wolf 263 

The fox 264 

The reindeer 264 

The seal 268 

The walrus 272 

The whale 272 

Fowl 276 

Implements for fishing 278 

Hooks and lines 278 

Nets 284 

Spears 286 

Flint working 287 

Fire making 289 

Drills 289 

Flint and steel 291 

Kindlings 291 

Bow and arrow making 291 

The marline spike 291 

The twisters 292 

The feather setter 294 

Skin working 294 

Scrapers 294 

Scraper cups 299 

Combs for deer skins 300 

Manufacture of lines of thong 301 

Builders' tools 302 

For excavating 302 

Tools for snow and ice workin ■<; 304 

Snow knives : 304 

Snow shovels 305 


Culture — Continued. 

Tools for snow and ice working — Continued. 

Ice picks 307 

Ice scoops 308 

Implements for procuring and preparing food 310 

Blubber books 310 

Fisb scaler 311 

Making and working liber 311 

Twisting and braiding 311 

Netting - 312 

Netting weights 315 

Weaving 316 

Sewing 317 

Means of locomotion and transportation 328 

Traveling by water : 328 

Kaiaks and paddles 328 

Umiaks and fittings 335 

Traveling on foot 344 

Snowsboes 344 

Staff 352 

Land conveyances 353 

Sledges 353 

Dogs and harness 357 

Hunting scores 360 

Games and pastimes 364 

Gambling 364 

Festivals 365 

Mechanical contrivances 372 

Description of festivals 373 

Toys and sports for children and others 376 

Playthings 376 

Dolls 380 

Juvenile implements 383 

Games and sports 383 

Music 385 

Musical instruments 385 

Character and frequency of music 388 

Art ' 389 

Domestic life 410 

Marriage 410 

Standing and treatment of women 413 

Children 414 

Rights and wrongs 419 

Social life and customs 420 

Personal habits and cleanliness 420 

Salutation 422 

Healing 422 

Customs concerning the dead 423 

Abstentions . 423 

Manner of disposing of the dead 424 

Government 427 

In the family 427 

In the village 427 

Religion 430 

General ideas 430 

Amulets 434 



Chapter I. The medicine-men, their modes of treating disease, their super- 
stitions, paraphernalia , etc 451 

Medicine-women 468 

Remedies and modes of treatment 471 

Hair and wigs 474 

Mndheads 475 

Scalp shirts 476 

The rhombus, or bull roarer 476 

The cross 479 

Necklaces of human fingers 480 

Necklaces of human teeth 487 

The scratch stick 490 

The drinking reed 493 

CHAPTEK II. Hoddentin, the pollen of the tule, the sacrificial powder of the 
Apache; with remarks upon sacred powders and offerings in gen- 
eral 499 

The ' ' kunque " of the Zuiii and others 507 

Use of the pollen by the Israelites and Egyptians 517 

Hoddentin a prehistoric food 518 

Hoddentin the yiauktli of the Aztecs 521 

" Blcdos" of ancient writers— its meaning 522 

Tzoalli 523 

General use of the powder among Indians 528 

Analogues of hoddentin 530 

The down of birds in ceremonial observances 533 

Hair powder 535 

Dust from churches — its use 537 

Clay-eating 537 

Prehistoric foods used in covenants 540 

Sacred breads and cakes 541 

Unleavened bread 543 

The hot cross buns of Good Friday 544 

Galena 548 

Chapter III. The izze-kloth or medicine cord of the Apache 550 

Analogues to be found among the Aztecs, Peruvians, and others 558 

The magic wind knotted cords of the Lapps and others 560 

Rosaries and other mnemonic cords 561 

The sacred cords of the Parsis and Brahmans 563 

Use of cords and knots and girdles in parturition 570 

"Medidas," "measuring cords," " wresting threads," etc 572 

Unclassified superstitions upon this subject 575 

The medicine hat 580 

The spirit or ghost dance headdress 585 

Amulets and talismans 587 

The " tzi-daltai " 587 

Chalchihuitl 583 

Phylacteries ".' 591 

Bibliography 596 



Pl. I. Map of Northwestern Alaska 2 

II. Map of the hunting grounds of the Point Barrow Eskimo 18 

III. Scalp shirt of Little Big Man 476 

IV. Necklace of human fingers 480 

V. Apache medicine hat used in ghost or spirit dance 586 

VI. Apache medicine shirt 588 

VII. Apache medicine shirt 590 

VIII. Apache medicine shirt 592 

Fig. 1. Unalina, a man of Nuwiik 34 

2. Mumufiina, a woman of Nuwflk 35 

3. Akabiana, a youth of Utkiavwifi 36 

4. Puka, a young man of Utkiavwin 37 

5. Woman stretching skins 38 

6. Pipes: (a) pipe with metal bowl; (6) pipe with stone bowl; (c) pipe 

with bowl of antler or ivory 67 

7. Pipe made of willow stick 68 

8. Tobacco pouches . . 69 

9. Plans of Eskimo winter house 72 

10. Interior of iglu, looking toward door 73 

11. Interior of iglu, looking toward bench . . . . 74 

12. House in Utkiavwin 76 

13. Ground plan and section of winter house in Mackenzie region 77 

14. Ground plan of large snow house 82 

15. Tent on the beach at Utkiavwin 85 

16. Wooden bucket 86 

17. Large tub 87 

18. Whalebone dish 88 

19. Meat bowl 89 

20. Stone pot 90 

21. Small stone pot 91 

22. Fragments of pottery 92 

23. Stone maul 94 

24. Stone maul 94 

25. Stone maul 95 

26. Stone maul 95 

27. Stone maul 96 

28. Stone maul 96 

29. Bone maul 97 

30. Bone maul ... 97 

31 . Bone maul 98 

32. Bone maul 98 

33. Meat dish 99 



FIG. 34. Oblong meat dish 100 

35. Oblong meat dish, very old 100 

36. Fish dish - - - 100 

37. Whalebone cup 101 

38. Horn dipper 101 

39. Horn dipper 102 

40. Dipper of fossil ivory 103 

41 . Dipper of fossil ivory 103 

42. Wooden spoon 104 

43. Horn ladle 104 

44. Bone ladle : 104 

45. Bone ladle in the form of a whale 105 

46. Bone ladle '. ' 105 

47. Stone house lamp 106 

48. Sandstone lamp 107 

49. Traveling lamp 108 

50. Socket for blubber holder 108 

51. Man in ordinary deerskin clothes 110 

52. Woman's hood Ill 

53. Man's frock 113 

54. Pattern of man's deerskin frock 113 

55. Detail of trimming, skirt and shoulder of man's frock 114 

56. Man wearing plain, heavy frock 114 

57. Mail's frock of mountain sheepskin, front and back 115 

58. Man's frock of ermine skins .- 116 

59. Pattern of sheepskin frock 117 

60. Pattern of ermine frock 117 

61. Woman's frock, front and back 118 

62. Pattern of woman's frock 119 

63. Detail of edging, woman's frock 119 

64. Details of trimming, woman's frock 119 

65. Man's cloak of deerskin 121 

66. Pattern of man's cloak ! 121 

67. Deerskin mittens 123 

68. Deerskin gloves 124 

69. Man's breeches of deerskin . . . 125 

70. Pattern of man's breeches 126 

71. Trimming of man's breeches 126 

72. Woman's pantaloons 127 

73. Patterns of woman's pantaloons 128 

74. Pattern of stocking 129 

75. Man's boot of deerskin 131 

76. Pattern of deerskin boot 131 

77. Man's dress boot of deerskin 132 

78. Pattern of man's dress boot of deerskin 132 

79. Man's dress boot of skin of mountain sheep 133 

80. Pair of man's dress boots of deerskin 134 

81 . Woman's waterproof sealskin boot 135 

82. Sketch of "ice-creepers" on boot sole: 135 

83. Man's belt woven of feathers 136 

84. Diagram showing method of fastening the ends of feathers in belt .. 137 

85. Woman's belt of wolverine toes 137 

86. Belt-fastener 138 

87. Man with tattooed cheeks 139 

88. Woman with ordinary tattooing 140 

89. Man's method of wearing the hair 141 



Fig. 90. Earrings 143 

91. Plug for enlarging labret hole 144 

92. Labret of beads and ivory 145 

93. Blue and white labret from Anderson River 146 

94. Oblong labret of bone 147 

95. Oblong labret of soapstone 147 

96. Ancient labret 148 

97. Beads of amber 149 

98. Hair combs 150 

99. Slate knives 151 

100. Slate knife-blade 152 

101. Slate knife 152 

102. Slate knife 152 

103. Slate hunting-knife 152 

104. Blade of slate hunting-knife 153 

105. Large slate knife 153 

106. Large single-edged slate knife 153 

107. Blades of knives 154 

108. Peculiar slate knife 154 

109. Knife with whalebone blade 155 

110. Small iron knife 155 

111. Small iron knives 156 

112. Iron hunting knife 156 

113. Large crooked knife 158 

114. Large crooked knife with sheath 158 

115. Small crooked knives 159 

116. Crooked knife 159 

117. Crooked knives, flint-bladed 160 

118. Slate-bladed crooked knives 161 

119. Woman's knife, steel blade 161 

120. Woman's knife, slate blade 162 

121. Woman's knife, slate blade 162 

122. Woman's knife, slate blade 162 

123. Woman's knife, slate blade 162 

124. Woman's ancient slate-bladed knife 163 

125. Ancient bone handle for woman's knife 163 

126. Large knife of slate 163 

127. Woman's knife of flaked flint 164 

128. Hatchet halted as an adz 165 

129. Hatchet hafted as an adz 166 

130. Adz-head of jade 167 

131. Adz-head of jade 167 

132. Hafted jade adz 168 

133. Adz-head of jade and bone 168 

134. Adz-head of bone and iron, without eyes 168 

135. Adz-head of bone and iron, with vertical eyes 169 

136. Adz-head of bone and iron, with vertical eyes 169 

137. Hafted bone and iron adz 169 

138. Hafted bone and stone adz 170 

139. Small adz-blade of green j ade 170 

140. Hafted adz of bone and flint 171 

141. Old cooper's adz, rehafted 171 

142. Adz with bone blade 172 

143. Antler chisel 173 

144. Antler chisel '. 173 



Fig. 145. 



Spurious tool, flint blade 173 

Whalebone shave, slate blade 174 

Saw made of deer's scapula 175 

Saw made of a case-knife 175 

Bow drill 176 

Bow drill and moutbpiece 176 

Bow drill 177 

Drill bow 177 

Drill bows 178 

Spliced drill bow 178 

Drill mouthpiece with iron socket 179 

Drill mouthpiece without wings 179 

Bone-pointed drill 179 

Handles for drill cords 180 

Flint-bladed reamers 182 

Flint-biaded reamers 182 

Awl 182 

Jade whetstones 183 

Jade whetstones 184 

Wooden tool-boxes 185 

Large wooden tool-boxes 186 

Tool-bag of wolverine skin 187 

Tool-bag of wolverine skin 188 

Drills belonging to the tool-bag 189 

Comb for deerskins in the tool-bag 189 

Bag handles 190 

Bag of leather 190 

Little hand-club 191 

Slungshot made of walrus j aw 191 

Dagger of bear's bone 192 

Bone daggers 192 

So-called dagger of bone 193 

Boy's bow from Utkiav win 196 

Loop at end of bowstring 197 

Large bow from Nuw iik 197 

Large bow from Sidaru 198 

Feathering of the Eskimo arro w 201 

Flint-headed arrow (kukiksadlTii) 202 

Long flint pile 202 

Short flint pile 202 

Heart-shaped rlint pile 203 

(«.) Arrow with "after pile" (ipudligadlm) ; (b) arrow with iron pile 
(savidlin); (c) arrow with iron pile (savidlin); (d) arrow with 

copper pile (savidlin ) ; (e) deer-arrow (nutkodlm) 203 

Pile of deer arrow (nutkaii) 205 

' ' Kunmudlln " arrow pile 205 

(a) Fowl arrow (tugalln) ; (&) bird arrow (kixodwain) 206 

Bow case and quivers 208 

Quiver rod 209 

Cap for quiver rod 209 

Bracer 210 

Bracer of bone 210 

Bird dart 211 

Point for bird dart 212 

Ancient point for bird dart 212 



Fig. 198. Point for bird dart 213 

199. Bird dart with double point 213 

200. Ancient ivory dart head 214 

201. Bone dart head 214 

202. Nozzle for bladder float 215 

203. Seal dart 215 

204. Foreshaft of seal dart 217 

205. Throwing board for darts 217 

206. Harpoon head 218 

207. Harpoon head 219 

208. Ancient bone harpoon head 219 

209. (a) Ancient bone harpoon head ; (b) variants of this type 220 

210. Bone harpoon head 220 

211. Bone harpoon head 220 

212. Harpoon head, bone and stone 221 

213. Harpoon head, bone and stone 221 

214. Walrus harpoons 224 

215. Typical walrus-harpoon heads 226 

216. Typical walrus-harpoon heads 226 

217. Typical walrus-harpoon heads. 227 

218. Walrus-harpoon head, with " leader " 227 

219. Walrus-harpoon head, with line 228 

220. Walrus-harpoon head, with line 228 

221. Walrus-harpoon head, with line 229 

222. Foreshaft of walrus harpoon 230 

223. Harpoon head for large seals 230 

224. Retrieving seal harpoon 231 

225. Details of retrieving seal harpoon 232 

226. Jade blade for seal harpoon 233 

227. Seal harpoon for thrusting 233 

228. Diagram of lashing on shaft . : 234 

229. Model of a seal harpoon 235 

230. Large model of whale harpoon 235 

231. Model of whale harpoon, with floats 236 

232. Flint blade for whale harpoon 237 

233. Slate blade for whale harpoon 237 

234. Body of whale harpoon head 238 

235. Whale harpoon heads 238 

236. Whale harpoon head with "leader" 239 

237. Foreshaft of whale harpoon 239 

238. Whale lance 240 

239. Flint head of whale lance 241 

240. Flint heads for whale lances 241 

241. Bear lance 242 

242. Flint head for bear lance 242 

243. Deer lance 243 

244. Part of deer lance with flint head 243 

245. Deer lance, flint head 244 

246. Flint head for deer lance 244 

247. Bird bolas, looped up for carrying 245 

248. Bird bolas, ready for use 245 

249. Sealskin float 247 

250. Flipper toggles 248 

251. Boxes for harpoon heads 249 

252. Seal net 251 



Fig. 253. Scratchers for decoying seals 253 

254. Seal rattle 254 

255. Seal indicators 255 

256. Sealing stool 255 

257. Seal drag and handles 257 

258. Whalebone wolf killers 259 

259. Wooden snow-goggles 261 

260. Bone snow-goggles 262 

261. Wooden snow-goggles, unusual form 262 

262. Marker for meat cache 262 

263. Marker for meat cache 263 

26-1 . Tackle for shore fishing 279 

265. Knot of line into hook 279 

266. Small fish-hooks 280 

267. Hooks for river fishing 280 

268. Tackle for river fishing 280 

269. Burbot hook, first pattern 281 

270. Burbot hook, second pattern 281 

271. Burbot hook, made of cod hook 281 

272. Burbot tackle, baited 281 

273. Ivory sinker 282 

274. Ivory j igger for polar cod 282 

275. Section of whalebone net 284 

276. Mesh of sinew net 285 

277. Fish trap 285 

278. Fish spear 286 

279. Flint flakers 288 

280. Haft of flint flaker 288 

281. Flint flaker, with bone blade 289 

282. Fire drill, with mouthpiece and stock 289 

283. Set of bow-and-arrow tools 291 

284. Marline spike 292 

285. Marline spike 292 

286. "Twister" for working sinew backing of bow 293 

287. " Feather setter" 294 

288. Tool of antler 294 

289. Skin scraper 295 

290. Skin scrapers — handles only 295 

291. Skin scrapers 296 

292. Skin scraper 296 

293. Peculiar modification of scraper 296 

294. Skin scraper 297 

295. Skin scraper 297 

296. Skin scraper 297 

297. Flint blade for skin scraper 298 

298. Straight-hafted scraper 298 

299. Bone scraper 299 

300. Scraper cups 299 

301. Combs for cleaning deer-skins 301 

302. " Double slit " splice for rawhide lines 302 

303. Mattock of whale's rib 303 

304. Pickax-heads of bone, ivory, and whale's rib 303 

305. Ivory snow knife 305 

306. Snow shovels 305 

307. Snow shovel made of a whale's scapula 307 



Fig. 308. Snow pick 307 

309. Snow drill 308 

310. Ice scoop 308 

311. Long blubber hook 310 

312. Short-handled blubber hook 310 

313. Fish -scaler 311 

314. Ivory shuttle 311 

315. Netting needle 312 

316. Mesh stick 312 

317. Netting needles 313 

318. Netting needles for seal net 314 

319. Netting needle 314 

320. Mesh sticks 314 

321. Netting weights 316 

322. Shuttle belonging to set of feather tools 316 

323. Mesh stick 317 

324. ' ' Sword " for feather weaving 317 

325. Quill case of bone needles 318 

326. («) Large bone needle and peculiar thimble; (b) Leather thimbles 

with bone needles 318 

327. Needle cases with belt hooks 320 

328. (a) Needle case with belt hook; (6) needle case open, showing bone 

needles 321 

329. Trinket boxes 323 

330. Trinket boxes 324 

331. Ivory box 325 

332. Bone box 325 

333. Little flask of ivory 325 

334. Box in shape of deer 325 

335. Small basket 326 

336. Small basket 326 

337. Small basket 327 

338. Kaiak 329 

339. Method of fastening together frame of kaiak 329 

340. Double kaiak paddle 330 

341. Model kaiak and paddle 334 

342. Frame of umiak 336 

343. {a) Method of fastening bilge-streaks to stem of umiak; (&) method 

of framing rib to gunwale, etc 337 

344. Method of slinging the oar of umiak 339 

345. (a) Model of umiak and paddles; (b) model of umiak, inside plan. .. 340 

346. Ivory bailer for umiak 340 

347. Ivory crotch for harpoon 341 

348. Ivory crotch for harpoon 342 

349. Crotch for harpoon made of walrus j aw 342 

350. Snowshoe 345 

351. Knot in snowshoe netting 346 

352. (a) First round of heel-netting of snowshoe; (6) first and second 

round of heel-netting of snowshoe 347 

353. (a) First round of heel-netting of snowshoe; (b) first, second, and 

third rounds of heel-netting of snowshoe 348 

354. Small snowshoe 350 

355. Old <• chief," with staffs 353 

356. Railed sledge (diagrammatic), from photograph 1 354 

357. Flat sledge 355 



FlG. 358. Small sledge with ivory runners 355 

359. Small toboggan of whalebone 357 

360. Hunting score engraved on ivory 361 

361. Hunting score engraved ou ivory, obverse and reverse 362 

362. Hunting score engraved on ivory 362 

363. Hunting score engraved on ivory, obverse and reverse ...__• 363 

361. Game of fox and geese from Plover Bay 365 

365. Dancing cap 365 

366. Wooden mask 366 

367. Wooden mask and dancing gorget : 367 

368. Old grotesque mask 368 

369. Rude mask of wood 369 

370. Wolf mask of wood 369 

371. Very ancient small mask 369 

372. Dancing gorgets of wood 371 

373. Youth dancing to the aurora 375 

374 . Whirligigs 377 

375. Teetotum 378 

376. Buzz toy 378 

377. Whizzing stick 379 

378. Pebble snapper 379 

379. Carving of human head 380 

380. Mechanical doll— drum-player 381 

381. Mechanical toy — kaiak paddler 381 

382. Kaiak carved from block of wood 382 

383. Drum 385 

384. Handle of drum secured to rim 386 

385. Drum handles 387 

386. Ivory drumsticks 388 

387. Ancient carving — human head 393 

388. Wooden figures 393 

389. Carving — face of Eskimo man 394 

390. Grotesque soapstone image — " walrus man " 394 

391. Bone image of dancer - . 395 

392. Bone image of man 396 

393. Grotesque bone image 396 

394. Bone image — sitting man 396 

395. Human figure carved from walrus ivory 396 

396. Ivory carving — three human heads 397 

397. Rude human head, carved from a walrus tooth 397 

398. Elaborate ivory carving 398 

399. Bear carved of soapstone 398 

400. Bear flaked from flint 399 

401. (a) Bear carved from bone ; (6) bear's head 399 

402. Ivory figures of bears 400 

403. Rude ivory figures of walrus 401 

404. Images of seal — wood and bone 401 

405. White whale carved from gypsum 402 

406. Wooden carving — whale 403 

407. Whale carved from soapstone 403 

408. Rude flat image of whale 404 

409. Ivory image of whale 404 

4 10. Ivory image of whale 404 

411. Pair of little ivory whales 405 

412. Soapstone image of imaginary animal 405 



Fig. 413. Ivory carving, seal with fish's head 405 

414. Ivory carving, ten-legged hear 406 

415. Ivory carving, giant holding whales 406 

416. Douhle-headed animal carved from antler 407 

417. Ivory carving — dog 407 

418. (a) Piece of ivory, engraved with figures; (&) development of 

pattern - . 408 

419. (re) Similar engraved ivory ; (6) development of pattern 408 

420. Ivory doll 409 

421. Whale flaked from glass 435 

422. Whale flaked from red j asper 435 

423. Ancient whale amulet, of wood 436 

424. Amulet of whaling — stuffed godwit 438 

425. Amulet consisting of ancient jade adz 438 

426. Little box containing amulet for whaling 439 

427. Amulet for catching fowl with bolas 439 

428. Box of dried bees — amulet 440 

429. Medicine arrow used by Apache and Pueblo women 468 

430. Rhombus of the Apache 477 

431. Rhombus of the Apache 478 

432. The scratch stick and dri nking reed 494 

433. Bag containing hoddenti n 500 

434. Nan-ta-do-tash's medicine hat 503 

435. Single-strand medicine cord (Zuiii) 550 

436. Four-strand medicine cord (Apache) 551 

437. Three-strand medicine cord (Apache) 552 

438. Two-strand medicine cord 553 

439. Four-strand medicine cord (Apache) 554 

440. Apache war bonnet 581 

441. Ghost dance headdress 582 

442. Apache kan or gods. (Drawn by Apache) 586 

443. Tzi-daltai amulets (Apache) 587 

444. Tzi-daltai amulet (Apache) 588 

445. Tzi-daltai amulet (Apache) 589 

446. Tzi-daltai amulet (Apache) 589 

447. Phylacteries 592 

448. Apache medicine sash 593 





Smithsonian Institution, Bukeau of Ethnology, 

Washington, B. C, October 1, 1888. 
Sir : I have the honor to submit herewith my ninth annual 
report as Director of the Bureau of Ethnology. 

The first part of the report presents an exposition of the 
operations of the Bureau during the fiscal year 1887-88; 
the second part consists of papers on anthropologic subjects, 
prepared mainly by my collaborators, which illustrate the 
methods and results of the work of the Bureau. 

I desire to express my thanks for your earnest support and 
your wise counsel in relation to the work under my charge. 
I am, with respect, your obedient servant, 


Prof. S. P. Langley, 

Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 



By J. W. Powell, Dieector. 


The prosecution of research among the North American 
Indians, as directed by acts of Congress, was continued dur- 
ing the fiscal year 1887-88. 

The general plan upon which the duties of the Bureau have 
been performed from year to year has been fully explained 
in former reports. As it has seemed to be successful, it remains 
unchanged. The lines of investigation regarded from time to 
time as the most important or useful have been confided to 
persons specially trained in or adapted to their pursuits. The 
results of their labors, when properly prepared, are presented 
in the publications of the Bureau, constituting the series of re- 
ports, of monographs, and of bulletins whose publication has 
been authorized by Congress. A brief statement of the work 
upon which each one of the special students was actively en- 
gaged during the fiscal year is furnished below ; but it should 
be noted that this statement does not specify all the studies 
made or services rendered by them, since in this, as in former 
years, particular lines of research have been suspended in order 
to prosecute work regarded as of pressing importance. 

Explorers, writers, and students who are not officially con- 
nected with the Bureau are again invited to render assistance 
in the prosecution of its work. Their contributions, whether 
of suggestions or of extended communications, will be grate- 




fully acknowledged, will always receive proper credit, and, 
when practicable, will be published in the manner provided by 
law. The present volume contains two valuable papers by 
collaborators who are not directly connected with the Bureau. 
The report now submitted consists of three principal divi- 
sions. The first relates to the publications made during the 
fiscal year, the second to the work prosecuted in the field, 
and the third to the office work, which consists largely of the 
preparation for publication of the results of field work, with 
the corrections and additions obtained from the literature on 
the subjects discussed and by correspondence relating to them. 


The publications actually issued and distributed during the 
year were as follows: 

The Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to 
the Smithsonian Institution, 1883-84. It is an imperial octavo 
volume of lih+560 pages, illustrated by 23 plates (of which 
10 are colored) and 77 figures in the text. The official re- 
port of the Director, occupying 37 pages (pp. xvii-liii), is accom- 
panied by the following papers : 

Burial Mounds of the Northern Section of the United States, 
by Cyrus Thomas; pp. 3-119, Pis. i-vi, Figs. 1-49. 

The Cherokee Nation of Indians : A Narrative of their Offi- 
cial Relations with the Colonial and Federal Governments, by 
Charles C. Royce; pp. 121-378, Pis. vn-ix, of which vm and 
ix are folding maps in a pocket at the end of the volume. 

The Mountain Chant : A Navajo Ceremony, by Dr. Wash- 
ington Matthews, U. S. Army; pp. 379-467, Pis. x-xviii, Figs. 

The Seminole Indians of Florida, by Clay MacCauley; pp. 
469-531, PI. xix, Figs. 60-77. 

The Religious Life of the Zuiii Child, by Mrs. Tilly E. Steven- 
son; pp. 533-555, Pis. xx-xxin. 

Also the following bulletins, all 8vo : 

Bibliography of the Eskimo Language, by James C. Pilling; 
1887, pp. v-(-l-116, with facsimile, on page 73, of first syllabary 


used in printing Eskimo texts, and one on page 97 of Veni- 
aminoff's Guide Road. 

Perforated Stones from California, by Henry W. Henshaw; 
1887, pp. 34, Figs. 1-16. 

The Use of Gold and other Metals among the Ancient Inhab- 
itants of Chiriqui, Isthmus of Darien, by William H. Holmes; 
1887, pp. 27, Figs. 1-22. 

Work in Mound Exploration of the Bureau of Ethnology, 
by Cyrus Thomas; 1887, pp. 15, Fig. 1. 

Bibliography of the Siouan Languages, by James C. Pil- 
ling; 1887, pp. v+1-87. 


The field work of the year divides into (1) mound explora- 
tions and (2) general field studies, the latter being chiefly di- 
rected to archeology, linguistics, and pictography. 


The work of exploring the mounds of the eastern United 
States was, as in former years, under the superintendence of 
Mr. Cyrus Thomas. During the year his assistants were Messrs. 
James D. Middleton, Gerard Fowke and Henry L. Reynolds. 
Much of his attention and that of his assistants was directed 
to the preparation for publication of his reports on the work 
of the mound division during previous years. 

As the work of unfolding and systematizing the field notes, 
examining the collections and preparing the plats and illustra- 
trations proceeded, it was found that there were some omissions 
in the original examinations which left the details of certain 
sections incomplete, and it became important to obtain as far 
as possible the missing information. The most serious hiatus 
was filled by an examination of the lake border of the United 
States from Detroit westward to the head of Lake Superior, for 
the purpose of ascertaining whether the historic Indian local- 
ities along that line were marked by mounds or other ancient 


Another undertaking, which had been begun during the last 
month of the preceding year, was a survey of several inci- 
sures and other ancient remains of Ohio, to test the accuracy 
of the surveys by Squier and Davis and others. This was 
continued during a portion of the year. A third item con- 
sisted in completing the list of mound localities to be used 
in preparing the maps. 

On July 15 Messrs. Middleton and Fowke went to Ohio, 
where they were engaged about one month in surveying the 
ancient works of that region. During the same time Mr. Rey- 
nolds was employed in the same State in collecting data for 
the archeologic maps. From Ohio Mr. Fowke went to Mich- 
igan, making the tour of the lake border of the United States 
from Detroit westward to Duluth, at the head of Lake Superior. 
He made careful examinations of ancient works and aborig- 
inal remains, especially at the following-named points: De- 
troit, Port Huron, Saginaw, Ogemaw County, about Traverse 
Bay, Beaver Island, Mackinac Island, and the mainland on 
both sides, Sault Ste. Marie, Marquette, Munissing, the copper 
region, Ontonagon, Ashland, Bayfield, La Pointe (the old Cha- 
quamagon), and Duluth. Returning by way of Prairie du 
Chien, Wis., and Davenport, Iowa, he stopped at Carbondale, 
111., the point selected as headquarters for the season. After 
writing a preliminary report of his trip he went to Kentucky 
to examine certain works in the northern part of that State, 
and thence to Washington. During May and June, 1888, he 
was engaged in exploring mounds in Pike County, Ohio. 

From Ohio, Mr. Middleton went to Wisconsin to survey 
certain groups of works in the southern and southwestern part 
of that State, which occupied him until autumn. Most of the 
winter he was engaged in working up the plats and other re- 
sults of his surveys. Before spring he made a survey of cer- 
tain groups in southeastern Missouri and of the Seltzertown 
group in Mississippi. During April, May, and June, he was 
engaged in surveying and examining groups in southern Ohio 
and northern Kentucky. 

Mr. Reynolds, after leaving Ohio, was engaged during the 
remainder of the summer, and until he went to Carbondale, 


in the autumn, in collecting map material in Michigan and 
Wisconsin. He remained at Carbondale until the last of 


While engaged in making a geological reconnaissance of the 
Tewan Mountains, the Director was enabled to study on the 
ground a large field of archeology. This is an extensive dis- 
trict of country drained by the Chama and Jemez and other 
tributaries of the Rio Grande del Norte. In prehistoric and 
early historic times the region was mainly occupied by tribes 
of the Tafioan stock. The people lived in villages, or pueblos, 
many of which were built of the rude stone that abounds in 
forms and sizes adapted to such structures. The cliffs of the 
canyons carved by the many streams that drain the mountain 
area are often composed of volcanic tufa so soft that it can be 
easily worked with rude stone tools, and many of the people 
had learned to hew it into shapes convenient for architectural 

Some of the tribes at different periods in their history left 
their stone pueblos and constructed homes for themselves by 
excavating chambers in the tufa cliffs. These cavate dwell- 
ings, now abandoned and in ruins, and the ruins of many other 
ancient dwellings are scattered throughout this entire country. 

On the northern flank of the Tewan Mountains, near the 
River Chama and about 3 miles below Abiquiu, an exten- 
sive ruin was visited, the walls of which were constructed of 
clay built up in a mass. The mechanical devices by which 
they were built were not discovered, but it is evident that the 
clay was not made into adobes. During the study of all these 
ruins interesting archeologic collections were made, especially 
of articles in stone and clay. 


Mr. James Stevenson, who had accompanied the Director in 
the above mentioned explorations, proceeded, at the beginning 
of October, 1887, to the Pueblo of Sia, about 8 miles south 


of Jemez, and spent six remarkably successful weeks in mak- 
ing- a collection and studying the customs, sociology, and my- 
thology of the people. 

The Sia retain their ancient religion in great purity in spite 
of the efforts of Christian priests, which have been continued 
for centuries. Their ceremonial chambers contain brightly 
colored altars of wood, before which many idols and other 
sacred objects are placed, while the walls are hung with various 
mythologic emblems of great delicacy and beauty. Mr. Stev- 
enson was invited to inspect all these freely. The fact was 
disclosed that these people have a finer variety of fetiches than 
even the Zufii. Their stone fetiches in human form present a 
special feature, the carving being of a higher type than any 
before seen in the region. 

From one of the large ceremonial chambers he was passed 
through a concealed opening into a much smaller room liter- 
ally filled with masks made in imitation of their fetiches, all of 
which he was permitted to examine at leisure, a most unusual 
privilege, as these people have a superstitious dread of their 
masks being seen when off the person. The collection of 
masks made at this place is not only large, but is especially in- 
teresting by reason of the variety in its articles. Sketches 
were made of many of them. 

The Sia, like the other Pueblos, have shrines scattered around 
the village, both near and at a considerable distance from it, 
which Mr. Stevenson was invited to visit and inspect, Some 
of them are guarded by colossal stone animals crudely 
formed. Having unexpectedly discovered, while studying the 
mythology of these people, that, like the Tusayan Indians, 
they hold ceremonials with live snakes, including the rattle- 
snake, he asked to be shown the exact place where the snake 
ceremonials were held. This proved to be 5 or 6 miles dis- 
tant from the pueblo, in a desolate spot among the arid hills, 
where there is a small square log structure in which the Snake 
Order hold ceremonies before the dance, the snakes being con- 
tained in two large pottery vases. The cave, when found, was 
closed and completely concealed by a stone slab, upon the re- 
moval of which two admirable specimens of ancient vases were 


disclosed, decorated with pictures of the rattlesnake, mountain 
lion, and bear. One of these vases is now deposited in the 
National Museum as a part of the collection of the season. 

This collection, consisting of 864 specimens, is in many re- 
spects the most valuable secured by Mr. Stevenson, as it not 
only exhibits a great variety of form and decoration in pottery 
(some of the pieces being very old), but it embraces the larg- 
est and most interesting collection of fetiches yet made. Many 
of the stone images are in human form and different from any- 
thing possessed by the Zuni or Tusayan Indians, those of the 
latter being, with few exceptions, carved in wood, while the 
Sia possessed a large number of well carved stone images 
in human form. The stone animal fetiches are also superior 
in workmanship to and larger than any heretofore collected. 
One of the features of the collection is an unusual variety of 
beautiful plumed fetiches. 

Mr. Stevenson made copious notes on the mythology and 
sociology of the Sia and obtained their cosmogony with 
completeness. He closed his field season by obtaining from 
the Zuni priest-doctors additional detailed accounts of their 
secret "Medicine Order." 


During the months of August and September Mr. W. H. 
Holmes was engaged in studying the antiquities of Jemez Val- 
ley, New Mexico. This valley is tributary to the Rio Grande 
on the west, and its middle porti on is about 50 miles west of 
Santa Fe. 

Fifteen important ruined pueblos and village sites were ex- 
amined. They correspond closely in type to those of the north 
and bear evidence in most cases of pre-Spanish occupation. 
Besides the larger ruins there are a multitude of minor ones, 
small houses and lodges of stone, scattered through the forests. 
Mr. Holmes carried his investigations of the ruins of Colorado 
and New Mexico as far south as Abiquiu, which village lies at 
the northern end of the group of mountains in which the Rio 
Jemez takes its rise. His work of the year, therefore, enabled 
him to connect his studies of the northern localities with those 


of the south, in which the numerous modern pueblos are situ- 
ated. The chain of observations thus secured is of value in 
the study of the art products of the vast region formerly oc- 
cupied by town-building tribes. 

Particular attention was given to an examination of the ce- 
ramic remains. These constitute one of the means of develop- 
ing the history of the pre-Columbian inhabitants. A large 
series of specimens was forwarded to the National Museum. 


Mr. Victor Mindeleff, with Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff as his 
assistant, left Washington for the field September 1, 1887, and 
returned March 18, 1888. A group of cave lodges, excavated 
in the top and sides of a cinder cone at the base of San Fran- 
cisco Mountain, and situated about 18 miles northeast of Flag- 
staff, Arizona, was visited and sketches and diagrams were 
made. The cliff dwellings of Walnut Canyon, about 12 miles 
southeast of Flagstaff, were also examined. 

Later the work of the field party was among the ruined 
pueblos near Keam Canyon, which connect traditionally with 
the ] tresent Tusayan villages. These ruins, six in number, 
are distributed on the north border of the Jeditoh Valley and 
are scattered along for a distance of 12 miles. 

The party afterwards camped in the vicinity of Oraibi, the 
largest of the present villages of Tusayan. Here a study was 
made of the primitive constructional devices still in use. Two 
interesting" ruins were discovered in this neighborhood and 
their ground plans secured. In the northern ruin a cave or 
underground apartment was found containing vestiges of stone 
walls and timber supports. The small village of Moen-kopi 
was surveyed. This is an outlying farming pueblo, occupied 
mainly during the planting and harvesting seasons. An ex- 
tensive system of irrigation was in operation in this vicinity. 

Subsequently the party spent six weeks at the Chaco ruins 
in New Mexico. An accurate architectural survey of the more 
important ruins was made, and the plans obtained reveal many 
points of interest. The degree of mechanical knowledge dis- 
played by the builders of these pueblos and also the quality 


of the masonry have been greatly exaggerated by earlier ex- 
plorers. Close examination reveals ignorance on the part of 
the builders of some of the simplest principles of construction. 
Several ruins not previously known were surveyed and others 
were visited. Late in the season the party platted the pueblo 
of Jemez, situated upon the river of the same name. 

At various times during the progress of the field work stud- 
ies were made of the more primitive Navajo architecture, and 
many sketches and diagrams were prepared illustrating the 
Navajo system of framing their "hogans," or conical wood and 
earth houses. Several photographs of typical examples were 

Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff left Washington for the field Sep- 
tember 1 and returned February 23. He rendered general 
assistance to the party under the direction of Mr. Victor Min- 
deleff and was in immediate charge of the surveying. Ground 
plans of thirteen important ruins, in addition to sketch plans of 
a number of others of less importance, and of two inhabited 
pueblos were added to those already in the possession of the 
Bureau. The methods of surveying followed in previous years 
were continued. The plans, as a rule, are drawn to a scale of 
20 feet to 1 inch, and the drawing is finished in the field. The 
topography is in all cases indicated by contour lines of 5-foot in- 
tervals, sketched upon a basis of a number of points determined 
with the level. The ground plan is usually drawn over a 
number of points and lines located with an instrument, and 
the direction of all the walls is determined by a compass, in 
order to detect any irregularities. It was found that the regu- 
larity and symmetry of plan which characterize many published 
ground plans of ruins in the Southwest — notably those of the 
Chaco ruins — are not justified by the facts as disclosed by a 
careful survey of the ruins themselves, though upon cursory 
examination, and even upon preliminary survey, the ground 
plans of many of them are apparently symmetric. The plans 
obtained will be published in articles now in preparation. 



Mr. A. M. Stephen was engaged during half of the fiscal 
year in collecting traditions and other matter from the Tusayan 
villages and among the Navajo. He has transmitted a number 
of valuable short papers on these topics and also on the house- 
lore of the Tusayan Indians, and has furnished descriptions 
and drawings of the "kisis" or rude temporary shelters of the 
Tusayan, comparing these with the primitive structures of the 


Mr. James Mooney spent the earlier months of the fiscal 
year in making an examination of the northern division of the 
Cherokee tribe with reference to the dialectic difference be- 
tween its vocabulary and that of the main body of the same 
tribe in the Indian Territory, from which it has long been sep- 
arated, and also in studying for a like comparison their religious 
practices, traditions, social customs, and arts. The northern 
Cherokees are found to have been less affected by civilization 
than those of the south, and they can therefore be studied 
with manifest advantage. Mr. Mooney procured a large amount 
of valuable material from them, some of which has been pub- 
lished in the Seventh Annual Report of this Bureau. 


The publications of Henry R. Schoolcraft, issued in 1853, 
upon the pictographs of the Ojibwa give the impression that 
they were nearly as far advanced in hieroglyphic writing as 
the Egyptians were immediately before their pictorial repre- 
sentations had become syllabic. Doubts had been entertained 
of the accuracy of this account, and it was considered to be 
the duty of the Bureau of Ethnology to resolve them. At the 
beginning of the fiscal year, therefore, Col. Garrick Mallery 
and Mr. W. J. Hoffman, his assistant, were directed to proceed 
to Indian reservations in Minnesota and Wisconsin and study 
what might remain accessible on the subject. 



Mr. Hoffman proceeded to the White Earth and Red Lake 
reservations, Minnesota, and remained for three months, making 
researches among the Ojibwa. He found that the most im- 
portant birch-bark records are those relating to the Ojibwa cos- 
mogony, the institution of the Midewiwin or Grand Medicine 
Society, and the songs used in connection with the ritual and 
ceremony pertaining to the initiation of candidates into that 

The pictographic charts are, as a rule, in the possession of 
the Mide or Grand Medicine men, though records relating to 
hunting and personal exploits, as well as directions for killing 
game, gathering fruits, and making journeys, and even per- 
sonal letters, are made by other members of the tribe who 
possess more than the average intelligence. 

The great mass of charts consists of mnemonic songs per- 
taining to incantations, exorcism, and other ceremonies, and a 
considerable number of them were obtained, together with 
their interpretations. Sketches of tattooed Indians were also 
made, but the custom of tattooing is almost extinct, the only 
modern markings being those applied to various portions of 
the face for the exorcism of evil spirits which are supposed to 
cause neuralgia, headache, and other pains. Hasty sketches 
were obtained also of an old Grand Medicine chart at Red Lake, 
a protracted examination of it not being permitted by the 
keeper of the record. 

In addition to the pictographic material, a quantity of myth- 
ologic data was collected, all or nearly all of which was in- 
timately connected with the rites of the secret society of the 
Midewiwin, or Grand Medicine. 


Col. Mallery at first directed his attention to the exami- 
nation of the Ojibwa on the La Pointe and Red Cliff reser- 
vations in Wisconsin, and, although that proved to be a less 
favorable field for ethnologic research than those in Minne- 
sota, above mentioned, owing to the stronger local influence 



of civilization, he obtained evidence complementing the obser- 
vations and conclusions of Mr. Hoffman. As a general result 
it is found that there still exists among the Ojibwa a remark- 
able degree of pictographic skill, which is employed in ordi- 
nary affairs of life as well as in religious and ceremonial rites. 
The statements of Schoolcraft, however, are found to be exag- 
gerated and erroneous, especially in their attribution of mystic 
symbolism to devices purely ideographic or mnemonic. In 
particular the apparently significant coloration of his published 
figures is deceptive. Among the large number of genuine 
ancient records obtained, no colors appear to have been used, 
either symbolically or even in ornamentation, except that the 
more recent shamanistic rolls show paintings in red for the 
hearts of animals. Indeed the mechanical work of the birch- 
bark pictographs was wholly by indented outlines, and the 
artists of former generations were not able to fix colors on the 
bark surface. 

In August, Col. Mallery proceeded to the islands of Cape 
Breton and Prince Edward, and thence to Nova Scotia and 
Maine, to investigate the bark records and petroglyphs of the 
Micmac and the Abnaki. Special study was made as to the 
probability of an aboriginal source of many or any of the 
characters supposed to have been first used by French mis- 
sionaries in 1652, and printed at Vienna, Austria, in 1862, 
with additions and changes, under the direction of Rev. 
Christian Kauder, and now generally styled the "Micmac 
Hieroglyphs." The result of this study was that very few of 
the characters could be traced to Indian invention. The picto- 
graphy of the Indian tribes was mainly confined to the represen- 
tation of ideas or concepts, but the attempt of Father Kauder 
was to represent words and grammatic devices by special signs. 
His invention, therefore, was an artificial alphabet not naturally 
evolved from picture-writing,, as has been the course of alpha- 
bets in general use over the world. 

A most interesting and unique body of rock etchings was 
discovered at and near Kejimkoojik Lake, Nova Scotia, and 
accurate copies of many of them were secured. On account 
of their number, their intrinsic interest, and the evidences of 


their antiquity, these etchings form a highly important addi- 
tion to the collections before made, especially as they are in a 
region from which no representation of that nature had been 
reported. A petroglyph of interest near Machias, Maine, not 
before known, was also copied. A valuable collection was for 
the first time obtained of birch-bark pictographs which for- 
merly were in general use and still are made by the Passama- 
quoddy and Penobscot tribes of the Abnaki in Maine, showing 
a similarity in the use of picture-writing between the members 
of the extensive Algonquian stock in the regions adjacent to 
a,nd west of the Great Lakes and those in the northeast part of 
America and on the Atlantic coast. The correlation of the 
pictographic practice in manner and extent \ as before infer- 
entially asserted, but no satisfactory evidence of it had been 
presented until the researches of this year brought into direct 
comparison the pictography of the Ojibwa with that of the 
Micmacs and Abnaki. Col. Mallery returned to Washington 
in October. 


The Director was frequently engaged during the year in 
examining undetermined problems pertaining to his work upon 
the classification of the Indian linguistic stocks, the scope of 
which has been explained in his former reports. It was found 
necessary to defer decision respecting some of the stocks until 
after obtaining the result of additional field-work planned for 
the ensuing year. 

Col. Mallery, after his field-work before mentioned, was 
engaged in study of important and novel points developed 
thereby, and in continued research and correspondence on sign 
language and pictography. 

Mr. Hoffman, while assisting in the work last mentioned, 
prepared a topographic chart showing all the petroglyphs within 
the limits of the United States so far recorded by the Bureau, 
with the particulars of their workmanship, coloration, position, 
and other characteristics. 

Mr. Henshaw was chiefly employed in a solution of prob- 
lems relating to the geographic distribution of the linguistic 


families of the North American Indians in the territory north 
of Mexico. When not engaged in this work or in executive 
duties he continued the preparation of a dictionary of the 
nature of a synonymy of tribal names of North American In- 
dians, the general character and object of which have been 
set forth in a former report. While in general charge of that 
division of the office work, he specially attended to the Sahap- 
tinian, Salishan, Chemakuman, Chinookan, and several other 
linguistic stocks of the Pacific slope. 

Mr. Albert S. Gatschet was engaged during the first five 
months of the year in digesting the results of his recent trip to 
Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico, and utilizing them in the com- 
pilation of the T.iidian tribal synonymy in course of prepara- 
tion by the Bureau. His designated share in that work com- 
prised the families of the southern Indians from the Rio Grande 
to the Atlantic seaboard of Florida, namely, the stocks of the 
Natchez, Atakapa, Shetimasha, Tonkawe, Pakawa (otherwise 
known under the vague designation of " Coahuilteco or Te- 
jano"), Tonica, Yuchi, Timucua, and — most important of them 
all — the Maskoki. His work of correlating for the synonymy 
the information gained concerning these tribes was completed, 
though some important tribes can not be classified linguis- 
tically, e. g., the extinct Koroas and Pascagoulas, on account of 
the absence, in the documents of early chroniclers, of all in- 
formation relating to them. The Ada-i, classed by Gallatin 
as a distinct family, is believed by Mr. Gatschet to be affiliated 
with the Caddoan stock as a dialect distantly related toYatassi 
and Caddo proper. 

After concluding his labors on the tribal synonvniv, Mr. 
Gatschet resumed work on the grammar of the Klamath lan- 
guage of southwestern Oregon. He combined all the results 
of his recent studies of both dialects, the northern and the 
southern, with the facts previously acquired by him and com- 
posed a treatise on the morphology of the language. This 
was rewritten by him three times in order to secure complete- 
ness and accuracy. The "phonetics" and the chapters on 
radicals and on prefixion were stereotyped. 


Mr. J. Owen Doesey was engaged from July to December, 
1887, in translating the Teton texts of Mr. George Bushotter, 
a Dakotan, who was employed under his direction. This col- 
lection consists of myths, legends, historical papers, an auto- 
biography, accounts of games, folk-lore, and epistles, amount- 
ing to two hundred and fifty-eight textual manuscripts. This 
joint work was continued until the following December, when 
Mr. Bushotter's employment ceased, leaving one hundred and 
twenty-nine texts to be translated. Mr. Dorsey then con- 
tinued the work alone until April 18, 1888, when another Da- 
kotan, Mr. John Bruyier, of Cheyenne River agency, began 
to revise and interpret the Teton texts, making many correc- 
tions in the originals and supplying important parts omitted 
by Bushotter. Mr. Bruyier also furnished Mr. Dorsey with 
many examples of the Teton as spoken at the Cheyenne River 
reservation, which showed that it differed considerably from 
that spoken at the Lower Brule and Pine Ridge reservations. 
He also wrote new versions of several myths, continuing- his 
work until June 30, 1888. 

During the autumn of 1887, Mr. Dorsey completed his work 
on the Siouan, Caddoan, Athapascan, Takilman, Kusan, and 
Yakonan cards for the Indian synonymy. He also prepared 
nearly four hundred type-written foolscap pages of (jDegiha 
epistles, legends, and other texts, which constitute an important 
addition to those published in Contributions to North Amer- 
ican Ethnology, vol. vi, Part 1. He also transliterated on 
slips in alphabetic order his Winnebago material, obtained in 
1878-79, collating it with the additional material obtained in 
1886. This contains fully four thousand entries. He gave 
much attention to the Catawba language, collating parts of a 
recent vocabulary which had been procured by Mr. Gratschet 
with all others which were accessible. 

Mr. Jeremiah Curtin contributed to the Indian synonymy 
with reference to several tribes in Oregon and California and 
devoted much study to the large number of myths obtained 
by him from the same tribes ; also to those of the Iroquois. 

Mr. James C. Pilling continued throughout the year to give 
a portion of his time to the preparation of the bibliographies 


of the more important stocks of North American languages. 
As stated in the last report, the manuscript for the Siouan bib- 
liography, the second of the series, was sent to the printer 
late in the fiscal year 1886-87. The proof was read during 
the summer months and the work was received from the Pub- 
lic Printer in November. Work was then begun on the Iro- 
quoian stock of languages, and at the close of the fiscal year ' 
that bibliography was ready for printing. Some preliminary 
work was also done on the Muskhogean bibliography. Late 
in December Mr. Pilling made a visit to the library of the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, for the 
purpose of inspecting and taking descriptions of several im- 
portant manuscripts, temporarily there, written by Moravian 
missionaries on Indian languages and permanently preserved 
in the Moravian archives at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and 
Fairfield, Canada. 

Mr. James Mooney, when not in the field, continued to be 
charged with the synonymy relating to the Iroquoian and Al- 
gonquian linguistic stocks, and also worked upon the vocabu- 
laries, myths, and notes of information procured by him from 
the northern Cherokee. 

Mr. Cyrus Thomas during the entire year has been busily en- 
gaged upon his report, before mentioned, except at short inter- 
vals when he visited the field to make personal observations. 
The manuscript for the first volume of that report with the 
illustrations was presented for publication about a month be- 
fore the close of the fiscal year. Work upon the manuscript, 
illustrations, and maps for the second volume was continued. 

Mr. Henry L. Reynolds was at Washington from Decem- 
ber until the close of the fiscal year, occupied in the prepara- 
tion of maps, plates, and diagrams for the report last mentioned. 

Mr. Gerard Fowke was eng'ao-ed during- the winter and un- 
til the 1st of May, 1888, in preparing a paper for a report on 
the articles of stone in the Bureau collections. 

Mr. William H. Holmes has had charge of the illustrations 
intended for the Bureau publications, as in previous years, and 
has, so far as possible, continued his studies in aboriginal art 
and archaeology. 


The collections acquired during the summer, although not 
lacking in interest and value, are not so extensive as those of 
previous years. Acquisitions are made in three modes : first, 
through members of the Bureau of Ethnology and of the U. 
S. Geological Survey, who act as collectors ; second, by means 
of exchange for publications or duplicate specimens from pre- 
vious collections ; and, third, by donation. Dr. Thomas and his 
assistants, working in the Mississippi Valley and on the Atlan- 
tic slope, report but few accessions during the year. Mr. 
James Stevenson secured important collections from the Pueblo 
country, as before stated, especially from the villages of Jemez 
and Sia in the Jemez Valley, New Mexico. These collections 
include about five hundred specimens of pottery and nearly four 
hundred of stone, wood and other substances. A large percent- 
age of these specimens are ancient. A considerable number 
of ancient relics of pottery and stone were obtained from 
ruin sites in the Jemez and Rio Grande valleys, New Mexico, 
by the Director and Mr. Holmes. Mr. A. P. Davis collected a 
number of fragments of ancient pottery from the ruin of 
Pueblo Alto, New Mexico. A very interesting series of ob- 
jects illustrating the present condition of the arts among the 
Cherokee and Catawba Indians was procured by Mr. James 
Mooney. Mr. DeLancey W. Gill, of the U. S. Geological Sur- 
vey, has added to the collection many specimens of rude stone 
implements from the vicinity of Washington. Donations have 
been received from the following persons : Mr. C. C. Jones, 
fragments of ancient pottery from Stallings Island, near Au- 
gusta, Georgia ; Doctor Taylor, fragments of ancient pottery 
from Baldwin County, Alabama; Gen. G. P. Thruston, frag- 
ment of an enormous earthen vase from a suburb of Nashville, 
Tennessee ; Mr. W. W. Adams, articles of stone from Union 
Springs, New York ; Mr. C. L. R. Wheeler, cast of a unique 
stone knife from Westchester County, New York ; and Mr. 
James Tilton, fragments of pottery from Plum Island, Massa- 

By exchange for books and duplicates from the National 
Museum the following acquisitions have been made : from Mr. 
H. P. Hamilton, fragments of ancient pottery from Tavo Rivers, 


Wisconsin ; and from Mr. H. W. Hakes, fragments of pottery 
from Broome County, New York. 

By purchase or part purchase the Bureau has obtained from 
Mr. J. A. McNiel one hundred and seventy pieces of ancient 
pottery from Chiriqui, Panama, besides some very interesting- 
objects of stone. From Mr. Ward Bachelor it has acquired a 
fine collection of earthen and stone objects from Mexico. From 
Dr. E. Boban a few fine samples of Mexican pottery were ob- 
tained. All these have been catalogued and turned over to 
the National Museum. 

Mr. L. B. Case, of Richmond, Indiana, has presented to the 
Bureau the records of the State Archeologic Association of In- 
diana, which fell into his hands as secretary at the discontin- 
uance of the society several years ago. 

Valuable photographs of archeologic subjects have been re- 
ceived from Prof. Anastasio Alfaro, secretary of the National 
Museum of Costa Rica; also, from Mr. C. F. Low, of Cincin- 
nati ; from Mr. A. F. Sears, of Portland, Oregon ; and from 
Mr. D. S. Sears, of Cuba, Illinois. 

Mr. Victor Mindeleff was engaged during the first two 
months of the fiscal year upon a report on the architecture of 
the Cibola and Tusayan groups of pueblos, in New Mexico 
and Arizona. Subsequent to his return from the field, on 
March 18, that report was resumed, but it was not completed 
at the end of the fiscal year. The additional data secured 
from the Tusayan district during the field season are being pre- 
pared for incorporation into the same report. 

Mr. Cosmos Mindeleff was occupied during the early part 
of the year upon that portion of the report on pueblo archi- 
tecture which had been assigned to him. On his return 
from the field, on February 23, he resumed work upon that 
report, but it was suspended in order to take up the prepara- 
tion of an exhibit to be made by the Bureau at the Cincinnati 
Centennial Exposition. An exhibit to cover nearly 2,000 
square feet of floor space was prepared, but, as the space was 
limited, only the field work of the Bureau in one special region, 
viz, the pueblo country, was illustrated, though a small amount 
of other material was added for purposes of comparison. This 
work was not completed at the close of the fiscal year. 


The work of the modeling room was continued in his charge 
throughout the year. No new work was taken up, all avail- 
able labor being used in preparing a series of duplicates of 
models previously deposited in the National Museum. This 
work was continued from last year. The series is not yet com- 
pleted, but the accumulations on hand at the end of the fiscal 
year were sufficient to enable the Bureau to make a creditable 
display at the Cincinnati Exposition without withdrawing, to 
any large extent, the models deposited in the National Mu- 
seum. During the year eight models were added to the dupli- 
cate series and three other models were commenced. 

Dr. Washington Matthews, Surgeon U. S. Army, continued 
work upon a grammar and dictionary of the Navajo language. 

Mr. W. Nelson was still engaged in the preparation of his 
paper, mentioned in the last report, upon the Eskimo of north- 
ern Alaska, comprising a dictionary with notes upon the gram- 
mar of the language and also upon the myths and customs of 
the people. 

Mr. John N. B. Hewitt has continued the studv of the 
Iroquoian languages and the preparation of a Tuscarora-Eng- 
lish dictionary. He also worked upon the comparison of 
words, radicals, and terms in the Iroquoian languages with 
those in the Cherokee and in determining the prehistoric hab- 
itat of the Iroquois. 

For several years past it has been part of the work of the 
Bureau to take advantage of the frequent presence in Wash- 
ington of parties styled "delegations" from the several Indian 
tribes, for the purpose of photographing all the individuals 
composing them. These are generally the prominent men of 
the tribes represented by them, and their photographs have 
biographic and historic interest as well as anthropologic impor- 
tance. Mr. J. K. Hillers has been in charge of this branch of 
the work, and during the last year has secured ninety-nine 
photographs of prominent Indians in both full face and profile, 
in order to exhibit to better advantage all their facial charac- 
teristics. The subjects were from the following tribes, viz: 

White Mountain Apache, 15 persons ; Chiricahua Apache, 
20; Jicarilla Apache, 8; Sac and Fox, 7; Utes, 4; Shawnee, 
9 ; Omaha, 20 ; Dakota, 1 1 ; Oto and Missouri, 5. 


It has been the practice to note, in connection with the name 
of each Indian photographed, his age, status in the tribe, and 
such biographic* information as could be obtained. 




Mr. John Murdoch was the naturalist and one of the observ- 
ers detailed in 1881 by the Chief Signal Officer of the Army with 
the International Polar Expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska. 
That point was established as one of the stations in the work 
of circumpolar observation proposed by the International Con- 
ference on that subject, In addition to the specific duties of 
the expedition, which were connected with meteorology, re- 
searches were made by all of its members, during the two 
years of their stay, on the habits and customs of the Eskimo 
of the neighborhood, and full notes taken. The ethnological 
material obtained consisted of those notes and of the objects 
collected. The notes were so voluminous and the objects 
which required description and illustration were so many 
that it was impracticable to publish them in the report of the 
commanding officer of the expedition, Lieut. P. H. Ray, Eighth 
Infantry, U. S. Army, which was issued in 1885. In order 
that the valuable ethnologic results obtained should not be 
lost, the Chief Signal Officer permitted the continued employ- 
ment of Mr. Murdoch to complete a special report upon them, 
and the late Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution furnished 
him important facilities for the work. It was decided to publish 
the report with full illustrations, as it now appears, in one of 
the serial volumes of Annual Reports of this Bureau. 

The work of collecting the objects mentioned and of making 
the ethnological notes was continued for more than two years, 
and two more years were occupied by Mr. Murdoch in the an- 
alytical study of those objects and notes before the present re- 
port could be completed. In this report Mr. Murdoch has pre- 
sented a simple and exhaustive account of the Eskimo of Alaska 
with commendable absence of theory. At the same time he 


makes judicious comparisons between the people observed and 
the eastern division of the same race, including the Eskimo of 
Greenland, and also between all the American divisions and 
those of Siberia. These comparisons were made possible by 
his extensive reading- and by his study of former collections 
deposited in the United States National Museum. 

The ample illustrations of the text, 428 in number, are nearly 
all sketched or photographed from the articles brought to Wash- 
ington by the expedition, and show in connection with them 
the numbers attached to those articles as now deposited and 
displayed in the National Museum. Thus the opportunity for 
verification and for further examination is proffered. The 
topics discussed are so many and varied that they can not be 
recapitulated here with advantage. An examination of the 
table of contents will be more satisfactory and useful. Such 
examination will invite the study of the paper, which will 
prove to be a .compendium of all that is noteworthy about a 
body of peculiar people who have lately been included among 
the inhabitants of the United States. 


Notwithstanding the length of time, nearly three centuries, 
during which Europeans have been in contact with the Indian 
tribes of North America, wholly erroneous ideas of their the- 
ology have prevailed and are still entertained. The popular 
conception of their religious belief, which has been ascribed to 
all the tribes of the continent, is that it was substantially mono- 
theistic, a grade of theology connected with the higher civil- 
izations and never appearing in the stages of savagery or bar- 
barism, beyond which no Indian tribe had advanced at the 
European discovery of America. Captain Bourke recognizes 
this fact, and believes that the misconception has been disas- 
trous in its influence upon the national treatment of the Indian 
tribes. The special influence to be considered and combated 
is that of the " medicine-man," a title for which that of shaman 
might have been substituted with advantage. The form of 


belief and practice called shamanism is well known in many 
parts of the world as a phase in religious evolution. Although 
at first applied only to the practices observed among- some 
tribes of northern Asia, it has of late been generally used by 
scholars to express the plaeation and control by magic and 
fetichistic rites of spirits or daimons who are supposed to rule 
all mankind and indeed the whole realm of nature. The 
shaman is not onty a practitioner of sorcery, able to drive off 
the spirits which bring death, sickness, and misfortune, and to 
invoke others which confer success and love, but he is a priest, 
who by communion with the higher powers learns and after- 
wards teaches to others the articles of a creed. The term 
shaman means all that Capt. Bourke intends to express by 
"medicine-man," while that awkward compound, invented by 
early explorers in North America, must always mislead by 
conveying some implication of therapeutics. 

Capt. Bourke, in twenty-two years of active service in the 
United States Army, has directed his attention to the observa- 
tion and study of the Indian tribes of the Great Plains and of 
the Southwest. During a considerable part of that time he 
has enjoyed special facilities and opportunities as aid-de-camp 
toMaj. Gen. Crook. His familiarity with the tribes in general 
enables him to introduce many comparisons between the 
Apache, who are the special subjects of his paper, and many 
other tribes and to note parallels and contrasts in the practices 
of all. The extensive reading which is indicated by his copious 
list of authorities consulted has enabled him to supply anal- 
ogies from foreign lands and remote ages, so that his paper is 
much more comprehensive than its title. 

Among the many topics suggestively treated are those of 
the rhombus or bull roarer, the scratch stick, and the drinking 
reed, all considered ceremonially; but in especial the discus- 
sions upon hoddentin and the izze-kloth present unsuspected 
facts and permit curious inferences. " 

Hoddentin is the pollen of the tule, which is a variety of the 
cat-tail rash growing in all the ponds of the southwestern parts 
of the United States. It is a yellow powder with which small 
buckskin bags are filled and those bags then attached to the 


belts of Apache warriors. They are also worn as amulets by 
other members of the tribe. In dances for the cure of sick- 
ness the shaman applies the powder to the forehead of the 
patient, then to his breast in the figure of a cross; next he 
sprinkles it in a circle around his couch, then on the heads of 
the chanters and the assembled friends of the patient, and 
lastly upon his own head and into his own mouth. It is also 
used in other ceremonies described. Capt. Bourke points out 
the similarity between the. use of the tule pollen and that of 
the kunque or sacred corn meal of the Zuni, and dwells upon 
many analogies to their practices found in both hemispheres. 

The izze-kloth is the magic cord of the Apache, which Capt. 
Bourke describes and illustrates with full details. He does 
not mention, however, whether the fact stated about the same 
articles used among the Zufii is true of the Apache cords, i. e., 
that they must be made of rawhide or sinew taken from a 
beast of prey or a human enemy. The cords are often deco- 
rated with beads and shells strung at intervals with pieces of 
the sacred green chalchihuitl, often called American turquoise, 
and of petrified wood, and with rock crystal, eagle down, 
claws of the hawk or eaglet or of the bear, fragments of aba- 
lone shells from the Pacific, circles of buckskin inclosing pieces 
of twigs and branches of trees which have been struck by 
lightning, and other objects of shamanistic sanctity. The use 
of these cords was reserved for the most sacred and important 
occasions, such as dances for war, for curing disease, and for 
conjuration, when every important shaman would appear with 
one of the cords hanging from his right shoulder over his left 
hip. They are also used as amulets and charms. Capt, 
Bourke associates these cords with the quipus of the Peruvians 
and the wampum of the northeastern tribes of America, and 
then proceeds with enthusiasm to discover analogies among 
nearly all the races of earth, paying special attention to the 
rosaries and belt cords of the Roman Catholic Church. Though 
some readers will hesitate to adopt all his deductions, none 
will disagree with his concluding remarks upon the necessity 
of breaking' up by the exhibition of true science the sorcery 
and jugglery practices which both retard the civilization of the 



tribes unci shorten and destroy the lives of many individuals 
among- them. 


Classification of expenditures made from the appropriation for North American Eth- 
nology for the fiscal near endinf/ June 30, 1888. 

[Amount of appropriation. 1887-88. $40,000. | 





$28. 838. 33 

Goods for distribution to Indians 

Office furniture 

Office supplies and repairs 


$511. 30 

3. 637. 66 
242. 06 



Transportation of property 


Field supplies and expenses 

Field material- 

844. 95 

Bonded railroad accounts forwarded 



181.00 1 


Balance on hand to meet outstanding 


Photographic material 

1, 280. 10 

Books and maps 

40. 000. 00 

Stationery and drawing material 


9 ETH 1 

















v. v 

























7\ Kmn uimiim 

- - . -A-, 



-™C f&Bfr 







- V 

* E 






Showing the region known to the Point Barrow Eskimo 
Based, on tlie U.S. Coast 8c Geodetic Survey 
map of AlasTui . I884-.n-ith additions from the U.S.C.&G.S. 
General Chaj-t of Alaska " 1889, and. fi-omEshimu account, 
E skimo names given in the forin. used at Point Barrow 
Names of "tribes' underlined thus KCuiimidliu 

Compiled by JOHN MURDOCH 




Naturalist and Observer, International Polar Expedition to 
Point Barrow, Alaska, 1881-1883. 



Introduction 19 

List of works consulted 20 

Situation and surroundings 26 

Climate 30 

People - 33 

Physical characteristics 33 

Pathology 39 

Psychical characteristics 40 

Tribal phenomena ■ 42 

Social surroundings 43 

Contact with uncivilized people 43 

Other Eskimo 43 

Indians 49 

Contact with civilized people 51 

Natural resources 55 

Animals 55 

Mammals 55 

Birds 56 

Fishes 58 

Insects and other invertebrates 59 

Plants 59 

Minerals 60 

Culture 61 

Means of subsistence 61 

Food 61 

Substances used for food 61 

Means of preparing food 63 

Time and frequency of eating 63 

Drinks 64 

Narcotics 65 

Habitations 72 

The winter house 72 

Arrangement in villages 79 

Snow houses 81 

Tents 83 

Household utensils 86 

For holding and carrying food, water, etc 86 

Canteens 86 

Wallets, etc '. 86 

Buckets and tubs 86 

Meat bowls 89 

For preparing food 90 

Pots of stone and other materials 90 

Bone crushers 93 

For serving and eating food 99 

Trays 99 

Drinking vessels 101 

Whalebone cups 101 



Culture — Continued. Page. 

Spoons and ladles 104 

Miscellaneous household utensils 105 

Lamps 105 

Clothing 109 

Material 109 

Style of dress 110 

Head clothing 112 

Frocks 113 

Mantles 121 

Rain frocks 122 

Arm clothing 123 

Mittens 123 

Gloves 124 

Leg and foot clothing 125 

Breeches 125 

Pantaloons 126 

Stockings 129 

Boots and shoes 129 

Parts of dress 135 

Belts 135 

Ornaments 138 

Personal adornment 138 

Skin ornamentation 138 

Tattooing 138 

Painting 140 

Head ornaments 140 

Method < if wearing the hair 140 

Head bands 142 

Ear rings 142 

Lahrets 143 

Neck ornaments 148 

Ornaments of the limbs 148 

Bracelets 148 

Finger rings ' 149 

Miscellaneous ornaments 149 

Beads 149 

Toilet articles 149 

Implements of general use, etc 150 

Tools 150 

Knives 150 

Adzes 165 

Chisels 172 

Whalebone shaves 173 

Saws 174 

Drills and borers 175 

Hammers 182 

Files , 182 

Whetstones !' 183 

Tool boxes and bags 185 

Weapons 191 

Projectile weapons 193 

Firearms 193 

Whaling guns 195 

Hows 195 

Arrows 201 


Culture— Continued. Pago. 

Bear arrows 202 

Bow cases and quivers 207 

Bracers - 209 

Bird darts 210 

Seal darts 214 

Harpoons 218 

Thrusting weapons 233 

Harpoons - 233 

Lances 240 

Throwing weapons 244 

Hunting implements other than weapons 246 

Floats '. 246 

Flipper toggles 247 

Harpoon boxes 247 

Nets - 251 

Seal calls 253 

Seal rattles 254 

Seal indicators 254 

Sealing stools 255 

Seal drags 256 

Whalebone wolf-killers 259 

Traps 260 

Snow-goggles 260 

Meat cache markers 262 

Methods of hunting 263 

The polar bear 263 

The wolf 263 

The fox 264 

The reindeer 264 

The seal 268 

The. walrus 272 

The whale 272 

Fowl 276 

Implements for fishing 278 

Hooks and lines 278 

Nets 284 

Spears 286 

Flint working 287 

Fire making 289 

Drills 289 

Flint and steel 291 

Kindlings 291 

Bow and arrow making 291 

The marline spike 291 

The twisters 292 

The feather setter ... ' 294 

Skin working 294 

Scrapers 294 

Scraper cups 299 

Combs for deer skins 300 

Manufacture of lines of thong 301 

Builders' tools 302 

For excavating 302 

Tools for snow and ice working 304 

Snow knives 304 


Culture — Continued. Page. 

Snow shovels 305 

Ice picks 307 

Ice scoops 308 

Implements for procuring and preparing food 310 

Blubber hooks 310 

Fish scaler 311 

Making and working fiber 311 

Twisting and braiding 311 

Netting 312 

Netting weights 315 

Weaving 316 

Sewing 317 

Means of locomotion and transportation 328 

Traveling by water 328 

Kaiaks and paddles 328 

Umiaks and fittings 335 

Traveling on foot 344 

Snowshoes 344 

Staff 352 

Land conveyances 353 

Sledges 353 

Dogs and harness 357 

Hunting scores 360 

Games and pastimes 364 

Gambling 364 

Festivals 365 

Mechanical contrivances 372 

Description of festivals 373 

Toys and sports for children and others 376 

Playthings 376 

Dolls 380 

Juvenile implements 383 

Games and sports 383 

Music 385 

Musical instruments 385 

Character and frequency of music 388 

Art 389 

Domestic life 410 

Marriage 410 

Standing and treatment of women 413 

Children 414 

Rights and wrongs 419 

Social life and customs 420 

Personal habits and cleanliness 420 

Salutation 422 

Healing 422 

Customs concerning the dead 423 

Abstentions 423 

Manner of disposing of the dead 424 

Government 427 

In the family 427 

In the village 427 

Religion 430 

General ideas 430 

Amulets 434 



Pl. I. Map of Northwestern Alaska 2 

II. Map of the hunting grounds of the Point Barrow Eskimo 18 

Fig. 1. Unalina, a man of Nuwuk 34 

2. Mumufiina, a woman of Nuwuk . . 35 

3. Akahiana, a youth of Utkiav win 36 

4. Puka, a young man of Utkiavwin 37 

5. Woman stretching skins 38 

6. Pipes: («) pipe with metal bowl; (ft) pipe with stone bowl; (c) pipe 

with bowl of antler or ivory 67 

7. Pipe made of willow stick 68 

8. Tobacco pouches 69 

9. Plans of Eskimo winter house 72 

10. Interior of iglu, looking toward door 73 

11. Interior of iglu, looking toward bench 74 

12. House, in Utkiavwin 76 

13. Ground plan and section of winter house in Mackenzie region 77 

14. Ground plan of large snow house 82 

15. Tent on the beach at Utkiavwin 85 

16. Wooden bucket 86 

17. Large tub 87 

18. Whalebone dish 88 

19. Meat-bowl 89 

20. Stone pot 90 

21. Small stone pot 91 

22. Fragments of pottery 92 

23. Stone maul 94 

24. Stone maul 94 

25. Stone maul 95 

26. Stone maul 95 

27. Stone maul 96 

28. Stone maul. 96 

29. Bone maul 97 

30. Bone maul 97 

31. Boue maul 98 

32. Bone maul 98 

33. Meat-dish 99 

34. Oblong meat-dish 100 

35. Oblong meat-dish, very old 100 

36. Fish dish 100 

37. Whalebone cup 101 

38. Horn dipper. 101 

39. Horn dipper 102 

40. Dipper of fossil ivory 103 




Fig. 41. 


Dipper of fossil ivory 103 

Wooden spoon 104 

Horn ladle 104 

Bone ladle 104 

Bone ladle in the form of a whale 105 

Bone ladle 105 

Stone house-lamp 106 

Sandstone lamp 107 

Traveling lamp 108 

Socket for blubber holder 108 

Man in ordinary deerskin clothes 110 

Woman's hood Ill 

Man's frock 113 

Pattern of man's deerskin frock 113 

Detail of trimming, skirt and shoulder of man's frock 114 

Man wearing plain, heavy frock 114 

Man's frock of mountain sheepskin, front and back 115 

Man's frock of ermine skins 116 

Pattern of sheepskin frock 117 

Pattern of ermine frock 117 

Woman's frock, front and back 118 

Pattern of woman's frock 119 

Detail of edging, woman's frock 119 

Details of trimming, woman's frock 119 

Man's cloak of deerskin 121 

Pattern of man's cloak 121 

Deerskin mittens 123 

Deerskin gloves 124 

Man's breeches of deerskin 125 

Pattern of man's breeches 126 

Trimming of man's breeches 126 

Woman's pantaloons 127 

Patterns of woman's pantaloons 128 

Pattern of stocking 129 

Man's boot of deerskin 131 

Pattern of deerskin hoot 131 

Man's dress boot of deerskin 132 

Pattern of man's dress boot of deerskin 132 

Man's dress boot of skin of mountain sheep 133 

Pair of man's dress boots of deerskin 134 

Woman's waterproof sealskin boot 135 

Sketch of " ice-creepers " on boot sole 135 

Man's belt woven of feathers . 136 

Diagram showing method of fastening the ends of feathers in belt .. 137 

Woman's belt of wolverine toes 137 

Belt-fastener 138 

Man with tattooed cheeks 139 

Woman with ordinary tattooing 140 

Man's method of wearing the hair 141 

Earrings 143 

Plug for enlarging labret hole 144 

Labret of beads and ivory 145 

Blue and white labret from Anderson River 146 

Oblong labret of bone 147 

Oblong labret of soapstoue 147 



Fig. 96. Ancient labret 148 

97. Beads of amber - 149 

98. Hair combs 150 

99. Slate knives 151 

100. Slate knife-blade 152 

101. Slate knife 152 

102. Slate knife - 152 

103. Slate hunting-knife 152 

104. Blade of slate bunting-knife 153 

105. Large slate knife 153 

106. Large single-edged slate knife 153 

107. Wades of knives 154 

108. Peculiar slate knife 154 

109. Knife with whalebone blade 155 

110. Small iron knife 155 

111. Small iron knives 156 

112. Iron bunting knife - - - 156 

113. Large crooked knife 158 

114. Large crooked knife with sheath 158 

115. Small crooked knives 159 

116. Crooked knife 159 

117. Crooked knives, flint-bladed . 160 

118. Slate-bladed crooked knives 161 

119. Woman's knife, steel blade 161 

120. Woman's knife, slate blade 162 

121. Woman's knife, slate blade 162 

122. Woman's knife, slate blade 162 

123. Woman's knife, slate blade 162 

124. Woman's ancient slate-bladed knife 163 

125. Ancient bone handle for woman's knife 163 

126. Large knife of slate 163 

127. Woman's knife of flaked flint 164 

128. Hatchet halted as an adz 165 

129. Hatchet hafted as an adz 166 

130. Adz-head of jade 167 

131. Adz-bead of jade 167 

132. Halted jade adz 168 

133. Adz-head of jade and bone 168 

134. Adz-head of bone and iron, without eyes 168 

135. Adz-head of bone and iron, with vertical eyes 169 

136. Adz-head of bone and iron, with vertical eyes 169 

137. Hafted bone and iron adz 169 

138. Hafted bone and stone adz 170 

139. Small adz-blade of green j ade 170 

140. Hafted adz of bone and flint 171 

141. Old cooper's adz, rehafted 171 

142. Adz with bone blade ! 72 

143. Antler chisel 173 

144. Antler chisel 173 

145. Spurious tool, flint blade 173 

146. Whalebone sbave, slate blade 174 

147. Saw made of deer's scapula 175 

148. Saw made of a case-knife 175 

149. Bow drill 176 

150. Bow drill and mouthpiece 176 



Fig. 151. 
' 185. 



Bow drill 177 

Drill bow 177 

Drill bows 178 

Spliced drill bow 178 

Drill mouthpiece with iron socket 179 

Drill mouthpiece without wings. 179 

Bone-pointed drill . 179 

Handles for drill cords 180 

Flint-bladed reamers 182 

Flint-bladed reamers 182 

Awl 182 

Jade whetstones 183 

Jade whetstones 184 

Wooden tool-boxes 185 

Large wooden tool-boxes 186 

Tool-bag of wolverine skin 187 

Tool-bag of wolverine skin 188 

Drills belonging to the tool-bag 189 

Comb for deerskins in the tool-bag 189 

Bag handles 190 

Bag of leather - 190 

Little hand-club 191 

Slungshot made of walrus j aw 191 

Dagger of bear's bone - 192 

Bone daggers - - 192 

So-called dagger of bone - - 193 

Boy's bow from Utkiavwin 196 

Loop at end of bowstring 197 

Large bow from Nuwuk 197 

Large bow from Sidaru . _ 198 

Feathering of the Eskimo arrow 201 

Flint-headed arrow (kukiksadliii) - 202 

Long flint pile 202 

Short flint pile - - - 202 

Heart-shaped flint pile 203 

(«) Arrow with " after pile " (ipudligadlfn) ; (6) arrow with iron pile 
(savidlin); (c) arrow with iron pile (savidlin); (d) arrow with 

copper pile (savidlin) ; (e) deer-arrow (nutkodlm) 203 

Pile of deer arrow (nutkaii) - 205 

' ' Kunmudliii " arrow pile - 205 

(a) Fowl arrow (tugalni) ; (6) bird arrow (kixodwain) 206 

Bow case and quivers - 208 

Quiver rod 209 

Cap for quiver rod 209 

Bracer '. - 210 

Bracer of bone - - - 210 

Bird dart - 211 

Point for bird dart .*"... 212 

Ancient point for bird dart - 212 

Point for bird dart 213 

Bird dart with double point. - - 213 

Ancient ivory dart head - - - 214 

Bone dart head - 214 

Nozzle for bladder float - - 215 

Seal dart 215 



Fig. 204. Foreshaft of seal dart 217 

205. Throwing board for darts 217 

206. Harpoon head 218 

207. Harpoon head 219 

208. Ancient bone harpoon head 219 

209. (a ) Ancient bone harpoon head ; (b) variants of this type 220 

210. Bone harpoon head 220 

211. Bone harpoon head 220 

212. Harpoon head, bone and stone 221 

213. Harpoon head, bone and stone 221 

214. Walrus harpoons 224 

215. Typical walrus-harpoon heads 226 

216. Typical walrus-harpoon heads 226 

217. Typical walrus-harpoon heads 227 

218. Walrus-harpoon head, with " leader " 227 

219. Walrus-harpoon head, with line 228 

220. Walrus-harpoon head, with line 228 

221. Walrus-harpoon head, with line 229 

222. Foreshaft of walrus harpoon 230 

223. Harpoon head for large se;ils 230 

224. Retrieving seal harpoon 231 

225. Details of retrieving seal harpoon 232 

226. Jade blade for seal harpoon 233 

227. Seal harpoon for thrusting 233 

228. Diagram of lashing on shaft 234 

229. Model of a seal harpoon 235 

230. Large model of whale harpoon 235 

231. Model of whale harpoon, with floats 236 

232. Flint blade for whale harpoon 237 

233. Slate blade for whale harpoon 237 

234. Body of whale harpoon head 238 

235. Whale harpoon heads 238 

236. Whale harpoon head with "leader'' 239 

237. Foreshaft of whale harpoon 239 

238. Whale lance 240 

239. Flint head of whale lance 241 

240. Flint heads for whale lances 241 

241. Bear lance 242 

242. Flint head for bear lance 242 

243. Deer lance 243 

244. Part of deer lance with flint head 243 

245. Deer lance, flint head ■ 244 

246. Flint head for deer lance 244 

247. Bird bolas, looped up for carrying 245 

248. Bird bolas, ready for use 245 

249. Sealskin float 247 

250. Flipper toggles 248 

251. Boxes for harpoon heads 249 

252. Seal net 251 

253. Scratchers for decoying seals 253 

254. Seal rattle 254 

255. Seal indicators 255 

256. Sealing stool 255 

257. Seal drag and handles 257 

258. Whalebone wolf killers 259 




Fig. 259. Wooden snow-goggles 261 

260. Bone snow-goggles 262 

261. Wooden snow-goggles, unusual form 262 

262. Marker for meat cache 262 

263. Marker for meat cache 263 

264. Tackle for shore fishing 279 

265. Knot of line into hook 279 

266. Small fish-hooks 280 

267. Hooks for river fishing 280 

268. Tackle for river fishing '. 280 

269. Burbot hook, first pattern 281 

270. Burbot hook, second pattern 281 

271. Burbot hook, made of cod hook 281 

272. Burbot tackle, baited 281 

273. Ivory sinker 282 

274. Ivory jigger for polar cod 282 

275. Section of whalebone net 284 

276. Mesh of sinew net ." . , 285 

277. Fish trap 285 

278. Fish spear 286 

279. Flint flakers 288 

280. Haft of flint flaker 288 

281. Flint flaker, with bone blade 289 

282. Fire drill, with mouthpiece and stock 289 

283. Set of bow-and-arrow tools 291 

284. Marline spike 292 

285. Marline spike 292 

286. "Twister" for working sinew backing of bow 293 

287. "Feather setter" 294 

288. Tool of antler 294 

289. Skin scraper 295 

290. Skin scrapers — handles only 295 

291. Skin scrapers 296 

292. Skin scraper 296 

293. Peculiar modification of scraper 296 

294. Skin scraper 297 

295. Skin scraper 297 

296. Skin scraper 297 

297. Flint blade for skin scraper 298 

298. Straight-hafted scraper 298 

299. Bone scraper 299 

300. Scraper cups 299 

301. Combs for cleaning deer-skins 301 

302. " Double slit " splice for rawhide lines 302 

303. Mattock of whale's rib 303 

304. Pickax-heads of bone, ivory, and whale's rib. 303 

305. Ivory snow knife .-.----- - 305 

306. Snow shovels 305 

307. Snow shovel made of a whale's scapula 307 

308. Snow pick 307 

309. Snow drill 308 

310. Ice scoop 308 

311. Long blubber hook 310 

312. Short-handled blubber hook 310 

313. Fish scaler 311 



Fig. 314. Ivory shuttle, 311 

315. Netting needle 312 

316. Mesh stick 312 

317. Netting needles 313 

318. Netting needles for seal net 314 

319. Netting needle 314 

320. Mesh sticks 314 

321. Netting weights 316 

322. Shuttle belonging to set of feather tools 316 

323. Mesh stick 317 

324. " Sword " for feather weaving 317 

325. Quill case of hone needles 318 

326. («) Large bone needle and peculiar thimble; (/>) Leather thimbles 

with bone needles 318 

327. Needle cases with belt hooks 320 

328. (a) Needle case with belt hook; (b) needle case open, showing bone 

needles 321 

329. Trinket boxes 323 

330. Trinket boxes 324 

331. Ivory box 325 

332. Bone box 325 

333. Little flask of ivory '. . 325 

334. Box in shape of deer 325 

335. Small basket 326 

336. Small basket 326 

337. Small basket 327 

338. Kaiak 329 

339. Method of fastening together frame of kaiak 329 

340. Double kaiak paddle , 330 

341. Model kaiak and paddle 334 

342. Frame of umiak 336 

343. (a) Method of fastening bilge-streaks to stem of umiak; (6) method 

of framing rib to gunwale, etc 337 

344. Method of slinging the oar of umiak , ...... 339 

345. («) Model of umiak and paddles; (&) model of umiak, inside plan. .. 340 

346. Ivory bailer for umiak •. 340 

347. Ivory crotch for harpoon 341 

348. Ivory crotch for harpoon 342 

349. Crotch for harpoon made of walrus jaw 342 

350. Snowshoe 345 

351. Knot in snowshoe netting 346 

352. (a) First round of heel-netting of snowshoe; (6) first and second 

round of heel-netting of snowshoe 347 

353. (a) First round of heel-netting of snowshoe; (&) first, second, and 

third rounds of heel-netting of snowshoe 348 

354. Small snowshoe 350 

355. Old '■ chief," with staffs 353 

356. Railed sledge (diagrammatic), from photograph 354 

357. Flat sledge 355 

358. Small sledge with ivory runners 355 

359. Small toboggan of whalebone 357 

360. Hunting score engraved on ivory. 361 

361. Hunting score engraved on ivory, obverse and reverse 362 

362. Hunting score engraved on ivory 362 

363. Hunting score engraved on ivory, obverse and reverse 363 



Fig. 364. Game of fox and geese from Plover Bay 365 

365. Dancing cap 365 

366. Wooden mask 366 

367. Wooden mask and dancing gorget 367 

368. Old grotesque mask 368 

369. Rude mask of wood 369 

370. Wolf mask of wood 369 

371. Very ancient small mask 369 

372. Dancing gorgets of wood 371 

373. Youth dancing to the aurora 375 

374. Whirligigs 377 

375. Teetotum 378 

376. Buzz toy 378 

377. Whizzing stick 379 

378. Pebble snapper • 379 

379. Carving of human head 380 

380. Mechanical doll — drum-player 381 

381. Mechanical toy— kaiak paddler 381 

382. Kaiak carved from block of wood . , 382 

383. Drum 385 

384. Haudle of drum secured to rim 386 

385. Drum handles 387 

386. Ivory drumsticks 388 

387. Ancient carving — human head 393 

388. Wooden figures 393 

389. Carving — face of Eskimo man 394 

390. Grotesque soapstone image — "walrus man " 394 

391. Bone image of dancer 395 

392. Bone image of man 396 

393. Grotesque bone image 396 

394. Bone image — sitting man 396 

395. Human figure carved from walrus ivory 396 

396. Ivory carving — three human heads 397 

397. Rude human head, carved from a walrus tooth 397 

398. Elaborate ivory carving 398 

399. Bear carved of soapstone 398 

400. Bear flaked from flint 399 

401. (a) Bear carved from bone ; (6) bear's head 399 

402. Ivory figures of bears 400 

403. Rude ivory figures of walrus - 401 

404. Images of seal — wood and bone 401 

405. White whale carved from gypsum 402 

406. Wooden carving — whale 403 

407. Whale carved from soapstone 403 

408. Rude Hat image of whale 404 

409. Ivory image of whale 404 

410. Ivory image of whale - 404 

411. Pair of little ivory whales 40s 

412. Soapstone image of imaginary animal 405 

413. Ivory carving, seal with fish's head 405 

414. Ivory carving, ten-legged bear 406 

415. Ivory carving, giant holding whales 406 

416. Double-headed animal carved from antler 407 

417. Ivory carving — dog 407 


Fig. 418. (a) Piece of ivory, engraved with figures; (b) development of 

pattern 408 

419. (a) Similar engraved ivory ; (6) development of pattern 408 

420. Ivory doll 409 

421. Whale flaked from glass 435 

422. Whale flaked from red jasper 435 

423. Ancient whale amulet, of wood 43(5 

424. Amulet of whaling — stuffed godwit 438 

425. Amulet consisting of ancient jade adz 438 

426. Little box containing amulet for whaling 439 

427. Amulet for catching fowl with bolas 439 

428. Box of dried bees — amulet 440 

9 ETH 2 



The Hunting Grounds 

of the: 

Point Barrow Eskimo 

Based. onJLieut PHHa.y's'!Map of 
Explor-atujns iii Nortlavestern Alaska,'; 
Signal Service. (JS^A. 1885 

Compiled, by 
John Murdoch 




Sea/lory Ids 



Y*JVunana fdej\ 




if ' 






By John Murdoch. 


The International Polar Expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska, was 
organized in 1S81 by the Chief Signal Officer of the Army, for the pur- 
pose of cooperating in the work of circumpolar observation proposed 
by the International Polar Conference. The expedition, which was 
commanded by Lieut. P. H. Ray, Eighth Infantry, U. S. Army, sailed 
from San Francisco July 18, 1881, and reached Cape Smyth, 11 miles 
southwest of Point Barrow, on September 8 of the same year. Here a 
permanent station was established, where the party remained until 
August 28, 1883, when the station was abandoned, and the party sailed 
for San Francisco, arriving there October 7. 

Though the main object of the expedition was the prosecution of the 
observations in terrestrial magnetism and meteorology, it was possible 
to obtain a large collection of articles illustrating the arts and industries 
of the Eskimo of the region, with whom the most friendly relations 
were early established. Nearly all of the collection was made by barter, 
the natives bringing their weapons, clothing, and other objects to the 
station for sale. Full notes on the habits and customs of the Eskimo 
also were collected by the different members of the party, especially 
by the commanding officer; the interpreter, Capt. E. P. Herendeen; the 
surgeon, Dr. George Scott Oldmixon, and myself, who served as one of 
the naturalists and observers of the expedition. It fell to my share 
to take charge of and catalogue all the collections made by the expedi- 
tion, and therefore I had especially favorable opportunities for becoming 
acquainted with the ethnography of the region. Consequently, upon 
the return of the expedition, when it was found that the ethnological 
observations would occupy too much space for publication in the official 
report, 1 all the collections and notes were intrusted to me for the purpose 
of preparing a special report. The Smithsonian Institution, through 
the kindness of the late Prof. Spencer F. Baird, then secretary, furnished 

1 Report of the International Polar Expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska, by Lieut. P. H. Ray, Waeu 
ington, 1885. 



a room where the work of studying the collection could be carried on, 
and allowed me access to its libraries and to the extensive collections 
of the National Museum for the purposes of comparison. The Director 
of the Bureau of Ethnology, Maj. J. W. Powell, kindly agreed to furnish 
the illustrations for the work and to publish it as part of his annual 
report, while the Chief Signal Officer, with the greatest consideration, 
permitted me to remain in the employ of his Bureau until the completion 
of the work. 

Two years were spent in a detailed analytical study of the articles in 
the collection; until all the information that could be gathered from the 
objects themselves and from the notesof the collectors had been recorded. 
Careful comparisons were made with the arts and industries of the 
Eskimo race as illustrated by the collections in the National Museum 
and the writings of various explorers, and these frequently resulted in 
the elucidation of obscure points in the history of the Point Barrow 
Eskimo. In the form in which it is presented this work contains, it is 
believed, all that is known at the present day of the ethnography of 
this interesting people. 

Much linguistic material was also collected, which 1 hope some time 
to be able to prepare for publication. 

The observations are arranged according to the plan proposed by 
Prof. Otis T. Mason in his " Ethnological Directions, etc," somewhat 
modified to suit the circumstances. In writing Eskimo words the alpha- 
bet given in Powell's " Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages" 
has been used, with the addition » for an obscure a (like the final a in 
soda), d for a similar obscure e, and 6 for the sound of the German o or 
French eu, 

I desire to express my gratitude to the late Prof. Spencer F. Baird, 
Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, to the late Gen. William B. 
Hazen, Chief Signal Officer of the Army, and to Maj. J. W. Powell, Di- 
rector of the Bureau of Ethnology, for their kindness in enabling me to 
carry on these investigations. Grateful acknowledgment is due for valu- 
able assistance to various members of the scientific staff of the National 
Museum, especially to the curator of ethnology, Prof. Otis T. Mason, 
and to Mr. William H. Dall. Valuable suggestions were received from 
Mr. Lucien M. Turner, Dr. Franz Boas, the late Dr. End] Bessels, and 
Dr. H. Rink, of Christiania. 


The following list is not intended for a, complete bibliography of what 
has been written on the ethnography of the Eskimo, but it is believed 
that it contains most of the important works by authors who have 
treated of these people from personal observation. Such of the less im- 
portant works have been included as contain any references bearing 
upon the subject of the study. 

As it has been my object to go, whenever possible, to the original 
sources of information, compilations, whether scientific or popular, have 

Murdoch.] WORKS CONSULTED. 21 

not been referred to or included in this list, which also contains only 
the editions referred to in the text. 

Akmstrong, Alexander. A personal narrative of the discovery of the Northwest 
Passage ; with numerous incidents of travel and adventure during nearly rive 
years' continuous service in the Arctic regions while in search of the expe- 
dition under Sir John Franklin. London, 1857. 

Back, George. Narrative of the Arctic land expedition to the mouth of the Great 
Fish River and along the shores of the Arctic Ocean, in the years 1833, 1834, 
and 1835. Philadelphia, 1836. 

Beechey, Frederick William. Narrative of a. voyage to the Pacific and Beering's 
Strait to cooperate with the polar expeditions : performed in His Majesty's 
ship Blossom, under the command of Capt. F. W. Beechey, etc., etc., etc., 
in the years 1825, 1826, 18'27, and 1828. London, 1831. 

Bessels, Emil. Die amerikanische Nordpol-Expedition. Leipzig, 1878. 

The northernmost inhabitants of the earth. An ethnographic sketch. < Amer- 

ican Naturalist, vol. 18, pp. 861-882. 1884. 

Einige Worte liber die Inuit (Eskimo) des Smith-Sundes, nebst Bemerkungen 

iiber Inuit-Schadel. <^Archiv fiir Anthropologic, vol. 8, pp. 107-122. 
Braunschweig, 1875. 

Boas, Franz. The Central Eskimo. In Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau of Eth- 
nology, pp. 399-669. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1888. 

Brodbeck, J. Nach Osten. Untersuchungsfahrt nach der Ostkuste Gronlands, vom 
2. bis 12. August 1881. Niesky, 1882. 

Chappell, E. (Lieut., R. N.). Narrative of a voyage to Hudson's Bay in His Majesty's 
ship Rosamond, containing some account of the northeastern coast of Amer- 
ica, and of the tribes inhabiting that remote region. London, 1817. 

Choris, L. Voyage Pittoresqne autour du Monde, avec des portraits des sauvages 
d'Amerique, d'Asie, d'Afrique, et des iles du Grand Ocean ; des paysages, des 
vues maritimes, et plusieurs objets d'kistoire naturelle; aecompagne' de 
descriptions par M. le Baron Cuvier, et M. A. de Chamisso, et d'observations 
eur les cranes humains par M. le Docteur Gall. Paris, 1822. 

Cook, James, and King, James. A voyage to the Pacific Ocean, undertaken by the 
command of His Majesty for making discoveries in the northern hemisphere, 
to determine the position and extent of the west side of North America ; its 
distance from Asia; and the practicability of a northern passage to Europe, 
in the years 1776, 1777, 1778, 1779, and 1780. London, 1784. 3 vols. (Com- 
monly called "Cook's Third Voyage.") 

"Corwin." Cruise of the revenue steamer Corwin in Alaska and the N. W. Arctic 
Ocean in 1881. Notes and memoranda. Medical and anthropological ; botan- 
ical; ornithological. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1883. 

Crantz, David. The history of Greenland: containing a description of the country 
and its inhabitants; and particularly a relation of the mission carried on for 
above these thirty years by the Unitas Fratrum, at New Herrnhuth and Lich- 
tenfels, in that country. 2 volumes. London, 1767. 

Dall, William Healy. Alaska and its Resources. Boston, 1870. 

On masks, labrets, and certain aboriginal customs, with an inquiry into the 

bearing of their geographical distribution. <CThird Annual Report of the 
Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 1881. 
Washington, Government Printing Office, 1884. 

Tribes of the extreme northwest. <Coutributions to North American Ethnol- 
ogy, vol. 1. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1877. 

[Davis, John]. The first voyage of Master John Dauis, vndertaken in June 1585: for 
the discoverie of the Northwest Passage. Written by John Janes Marchant 
Seruant to the worshipfull M. William Sanderson. <Hakluyt, " The princi- 
pal navigations, voiages, etc.," pp. 776-780. London, 1589. 


[Davis, John]. The second voyage attempted by Master John Daiiis with others 
for the diseoverie of the Northwest passage, in Anno 1586. <Hakluyt, 
" The principal navigations, voiages, etc.," pp. 781-786. London, 1589. 

The third voyage Northwestward, made by John Dams, Gentleman, as chief e 

Captaine and Pilot generall, for the diseoverie of a passage to the Isles of the 
Molucca, or the coast of China, in the yeere 1587. Written by John Janes, 
Seruant to the aforesayd M. William Sanderson. <^Hakluyt, "The princi- 
pal navigations, voiages, etc.," pp. 789-792. London, 1589. 

Dease, Peter W., and Simpson, Thomas. An account of the recent arctic dis- 
coveries by Messrs. Dease and Simpson. <^ Journal of the Royal Geographi- 
cal Society of London, vol. 8, pp. 213-225. London, 1838. 

Egede, Hans. A description of Greenland. Showing the natural history, situation, 
boundaries, and face of the country ; the nature of the soil ; the rise and prog- 
ress of the old Norwegian colonies; the ancient and modern inhabitants; 
their genius and way of life, and produce of the soil; their plants, beasts, 
fishes, etc. Translated from the Danish. London, 1745. 

Ellis, H. A voyage to Hudson's Bay, by the Dobbs Galley and California, in the 
years 1746 and 1747, for discovering a northwest passage. London, 1748. 

Franklin, Sir John. Narrative of a journey to the shores of the Polar Sea in the 
years 1819-20-21-22. Third edition, 2 vols. London, 1824. 

Narrative of a second expedition to the shores of the Polar Sea in the years 1825, 

1826, and 1827. Including an account of the progress of a detachment to the 
eastward, by John Richardson. London, 1828. 

[Frobisher, Martin] . The first voyage of M. Martine Frobisher to the Northwest for 
the search of the straight or passage to China, written by Christopher Hall, 
and made in the yeere of our Lord 1576. <^Hakluyt, ''The principal navi- 
gations, voiages, etc.," pp. 615-622. London, 1589. 

The second voyage of Master Martin Frobisher, made to the West and Northwest 

Regions, in the yeere, 1577. With a description of the Countrey and people. 
Written by Dionise Settle. <Haklnyt, "The principal navigations, voi- 
ages, etc.," pp. 622-630. London, 1589. 

The third and last voyage into Meta Incognita, made by M. Martin Frobisher, 

in the year 1578. Written by Thomas Ellis. <Hakluyt, "The principal 
navigations, voiages, etc.," pp. 630-635. London, 1589. 

Gilder, W. H. Sehwatka's search. Sledging in the arctic in quest of the Franklin 
records. New York, 1881. 

Graah, W. A. (Capt.). Narrative of an expedition to the east coast of Greenland, 
sent by order of the King of Denmark, in search of the lost colonies. 
Translated from the Danish. London, 1837. 

Hakluyt, Richard. The principall navigations, voiages and discoveries of the 
English nation, made by Sea or over Land, to the most remote and farthest 
distant Quarters of the earth at any time within the compasse of these 100 
yeeres. London, 1589. 

Hall, Charles Francis. Arctic researches and life among the Esquimaux: being 
the narrative of an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, in the years 
1860, 1861, and 1862. New York, 1865. 

Narrative of the second arctic expedition made by Charles F. Hall : his voyage 

to Repulse Bay, sledge journeys to the'Straits of Fury and Hecla and to King 
William's Land, and residence among tin- Eskimos during the years 1864-'69. 
Washington, Government Printing Office, 1879. 

Healy, M. A. Report of the cruise of the revenue marine steamer Corwin in the 
Arctic Ocean in the year 1885. Washington, Government Printing Office, 

Holm, G. Konebaads-Expeditionen til Gr0nlands 0stkyst 1883-'85. <Geografisk 
Tidskrift, vol. 8, pp. 79-98. Copenhagen, 1886. 

Murdoch.) WOKKS CONSULTED. 23 

Holm,G. and Garde, V. Den danske Konebaads-Expeditionen til Gr0nlands Ostkyst, 

populrert beskreven. Copenhagen, 1887. 
Hooper, C. L. (Capt.). Report of the cruise of the U. 8. revenue steamer Thomas 

Corwin, in the Arctic Ocean, 1881. Washington, Government Printing Office, 

Hooper, William Hulme (Lieut.). Ten months among the tents of the Tuski, with 

incidents of an arctic boat expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, as 

far as the Mackenzie River and Cape Bathurst. London, 1853. 
Kane, Elisiia Kent (Dr.). Arctic explorations in the years 1853, '54, '55. Two vols. 

Philadelphia, 1856. 

The U. S. Grinnell expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. A personal 

narrative. New York, 1853. 
Kirkby, W. W. (Archdeacon). A journey to the Youcan, Russian America. < An- 
nual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for the 

year 1864, pp. 416-420. Washington, 1865. 
Klutschak, Heinricii W. Als Eskimo unter den Eskimos. Eine Schilderung der 

Erlebnisse der Sekwatka'seken Franklin-aufsuchungs-expedition in den 

Jahren 1878-'80. Wien, Pest, Leipzig, 1881. 
Kotzebue, O. von. A voyage of discovery into the South Sea and Beering's Straits, 

for the purpose of exploring a northeast passage, undertaken in the years 

1815-1818. Three volumes. London. 1821. 
Krause, Aurel (Dr.). Die Bevolkerungsverhaltuisse der Tschuktscher-Halbinsel. 

^Deutsche geographisehe Blatter, vol. 6, pp. 248-278. Bremen, 1883. 

and Arthur. Die Expedition der Bremer geographischen Gesellschaft nach 

der Tschuktscher-Halbinsel. ^Deutsche geographisehe Blatter, vol. 5, pp. 
1-35, 111-133. Bremen, 1882. 

Die wissenschaftliche Expedition der Bremer geographischen Gesellschaft nach 

dem Kiistengebiete an der Beringsstrasse. ^Deutsche geographisehe Blat- 
ter, vol. 4, pp. 245-281. Bremen, 1881. 

Kumlien, Ludwig. Contributions to the natural history of Arctic America, made in 
connection with the Howgate polar expedition, 1877-78. Bulletin of the U. 
S. National Museum, No. 15. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1879. 

Lisiansky, Urey. A voyage round the world, in the years 1803, '4, '5, and '6, per- 
formed by order of His Imperial Majesty Alexander the First, Emperor of 
Russia, in the ship Neva. London, 1814. 

Lyon, G. F. (Capt.). The private journal of Captain G. F. Lyon, of H. M. S. Heela, 
during the recent voyage of discovery under Captain Parry. Boston, 1824. 

M'Clure, Robert Le Mesurier (Capt.). See Osborn, Sherard (editor). 

Mackenzie, Alexander. Voyages from Montreal, on the river St. Lawrence, through 
the continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans, in the 
years 1789 and 1793. London, 1802. 

Maguire, Rochfort (Commander). Proceedings of Commander Maguire, H. M. dis- 
covery ship "Plover." <[ Parliamentary Reports, 1854, xlii, pp. 165-185. 
London, 1854. 

Proceedings of Commander Maguire, Her Majesty's discovery ship "Plover." 

<^ Further papers relative to the recent arctic expedition in search of Sir 
John Franklin, etc., p. 905 (second year). Presented to both houses of Par- 
liament, January, 1855. London. 

Morgan, Henry. The relation of the course which the Sunshine, a bark of fiftie 
tunnes, and the Northstarre, a small pinnesse, being two vessels of the fleet 
of M. John Dauis, held after he had sent them from him to discouer the pass- 
age between Groenland and Island. Written by Henry Morgan, seruant to 
M. William Sanderson, of Loudon. <^Hakluyt, "The principall navigations, 
voiages, etc.," pp. 787-9. London, 1589. 

Murdoch, John. The retrieving harpoon ; an uudescribed type of Eskimo weapon 
< American Naturalist, vol. 19, 1885, pp. 423-425. 


Murdoch, John. On tho Siberian origin of some customs of the western Eskimos. 
-^American Anthropologist, vol. 1, pp. 325-336. Washington, 1888. 

A study of the Eskimo bows in the U. S. National Museum. <^ Smithsonian 

Report for 1881, pt. II, pp. 307-316. Washington, Government Printing 
Office, 1885. 

Nordenskiold, Adolf Eric. The voyage of the Vega round Asia and Europe. 

Translated by Alexander Leslie. 2 vols. London, 1881. 
. Osborn, Sherard (editor). The discovery of the northwest passage by H. M. S. In- 
vestigator, Capt. R. M'Clure, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854. Edited by Com- 
mander Sherard Osborn, from the logs and journals of Capt. Robert Le M. 
M'Clure. Appendix : Narrative of Commander Maguire, wintering at Point 
Barrow. London, 1856. 

Parry, William Edward (Sir). Journal of a voyage for the discovery of a north- 
west passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific ; performed in the years 
1S1F1— '20, in His Majesty's ships Hecla and Griper. Second edition. London, 

Journal of a second voyage for the discovery of a northwest passage from the 

Atlantic to the Pacific; performed in the years 1821-'22-'23, in His Majesty's 
ships Fury and Hecla. London, 1824. 

Petitot, Emile Fortune Stanislas Joseph, (Rev.). Geographic de l'Athabascaw- 
Mackenzie. ^Bulletin de la Societe" de Geographic, [6] vol. 10, pp. 5-12, 
126-183, 242-290. Paris, 1875. 

Vocabulaire Francais-Esquimaux, dialecte des Tchiglit des bouches du 

Mackenzie et de l'Anderson, pre'ceVhS d'une monographic de cette tribu et de 
notes grammaticales. Vol. 3 of Pinart's " Bibliotheque de Linguistique et d' 
Ethnographie Ame'rieaines." 

Petroff, Ivan. Report on the population, industries, and resources of Alaska. 
<Tentk Census of the U. S. Washington, Government Printing Office, 

Powell, Joseph S. (Lieut.). Report of Lieut. Joseph S. Powell: Relief expedition 
to Point Barrow, Alaska. <[Signal Service Notes, No. V, pp. 13-23. Wash- 
ington, Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1883. 

Rae, John (Dr.). Narrative of an expedition to the shores of the Arctic Sea in 1846 
and 1847. London, 1850. 

Ray, Patrick Henry (Lieut.). Report of the International Polar Expedition to 
Point Barrow, Alaska. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1885. 

Report of Lieut. P. Henry Ray: Work at Point Barrow, Alaska, from Septem- 
ber 16, 1881, to August 25, 1882. <Signal Service Notes, No. V, pp. 35-40. 
Washington, Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1883. 

Richardson, John (Sir.). Arctic searching expedition : A journal of a boat voyage 
through Rupert's Laud and the Arctic Sea, in search of the discovery ships 
under command of Sir John Franklin. 2 volumes. London, 1851. 

Eskimos, their geographical distribution. ^Edinburgh New Philosophical 

Journal, vol. 52, pp. 322-323. Edinburgh, 1852. 

The polar regions. Edinburgh, 1861. 

Rink, Henrik [ Johan] (Dr. ). Die diinische Expedition nach der Ostkiiste Gronlands, 
1883-1885. <Deutsche geographische Blatter, vol. x, pp. 341-353. Bremen, 

Danish Greenland, its people and its products. London, 1877. 

The Eskimo tribes. Their distribution and characteristics, especially in regard 

to language. Meddelelser om Gr0nland, vol. 11. Copenhagen, 1887. 

Die Ostgronlander in ihrem Verhaltnisse zu den ubrjgei. Eskimostiiminen. 

<Deutsche geographische Blatter, vol. 9, pp. 228-239. Bremen, 1886. 

0stgr0nhendeine i deres Forhold til Vestgronhenderne og de 0vrige Eskimostam- 

mer. <Geografisk Tidskrift, vol. 8, pp. 139-145. Copenhagen, 1886. (Nearly 
the same as the above. ) 



Rink, Henrik [Julian]. Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo, with a sketch of their 
hahits, language, and other peculiarities. Translated from the Danish. 
Edinburgh, 1875. 

Ross, John. Appendix to the narrative of a secoud voyage in search of a Northwest 
passage, and of a residence in the arctic regions during the years 1829, 1830, 
1831, 1832, 1833. London, 1835. 

Narrative of a second voyage in search of a northwest passage, and of a resi- 
dence in the arctic regions (luring the years 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833. Phila- 
delphia, 1835. 

A voyage of discovery, made under the orders of the admiralty in His Majesty's 

ships Isabella and Alexander, for the purpose of exploring Baffin's Bay, and 
inquiring into the probability of a northwest passage. London, 1819. 

Schwatka, Frederick. The Netschilluk Innuit. <Science, vol. 4, pp. 543-5. New 
York, 1884. 

Nimrod in the North, or hunting and fishing adventures in the arctic regions. 

New York, 1885. 

Scoresby, William, Jr. (Captain). Journal of a voyage to the northern whale- 
fishery ; including researches and discoveries on the eastern coast of Green- 
land, made in the summer of 1822, in the ship Baffin, of Liverpool. Edin- 
burgh, 1823. 

Seemann, Berthold. Narrative of the voyage of H. M. S. Herald, during the years 
1845-'51, under the command of Captain Henry Kellett, R. N., C. B. ; being 
a circumnavigation of the globe and three cruises to the arctic regions in 
search of Sir John Franklin. Two vols. London, 1853. 

Simpson, John (Dr. ). Observations on the western Eskimo, and the country they in- 
habit ; from notes taken during two years at Point Barrow. <[A selection of 
papers on arctic geography and ethnology. Reprinted and presented to the 
arctic expedition of 1875 by the Royal Geographical Society ("Arctic Blue 
Book"), pp. 233-275. London, 1875. (Reprinted from "Further papers," 
etc., Pari. Rep., 1855.) 

Simpson, Thomas. Narrative of the discoveries on the north coast of America, 
effected by the officers of the Hudson's Bay Company during the years 1836-39. 
London, 1843. 

Sollas, W. J. On some Eskimos' bone implements from the east coast of Greenland. 
<^ Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 
9, pp. 329-336. London, 1880. 

Sutherland, P. C. (Dr.). On the Esquimaux. -^Journal of the Ethnological So- 
ciety of London, vol. 4, pp. 193-214. London, 1856. 

Wrangell, Ferdinand von. Narrative of an expedition to the Polar Sea in the years 
1820, 1821, 1822, and 1823. Edited by Maj. Edward Sabine. London, 1840. 


The people whose arts and industries are represented by the collec- 
tion to be described are the Eskimo of the northwestern extremity of 
the continent of North America, who make permanent homes at the two 
villages of Nuwuk and Utkiavwin. Small contributions to the collec- 
tion were obtained from natives of Wainwright Inlet and from people of 
the Inland Eiver (Nunatanmiun) who visited the northern villages. 

Nuwuk, "the Point," is situated on a slightly elevated knoll at the 
extremity of Point Barrow, in lat. 71° 23' K, long. 156° 17' W., and 
Utkiavwin, "the Cliffs," at the beginning of the high land at Cape 
Smyth, 11 miles southwest from Nuwuk. The name Utkiavwin was ex- 
plained as meaning "the high place, whence one can look out," and was 
said to be equivalent to lkplk, a cliff. This name appears on the various 
maps of this region under several corrupted forms, due to carelessness 
or inability to catch the finer distinctions of sound. It first appears on 
Capt. Maguire's map 1 as "Ot-ki-a-wing," a form of the word very near 
the Eskimo pronunciation. On Dr. Simpson's map 2 it is changed to 
"Ot-ke-a-vik," which on the admiralty chart is misprinted "Otkiovik." 
Petroff on his map 3 calls it "Ootiwakh," while he gives an imaginary 
village " Ootkaiowik, Arctic Ocean," of 55 inhabitants, in his census of 
the Arctic Division (op. cit., p. 4), which does not appear upon his map. 

Our party, I regret to say, is responsible for the name " Ooglaamie " or 
"Uglaamie, "which has appeared on many maps since -our return. Strictly 
speaking this name should be used only as the official name of the United 
States signal station. It arose from a misunderstanding of the name as 
heard the day after we arrived, and was even adopted by the natives in 
talking with us. It was not until the second year that we learned the 
correct form of the word, which has been carefully verified. 

The inhabitants of these two villages are so widely separated from 
their neighbors — the nearest permanent villages are at Point Belcher 
and Wainwright Inlet, 75 miles southwest, and Demarcation Point, 350 
miles east 4 — and so closely connected with each other by intermarriage 
and common interests, that they may be considered as a single people. 
In their hunting and trading expeditions they habitually range from the 
neighborhood of Befuge Inlet along the coast to Barter Island, going 
inland to the upper waters of the large rivers which flow northward 
into the Arctic Ocean east of Point Barrow. Small parties occasionally 
travel as far as Wainwright Inlet and more rarely to Point Hope, and 

■Pari. Reports, 185-1, vol. 42, p. 186. 
'Further Papers, &c, Pari. Rep. (1855). 
3 Report on the population, etc., of Alaska. 

i Capt. E. E. Smith, who in command of a steam whaler penetrated as far east as Return Reef in the 
summer of 1885, says that the natives told him there was no permanent village west of Hersehel Island. 



some times as far as the Mackenzie Eiver. The extent of their wander- 
ings will be treated of more fully in connection with their relations to 
the other natives of the Northwest. They appear to be unacquainted 
with the interior except for about 100 miles south of Point Barrow. 

The coast from Refuge Inlet runs nearly straight in a generally north- 
east direction to Point Barrow, and consists of steep banks of clay, 
gravel, and pebbles, in appearance closely resembling glacial drift, bor- 
dered by a narrow, steep beach of pebbles and gravel, and broken at 
intervals by steep gulleys which are the channels of temporary streams 
running only during the period of melting snow, and by long, narrow, 
and shallow lagoons, to whose edges the cliffs slope gradually down, 
sometimes ending in low, steep banks. The mouths of these lagoons 
are generally rather wide, and closed by a bar of gravel thrown up by 
the waves during the season of open water. In the spring, the snow 
and ice on the land melt months before the sea opens and flood the ice 
on the lagoons, which also melts gradually around the edges until there 
is a sufficient head of water in the lagoon to break through the bar at 
the lowest point. This stream soon cuts itself a channel, usually about 
20 or 30 yards wide, through which the lagoon is rapidly drained, soon 
cutting out an open space of greater or less extent in the sea ice. 
Before the sea opens the lagoon is drained down to its level, and the 
tide ebbs and flows through the channel, which is usually from knee- 
deep to waist-deep, so that the lagoon becomes more or less brackish. 
When the sea gets sufficiently open for waves to break upon the beach, 
they in a short time bring in enough gravel to close the outlet. The 
cliffs gradually decrease in height till they reach Cape Smyth, where 
they are about 25 feet high, and terminate in low knolls sloping down 
to the banks of the broad lagoon Isutkwy, whicb is made by the con- 
fluence of two narrow, sinuous gulleys, and is only 10 feet deep in the 
deepest part. 

Rising from the beach beyond the mouth of this lagoon is a slight ele- 
vation, 12 feet above the sea level, which was anciently the site of a 
small village, called by the same name as the lagoon. On this elevation 
was situated the United States signal station of Ooglaamie. Beyond 
this the land is level with the top of the beach, which is broad and nearly 
flat, raised into a slight ridge on the outer edge. About half a mile 
from the station, just at the edge of the beach, is the small lagoon 
Imernye, about 200 yards in diameter, and nearly filled up with marsh. 
From this point the land slopes down to Elson Bay, a shallow body 
of water inclosed by the sandspit which forms Point Barrow. This is 
a continuation of the line of the beach, varying in breadth from 200 to 
600 yards and running northeast for 5 miles, then turning sharply to the 
east-southeast and running out in a narrow gravel spit, 2 miles long, 
which is continued eastward by a chain of narrow, low, sandy islands, 
which extend as far as Point Tangent. At the angle of the point the 
land is slightly elevated into irregular turf-covered knolls, on which the 


village of Nuwiik is situated. At various poiuts along the beach are 
heaps of gravel, sometimes 5 or 6 feet in height, which are raised by the 
ice. Masses of old ice, bearing large quantities of gravel, are pushed 
up on the beach during severe storms and melt rapidly in the summer, 
depositing their load of gravel and pebbles in a heap. These masses 
are often pushed up out of reach of the waves, so that the heaps of 
gravel are left thenceforth undisturbed. 

Between Imernyu and Elson Bay (Ta'syuk) is a series of large shal- 
low lagoons, nearly circular and close to the beach, which rises in a regu- 
lar sea-wall. All have low steep banks on the land side, bordered with 
a narrow beach. The first of these, I'kpiliu ("that which has high 
banks"), breaks out in t\\e spring through a narrow channel in the beach 
in the manner already described, and is salt or brackish. The next is 
fresh and connected with Ikpilin by a small stream running along be- 
hind the beach. It is called Si'n-nyii, and receives a rivulet from a 
small fresh-water lake 3 or 4 miles inland. The third, Ime'kpuu ("great 
water"), is also fresh, and has neither tributary nor outlet. The fourth, 
Imekpu'niglu, is brackish, and empties into Elson Bay by a small stream. 
Between this stream and the beach is a little fresh-water pond close to 
the bend of Elson Bay, which is called Kikytikta'ktoro, from one or two 
little islands (kikyu'kte) near one end of it. 

Back from the shore the land is but slightly elevated, and is marshy 
and interspersed with many small lakes and ponds, sometimes con- 
nected by inconsiderable streams. This marsh passes gradually into 
a somewhat higher and drier rolling plain, stretching back inland from 
the cliffs and growing gradually higher to the south. Dr. Simpson, on 
the authority of the Point Barrow natives, describes the country as 
" uniformly low, and full of small lakes or pools of fresh water to a dis- 
tance of about 50 miles from the north shore, where the surface becomes 
undulating and hilly, and, farther south, mountainous." 1 This descrip- 
tion has been substantially verified by Lieut. Bay's explorations. South 
of the usual deer-hunting ground of the natives he found the land decid- 
edly broken and hilly, and rising gradually to a considerable range of 
mountains, running approximately east and west, which could be seen 
from the farthest point he reached. 2 

The natives also speak of high rocky land " a long way off to the 
east," which some of them have visited for the purpose of hunting the 
mountain sheep. The low rolling plain in the immediate vicinity of 
Point Barrow, which is all of the country that could be visited by our 
party when the land was clear of snow, presents the general appear- 
ance of a country overspread with glacial drift. The landscape is 
strikingly like the rolling drift hills of Cape Cod, and this resemblance 
is increased by the absence of trees and the occurrence of ponds in all 
the depressions. There are no rocks in situ visible in this region, and 

1 Arctic papers, p. 233. 

2 Report V. S. International Polar Expedition to 1'oint Barrow, p. 28. 


large bowlders are absent, while pebbles larger than the fist are rare. 
The surface of the ground is covered with a thin soil, supporting a rather 
sparse vegetation of grass, flowering plants, creeping willows, and 
mosses, which is thicker on the higher hillsides and forms a layer of 
turf about a foot thick. Large tracts of comparatively level ground 
are almost bare of grass, aud consist of irregular hummocks of black, 
muddy soil, scantily covered with light-colored lichens and full of small 
pools. The lowlands, especially those back of the beach lagoons, are 
marshes, thickly covered with grass and sphagnum. The whole sur- 
face of the land is exceedingly wet in summer, except the higher knolls 
and hillsides, and for about 100 yards back from the edge of the cliffs. 
The thawing, however, extends down only about a foot or eighteen 
inches. Beyond this depth the ground is perpetually frozen for an 
unknown distance. There are no streams of any importance in the im- 
mediate neighborhood of Point Barrow. On the other hand, three of 
the rivers emptying into the Arctic Ocean between Point Barrow and 
the Oolville, which Dr. Simpson speaks of as " small and hardly known 
except to persons who have visited them," ' have been found to be con- 
siderable streams. Two of these were visited by Lieut. Bay in his ex- 
ploring trips in 1882 and 1883. The first, Kua'ru, is reached after trav- 
eling about 50 miles from Point Barrow in a southerly direction. It 
has been traced only for a small part of its course, and there is reason 
to believe, from what the natives say, that it is a tributary of the sec- 
ond named river. Lieut. Bay visited the upper part of the second 
river, Kulugrua (named by him "Meade River"), in March, 1882, when 
he went out to join the native deer hunters encamped on its banks, just 
on the edge of the hilly country. On his return he visited what the 
natives assured him was the mouth of this river, and obtained observa- 
tions for its geographical position. Early in April, 1883, he again vis- 
ited the upper portion of the stream, and traced it back some distance 
into the hilly country. The intermediate portion has never been sur- 
veyed. At the time of each of his visits the river was, of course, frozen 
and the ground covered with snow, but he was able to see that the 
river was of considerable size, upwards of 200 yards wide where he first 
reached it, about 60 miles from its mouth, and showing evidences of a 
large volume of water iu the spring. It receives several tributaries. ( See 
maps, Pis. I and n.) 

The third river is known only by hearsay from the natives. It is 
called I'kpikpuh (Great Cliff), and is about 40 miles (estimated from 
day's journeys) east of Kulu'grua. It is described as being a larger and 
more rapid stream than the other two, and so deep that it does not 
freeze down to the bottom on the shallow bars, as they say Kulu'grua 
does. Not far from its mouth it is said to receive a tributary from 
the east flowing out of a great lake of fresh water, called Ta'syukpuO 
(Great Lake.) This lake is separated from the sea by a comparatively 

1 Op. oit., p. 235. 


narrow strip of land, and is so large that a man standing on the north- 
ern shore can not see the "very high" land on the southern. It takes 
an umiak a day to travel the length of the lake under sail with a fair 
wind, and when the Xunatafiniiun coming from the south first saw the 
lake they said "Taxaio!" (the sea). 

Ou Capt. Maguire's map 1 this lake is laid down by the name 
"Taso'kpoh" "from native report." It is represented as lying between 
Smith Bay and Harrison Bay, and connected with each by a stream. 
Maguire seems to have heard nothing of Ikpikpun. This lake is not 
mentioned in the body of the report. Dr. Simpson, however, 2 speaks of 
it in the following words: "They [i. e., the trading parties when they 
reach Smith Bay] enter a river which conducts them to a lake, or rather 
series of lakes, and descend another stream which joins the sea in Har- 
rison Bay." They are well acquainted with the Colville River, which in 
their intercourse with us they usually called "the river at Ni'galek," 
Ni'gal6k being the well known name of the trading camp at the mouth. 
It was also sometimes spoken of as the "river of the Nunatanmiun." 
The Mackenzie Biver is known as "Kupun" (great river). We found 
them also acquainted with the large unexplored river called "Kok" on 
the maps, which flows into Wainwright Inlet. They called it " Ku" (the 
river). The river "Oogrua," which is laid down on the charts as empty- 
ing into Peard Bay, was never mentioned by the Point Barrow natives, 
but we were informed by Capt. Gifford, of the whaler Daniel Webster, 
who traveled along the coast from Point Barrow to Cape Lisburne after 
the loss of his vessel in 1881, that it is quite a considerable stream. He 
had to ascend it for about a day's journey — 20 miles, according to Capt. 
Hooper'* — before he found it shallow enough to ford. 


The climate of this region is thoroughly arctic in character, the mean 
annual temperature being 8° F., ranging from 65° to —52° F. Such 
temperatures as the last mentioned are, however, rare, the ordinary 
winter temperature being between —20° and —30° F., rarely rising 
during December, January, February, and March as high as zero, and 
still more rarely passing beyond it. The winter merges insensibly by 
slow degrees into summer, with occasional "cold snaps," and frosty 
nights begin again by the 1st of September. 

The sun is entirely below the horizon at Point Barrow for 72 days in 
the winter, beginning [November 15, though visible by refraction a day 
or two later at the beginning of this period and a day or two earlier at 
the end. The midday darkness is never complete even at the winter 
solstice, as the sun is such a short distance below the horizon, but the 
time suitable for outdoor employments is limited to a short twilight 
from 9 a. m. to 3 p. m. Theie is, of course, an equal time in the summer 

'Pari. Rep., 1854, vol. 42, opp. p. 186. v Op. cit., p. 265. 3 Convin Report, p. 72. 

Murdoch.] CLIMATE. 31 

when the sun is continually above the horizon, and for about a month 
before and after this period the twilight is so bright all night that no 
stars are visible. 

The snowfall during the winter is comparatively small. There is 
probably not more than a foot of snow on a level anywhere on the land, 
though it is extremely difficult to measure or estimate, as it is so line 
and dry that it is easily moved by the wind and is constantly in motion, 
forming deep, heavy, hard drifts imder all the banks, while many ex- 
posed places, especially the top of the sand beach, are swept entirely 
clean. The snow begins to soften and melt about the first week in 
April, but goes off very slowly, so that the ground is not wholly bare 
before the middle or end of June. The grass, however, begins to turn 
green early in June, and a few flowers are seen in blossom as early as 
June 7 or 8. 

Rain begins to fall as early as April, but cold, snowy days are not un- 
common later than that date. There is a good deal of clear, calm weather 
during the winter, and extremely low temperatures are seldom accom- 
panied by high wind. Violent storms are not uncommon, however, 
especially in November, during the latter part of January, and in Feb- 
ruary. One gale from the south and southwest, which occurred January 
22, 1882, reached a velocity of 100 miles an hour. The most agreeable 
season of the year is between the middle of May and the end of July, 
when the sea opens. After this there is much foggy and cloudy weather. 

Fresh-water ponds begin to freeze about the last week in September, 
and by the first or second week in October everything is sufficiently 
frozen for the natives to travel with sledges to fish through the ice of 
the inland rivers. Melting begins with the thawing of the snow, but the 
larger ponds are not clear of ice till the middle or end of July. The sea 
in most seasons is permanently closed by freezing and the moving in of 
heavy ice fields from about the middle of October to the end of July. 
The heavy ice in ordinary seasons does not move very far from the shore, 
while the sea is more or less encumbered with floating masses all summer. 
These usually ground on a bar which runs from the Seahorse Islands 
along the shore parallel to it and about 1,000 yards distant, forming a 
" barrier" or "land-floe" of high, broken hummocks, inshore of which 
the sea freezes over smooth and undisturbed by the pressure of the 
outer pack. 

Sometimes, however, the heavy pack, under the pressure of violent and 
long-continued westerly winds, pushes across the bar and is forced up 
on the beach. The ice sometimes comes in with great rapidity. The 
natives informed us that a year or two before the station was established 
the heavy ice came in against the village cliffs, tearing away part of the 
bank and destroying a house on the edge of the cliff so suddenly that 
one of the inmates, a large, stout man, was unable to escape through the 
trap-door and was crushed to death. Outside of the land-floe the ice is 
a broken pack, consisting of hummocks of fragmentary old and new ice, 
interspersed with comparatively level fields of the former. During the 


early part of the winter this pack is most of the time in motion, some- 
times moving northeastward with the prevailing current and grinding 
along the edge of the barrier, sometimes moving off to .sea before an off- 
shore wind, leaving "leads" of open water, which in calm weather are 
immediately covered with new ice (at the rate of (i inches in !M hours), 
and again coming in with greater or less violence against the edges of 
this new ice, crushing and crumpling it up against the barrier. Portions 
of the land-floe even float off and move away with the pack at this season. 

The westerly gales of the later winter, however, bring in great quan- 
tities of ice, which, pressing against the land-floe, are pushed up into 
hummocks and ground tirmlyin deeper water, thus increasing the breadth 
of the fixed land-floe until the line of separation between the laud-floe 
and the moving pack is 4 or 5 or sometimes even 8 miles from land. The 
hummocks of the land-floe show a tendency to arrange themselves in 
lines parallel to the shore, and if the pressure has not been too great 
there are often fields of ice of the season not over 4 feet thick between 
the ranges of hummocks, as was the case in the winter of 1881-'82. In 
the following year, however, the pressure was so great that there were 
no such fields, and even the level ice inside of the barrier was crushed 
into hummocks in many places. 

After the gales are over there is generally less motion in the pack, 
until about the middle of April, when easterly winds usually cause 
leads to open at the edge of the land-Hoe. These leads now continue to 
open and shut, varying in size with the direction and force of the wind. 
As the season advances, especially in -Inly, the melting of the ice on 
the surface loosens portions of the land-floe, which float off and join the 
pack, bringing the leads nearer to the shore. In the meantime the level 
shore ice has been cut away from the beach by the warm water running 
down from the land and has grown "rotten" and full of holes from the 
heat of the sun. By the time the outside ice has moved away so as to 
leave only the floes grounded on the bar the inside ice breaks up into 
loose masses, moving up and down with wind and current and ready 
to move off through the first break in the barrier. Portions of the re- 
maining barrier gradually break off and at last the whole finally floats 
and moves out with the pack, sometimes, as in 1881 — a very remarkable 
season — moving out of sight from the land. 

This final departure of the ice may take place at any time between 
the middle of July and the middle of August. East of Point Barrow 
we had opportunities only for hasty and superficial observations of the 
state of the ice. The land floe appears to form some distance outside 
of the sandy islands, and from the account of the natives there is much 
open water along shore early in the season, caused by the breaking up 
of the rivers. Dr. Simpson 1 learned from the natives that the trading 
parties which left the Point about the 1st of July found open water at 
Dease Inlet. This is more definite information than we were able to 
obtain. We only learned that they counted on finding open water a 
few days' journey east. 



Ill stature these people are of a medium height, robust and muscular, 
"inclining rather to spareness than corpulence," 2 though the fullness 
of the face and the thick fur clothing often gives the impression of 
the latter. There is, however, considerable individual variation among 
them in this respect. The women are as a rule shorter than the men, 
occasionally almost dwarfish, though some women are taller than many 
of the men. The tallest man observed measured 5 feet 9£ inches, and 
the shortest 4 feet 11 inches. The tallest woman was 5 feet 3 inches in 
height, and the shortest 4 feet J inch. The heaviest man weighed 204 
pounds and the lightest 126 pounds. One woman weighed 192 pounds 
and the shortest woman was also the lightest, weighing only 100 pounds. 3 
The hands and feet are small and well shaped, though the former soon 
become distorted and roughened by work. We did not observe the 
peculiar breadth of hands noticed by Dr. Simpson, nor is the shortness 
of the thumb which he mentions sufficient to attract attention. 4 Their 
feet are so small that only one of our party, who is much below the 
ordinary size, was able to wear the boots made by the natives for them- 
selves. Small and delicate hands and feet appear to be a universal 
characteristic of the Eskimo race and have been mentioned by most 
observers from Greenland to Alaska. 5 

The features of these people have been described by Dr. Simpson, 6 
and are distinctively Eskimo in type, as will be seen by comparing 
the accompanying portraits (Figs. 1, 2, 3, and 4, from photographs by 
Lieut. Ray) with the many pictures brought from the eastern Arctic 

1 Op. oit., p. 264. 

'Simpson, op. cit., p. 238. 

3 See Report of Point Barrow Expedition, p. 50, for a table of measurements of a number of indi- 
viduals selected at random from the natives of both villages and their visitors. 

«Op. cit., p. 238. 

6 Davis (1586) speaks of the "small, slender hands and feet" of the Greenlanders. Hakluyt's Voya- 
ges, etc. (1589), p. 782. 

"Their hands and feet are little and soft." Crantz, vol. 1, p. 133 (Greenland). 

Hands and feet "extremely diminutive," Parrj- 1st Voy., p. 282 (Baffin Land). 

"Their hands and feet are small and well formed." Kumlien Contrib., p. 15 (Cumberland Gulf). 

"Feet extraordinarily small." Ellis, Voyage, etc., p. 132 (Hudson Strait). 

Franklin (1st Exp., vol. 2, p. 180) mentions the small hands and feet of the two old Eskimo that he 
met at the Bloody Fall of the Coppermine River. 

"... boots purchased on the coast were seldom large enough for our people." Richardson 
Searching Exp., i, p. 344 (Cape Bathurst). 

"Their hands and feet are small." Petroff, Report, etc., p. 134 (Kuskoquim River). 

Chappell (Hudson Bay, pp. 59, 60) has a remarkable theory to account for the smallness of the 
extremities among the people of Hudson Strait. He believes that "the same intense cold which 
restricts vegetation to the form of creeping shrubs has also its effect upon the growth of mankind, 
preventing the extremities from attaining their due proportion" ! 

6 Op. cit., p. 238. 

9 ETH 3 



Fin. 1.— tTnalina, a man nf Nmvfik. 



regions by various explorers, some of which might easily pass for por- 
traits of persons of our acquaintance at Point Barrow. 1 

The face is broad, flat, and round, with high cheek bones and rather 
low forehead, broad across the brow and narrowing above, while the 
head is somewhat pointed toward the crown. The peculiar shape of the 

Fig. 2. — Mumufiina, a woman of Nuwnk. 

head is somewhat masked by the way of wearing the hair, and is best 
seen in the skull. The nose is short, with little or no bridge (few Eski- 
mo were able to wear our spring eye-glasses), and broad, especially 
across the alae nasa3, with a peculiar rounded, somewhat bulbous tip, 

1 One young man at Point Barrow looks remarkably like the well known " Eskimo Joe," as I remem- 
ber him in Boston in the winter of 1862-'63. 



and large nostrils. The eyes are horizontal, 1 with rather full lids, and 
are but slightly sunken below the level of the face. 

The mouth is large and the lips full, especially the under one. The 
teeth are naturally large, and in youth are white and generally regular, 
but by middle age they are generally worn down to flat-crowned stumps, 
as is usual among the Eskimo. The color of the skin is a light yellowish 

Fig. 3.— Akabiana, a youth of Dtkiavwifi. 

brown, with often considerable ruddy color on the cheeks and lips. 
There appears to be much natural variation in the complexion, some 
women being nearly as fair as Europeans, while other individuals seem 
to have naturally a coppery color. 2 .. In most cases the complexion ap- 
pears darker than it really is from the effects of exposure to the weather. 
All sunburn very easily, especially in the spring when there is a strong 
reflection from the snow. 

1 The expression of obliquity in the eyes, mentioned by Dr. Simpson (op. cit., p. 239), seems to me to 
have arisen from the shape of the cheek bones. I may bo mistaken, however, as no careful compari- 
sons were made on the spot. 

2 Frobisher says of the people of Baffin Land : " Their colour is not much unlike the sunburnt countrie 
man." HaUluyt's Voyages, etc. (1589), p. 627. 




The old are much wrinkled, and they frequently suffer from watery 
eyes, with large sacks under them, which begin to form at a compara- 
tively early age. There is considerable variation in features, as well as 
complexion, among them, even in cases where there seems to be no sus- 
picion of mixed blood. There were several men among them with de- 
cided aquiline noses and something of a Hebrew cast of countenance. 

Fig. 4. — Puka, a young man of Utkiavwin. 

The eyes are of various shades of dark brown — two pairs of light hazel 
eyes were observed — and are often handsome. The hair is black, per- 
fectly straight, and very thick. With the men it is generally coarser 
than with the women, who sometimes have very long and silky hair, 
though it generally does not reach much below the shoulders. The eye- 
brows are thin and the beard scanty, growing mostly upon the upper 
lip and chin, and seldom appearing under the age of 20. In this they 
resemble most Eskimo. Back, 1 however, speaks of the "luxuriant 

1 Journey, etc., p. 289. 



beards and flowing mustaches" of the Eskimo of the Great Fish River. 
Some of the older men have rather heavy black mustaches, but there is 
much variation in this respect. The upper part of the body (as much 
is commonly exposed in the house) is remarkably free from hair. The 
general expression is good humored and attractive. 

The males, even when very young, are remarkable for their graceful 
and dignified carriage. The body is held erect, with the shoulders 
square and chest well thrown out, the knees straight, and the feet firmly 
planted on the ground. In walking they move with long swinging elas- 
tic strides, the toes well turned out and the arms swinging. 

I can not agree with Dr. Simpson that the turning out of the toes 
gives " a certain peculiarity to their gait difficult to describe." ' I should 
say that they walked like well built athletic white men. The women, 
on the other hand, although possessing good physiques, are singularly 
ungraceful in their movements. They walk at a sort of shuffling half- 
trot, with the toes turned in, the body leaning forward, and the arms 
hanging awkwardly. 2 

A noticeable thing about the women is the remarkable flexibility of 
the body and limbs, and the great length of time they can stand in a 
stooping posture. (See Fig. 5 for a posture often assumed in working.) 

Fig. 5. — Woman stretching skins. 

Both men and women have a very fair share of muscular strength. 
Some of the women, especially, showed a power of carrying heavy loads 
superior to most white men. We were able to make no other compari- 
sons of their strength with ours. Their power of endurance is very 
great, and both sexes are capable of making long distances on foot. 
Two men sometimes spend 24 hours tramping through the rough ice in 
search of seals, and we knew of instances where small parties made 
journeys of 50 or 75 miles on foot without stopping to sleep. 

The women are not prolific. Although all the adults are or have been 
married, many of them are childless, and few have more than two chil- 
dren. One woman was known to have at least four, but investigations 
of this sort were rendered extremely difficult by the universal custom 

'Op.oit., p.238. 

2 Cf. Simpson, op. cit., p. 240. 



of adoption. Dr. Simpson heard of a "rare ease" where one woman had 
borne seven children. 1 We heard of no twins at either village, though 
we obtained the Eskimo word for twins. It was impossible to learn 
with certainty the age at which the women first bear children, from the 
impossibility of learning the age of any individuals in the absence of 
any fixed method of reckoning time. Dr. Simpson states that they do 
not commonly bear children before the age of 20, 2 and we certainly saw 
no mothers who appeared younger than this. We knew of but five cases 
of pregnancy in the two villages during the 2 years of our stay. Of 
these, one suffered miscarriage, and of the other four, only two of the 
infants lived more than a short time. It is exceedingly difficult, for the 
reasons stated above, to form any estimate of the age to which these 
people live, though it is natural to suppose that the arduous and often 
precarious existence which they lead must prevent any great longevity. 
Men and women who appeared to be 60 or over were rare. Yuksi'na, 
the so-called "chief" of Nuwtik, who was old enough to be a man of 
considerable influence at the time the Plover wintered at Point Barrow 
(1852-'54), was in 1881 a feeble, bowed, tottering old man, very deaf 
and almost blind, birt with his mental faculties apparently unimpaired. 
Gray hair appears uncommon. Even the oldest are, as a rule, but 
slightly gray. 


Diseases of the respiratory and digestive organs are the most frequent 
and serious ailments from which they suffer. The former are most 
prevalent toward the end of summer and early in winter, and are due 
to the natives sleeping on the damp ground and to their extreme care- 
lessness in exposing themselves to drafts of wind when overheated. 
Nearly everyone suffers from coughs and colds in the latter part of 
August, and many deaths occur at this season and the beginning of 
winter from a disease which appears to be pneumonia. A few cases, 
one fatal, of hemorrhage of the lungs were observed, which were proba- 
bly aggravated by the universal habit of inhaling tobacco smoke. The 
people suffer from diarrhea, indigestion, and especially from constipa- 

Gonorrhea appears common in both sexes, but syphilis seems to be 
unknown in spite of the promiscuous intercourse of the women with the 
whalemen. One case of uterine hemorrhage was observed. Cutaneous 
diseases are rare. A severe ulcer on the leg, of long standing, was cured 
by our surgeon, to whose observations I am chiefly indebted for what I 
have to say about the diseases of these people; and one man had lost 
the cartilage of his nose and was marked all over the body with hideous 
scars from what appeared to be some form of scrofulous disease. A 
single case of tumor on the deltoid muscle was observed. Kheumatism 
is rather frequent. All are subject to snow blindness in the spring, and 

1 Op. cit., p. 254. 2 Op. cit. p. 254. 


sores on the face from neglected frost bites are common. Many are 
blind in one eye from what appears to be cataract or leucoma, but only 
one case of complete blindness was noticed. Dr. Sutherland states that 
he does not recollect a single instance of total blindness among the 
Eskimo that he saw in Baffin Land, and expresses the opinion that "An 
individual in such a state would be quite unfit for the life of toil and 
hardship to which the hardy Esquimaux is exposed. The neglect con- 
sequent upon this helpless condition most probably cuts off its afflicted 
objects." l 

This seems quite reasonable on a priori grounds, but nevertheless the 
blind man at Cape Smyth had lived to middle age in very comfortable 
circumstances, and though supported to a great extent by his relatives 
he was nevertheless able to do a certain share of work, and had the 
reputation of being a good paddler for a whaling umiak. 

Injuries are rare. One man had lost both feet at the ankle and moved 
about with great ease and rapidity on his knees. All are subject to 
bleeding at the nose and usually plug the bleeding nostril with a bunch 
of deer hair. 2 

This habit, as it has been termed, of vicarious hemorrhage seems to 
be characteristic of the Eskimo race wherever they have been met with, 
and has been supposed to be a process of nature for relieving the full- 
ness of the circulatory system caused by their exclusively animal diet. 3 

Natural deformities and abnormalities of structure are uncommon, 
except strabismus, which is common and often, at least, congenital. One 
boy in Utkiavwin had his forehead twisted to one side, probably from 
some accident or difficulty during delivery. His intelligence did not 
seem to be impaired. The people are, as a rule, right handed, but that 
left-handed persons occasionally occur is shown by their having a word 
for a left-handed man. We also collected a "crooked knife," fitted for 
use with the left hand. 4 


As a rule they are quick-witted and intelligent, and show a great 
capacity for appreciating and learning useful things, especially mechan- 
ical arts. In disposition they are light-hearted and cheerful, not easily 
cast down by sorrow or misfortune, and though sometimes quick-tem- 
pered, their anger seldom lasts long. 5 They have a very keen sense of 
humor, and are fond of practical jokes, which they take in good part, 

1 Journ. Ethnol. Soc, vol. 4, p. 206. 

2 Compare what Davis wrote in 1586 of the Greeulanders : "These people are much given to bleed, 
and, therefore, stoppe theyr noses with deere hayre or the hayre of an elan." Haklnyt, Voyages, etc., 
1589, p. 782. 

3 Egede, Greenland, p. 120; Crantz, vol. 1, p. 234 (Greenland) ; Southerland. Journ. Ethnol. Soc, vol. 
iv, p. 207 (Baffin Land); Chappell, "Hudson Bay," p. 74 (North Shore of Hudson Strait); Lyon, 
Journal, p. 18 (Hudson Strait); Franklin, 1st Exp., I, p. 29 (Hudson Strait); Parry. 2d Voy., p. 544 
(Igluilik); Hooper, Tents of the Tuski, p. 185 (Plover Bay, Siberia). 

4 1 have an indistinct recollection of having once seen a left-handed person from Nuwuk. 

6 Holm calls the East Greeulanders "et meget livligt Folkefffird" Geogr. Tidskrift, vol. 8, p. 96. 


even when practiced on themselves. They are generally peaceable. 
We did not witness a single quarrel among the men during the two years 
of our stay, though they told us stories of fatal quarrels in former years, 
in which firearms were used. Liquor may have been the cause of these 
fights, as it is said to have been of the only suicide I ever heard of 
among them, which I am informed by Capt. E. E. Smith, the whaling 
master already referred to, occurred in 1885 at Nuwuk. Disagreements 
between man and wife, however, sometimes lead to blows, in which the 
man does not always get the best of it. 

When the station was first established many of the natives began 
pilfering from our stores, but they soon learned that by so doing they 
cut themselves off from the privilege of visiting the station and enjoying 
the opportunity for trading which it afforded, and were glad to promise 
to refrain from the practice. This promise was very well observed, 
though I think wholly from feelings of self-interest, as the thieves when 
detected seemed to have no feeling of shame. Some, I believe, never 
yielded to the temptation. There was seldom any difficulty in obtaining 
restitution of stolen articles, as the thief's comrades would not attempt 
to shield him, but often voluntarily betrayed him. They acknowledged 
that there was considerable thieving on board of the ships, but the men 
of Utkiavwln tried to lay the blame on the NuAvuk people, and we may 
suppose that the charge was reciprocated, as was the case regarding 
the theft of the Plover 's sails. 1 We also heard of occasional thefts 
among themselves, especially of seals left on the ice or venison buried 
in the snow, but men who were said to be thieves did not appear to lose 
any social consideration. 

Kobbery with violence appears to be unknown. We never saw or 
heard of the "burglar- alarm" described by Dr. Simpson, 2 which I am in- 
clined to believe was really a "demon trap" like that described by 
Lieut. Ray (see below, under Eeligion). 

They are in the main truthful, though a detected lie is hardly con- 
sidered more than a good joke, and considerable trickery is practiced in 
trading. For instance, soon after the station was established they 
brought over the carcass of a dog, with the skin, head, feet, and tail 
removed, and attempted to sell it for a young reindeer ; and when we 
began to purchase seal-oil for the lamps one woman brought over a tin 
can nearly filled with ice, with merely a layer of oil on top. 

Clothing and other articles made especially for sale to us were often 
very carelessly and hastily made, while their own things were always 
carefully finished. 3 

Their affection for each other, especially for their children, is strong, 

1 Simpson, op. cit., p. 248. 

2 0p. cit., p. 247. 

3 Compare Nordenskiold's experience in Siberia. The " Chukches " sold him skinned foxes with the 
head and feet cut off for hares, (Vega, vol. 1, p. 448), young ivory gulls for ptarmigan, and a dog's skull 
for a seal's (vol.2, p. 137). Besides, "While their own things were always made with the greatest care, all 
that they did especially for us was done with extreme carelessness" (ibid). The Eskimos at Hotham 
Inlet also tried to sell Capt. Beechey fishskius sewed together to represent fish. (Voyage, p. 285.) 


though they make little show of grief for bereavement, and their minds 
are easily diverted by amusements. I am inclined to believe, however, 
from some cases I have observed, that grief is deeper and more perma- 
nent than superficial appearances would indicate. 

Their curiosity is unbounded, and they have no hesitation in gratify- 
ing it by unlimited questioning. All who have read the accounts of the 
Eskimo character given by explorers in other parts of the Arctic regions 
will recognize this as a familiar trait. We also found the habit of 
begging at first quite as offensive among some of these people as other 
travelers have found it, but as they grew better acquainted with us they 
ceased to beg except for trifling things, such as a chew of tobacco or a 
match. Some of the better class never begged at all. Some of them 
seemed to feel truly grateful for the benefits and gifts received, and en- 
deavored by their general behavior, as well as in more substantial ways 
to make some adequate return. Others appeared to think only of what 
they might receive. 

Hospitality is a universal virtue. Many of them, from the beginning 
of our acquaintance with them, showed the greatest friendliness and 
willingness to assist us in every way, while others, especially if there 
were many of them together, were inclined to be insolent, and knives 
were occasionally drawn in sudden fits of passion. These "roughs," 
however, soon learned that behavior of this sort was punished by prompt 
ostracism and threats of severer discipline, and before the first nine 
months were past we had established the most friendly relations with the 
whole village at Cape Smyth. Some of those who were at first most 
insolent became afterwards our best friends. Living as these people 
do at peace with their neighbors, they would not be expected to exhibit 
the fierce martial courage of many other savages, but bold whalemen 
and venturous ice-hunters can not be said to lack bravery. 

In their dealings with white men the richer and more influential 
among them at least consider themselves their equals if not their supe- 
riors, and they do not appreciate the attitude of arrogant superiority 
adopted by many white men in their intercourse with so-called savages. 
Many of them show a grace of manner and a natural delicacy and polite- 
ness which is quite surprising. I have known a young Eskimo so polite 
that in conversing with Lieut. Eay he would take pains to mispronounce 
his words in the same way as the latter did, so as not to hurt his feelings 
by correcting him bluntly. 1 


We were unable to discover among these people the slightest trace of 
tribal organization or of division into gentes, and in this our observa- 
tions agree with those of all who have studied the Eskimos elsewhere. 
They call themselves as a race "In'uin," a term corresponding to the 

■Compare Vega, vol. 1, p. 489. The Chukelies were "so courteous as not to correct but to adopt the 
mistakes in the pronunciation or meaning of words that were made on the Vega." 

mcbdoch.] TRIBAL PHENOMENA. 43 

" limit" of other dialects, and meaning "people," or "human beings." 
Under this name they include white men and Indians as well as Eskimo, 
as is the case in Greenland and the Mackenzie River district, and prob- 
ably also everywhere else, though many writers have supposed it to be 
applied by them only to their own race. 

They have however .special names for the former two races. The 
people of any village are known as "the inhabitants of such and such 
a place;" for instance, jSTuwii'nmiun, "the inhabitants of the point;" 
Utkiavwinmiun, "the inhabitants of Utkiavwin ; " Kufimiuu (in Green- 
landic "Kungmiut"), "the people who live on the river." The people 
about Norton Sound speak of the northern Eskimo, especially those of 
Point Barrow and Cape Smyth, as "Kunmu'dlin," which is not a name 
derived from a location, but a sort of nickname, the meaning of which 
was not ascertained. The Point Barrow natives do not call themselves 
by this name, but apply it to those people whose winter village is at 
Demarcation Point (or Herschel Island, see above, p. 26). This word 
appears in the corrupted form "Kokmullit," as the name of the village 
at NuwCik on Petroff's map. Petroff derived his information regarding 
the northern coast at second-hand from people who had obtained their 
knowledge of names, etc., from the natives of Norton Sound. 

The people of the two villages under consideration frequently go back- 
ward and forward, sometimes removing permanently from one village to 
the other, while strangers from distant villages sometimes winter here, 
so that it was not until the end of the second year, when we were inti- 
mately acquainted with everybody at Utkiavwin, that we could form 
anything like a correct estimate of the population of this village. 1 
This we found to be about 140 souls. As well as we could judge, there 
were about 150 or 160 at Nuwak. These figures show a great decrease 
in numbers since the end of 1853, when Dr. Simpson 2 reckoned the pop- 
ulation of Nuwiik at 309. During the 2 years from September, 1881, to 
August, 1883, there were fifteen deaths that we heard of in the village 
of Utkiavwin alone, and only two children born in that period survived. 
With this ratio between the number of births and deaths, even in a 
period of comparative plenty, it is difficult to see how the race can es- 
cape speedy extinction, unless by accessions from without, which in their 
isolated situation they are not likely to receive. 3 



Other Eskimo. — The nearest neighbors of these people, as has been 
stated above, are the Eskimo living at Demarcation Point (or Herschel 

'See "Approximate Census, etc.," Report of Point Barrow Exp., p. 49. 

2 0p. cit., p. 237. 

3 Petroff's estimate (Report, etc., p. 4) of the number of natives on this part of the Arctic coast is 
much too large. He gives the population of "Ootiwakh" (Utkiavwin) as 225. Refuge Inlet (where 
there is merely a summer camp of Utkiavwinmiun), 40, and "Kokmullit," 200. The supposed settle- 
ment of 50 inhabitants at the Colville River is also a mere summer camp, not existing in the winter. 


Island), eastward, and those who inhabit the small villages between 
Point Belcher and Wainwright Inlet. These villages are three in num- 
ber. The nearest to Point Belcher, Nuna'ria, is now deserted, and its 
inhabitants have established the new village of Sida'ru nearer the inlet. 
The third village consists of a few houses only, and is called A'tiinS. 
The people of these villages are so closely connected that they are some- 
times spoken of collectively as Sida'rufimiun. At a distance up the 
river, which iiows into Wainwright Inlet, live the Ku'nmiun, "the peo- 
ple who live on the river." These appear to be closely related to the 
people of 'the first village below Wainwright Inlet, which is named 
Kilauwitawifi. At any rate, a party of them who came to Cape Smyth 
in the spring of 1883 were spoken of indifferently as Kuiimiun or Kil- 

Small parties from all the villages occasionally visit Point Barrow 
during the winter for the purpose of trade and amusement, traveling 
with sledges along the land ice where it is smooth, otherwise along the 
edge of the cliffs; and similar parties from the two northern villages 
return these visits. No special article of trade appears to be sought at 
either village, though perhaps the southern villages have a greater 
supply of skins of the bearded seal, fit for making umiak covers, as I 
knew of a load of these brought up for sale, and in the spring of 1883 a 
party went down to the inlet in search of such skins. Single families 
and small parties like that from Kilauwitawifi, mentioned above, some- 
times spend the whaling season at Point Barrow, joining some of the 
whaling crews at the northern villages. The people that we saw from 
these settlements were very like the northern Eskimos but many of 
them spoke a perceptibly harsher dialect, sounding the final consonants 

The people at Point Hope are known as Tikera'nmiun " inhabitants 
of the forefinger (Point Hope)," and their settlement is occasionally vis- 
ited by straggling parties. No natives from Point Hope came north 
during the 2 years of our stay, but a party of them visited the Plover 
in 1853. l We found some people acquainted by name with the Kuwu'fi- 
miun and Silawi'fimiun of the Kuwuk (Kowak or "Putnam") and Sil- 
awik Rivers emptying into Hotham Inlet, and one man was familiar with 
the name of Sisualifi, the great trading camp at Kotzebue Sound. We 
were unable to find that they had any knowledge of Asia (" Kokhlit- 
nuna,") or the Siberian Eskimo, but this was probably due to lack of 
properly directed inquiries, as they seem to have been well informed on 
the subject in the Plover's time. 2 

With the people of the Nu'natak (Inland) River, the Nunatafimiun, 
they are well acquainted, as they meet them every summer for purposes 
of trading, and a family or two of Nunatafimiun sometimes spend the 

'Maguire, NW. Passage, p. 384. 

2 It is to be regretted that the expedition was not supplied with a copy of Dr. Simpson's excellent 
paper, as much valuable information was missed for lack of suggestions as to the direction of inquiries. 


winter at the northern villages. One family wintered at Nuwuk in 
1881-82, and another at LTtkiavwin the following winter, while a wid- 
ower of this " tribe" was also settled there for the same winter, having 
married a widow in the village. We obtained very little definite infor- 
mation about these people except that they came from the south and 
descended the Colville Eiver. Our investigations were rendered difficult 
by the engrossing nature of the work of the station, and the trouble 
we experienced, at first, in learning enough of the language to make 
ourselves clearly understood. Dr. Simpson was able to learn definitely 
that the homes of these people are on the Nunatak and that some of 
them visit Kotzebue Sound in the summer, while trading parties make 
a portage between the Nunatak and Colville, descending the latter 
river to the Arctic Ocean. 1 I have been informed by the captain of one 
of the American whalers that he has, in different seasons, met the same 
people at Kotzebue Sound and the mouth of the Colville. We also re- 
ceived articles of Siberian tame reindeer skin from the east, which must 
have come across the country from Kotzebue Sound. 

These people differ from the northern natives in some habits, which 
will be described later, and speak a harsher dialect. We were informed 
that in traveling east after passing the mouth of the Colville they came 
to the Kunmu/dlin (" Kangmali enyuin " of Dr. Simpson and other 
authors) and still further off " a great distance " to the Kupftn or " Great 
Eiver " — the Mackenzie — near the mouth of which is the village of the 
Kupunmiun, whence it is but a short distance inland to the " great 
house" (iglu'kpuk) of the white men on the great river (probably Fort 
Macpherson). Beyond this we only heard confused stories of people 
without posteriors and of sledges that run by themselves without dogs 
to draw them. We heard nothing of the country of Kltiga'ru 2 or of the 
stone-lam]) country mentioned by Dr. Simpson. 3 The Kunmudlin are 
probably, as Dr. Simpson believes, the people whose winter houses were 
seen by Franklin at Demarcation Point, 4 near which, at Icy Eeef, Hooper 
also saw a few houses. 5 

As already stated, Capt. E. E. Smith was informed by the natives 
that there is now no village farther west than Herschel Island, where 
there is one of considerable size. If he was correctly informed, this 
must be a new village, since the older explorers who passed along the 
coast found only a summer camp at this point. He also states that he 
found large numbers of ruined iglus on the outlying sandy islands 
along the coast, especially near Anxiety Point. We have scarcely any 
information about these people, as the only white men who have seen 
them had little intercourse with them in passing along the coast. 6 The 

1 Op. cit., pp. 234 and 236. 

2 This was the name of a girl at Nuwuk. 

3 Op. cit., p. 269. 
'Second Exp., p. 142. 

6 Tents of the Tnski, p. 255. 

6 A11 the published information there is about them from personal observation can befoundin Frank 
lin, Second Exp., p. 142; T. Simpson, Narrative, pp. 118-123; and Hooper, Tents, etc., pp. 255-257 and 


Point Barrow people have but slight acquaintance with them, as they 
see them only a short time each summer. Captain Smith, however, in- 
forms me that in the summer of 1885 one boat load of them came back 
with the Point Barrow traders to Point Barrow, where he saw them on 
board of his ship. There was a man at Utkiavwih who Avas called " the 
Kunmu'dllfi." He came there when a child, probably, by adoption, and 
was in no way distinguishable from the other people. 

Father Petitot appears to include these people in the "Ta/seo^meut" 
division of his "Tckiglit" Eskimo, whom he loosely describes as in- 
habiting the coast from Herschel Island to Liverpool Bay, including 
the delta of the Mackenzie, 1 without locating their permanent villages. 
In another place, however, he excludes the "Ta/)eo/>meut" from the 
"Tchiglit," saying, "Dans l'ouest, les Tchiglit communiquaient avec 
leurs plus proches voisins les Ta^eo/?-meut," 2 while in a third place 3 he 
gives the country of the "Tchiglit" as extending from the Coppermine 
Biver to the Colville, and on his map in the same volume, the " Tareor- 
meut" are laid down in the Mackenzie delta only. According to his 
own account, however, he had no personal knowledge of any Eskimo 
west of the Mackenzie delta. These people undoubtedly have a local 
name derived from that of their winter village, but it is yet to be learned. 

It is possible that they do consider themselves the same people with 
the Eskimo of the Mackenzie delta, and call themselves by the general 
name of " Ta^eo/uneut " (= Taxaiomiun in the Point Barrow dialect), 
u those who live by the sea." That they do not call themselves " Kun- 
mu'dlin" or " Kanmali-enyuin " or " Kangmaligineut " is to my mind 
quite certain. The word " Kunmu'dllfi," as already stated, is used 
at Norton Sound to designate the people of Point Barrow (I was 
called a " Kuiimu'dlih " by some Eskimo at St. Michaels because I 
spoke the Point Barrow dialect), who do not recognize the name as be- 
longing to themselves, but have transferred it to the people under con- 
sideration. Now, "Kunmu'dllfi" is a word formed after the analogy of 
many Eskimo words from a noun kunnru and the affix lift or dliii (in 
Greenlandic lik), " one who has a ." The radical noun, the mean- 
ing of which I can not ascertain, would become in the Mackenzie dialect 
koagma/>k (using Petitot's orthography), which with -lik in the plural 
would make k/uigmalit. (According to Petitot's " Grammaire " the 
plural of -lik in the Mackenzie dialect is -lit, and not -gdlit, as in Green 
landic). This is the name given by Petitot on his map to the people of 
the Anderson River, 4 whUe he calls the Anderson Biver itself Kpagmalik. 5 
The father, however, had but little personal knowledge of the natives 
of the Anderson, having made but two, apparently brief, visits to their 
village in 1865, when he first made the acquaintance of the Eskimo. 
He afterwards became fairly intimate with the Eskimo of the Mackenzie 

1 Monographic, p. xl. 

2 Ibid, p. xvi. 

3 Bull, dc la Societe do Geographic, 6° ser., vol. 10, p. 256. 

4 See also Monographic, etc., p. xi, where the name is spelled Kpauialit 
2 Vocabulaire, etc., p. 76. 


delta, parties of whom spent the summers of 1869 and 1870 with him. 
From these parties he appears to have obtained the greater part of the 
information embodied in his Monographie and Vocabulaire, as he ex- 
plicitly states that he brought the last party to Fort Good Hope 
"autant pour les instruire a loisir que pour apprendre d'eux leur 
idiome." l Nothing seems to me more probable than that he learned 
from these Mackenzie people the names of their neighbors ot the Ander- 
son, which he had failed to obtain in his flying visits 5 years before, and 
that it is the same name, " KuSmu'dlin," which we have followed from 
Norton Sound and found always applied to the people just beyond us. 
Could we learn the meaning of this word the question might be settled, 
but the only possible derivation I can see for it is from the Greenlandic 
KarmaK, a wall, which throws no light upon the subject. Petitot calls 
the people of Cape Bathurst K^agmaliveit, which appears to mean 
" the real Kunmu'dliii " (" Kunmu'dliii" and the affix -vik, " the real"). 

The Kupnnmiun appear to inhabit the permanent villages which have 
been seen near the western mouth of the Mackenzie, at Shingle Point 2 
and Point Sabine, 3 with an outlying village, supposed to be deserted, at 
Point Kay. 4 They are the natives described by Petitot in his Mono- 
graphie as the Tap eo/mieut division of the Tchiglit, to whom, from the 
reasons already stated, most of his account seems to apply. There ap- 
pears to me no reasonable doubt, considering his opportunities for ob- 
serving these people, that Ta^eo^meut, "those who dwell by the sea," 
is the name that they actually apply to themselves, and that Kupunmiun, 
or Kopagmut, "those who live on the Great River," is a name bestowed 
upon them by their neighbors, perhaps their western neighbors alone, 
since all the references to this name seem to be traceable to the author- 
ity of Dr. Simpson. Should they apply to themselves a name of similar 
meaning, it would probably be of a different form, as, according to 
Petitot, 5 they call the Mackenzie Ku^vik, instead of Kupuk or Kupufi. 

These are the people who visit Fort Macpherson every spring and 
summer, 6 and are well known to the Hudson Bay traders as the Mac- 
kenzie River Eskimo. They are the Eskimo encountered between Her- 
schel Island and the mouth of the Mackenzie by Franklin, by Dease and 
Simpson, and by Hooper and Pullen, all of whom have published brief 
notes concerning them. 7 

We are still somewhat at a loss for the proper local names of the last 

'Bull. Soc. de Geog., 6" ser., vol. 10, p. 39. 

2 T. Simpson, Narrative, p. 112. 

3 Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 264. 

4 Ibid, p. 263. 

5 Bull. Soc. de Geog., 6 ser., vol. 10, p. 182. 

6 Petitot, Monographie, etc., pp. xvi and xx. 

'Franklin, 2d Exp., pp. 99-101, 105-110, 114-119 and 128; T. Simpson, Narrative, pp. 104-112; Hooper, 
Tents, etc., pp. 263-264. There is also a brief note by the Rev. W. W. Kirkby, in a "Journey to the 
Toucan." Smithsonian Report for 1864. These, with Petitot's in many respects admirable Mono- 
graphie, comprise all the information regarding these people from actual observation that has been pub- 
lished. Richardson has described them at second hand in his "Searching Expedition" and "Polar 
Regions." The "Kopagmute" of Petroff (Report, etc., p. 125) are a purely hypothetical people in- 
vented to fill tho space between "the coast people in the north and the Athabascans in the south." 


labret- wearing Eskimo, those, namely, of the Anderson Eiver and Cape 
Bathurst. That they are not considered by the Ta/>eo/>meut as belong- 
ing to the same "tribe" with themselves is evident from the names 
K/oagmalit and K/>agmaliveit, applied to them by Petitot. Sir John Rich- 
ardson, the first white man to encounter them (in 1820), says that they 
called themselves "Kitte-garroe-oot," 1 and the Point Barrow people 
told Dr. Simpson of country called "Kit-te-ga'-ru" beyond the Mac- 
kenzie. 2 These people, as well as the Ta^eo^meut, whom they closely 
resemble, are described in Petitot's Monographie, and brief notices of 
them are given by Sir John Richardson, 3 McClure, 4 Armstrong, 5 and 
Hooper. 6 The arts and industries of these people from the Mackenzie 
to the Anderson, especially the latter region, are well represented in 
the National Museum by the collections of Messrs. Kennicott, Ross, and 
MacFarlane. The Point Barrow people say that the Kupunmiuu are 
"bad;" 7 but notwithstanding this small parties from the two villages 
occasionally travel east to the Mackenzie, and spend the winter at 
the Kupiifimiun village, whence they visit the "great house," returning 
the following season. Such a party left Point Barrow June 15, 1882, 
declaring their intention of going all the way to the Mackenzie. They 
returned August 25 or 26, 1883, when we were in the midst of the con- 
tusion of closing the station, so that we learned no details of their jour- 
ney. A letter with which they were intrusted to be forwarded to the 
United States through the Mackenzie River posts reached the Chief 
Signal Officer in the summer of 1883 by way of the Rampart House, on 
the Porcupine River, whence we received an answer by the bearer from 
the factor in charge. The Eskimo probably sent the letter to the Ram- 
part House by the Indians who visit that post. 

The intercourse between these people is purely commercial. Dr. Simp- 
son, in the paper so often quoted, gives an excellent detailed description 
of the course of this trade, which agrees in the main with our observa- 
tions, though we did not learn the particulars of time and distance as 
accurately as he did. There have been some important changes, how- 
ever, since his time. A small party, perhaps five or six families, of "Nu- 
n atari uiiun" now come every summer to Point Barrow about the end of 
July, or as soon as the shallow bays along shore are open. They estab- 
lish themselves at the summer camping ground at Pernyi?, at the south- 
west corner of Elson Bay, and stay two or three weeks, trading with the 
natives and the ships, dancing, and shooting ducks. The eastward-bound 
parties seem to start a little earlier than formerly (July 7, 1853, July 
3, 1854/ June 18, 1882, and June 29, 1883). From all accounts their rela- 

1 Franklin, 2d Exp., p. 203. 
2 Ibid., p. 269. 

3 Franklin, 2d Exp., pp. 193, 203 and 230 ; Searching Exp., and Polar Regions, p. 300. 
* N. W. Passage, pp. 84-98. 
'Personal Narrative, p. 176. 
6 Tents, etc., pp. 343-348. 

'Compare what Petitot has to say — Monographic, etc., p. xiii and passim — about the turbulent and 
revengeful character of the "Tchiglit." 
8 Dr. Simpson, op. cit., p. 264. 


tions with the eastern people are now perfectly friendly. We heard 
nothing of the precautionary measures described by Dr. Simpson, J and 
the women talked frequently of their trading with the Kunmu'dlifi and 
even with the Kupuumiun. 2 We did not learn definitely whether they 
met the latter at Barter Point or whether they went still farther east. 

Some of the Point Barrow parties do not go east of the Colville. The 
articles of trade have changed somewhat in the last 30 years, from the 
fact that the western natives can now buy directly from the whalers iron 
articles, arms, and ammunition, beads, tobacco, etc. The Nunatanmiun 
now sell chiefly furs, deerskins, and clothing ready made from them, 
woodenware (buckets and tubs), willow poles for setting nets, and some- 
times fossil ivory. The double-edged Siberian knives are no longer in 
the market and appear to be going out of fashion, though a few of them 
are still in use. Ready-made stone articles, like the whetstones men- 
tioned by Dr. Simpson, 3 are rarely, if ever, in the market. We did not 
hear of the purchase of stone lamps from the eastern natives. This is 
probably due to a cessation of the demand for them at Point Barrow, 
owing to the falling off in the population. 

The Kunmu'dlifi no longer furnish guns and ammunition, as the west- 
ern natives prefer the breech-loading arms they obtain from the whalers 
to the flintlock guns sold by the Hudson Bay Company. The trade with 
these people seems to be almost entirely for furs and skins, notably 
black and red fox skins and wolverine skins. Skins of the narwhal or 
beluga are no longer mentioned as important articles of trade. 

In return for these things the western natives give sealskins, etc., 
especially oil, as formerly, though I believe that very little, if any, whale- 
bone is now carried east, since the natives prefer to save it for trading 
with the ships in the hope of getting liquor, or arms and ammunition, 
.and various articles of American manufacture, beads, kettles, etc. I was 
told by an intelligent native of UtkiavwTh that brass kettles were highly 
prized by the Kupufimiun, and that a large one would bring three wolver- 
ine skins, 4 three black foxskins, or five red ones. One woman was anxious 
to get all the empty tin cans she could, saying that she could sell them to 
the Kunmu'dlifi for afoxskin apiece. We were told that the eastern na- 
tives were glad to buy gun flints and bright-colored handkerchiefs, and 
that the Nunatanmiun wanted blankets and playing-cards. 

Indians. — They informed us that east of the Colville they sometimes 
met " Itku'dliii," people with whom they could not converse, but who 
were friendly and traded with them, buying oil for fox skms. They 
were said to live back of the coast between the Colville and the Macken- 
zie, and were described as wearing no labrets, but rings in their ears and 
noses. They wear their hair long, do not tonsure the crown, and are 
dressed in jackets of skin with the hair removed, without hoods, and 

'Op. cit., p. 265. 

2 In the Plover's time they were left a day's journey in the rear. 
3 0p. cit., p. 266. 

4 T. Simpson saw iron kettles at Camden Bay which had been purchased from the western natives 
at two wolverine skins apiece. Narrative, p. 171. 
9 ETH 4 


ornamented with beads and fringe. We saw one or two such jackets in 
Utkiavwin apparently made of moose skin, and a few pouches of the 
same material, highly ornamented with beads. They have long flint- 
lock guns, white man's wooden pipes, which they value highly, and 
axes — not adzes — with which they "break many trees." We easily 
understood from this description that Indians were meant, and since 
our return I have been able to identify one or two of the tribes with 
tolerable certainty. 

They seem better acquainted with these people than in Dr. Simpson's 
time, and know the word " kutchin, " people, in which many of the tribal 
names end. We did not hear the names Ko'yukan or Itkalya'ruin which 
Dr. Simpson learned, apparently from the Nunataumiun. 1 I heard one 
man speak of the Kutcha Kutchin, who inhabit the "Yukon from the 
Birch Eiver to the Kotlo River on the east and the Porcupine River on 
the north, ascending the latter a short distance." 2 

One of the tribes with which they have dealings is the " Rat Indians" 
of the Hudson Bay men, probably the Vunta'-Kutchiu, 3 from the fact 
that they visit Fort Yukon. These are the people whom Capt. Maguire 
met on his unsuccessful sledge jo urney to the eastward to communicate 
with Collinson. The Point Barrow people told us that "Magwa" went 
east to see "Colli'k-sina," but did not see him, only saw the Itkudlin. 
Collinson, 4 speaking of Maguire's second winter at Point Barrow, says: 
"In attempting to prosecute the search easterly, an armed body of 
Indians of the Koyukun tribe were met with, and were so hostile that 
he was compelled to return." Maguire himself, in his official report, 5 
speaks of meeting four Indians who had followed his party for several 
days. He says nothing of any hostile demonstration ; in fact, says they 
showed signs of disappointment at his having nothing to trade with 
them, but his Eskimo, he says, called them Koyukun, which he knew 
was the tribe that had so barbarously murdered Lieut. Barnard at 
Nulato in 1851. Moreover, each Indian had a musket, and he had only 
two with a party of eight men, so he thought it safer to turn back. 
However, he seems to have distributed among them printed "informa- 
tion slips," which they immediately carried to Fort Yukon, and return- 
ing to the coast with a letter from the clerk in charge, delivered it to 
Capt. Collinson on board of the Enterprise at Barter Island, Jvdy 18, 
1854. The letter is as follows : 

Fort Youcon, June 27, 1854. 

The printed slips of paper delivered by the officers of H. M. S. Plover on the 25th 
of April, 1854, to the Rat Indians were received on the 27th of June, 1854, at the 
Hudson Bay Company's establishment, Fort Youcon. The Rat Indians are in the 

1 " The inland Eskimo also call them Ko'yukan, and divide them into three sections or tribes. * * * 
One is called I't-ka-lyi [apparently the plural of Itkudlin], * * * the second It-kal-ya'-ruin [differ- 
ent or other ItkudlTS]," op. cit., p. 269. 

*Dall, Cont. to N. A. Ethn., vol.1, p. 30, where they are identified with Itkalyaruin of Simpson. 

'Ibid., p. 31. 

4 Arctic. Papers, p. 119. 

* Further papers, etc., pp. 905 et seq. 


habit of making periodical trading excursions to the Esquimaux along the coast. 
They are a harmless, inoffensive set of Indians, ever ready and willing to render 
any assistance they can to the whites. 

Wm. Lucas Hardisty, 

Clerk in charge.* 

Oapt. Collinson evidently never dreamed of identifying this "harm- 
less, inoffensive set of Indians " with " an armed body of Indians of the 
Koyukun tribe." It is important that his statement, quoted above, 
should be corrected lest it serve as authority for extending the range of 
the Koyukun Indians 2 to the Arctic Ocean. The Point Barrow people 
also know the name of the U'na-kho-tana, 3 or En'akotina, as they pro- 
nounce it. Their intercourse with all these Indians appears to be rather 
slight and purely commercial. Friendly relations existed between the 
Eat Indians and the " Eskimos who live somewhere near the Oolville" 
as early as 1849, 4 while it was still " war to the knife " between the Peel 
Eiver Indians and the Kupunmmn. 5 

The name Itku'dlih, of which Ft-kalyi of Dr. Simpson appears to be 
the plural, is a generic word for an Indian, and is undoubtedly the same 
as the Greenland word erxileK — plural erxigdlit — which means a fabu- 
lous " inlander" with a face like a dog. " They are martial spirits and 
inhuman foes to mankind; however, they only inhabit the east side of 
the laud." 6 Dr. Eink 7 has already pointed out that this name is in use 
as far as the Mackenzie Eiver — for instance, the Indians are called 
"eert-kai-lee" (Parry), or "it-kagk-lie" (Lyon), at Fury and Hecla Strait; 
ik-kil-lin (Gilder), at the west shore of Hudson Bay, and " itk^e'le'it " 
(Petitot) at the Mackenzie. Petitot also gives this word as itkpe'lit in 
his vocabulary (p. 42.) These words, including the term Ingalik, or 
In-ka-lik, applied by the natives of Norton Sound to the Indians, 8 and 
which Mr. Dall was informed meant " children of a louse's egg, v all 
appear to be compounds of the word erKeK, a louse egg, and the affix 
lik. (I suspect enrileK, from the form of its plural, to be a corruption 
of "erKiliK," since there is no recognized affix -leK in Greenlandic.) 

Petitot 9 gives an interesting tradition in regard to the origin of this 
name: "La tradition Innok dedaigne de parler ici des Peaux-Eouges. 
L'ayant fait observer a mon narrateur Apviuna: ' Oh !' me repondait-il, 
'il ne vaut pas la peine d'en parler. lis naquirent aussi dans l'ouest, suf 
File du Castor, des larves de nos poux. O'est pourquoi nous les nom- 
mons Itkjoe'le'it." 


Until the visit of the Blossom's barge in 1826 these people had never 
seen a white man, although they were already in possession of tobacco 
and articles of Eussian manufacture, such as copper kettles, which they 

1 Arctic Papers, p. 144. 6 Crantz, vol. 1, p. 208. 

2 Koyu'-ku'kh-ota'na, Call, Cont. to N. A. Eth., p. 27. 7 Journ. Anthrop. Inst.. 1885, p. 244. 

3 Ibid., p. 28. 8 Dall, Alaska, p. 28, and Contrib., vol. 1, p. 25. 

4 Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 276. 9 Monographic, p. xxiv. 
<■ Ibid., p. 273. 


had obtained from Siberia by way of the Diomedes. Mr. Elson's party 
landed only at Refuge Inlet, and had but little intercourse with the 
natives. His visit seemed to have been forgotten by the time of the 
Plover's stay at Point Barrow, though Dr. Simpson found people who 
recollected the visit of Thomas Simpson in 1837.' The latter, after he 
had left the boats and was proceeding on foot with his party, first met 
the Nuwunmiuu at Point Tangent, where there was a small party en- 
camped, from whom he purchased the umiak in which he went on to 
Point Barrow. He landed there early in the morning of August 4, and 
went down to the summer camp at Pernyu, where he stayed till 1 o'clock 
in the afternoon, trading with the natives and watching them dance. 
On his return to Point Tangent some of the natives accompanied him 
to Boat Extreme, where he parted from them August 6, so that his 
whole intercourse with them was confined to less than a week. 2 

The next white men who landed at Point Barrow were the party in 
the Plover's boats, under Lieuts. Pnllen and Hooper, on their way to the 
Mackenzie, and the crew of Mr. Sheddon's yacht, the Nancy Dawson, in 
the summer of 1849. The boats were from July '29 to August 3 getting 
from Cape Smyth past Point Barrow, when the crews were ashore for a 
couple of days and did a little trading with the natives, whom they 
found very friendly. They afterwards had one or two skirmishes with 
evil-disposed parties of Nuwunmiim returning from the east in the neigh- 
borhood of Return Reef. The exploring ships Enterprise and Investi- 
gator also had casual meetings with the natives, who received tobacco, 
etc., from the ships. 

The depot ship Plover, Commander Maguire, spent the winters of 
1852-53 and 1853-'54 at Point Barrow, and the officers and crew, after 
some misunderstandings and skirmishes, established very friendly and 
sociable relations with the natives. The only published accounts of the 
Plover's stay at Point Barrow are Commander Maguire's official reports, 
published in the Parliamentary Reports (Blue Books) for 1854, pp. 
1G5-185, and 1855, pp. 905 et seq., and Dr. Simpson's paper, already 
mentioned. Maguire's report of the first winter's proceedings is also 
published as an appendix to Sherard Osborne's "Discovery of the North- 
west Passage." 

We found that the elder natives remembered Maguire, whom they 
called " Magwa," very well. They gave us the names of many of his peo- 
ple and a very correct account of the most important proceedings, though 
they did not make it clear that the death of the man mentioned in his 
report was accidental. They described "Magwa" as short and fat, with 
a very thick neck, and all seemed very much impressed with the height 
of his first lieutenant, "Epi'ana" {Vernon,) who had "lots of guns." 

It was difficult to see that the Plover's visit had exerted any perma- 
nent influence on these people. In fact, Dr. Simpson's account of their 
habits and customs would serve very well for the present time, except 

'Op. oit., p. 264. 'Narrative, pp. UU-lt>8. 


in regard to the use of firearms. They certainly remembered no English. 
Indeed, Dr. Simpson says 1 that they learned hardly any. The Plover's 
people probably found it very easy to do as we did and adopt a sort of 
jargon of Eskimo words and "pigeon English" grammar for general in- 
tercourse. Although, according to the account of the natives, there 
was considerable intercourse between the sailors and the Eskimo Avomen, 
there are now no people living at either village who we could be sure 
were born from such intercourse, though one woman was suspected of 
being half English. She was remarkable only for her large build, and 
was not lighter than many pure-blooded women. 

Since 1854, when the first whalers came as far north as the Point, 
there has hardly been a season in which ships have not visited this re- 
gion, and for a couple of months every year the natives have had con- 
siderable intercourse with the whites, going off to the ships to trade, 
while the sailors come ashore occasionally. We found that they usually 
spoke of white men as "kablu'na;" but they informed us that they had 
another word, "tu'n-nyfn," which they used to employ among themselves 
when they saw a ship. Dr. Simpson* says that they learned the word 
"kabluna" from the eastern natives, but that the latter (he gives it 
Tan'-ning or Tan'-gin) came from the Nunata'umiun. He supposes it to 
apply to the Russians, who had regular bath days at their posts, and 
says it is derived from tan-nikk-lu-go, to wash or cleanse the person. 

The chief change resulting from their intercourse with the whites has 
been the introduction of firearms. Nearly all the natives are now pro- 
vided with guns, some of them of the best modern patterns of breech- 
loaders, and they usually succeed in procuring a supply of ammunition. 
This is in some respects a disadvantage, as the reindeer have become so 
wild that the natives would no longer be able to procure a sufficient 
number of them for food and clothing with their former appliances, and 
they are thus rendered dependent on the ships. On the other hand, 
with a plentiful supply of ammunition it is easier for them to procure 
abundance of food, both deer and seals, and they are less liable to famine 
than in former times. 

There is no reason to fear, as has been suggested, that they will lose 
the art of making any of their own weapons except in the case of the 
bow. With firearms alone they would be unable to obtain any seals, 
a much more important source of food than the reindeer, and their own 
appliances for sealing are much better than any civilized contrivances. 
Although they have plenty of the most improved modern whaling gear, 
they are not likely to forget the manufacture of their own implements 
for this purpose, as this important fishery is ruled by tradition and 
superstition, which insists that at least one harpoon of the ancient pat- 
tern must be used in taking every whale. All are now rich in iron, 
civilized tools, canvas and wreck wood, and in this respect their con- 
dition is improved. 

' Op. cit., p. 251. ■' Op. cit., p. 271. 


They have, however, adopted very few civilized habits. They have 
contracted a taste for civilized food, especially hard bread and flour., 
but this they are unable to obtain for 10 months of the year, and they 
are thus obliged to adhere to their former habits. In fact, except in 
regard to the use of firearms and mechanics' tools, they struck me as 
essentially a conservative people. 

Petroff ' makes the assertion that in late years their movements have 
been guided chiefly by those of the whalers. As far as we could observe 
they have not changed the course or time of their journeys since Dr. 
Simpson's time, except that they have given up the autumn whaling, 
possibly on account of the presence of the ships at that season. Of 
course, men who are rich in whalebone now stay to trade with the ships, 
while those who have plenty of oil go east. They are not absolutely 
dependent on the ships for anything except ammunition, and even dur- 
ing the short time the ships are with them they hardly neglect their 
own pursuits. 

The one unmitigated evil of their intercourse with the whites has 
been the introduction of spirits. Apart from the direct injury which 
liquor does to their health, their passionate fondness for it leads them 
to barter away valuable articles which should have served to procure 
ammunition or other things of permanent use. It is to be hoped, how- 
ever, that the liquor traffic is decreasing. The vigilance of the revenue 
cutter prevents regular whisky traders from reaching the Arctic Ocean, 
and public opinion among the whaling captains seems to be growing in 
the right direction. 

Another serious evil, which it would be almost impossible to check, 
is the unlimited intercourse of the sailors with the Eskimo women. 
The whites can hardly be said to have introduced laxity of sexual 
morals, but they have encouraged a natural savage tendency, and have 
taught them prostitution for gain, which has brought about great 
excesses, fortunately confined to a short season. This may have some- 
thing to do with the want of fertility among the women. 

Our two years of friendly relations with these people were greatly to 
their advantage. Not only were our house and our doings a constant 
source of amusement to them, but they learned to respect and trust 
the whites. Without becoming dependent on us or receiving any favors 
without some adequate return either in work or goods, they were able 
to obtain tobacco, hard bread, and many other things of use to them, all 
through the year. Our presence prevented their procuring more than 
trifling quantities of spirits, and- though the supply of breech-loading 
ammunition was pretty well cut off, they could get plenty of powder and 
shot for their muzzle loaders. The abundance of civilized food was 
undoubtedly good for them, and our surgeon was able to give them a 
great deal of help in sickness. 

In all their intercourse with the whites they have learned very little 

■Report, etc., p. 1L'5. 


English, chiefly a few oaths and exclamations like "Get out of here," 
and the words of such songs as "Little Brown Jug" and "Shoo Fly," 
curiously distorted. They have as a rule invented genuine Eskimo 
words for civilized articles which are new to them. 1 Even in their 
intimate relations with us they learned but few more phrases and in 
most cases without a knowledge of their meaning. 

There are a few Hawaiian words introduced by the Kanaka sailors on 
the whaleships, which are universally employed between whites and 
Eskimo along the whole of the Arctic coast, and occasionally at least 
among the Eskimo themselves. These are Jcau-lau, 2 food, or to eat; hana- 
Jiana, work; pum-punt, coitus, and^ww, not. Wahine, woman, is also used, 
but is less common. Another foreign word now universally employed 
among them in their intercourse with the whites, and even, I believe, 
among themselves, is " kunfe " for woman or wife. They themselves 
told us that it was not an Eskimo word — "When there were no white 
men, there was no kuniv" — and some of the whalemen who had been 
at Hudson Bay said it was the "Greenland" word for woman. It was 
not until our return to this country that we discovered it to be the 
Danish word kone, woman, which in the corrupted form "coony" is in 
common use among the eastern Eskimo generally in the jargon they 
employ in dealing with the whites. Kuniv is "coony" with the suffix 
of the third person, and therefore means "his wife." It is sometimes 
used at Point Barrow for either of a married couple in the sense of our 
word "spouse." 


These people are acquainted with the following animals, all of which 
are more or less hunted, and serve some useful purpose. 

Mammals. — The wolf, ainaxo (Canis lupus griseo-albus), is not uncom- 
mon in the interior, but rarely if ever reaches the coast. Red and black 
foxes, kai&'ktuk ( Vulpes fulvus fulvus and argentatus), are chiefly known 
from their skins, which are common articles in the trade with the eastern 
natives, and the same is true of the wolverine, ka'vwiu (Gulo luscus), 
and the marten, kabweatyia (Mustela americana). The arctic fox, 
terigunre (Vulpes lagopus), is very abundant along the coast, while the 
ermine (Putorius erminea) and Parry's spermophile (Spermophilus 
empetra empetra) are not rare. The last is called siksifi. Lemmings, 
a'vwiQtf, of two species (Cuniculus torquatus and Myodes obensis) are 

1 See list of "New Words," Eep. Point Barrow Exp., p. 57. 

2 The history of this word, which also appears as a Chuekch word in some of the vocahularies col- 
lected by Nordenskiold's expedition, is rather curious. Chamisso (Kotzebue's Voyage, vol. 2, p. 392, 
foot-note) says that this is a Hawaiian corruption of the well-known "Pigeon-English" (he calls it 
Chinese) word "chow-chow" recently (in 1816-'17) adopted by the Sandwich Islanders from the people 
with whom they trade. I am informed that the word is not of Chinese origin, but probably came from 
India, like many other words in "Pigeon-English." Chamisso also calls piXni-puni a Chinese word, 
but I have been able to learn nothiDg of its origin. 


very abundant some years, and they recognize a tiny shrewmouse (Sorex 
forsteri). This little animal is called ugriinu, a word corresponding to 
the name ugssungnaK given to the same animal in Labrador, which, 
according to Kleinschmidt, 1 is an ironical application of the name of 
the largest seal, ugssuk (ugru at Point Barrow), to the smallest mammal 
known to the Eskimo. The same name is also applied at Point Barrow 
to the fossil ox, whose bones are sometimes found. The most abundant 
laud animal, however, is the reindeer, tu'ktu (Rangifer tarandus groen- 
landicus), which is found in winter in great herds along the upper waters 
of the rivers, occasionally coming down to the coast, and affords a very 
important supply of food. 

The moose, tu'ktuwun, or "big reindeer" (Alee machlis), is well knowu 
from the accounts of the Nunatanmiun, who bring moose skins to trade. 
Some of the natives have been east to hunt the mountain sheep, i'mne^ 
(Ovis canadensis dalli), and all are familiar with its skin, horns, and 
teeth, which they buy of the eastern natives. The musk ox, uniinniau 
(Ovibos moschatus), is known only from its bones, which are sometimes 
found on the tundra. Inland, near the rivers, they also find a large 
brown bear, a/kqlak, which is probably the barren ground bear, while 
on the ice-pack, the polar bear, na'nu (Thalassarctos maritimus), is not 
uncommon, sometimes making raids on the provision storehouses in 
the villages. 

The most important sea animal is the little rough seal, n6tyiK (Phoca 
ftetida), which is very abundant at all seasons. Its flesh is the great 
staple of food, while its blubber supplies the Eskimo lamps, and its skin 
serves countless useful purposes. The great bearded seal, ugru (Erigna- 
thus barbatus), is less common. It is especially valued for its hide, 
which serves for covering the large boats and making stout harpoon 
lines. Two other species of seal, the harbor seal, kasigia (Phoca 
vitulina), and the beautiful ribbon seal, kaixolifi (Phoca fasciata), are 
known, but both are uncommon, the latter very rare. 

Herds of walrus, ai'bwek (Odobrenus obesus), pass along the coast 
in the open season, generally resting on cakes of floating ice, and are 
pursued for their hides and ivory as well as their flesh and blubber. 
Whales, akbw6k, of the species Balaeua mysticetus, most pursued for 
its oil and whalebone, travel along the coast in the leads of open water 
above described from the middle of April to the latter part of June in 
large numbers, and return in the autumn, appearing about the end of 
August. White whales, kilelua (Delphinapterus sp.), are not uncom- 
mon in the summer, and they say the narwhal, tugalin (Monodou 
monoceros), is occasionally seen. They are also acquainted with another 
cetacean, which they call axlo, and which appears from their description 
to be a species of Orca. 

Birds. — In the spring, that is during May and the early part of June, 
vast flocks of migrating ducks pass to the northeast, close to the shore, 

1 Grenlunclsk Ordbog, p. 38C. 


a few only remaining to breed, and return at the end of the summer 
from the latter part of July to the end of September. Nearly all the 
returning birds cross the isthmus of Point Barrow at Pernyn where the 
natives assemble in large numbers for the purpose of taking them. 
These migrating birds are mostly king ducks, klnalin (Somateria spec- 
tabilis), Pacific eiders, arnau'lm (S. v-nigra), and long-tailed ducks, 
a'dyigi'a, a'hadlifi (Clangula hyemalis), with smaller numbers of the 
spectacled eider, ka'waso (Arctonetta fischeri), and Steller's ducks, Tgni- 
kau'kto (Enicorietta stelleri). At the rivers they also find numbers of 
pintails, i'vwugB (Dafila acuta), which visit the coast in small numbers 
during the migrations. Geese of three species, the American white- 
fronted goose, nu'glugruB (Anser albifrons gambeli), the lesser snow- 
goose, ku'ilo (Chen hyperborea), and the black brant, nuglu'gni? (Branta 
nigricans), are not uncommon on the coast both during the migrations 
and the breeding season, but the natives find them in much greater 
abundance at the rivers, where they also find a species of swan, ku'gru, 
probably Olor columbianus, which rarely visits the coast. 

Next in importance to the natives are the gulls, of which the Point 
Barrow gull, nau'ye (Larusbarrovianus), isthemost abundant all through 
the season, though the rare rosy gull, ka/nmaxlu (Bhodostethes rosea), 
appears in multitudes late in the autumn. The ivory gull (Gavia alba), 
nariyalbwun, and Sabine's gull, yuku'drigugi'i3 (Xema Sabinii), are un- 
common, while the Arctic tern, utyuta'kfn (Sterna paradisea), is rather 
abundant, especially about the sandspits of Nuwuk. All these species, 
particularly the larger ones, are taken for food. 

Three species of loons are common : the great white-billed loon, tu'dlin 
(Urinator adamsi), and the Pacific and red-throated divers (U. pacificus 
and lumme), which are not distinguished from each other but are both 
called ka/ksau. They also occasionally see the thick-billed guillemot 
a'kpa (Uria lomvia arra), and more often the sea-pigeon, sekbwek (Ce- 
phus mandtii). The three species of jaegers (Stercorarius pomarinus, 
parasiticus, and longicaudus) are not distinguished from one another 
but are all called isuhE. They pay but little attention to the numerous 
species of wading birds which appear in considerable abundance in the 
migrations and breeding season, but they recognize among them the 
turnstone, tuli'gwa (Arenaria interpres), the gray plover, ki'raio'n (Cha- 
radrius squatarola), the American golden plover, tu'dlin (C. doniinicus), 
the knot, tu'awi'a (Tringa canutus), the pectoral andBaird's sandpipers, 
(T. maculata and bairdii), both called ai'bwffkhj, the red-backed sand- 
piper, mekapin (T. alpina pacifica), the semipalmated sandpiper, ntwil- 
iwi'luk (Ereunetes pusillus), the buff-breasted sandpiper, nu'dluayu 
(Tryngites subruficollis), the red phalarope, sabran (Chrymophilus fuli- 
carius), and the northern phalarope, sabrauny (Phalaropus lobatus). 
The last is rare at Point Barrow, but they see many of them near the 
Colville. The little brown crane, tuti'drige (Grus canadensis), is also 
rare at the Point, but they say they find many of them at the mouth of 


Of land birds, the most familiar are the little snow bunting, amaulign 
(Plectrophenax nivalis), the first bird to arrive in the spring, the Lap- 
land longspnr, nCssau'dligu (Calcarius lapponicus), and two species of 
grouse, the willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus) and the rock ptarmigan 
(L. rupestris), which are both called aku'digin. These two birds do not 
migrate, but are to be seen all winter, as is also the well known snowy 
owl,u'kpik (ISTyctea nyctea). A gerfalcon, ki'drigumifi (Falco rusticolus), 
is also sometimes seen, and skins and feathers of the golden eagle, ti'fi- 
mickptik, "the great bird" (Aquila chrysaetos), are brought from the 
east for charms and ornaments. The raven, fulfil? (Corvus corax sin- 
uatus), was not seen at Point Barrow, but the natives are familiar with 
it and have many of its skins for amulets. Several species of small 
land birds also occur in small numbers, but the natives are not familiar 
with them and call them all "su'ksaxh?." This name appears to mean 
"wanderer" or "flutterer," and probably belongs, I believe, to the dif- 
ferent species of redpolls (Aegiothus). 

Fishes. — A few species only of fish are found in the salt water. Of 
these the most abundant are the little polar cod (Boreogadus saida), 
which is plentiful through the greater part of the year, and is often an 
important source of food, and the capelin, ahmu'gruh (Mallotus villosus), 
which is found in large schools close to the beach in the middle of sum- 
mer. There are also caught sometimes two species of sculpins, ku'naio 
(Cottus quadricornis and decastrensis), and two species of Lycodes, ku- 
grauni? (L. turnerii and coccineus). In the gill nets at Elson Bay they 
also catch two species of salmon (Onchorhynchus gorbuscha and nerka) 
and a whitefish (Coregonus laurettse) in small numbers, and occasion- 
ally a large trout (Salvelinus mahna). The last-named fish they find 
sometimes in great numbers, near the mouth of the Colville. 

The greatest quantities of fish are taken in the rivers, especially 
Kuaru and Kulugrua, by fishing through the ice in the winter. They 
say there are no fish taken in Ikpikpun, and account for this by explain- 
ing that the former two rivers freeze down to the bottom on the shallow 
bars inclosing deep pools in which the fish are held, while in the latter 
the ice never touches the bottom, so that the fish are free to run down 
to the sea. The species caught are the small Coregonus laurettae, two 
large whitefish (C. kennicottii and nelsoni), and the burbot, tita'lih 
(Lota maculosa). They speak of a fish, sulukpau'ga (which appears to 
mean "wing-fin" and is applied in Greenland to a species of Sebastes), 
that is caught with the hook in Kulugrua apparently only in summer, 
and seems from the description to be Back's grayling (Thymallus sig- 
nifer). In the river Ku is caught a smelt, lthoa'nifi (Osmerus dentex). 
In the great lake, Ta'syukpuu (see above, p. 29), they tell of an enor- 
mous fish "as big as a kaiak." They gave it no name, but describe it 
as having a red belly and white flesh. One man said he had seen one 
18 feet long, but another was more moderate, giving about 3 feet as the 
length of the longest he had seen. 

Murdoch.] INSECTS PLANTS. 59 

Insects and other invertebrates. — Of insects, they recognize the trouble- 
some mosquito, kiktorii? (Oulex spp.), flies, bumblebees, and gadflies 
(OEestrus tarandi), both of which they seem much afraid of, and call i'gu- 
tyai, and the universal louse, ku'inek. All the large winged insects, 
including the rare butterflies and moths and crane flies, are called tu- 
kilu'kica, or tdkilukidja'ksun, which is also the name of the yellow poppy 
(Papaver nudicaule). We were told that "by and by" the poppies 
would turn into "little birds" and fly away, which led us to suppose 
that there was some yellow butterfly which we should find abundant 
in the later summer, but we saw none either season. A small spider is 
sometimes found in the Eskimo houses, and is called pidrairu're, " the 
little braider." They pay but little attention to other invertebrates, 
but are familiar with worms, kupidro, a species of crab, kinau'rn, (Hyas 
latifrons), and the little . branchipus, iritu'ha (Greenlandic issitorak, 
"the little one with big eyes"), of the fresh water-pools. Cockles (Buc- 
cinum, etc.) are called siu'tigo (Gx. sinterok, from siut, ear), and clams 
have a name which we failed to obtain. Jellyfish are called ipiaru'rn, 
" like bags." They say the " Kunmudlm " eat them ! 


Few plants that are of any service to man grow in this region. The 
willows, ti'kplk, of various species, which near the coast are nothing 
but creeping vines, are sometimes used as fuel, especially along the 
rivers, where they grow into shrubs 5 or 6 feet high. Their catkins are 
used for tinder and the moss, inu'nik, furnishes wicks for the lamps. 
We could find no fruit that could be eaten. A cranberry (Vaccinium 
vitis-idaea) occurs, but produced no fruit either season. No use is made 
of the different species of grass, which are especially luxuriant around the 
houses at Utkiavwiii, where the ground is richly manured with various 
sorts of refuse, 1 though the species of mosses and lichens furnish the rein- 
deer with food easily reached in the winter through the light covering 
of snow. Little attention is paid to the numerous, and sometimes 
showy, flowering plants. We learned but two names of flowers, the 
one mentioned above, tukilu'kica, tukiliikTdja'ksun, which seemed to be 
applied to all striking yellow or white flowers, such as Papaver, Banuu 
culus, and Draba, and mai'sun, the bright pink Pedicularis. All the 
wood used in this region, except the ready-made woodenware and the 
willow poles obtained from the Nunatahmiun, comes from the drift on 
the beach. Most of this on the beach west of Point Barrow appears 
to come from the southwest, as the prevailing current along this shore 
is to the northeast, and may be derived from the large rivers flowing 
into Kotzebue Sound, since it shows signs of having been long in the 
water. The driftwood, which is reported to be abundant east of Point 
Barrow, probably comes from the great rivers emptying into the Arctic 

1 " The oil had acted as a manure on the soil, and produced a luxuriant crop of grass from 1 to 2 feet 
high " (village at Point Atkinson, east of the Mackenzie). Richardson Searching Exp., vol. 1, p. 254. 


Ocean. This wood is sufficiently abundant to furnish the natives with 
all they need for fuel and other purposes, and consists chiefly of pine, 
spruce, and cotton wood, mostly in the form of water-worn logs, often of 
large size. Of late years, also, much wood of the different kinds used 
in shipbuilding has drifted ashore from wrecks. 


The people of this region are acquainted with few mineral substances, 
excluding the metals which they obtain from the whites. The most 
important are flint, slate, soapstone, jade, and a peculiar form of massive 
pectolite, first described by Prof. F. W. Clarke ' from specimens brought 
home by our party. Flint, anma, was formerly in great demand for 
arrow and spear heads and other implements, and according to Dr. 
Simpson 2 was obtained from the Nunatanmiun. It is generally black 
or a slightly translucent gray, but we collected a number of arrowheads, 
etc., made of jasper, red or variegated. A few crystals of transparent 
quartz, sometimes smoky, were also seen, and appeared to be used as 
amulets. Slate, ulu'ksi?, "material for a round knife," was used, as its 
name imports, for making the woman's round knife, and for harpoon 
blades, etc. It is a smooth clay slate, varying in hardness, and light 
green, red, purple, dark gray, or black in color. All the pieces of soft 
gray soapstone, tuna'kte, which are so common at both villages, are 
probably fragments of the lamps and kettles obtained in former years 
from the eastern natives. The jade is often very beautiful, varying 
from a pale or bright translucent green to a dark olive, almost black, 
and was formerly used for making adzes, whetstones, and occasionally 
other implements. The pectolite, generally of a pale greenish or bluish 
color, was only found in the form of oblong, more or less cylindrical 
masses, used as hammerheads. Both of these minerals were called 
kau'dlo, and were said to come "from the east, a long way off," from 
high rocky ground, but all that we could learn was very indefinite. 
Dr. Simpson was informed 3 that the stones for making whetstones were 
brought from the Kuwiik River, so that this jade is probably the same 
as that which is said to form Jade Mountain, in that region. 

Bits of porphyry, syenite, and similar rocks are used for making 
labrets, and large pebbles are used as hammers and net sinkers. They 
have also a little iron pyrites, both massive and in the form of spherical 
concretions. The latter were said to come from the mouth of the Ool- 
ville, and are believed by the natives to have fallen from the sky. Two 
other kinds of stone are brought from the neighborhood of Nu'usfiknan, 
partly, it appears, as curiosities, and partly with some ill defined mysti- 
cal notions. The first are botryoidal masses of brown limonite, resemb- 
ling bog iron ore, and the other sort curious concretions, looking like the 
familiar "clay stones," but very heavy, and apparently containing a 

1 U. S. Geol. Surv., Bull. 9, p. 9, 1884. 2 Op. cit., p. 266. 3 Op. cit., p. 266. 


great deal of iron pyrites. White gypsum, used for rubbing the flesh 
side of deerskins, is obtained on the seashore at a place called Tu/tye, 
"one sleep" east from Point Barrow. 

Bituminous coal, alu'a, is well known, though not used for fuel. 
Many small fragments, which come perhaps from the vein at Cape Beau- 
fort, 1 are picked up on the beach. Shaly, very bituminous coal, broken 
into small square fragments, is rather abundant on the bars of Kulu- 
grua, whence specimens were brought by Oapt. Herendeen. A native 
of Wainwright Inlet gave us to understand that coal existed in a regu- 
lar vein near that place, and told a story of a burning hill in that 
region. This may be a coal bed on fire, or possibly " smoking cliffs," like 
those seen by the Investigator in Franklin Bay. 2 We also heard a story 
of a lake of tar or bitumen, adngun, said to be situated on an island a 
day's sail east of the point. Blacklead, mi'nun, and red ocher are 
abundant and used as pigments, but we did not learn where they were 
obtained. Pieces of amber are sometimes found on the beach and are 
carried as amulets or (rarely) made into beads. Amber is called aiiure, 
a word that in other Eskimo dialects, and probably in this also, means 
"a live coal." Its application to a lump of amber is quite a striking 
figure of speech. 



Substances used for food. — The food of these people consists almost en- 
tirely of animal substances. The staple article of food is the flesh of 
the rough seal, of which they obtain more than of any other meat. Next 
in importance is the venison of the reindeer, though this is looked upon 
as a kind of dainty. 3 Many well developed foetal reindeer are brought 
home from the spring deer hunt and are said to be excellent eating, 
though we never saw them eaten. They also eat the flesh of the other 
three species of seal, the walrus, the polar bear, the "bowhead" whale, 
the white whale, and all the larger kinds of birds, geese, ducks, gulls, 
and grouse. All the different kinds of fish appear to be eaten, with the 
possible exception of the two species of Lycodes (only a few of these 
were caught, and all were purchased for our collection) and very little 
of a fish is wasted except the hardest parts. Walrus hide is sometimes 
cooked and eaten in times of scarcity. Mollusks of any kind are rarely 
eaten, as it is difficult to procure them. After a heavy gale in the 
autumn of 1881, when the beach was covered with marine animals, mostly 
lamellibranch mollusks with their shells and softer parts broken off by 

■Hooper found coal on the beach at Nuwuk in 1849, showing that this coal has not necessarily been 
thrown over from ships. Tents of the Tuski, p. 221. 
2 Discovery of the Northwest Passage, p. 100. 
3 The Eskimo of Iglulik "prefer venison to any kind of meat." Parry, 2d Voyage, p. 510. 


the violence of the surf, we saw one woman collect a lapful of these 
"clam-heads," which she said she was going to eat. The "blackskin" 
(epidermis) of the whale is considered a great delicacy by them, as by 
all the other Eskimo who are able to procure it, and they are also very 
fond of the tough white skin or gum round the roots of the whalebone. 1 

We saw and heard nothing of the habit so generally noticed among 
other Eskimo and in Siberia of eating the half-digested contents of the 
stomach of the reindeer, but we found that they were fond of the faeces 
taken from the rectum of the deer. I find that this curious habit has 
been noticed among Eskimo only in two other places — Greenland in 
former times and Boothia Felix. The Greenlanders ate "the Dung of 
the Rein-deer, taken out of the Guts when they clean them; the Entrails 
of Partridges and the like Out-cast, pass for Dainties with them." 2 The 
dung of the musk ox and reindeer when fresh were considered a delicacy 
by the Boothians, according to J. C. Boss. 3 The entrails of fowls are 
also considered a great delicacy and are carefully cooked as a separate 
dish. 4 

As far as our observations go these people eat little, if any, more fat 
than civilized man, and, as a rule, not by itself. Fat may occasionally 
be eaten (they are fond of the fat on the inside of duck skins), but they 
do not habitually eat the great quantities of blubber spoken of in some 
other places 5 or drink oil, as the Hudson Bay Eskimo are said to do 
by Hall, or use it as a sauce for dry food, like the natives of Norton 
Sound. It is usually supposed and generally stated in the popular ac- 
counts of the Eskimo that it is a physiological necessity for them to eat 
enormous quantities of blubber in order to obtain a sufficient amount ot 
carbon to enable them to maintain their animal heat in the cold climate 
which they inhabit. A careful comparison, however, of the reports of 
actual observers 6 shows that an excessive eating of fat is not the rule, 
and is perhaps confined to the territory near Boothia Felix. 

Eggs of all kinds, except, of course, the smallest, are eagerly sought 
for, but the smaller birds are seldom eaten, as it is a waste of time and 
ammunition to pursue them. We saw this people eat no vegetable sub- 
stances, though they informed us that the buds of the willow were some- 
times eaten. Of late years they have acquired a fondness for many 
kinds of civilized food, especially bread of any kind, flour, sugar, and 
molasses, and some of them are learning to like salt. They were very 

1 Compare Hooper, Tents, etc. "This, which the Tuski call their sugar," p. 174; and Hall, Arctic 
Researches, p. 132 (Baffin Land). 

2 Egede, Greenland, p. 136. 

3 Appendix to Ross's 2d Voyage, p. xix. 

■■Compare the passage from Egede, .just quoted, and also Kumlien. Contributions, etc., p. 20, at Cum- 
berland Gulf. 

6 For instance, Schwatka says that the Xgtcillk of King William Land devour enormous quantities 
of seal blubber, "noticeably more in summer than the other tribes," viz, those of the western shores 
of Hudson's Bay (Scienco, vol. 4, p. 544). Parry speaks of the natives of the Savage Islands, Hud- 
son's Strait, eating raw blubber and sucking the oil remaining on the skins they had emptied (2d Voy- 
age, p. 14). 

c See for example Egede.'s Greenland, p. 134; Crantz, History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 144; Dall, 
Alaska, passim; Hooper. Tents of the Tuski, p. 170; Nordenskiold, Vega, p. 110. 


glad to purchase from us corn-meal "mush" and the broken victuals from 
the table. These were, however, considered as special dainties and 
eaten as luncheons or as a dessert after the regular meal. The children 
and even some of the women were always on the watch for the cook's 
slop bucket to be brought out, and vied with the ubiquitous dogs in 
searching for scraps of food. Meat which epicures would call rather 
"high" is eaten with relish, but they seem to prefer fresh meat when 
they can get it. 

Means of preparing food. — Food is generally cooked, except, perhaps, 
whale-skin and whale-gum, which usually seem to be eaten as soon as 
obtained, without waiting for a fire. Meat of all kinds is generally 
boiled in abundance of water over a fire of driftwood, and the broth 
thus made is drunk hot before eating the meat. Fowls are prepared for 
boiling by skinning them. Fish are also boiled, but are often eaten raw, 
especially in winter at the deer-hunting camps, when they are frozen 
hard. Meat is sometimes eaten raw or frozen. Lieut. Ray found one 
family in camp on Kulugrua who had no fire of any kind, and were 
eating everything raw. They had run out of oil some time before and 
did not like to spend time in going to the coast for more while deer were 

When traveling in winter, according to Lieut. Ray, they prefer frozen 
fish or a sort of pemmican made as follows : The marrow is extracted 
from reindeer bones by boiling, and to a quantity of this is added 2 or 3 
pounds of crushed seal or whale blubber, and the whole beaten up with 
the hands in a large wooden bowl to the consistency of frozen cream. 
Into this they stir bits of boiled venison, generally the poorer portions 
of the meat scraped off the bone, and chewed up small by all the women 
and children of the family, "each using some cabalistic word as they 
cast in their mouthful." 1 The mass is made up into 2-pound balls and 
carried in little sealskin bags. Flour, when obtained, is made into a 
sort of porridge, of which they are very fond. Cooking is mostly done 
outside of the dwelling, in the open air in summer, or in kitchens opening 
out of the passageway in winter. Little messes only, like an occasional 
dish of soup or porridge, are cooked over the lamps in the house. This 
habit, of course, comes from the abundant supply of firewood, while the 
Eskimo most frequently described live in a country where wood is very 
scarce, and are obliged to depend on oil for fuel. 

Time and frequency of eating. — When these people are living in the 
winter houses they do not, as far as we could learn, have any regular 
time for meals, but eat whenever they are hungry and have leisure. The 
women seem to keep a supply of cooked food on hand ready for any 
one to eat. When the men are working in the ku'dyigi,or " club house," 
or when a number of them are encamped together in tents, as at the 
whaling camp in 1883, or the regular summer camp at Pe'rnyu, the 
women at intervals through the day prepare dishes of meat, which the 

1 Lieut. Ray's MS. notes. 


men eat by themselves. AVhen in the deer-hunting camps, according 
to Lieut. Ray, they eat but little in the morning, and can really be said 
to take no more than one full meal a day, which is eaten at night when 
the day's work is done. 1 When on the march they usually take a few 
moutlifuls of the pemmican above described before they start out in 
the morning, and rarely touch food again till they go into camp at 

When a family returns from the spring deer hunt with plenty of ven- 
ison they usually keep open house for a day or two. The women of the 
household, with sometimes the assistance of a neighbor or two, keep 
the pot continually boiling, sending in dishes of meat at intervals, 
while the house is full of guests who stay for a short time, eating, 
smoking, and chatting, and then retire to make room for others. Messes 
are sometimes sent out to invalids who can not come to the feast. One 
household in the spring of 1883 consumed in this way two whole rein- 
deer in 24 hours. They use only their hands and a knife in eating meat, 
usually filling the mouth and cutting or biting off the mouthful. They 
are large eaters, some of them, especially the women, eating all the time 
when they have plenty, but we never saw them gorge themselves in the 
manner described by Dr. Kane (2d Grinnell Exp., passim) and other 

Their habits of hospitality prevent their laying up any large supply 
of meat, though blubber is carefully saved for commercial use, and they 
depend for subsistence, almost from day to day, on their success in 
hunting. When encamped, however, in small parties in the summer they 
often take more seals than they can consume. The carcasses of these, 
stripped of their skins and blubber, are buried in the gravel close to the 
camp, and dug up and brought home when meat becomes scarce in the 

The habitual drink is water, which these people consume in great 
quantities when they can obtain it, and like to have very cold. In the 
winter there is always a lump of clean snow on a rack close to the lamp, 
with a tub under it to catch the water that drips from it. This is re- 
placed in the summer by a bucket of fresh water from some pond or 
lake. When the men are sitting in their open air clubs at the summer 
camps there is always a bucket of fresh water in the middle of the cir- 
cle, with a dipper to drink from. Hardly a native ever passed the sta- 
tion without stopping for a drink of. water, often drinking a quart of 
cold water at a time. When tramping about in the winter they eat 
large quantities of ice and snow, and on the march the women carry 
small canteens of sealskin, which they fill with snow and carry inside 
of their jackets, where the heat of the body melts the snow and keeps 

1 "They have no set Time for Meals, but every one eats when he is hungry, except when they go to 
sea, and then their chief Repast is a supper after they are come home in the Evening." (Egede, Green- 
laud, p. 135. Compare also, (Jrantz, vol. 1, p. 145.) 


it liquid. This great fondness for plenty of cold water has been often 
noticed among the Eskimo elsewhere, and appears'to be quite charac- 
teristic of the race. 1 They have acquired a taste for liquor, and like to 
get enough to produce intoxication. As well as we could judge, they 
are easily affected by alcohol. Some of them during our stay learned 
to be very fond of coffee, u ka'fe," but tea they are hardly acquainted 
with, though they will drink it. I have noticed that they sometimes 
drank the water produced by the melting of the sea ice along the beach, 
and pronounced it excellent when it was so brackish that I found it quite 


The only narcotic in use among these people is tobacco, which they 
obtain directly or indirectly from the whites, and which has been in use 
among them from the earliest time when we have any knowledge of 
them. When Mr. Elson, in the Blossom's barge, visited Point Barrow, in 
1826, he found tobacco in general use and the most marketable article. 2 
This undoubtedly came from the Russians by way of Siberia and Ber- 
ing Strait, as Kotzebue found the natives of the sound which bears his 
name, who were in communication with the Asiatic coast by way of the 
Diomedes, already addicted to the use of tobacco in 1816. It is not 
probable that tobacco was introduced on the Arctic coast by way of the 
Russian settlements in Alaska. There were no Russian posts north of 
Bristol Bay until 1833, when St. Michael's Redoubt was built. When 
Oapt. Cook visited Bristol Bay, in 1778, he found that tobacco was 
not used there, 3 while in Norton Sound, the same year, the natives "had 
no dislike to tobacco." 4 Neither was it introduced from the English 
posts in the east, as Franklin found the "Kufimu'dliQ" not in the habit 
of using it — "The western Esquimaux use tobacco, and some of our 
visitors had smoked it, but thought the flavor very disagreeable," 5 — nor 
had they adopted the habit in 1837. 6 

When the Plover wintered at Point Barrow, according to Dr. Simpson's 
account, 7 all the tobacco, except a little obtained from the English dis- 
covery ships, came from Asia and was brought by the Nunatahmiun. 
At present the latter bring very little if any tobacco, and the supply is 
obtained directly from the ships, though a little occasionally finds its 
way up the coast from the southwest. 

'See, for instance, Egede: "Their Drink is nothing but Water" (Greenland, p. 134), and, "Fur- 
thermore, they put great Lumps of Ice and Snow into the Water they drink, to make it cooler for to 
quench their Thirst" ( p. 135). "Their drink is clear water, which stands in the house in a great copper 
vessel, or in a wooden tub. * * * They bring in a supply of fresh water every day * * * and 
that their water may be cool they choose to lay a piece of ice or a little snow in it" * * * (Crantz, 
vol. 1, p. 144). Compare, also, Parry, 2d voy., p. 506, where the natives of Iglulik are said to drink a 
great deal of water, which they get by melting snow, and like very cold. The same fondness for water 
was observed by Nordenskiold in Siberia (Vega, vol. 2, p. 114) 

2 Beechey, Voyage, p. 308. 

3 Third Voyage, vol. 2, p. 437. 

4 Ibid, 2, p. 479. 

6 Second Exp., p. 130. 
6 See T. Simpson, Narrative, p. 156. 
7 Op.cit.,pp., 235, 236, 266. 
9 ETH 5 


They use all kinds of tobacco, but readily distinguish and desire the 
sorts considered better by the whites. For instance, they were eager to 
get the excellent quality of "Navy" tobacco furnished by the Com- 
missary Department, while one of our party who had a large quantity 
of exceedingly bad fine-cut tobacco could hardly give it away. A little 
of the strong yellow "Circassian" tobacco used by the Russians for 
trading is occasionally brought up from the southwest, and perhaps also 
by the Nunatanmiun, and is very highly prized, probably because it was 
in this form that they first saw tobacco. Snuff seems to be unknown ; 
tobacco is used only for chewing and smoking. The habit of chewing 
tobacco is almost universal. Men, women, and even children, though 
the latter be but 2 or 3 years old and unweaned, 1 when tobacco is to be 
obtained, keep a "chew," often of enormous size, constantly in the mouth. 
The juice is not spit out, but swallowed with the saliva, without pro- 
ducing any signs of nausea. The tobacco is chewed by itself and not 
sweetened with sugar, as was observed by Hooper and Nordenskiold 
among the "Chukches." 2 I knew but two adult Eskimo in Utkiavwiu 
who did not chew tobacco, and one of these adopted the habit to a cer- 
tain extent while we were there. 

Tobacco is smoked in pipes of a peculiar pattern called kui'nyB, of 
which the collection contains a series of ten specimens. 

Of these, So. 89288 [705], 3 figured in Ray's Point Barrow Report, 
Ethnology, PI. I, Fig. 1, will serve as a type. The bowl is of brass, 
neatly inlaid on the upper surface with a narrow ring of copper close to 
the edge, from which inn four converging lines, 90° apart, nearly to the 
center. Round the under surface are also three concentric rings of 
copper. The wooden stem appears to be willow or birch, and is in two 
longitudinal sections, held together by the lashing of sealskin thong 
which serves to attach the, bowl to the stem. This lashing was evidently 
put on wet and allowed to shrink on, and the ends are secured by tuck- 
ing under the turns. The whipping at the mouthpiece is of fine sinew 
thread. A picker of steel for cleaning out the bowl is attached to the 
stem by a piece of seal thong, the end of which is wedged under the 
turns of the lashing. The remaining pipes are all of the same general 
pattern, but vary in the material of the bowl and in details of execu- 
tion. The steins are always of the same material and put together in 
the same way, but are sometimes lozenge-shaped instead of elliptical 
in section. The lashing is sometimes of three-ply sinew braid. The 
bowl shows the greatest variation, both in form and material. 

Fig. Ga (No. 5G737 [10], from Utkiavwiu) has an iron bowl, noticeable 
for the ornamentation of the shank. The metal work has all been done 
with the file except the fitting of the saucer to the shank. This has 
evidently been heated and shrunk on. Three pipes have bowls of 

1 Compare J. Simpson, op. cit., p. 250, and Nordenskiold, Vega, vol. 2, p. 11C. 

2 Tents, etc., p. 83 ; Vega, vol. 2, p. 116. 

3 The numbers first given aro those of the National Museum ; the numbers in brackets are those of 

the collector. 




smoothly ground stone. No. 89289 [1582] (Fig. 6b from Utkiavwifi) is 
of rather soft greenish gray slate. No. 89290 [804] is of the same shape, 
but of hard greenish stone, while the third stone pipe (No. 89291 [834], 
from Utkiavwifi), of gray slate, is of quite a different pattern. Three of 
the series have bowls of reindeer antler, lined with thin sheet brass, 
and one a bowl of walrus ivory, lined with thin copper. (See Fig. 6c, 
Nos. 89285 [954], 89286 [915], and 89287 [1129].) 

WmwyrT* ' 

Fig. 6.— Pipes : a, pipe with metal bowl ; 6, pipe with stone bowl; c, pipe bowl of antler or ivory. 

Antler and stone pipes of this pattern and rather small are usually 
carried by the men out of doors, while the more elaborate metal jnpes, 
which are often very large and handsome (1 have seen some with a 
saucer at least 3 inches in diameter) are more frequently used in the 
house and by the women. The stem is usually 1 foot or 13 inches long, 
though pipes at least 18 inches long were seen. 

To most pipes are attached pickers, as in the type specimen. The 
picker is in all cases of metal, usually iron or steel, but sometimes of 
copper (see the pickers attached to pipes above). When not in use the 
point is tucked under the lashing on the stem. The pipes are readily 
taken apart for cleaning. 


No. 89292 [1752] (Fig. 7) is an extemporized pipe made in a hurry 
by a man who wished to smoke, but had no pipe. 

It is simply a rough willow stick, slightly whittled into shape, split 
and hollowed out like a pipestem. It is held together by a whipping 
of sinew thread and a lashing of deerskin thong, fastened by a slip- 

Fig. 7.— Pipe made of willow stick. 

knot at one end, the other being tucked in as usual. A small funnel- 
shaped hole at one end serves for a bowl, and shows by its charred 
surface that it has been actually used. This pipe was bought from one 
of the "Nunatanmiun," who were in camp atPernyuin 1883, and shows 
its inland origin in the use of the deerskin thong. A coast native would 
have used seal thong. 

The pipe is carried at the girdle, either with the stem thrust inside 
the breeches or in a bag attached to the belt. No. 56744 [55] (Utkiavwiu) 
is the only specimen of pipe bag in the collection. It is a long, narrow, 
cylindric bag, made of four white ermine skins, with two hind legs and 
two tails forming a fringe round the bottom, which is of dressed deerskin, 
in one piece, flesh side out. The band round the mouth is of gray deer- 
skin, running only two-thirds of the way round. The piece which fills the 
remaining third runs out into the strap for fastening the bag to the 
belt. The ornamental strips on two of the longitudinal seams and 
round the bottom are of deerskin. The seams are all sewed "over and 
over" on the "wrong" side with sinew thread. This is an unusually 
handsome bag. 

Tobacco is carried in a small pouch of fur attached to the girdle, and 
tucked inside of the breeches, or sometimes worn under the jacket, 
slung round the neck by a string or the necklace. The collection con- 
tains three of these, of which No. 89803 [889] (Fig. 8a) will serve as a 
typical specimen. 

It is made by sewing together two pieces of wolverine fur, hair out, 
of the same shape and size, and round the mouth of this a band of short- 
haired light-colored deerskin, also hair out, with the ends meeting at 
one side in a seam corresponding to one of the seams of the wolverine 
fur. The mouth is ornamented with a narrow band of wolverine fur, 
the flesh side, which is colored red, turned out. It is closed by a 
piece of seal thong about 5 inches long, one end of which is sewed to the 
middle of the seam in the deerskin band and the other passed through 
a- large blue glass bead and knotted. This string is wound two or three 
times round the neck of the bag, and the bight of it tucked under the 




turns. The seams are all sewed "over and over" on the " wrong" side 
with sinew thread. 

These tobacco pouches are usually of a similar pattern, often slightly 
narrowed at the neck, and generally fringed round the mouth with a 
narrow strip of wolverine fur as above. They are often ornamented 
with tags of wolverine fur on the seams (as in No. 89804 [1341, Fig. 
8b]), and borders of different colored skin. No. 89805 [1350] is very 
elaborately ornamented. It is made of brown deerskin, trimmed with 
white deerskin clipped close and bordered with narrow braids of blue 
and red worsted, and little tags of the latter. According to Dr. Simp- 
son, 1 these bags are called " del-la-mai'-yu." We neglected to obtain 
the proper names for them, as we always made use of the lingua franca 
" tiba' piiksak," bag for tiba' (tobacco). No. 89903 [889] contains a spec-' 
iinen of tobacco as prepared for smoking by the Eskimo. This consists 






WW' •'■'> 


Fig. 8. — Tobacco pouches. 

of common black Cavendish or "Navy" tobacco, cut up very fine, and 
mixed with finely chopped wood in the proportion of about two parts of 
tobacco to one of wood. We were informed that willow twigs were used 
for this purpose. Perhaps this may have some slight aromatic flavor, 
as well as serving to make the tobacco go further, though I did not 
recognize any such flavor in some tobacco from an Eskimo's pouch that 
I once smoked and found exceedingly bad. The smell of an Eskimo's 

1 Op. cit., p. 243. 


pipe is different from any other tobacco smoke and is very disagreeable. 
It has some resemblance to the smell of some of the cheaper brands of 
North Carolina tobacco which are known to be adulterated with other 
vegetable substances. The method of smoking is as follows: After 
clearing out the bowl with the picker, a little wad of deer hair, plucked 
from the clothes in some inconspicuous place, generally the front skirt 
of the inner jacket, is rammed down to the bottom of the bowl. This is 
to prevent the fine tobacco from getting into the stem and clogging it 
up. The bowl is then filled with tobacco, of which it only holds a very 
small quantity. The mouthpiece is placed between the lips, the tobacco 
ignited, and all smoked out in two or three strong inhalations. The 
smoke is very deeply inhaled and allowed to pass out slowly from the 
mouth and nostrils, bringing tears to the eyes, often producing giddi- 
ness, and almost always a violent fit of coughing. I have seen a man 
almost prostrated from the effects of a single pipeful. This method 
of smoking has been in vogue since the time of our first acquaintance 
with these people.' 

Though they smoke little at a time, they smoke frequently when to- 
bacco is plentiful. Of late years, since tobacco has become plentiful, some 
have adopted white men's pipes, which they smoke without inhaling, 
and they are glad to get cigars, and, since our visit, cigarettes. In con- 
versation with us they usually called all means for smoking "pai'pa," 
the children sometimes specifying "pai'pa-sigya"' (cigar) or "mukpara- 
pai'pa," paper-pipe (cigarette). The use of the kui'nyu, which name 
appears to be applied only to the native pipes, seems to be confined to 
the adults. We knew of no children owning them, though their parents 
made no objection to their chewing tobacco or owning or using clay or 
wooden pipes which they obtained from us. They carry their fondness 
for tobacco so far that they will even eat the foul oily refuse from the 
bottom of the bowl, the smallest portion of which would produce nausea 
in a white man. This habit has been observed at Plover Bay, Siberia. 2 
Tobacco ashes are also eaten, probably for the sake of the potash they 
contain, as one of the men at Utkiavwifi was fond of carbonate of soda, 
which he told the doctor was just like what he got from his pipe. 
Pipes of this type, differing in details, but all agreeing in having very 
small bowls, frequently of metal, and some contrivance for opening the 
stem, are used by the Eskimo from at least as far south as the Yukon 
delta (as shown by the collections in the National Museum) to the An- 

1 See T. Simpson : '-Not content with chewing and smoking it, they swallowed the fumes till they 
became sick, and seemed to revel in a momentary intoxication." Point Barrow (183T), Narrative, p. 156. 
Also Kotzcbue: "They chew, snnff, smoke, and even swallow the smoke." Kotzebuc Sound (1816) 
Voyage, vol. 1, p. 237. Beeehey also describes the people of Hotham Inlet in 1826 as smoking in the 
manner above described, obtaining the hair from a strip of dogskin tied to the pipe. Their tobacco 
was mixed with wood. Voyage, p. 300. Petitot (Monographic, etc.. p. xxix) describes a precisely sim- 
ilar method of smoking among the Mackenzie Eskimos. Their tobacco was "melange a de la raclure 
do saule" and the pipe was called "kwiDepk," (Vocabulaire, p. 54). 

8 See Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 177, and Dall, Alaska, p. 81. 


derson Eiver and Cape Bathurst, 1 and have even been adopted by the 
Indians of the Yukon, who learned the use of tobacco from the Eskimo. 
They are undoubtedly of Siberian origin, as will be seen by comparing 
the figure of a "Chukch" pipe in Nordenskiold's Vega, vol. 2, p. 117, 
Fig. 7, and the figure of a Tunguse pipe in Seebohm's "Siberia in Asia" 
(p. 149), with the pipes figured from our collection. Moreover, the 
method of smoking is precisely that practiced in Siberia, even to the 
proportion of wood mixed with the tobacco. 2 

The consideration of the question whence the Siberians acquired this 
peculiar method of smoking would lead me beyond the bounds of the 
present work, but I can not leave the subject of pipes without calling 
attention to the fact that Nordenskiold 3 has alluded to the resemblance 
of these to the Japanese pipes. A gentleman who has spent many 
years in China also informs me that the Chinese pipes are of a very 
similar type and smoked in much the same way. 4 The Greenlanders 
and eastern Eskimo generally, who have learned the use of tobacco 
directly from the Europeans, use large-bowled pipes, which they smoke 
in the ordinary manner. In talking with us the people of Point Barrow 
call tobacco " tiba' " or " tibaki," but among themselves it is still known 
as ta'wak, which is the word found in use among them by the earliest 
explorers. 5 "Tiba" was evidently learned from the American whalers, 
as it was not in use in Dr. Simpson's time. It is merely an attempt to 
pronounce the word tobacco, but has been adopted into the Eskimo 

1 This is an interesting fact, as it shows that the Eskimo from Demarcation Point east learned to 
smoke from the people of Point Barrow, and not from the English or the northern Indians, who use 
pipes "modeled after the clay pipes of the Hudson Bay Company." (Dall, Alaska, p. 81, Fig. A.) 
They acquired the habit some time between 1837, when T. Simpson found them ignorant of the use of 
tobacco (see reference above, p. 65), and 1849, when they were glad to receive it from Pullen and Hooper. 
(Tents, etc., p. 258.) Petitot (Monographic etc., p. xxvi) states that the Eskimo of the Mackenzie 
informed him that the use of tobacco and the form of the pipe, with blue beads, labrets, and other things, 
came through the neighbors from a distant land called " Nate'po vik, " which he supposes to mean St. 
Michaels, but which, from the evidence of other travelers, is much more likely to mean Siberia. 

The Eskimo geography, on which Fr. Petitot relies so strongly, is extremely vague west of Barter 
Island, and savors of the fabulous almost as much as the Point Barrow stories about the eastern natives. 
The evidence which leads Fr. Petitot to believe " Nate'povik " to he St. Michaels is rather peculiar. 
The Mackenzie natives call the people who are nearest to Nate'povik on the north "the Sedentary." 
Now, the people who live nearest to St. Michaels on the north are the "Sedentary American Tchu- 
katehis"(!); therefore Nate'povik is probably St. Michaels. ("Le nom Natepovik semble convenir 4 
l'ancien fort russe Michaelowski, en ce que la trib.i innok la plus voisine de ce poste, vers le nord, est 
designee par nos Tchiglit sous le nom d' Apkwam-meut ou de Sedentaires; or telle est la position 
gCographique qui convient aux sedentaires Tchukatches americains, dont la limite la plus septen- 
trionale, selon le capitaine Beechey, est la pointe Barrow.") A slight acquaintance with the work of 
of Ball and other modern explorers in this region would have saved Fr. Petitot from this and some 
other errors. 

8 See Wrangell, Narrative of an Expedition, etc., p. 58. 'The Russians here [at Kolymsk, 1820] 
smoke in the manner common to all the people of northern Asia; they draw in the tobacco smoke, 
swallow it, and allow it to escape again hy the nose and ears (!)." The tobacco is said to be. mixed 
with "finely powdered larch wood, to make it go further" (ibid.). See also Hooper, Tents, etc. : "Gen- 
erally, I believe, about one-third part of wood is used " (pp. 176 and 177 ; and Nordonskiokl, Vega, vol. 
2, p. 116.) 

3 Vega, vol. 2, p. 116. 

"See also Petitot, Monographie, etc., p. xxix. 

6 See Beechey, Voyage, p. 323; T. Simpson, Narrative, p. 156— "tobacco, which * * * they call 
tawac, ortawakh, a name acquired of course from Russian traders;" Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 239; also 
Maguire and J. Simpson, loc. cit. passim. Petitot calls ta'wak "mot francais corrompu " ! 



language sufficiently to be used as the radical in compound words such 
as " tiba'xutiku/ktuTi'B," " I have a supply of tobacco." There is no 
evidence that anything else was smoked before the introduction of 
tobacco, and no pipes seen or collected appear older than the time when 
we know them to have had tobacco. 1 


The winter house (i'glu). — The permanent winter houses are built of 
wood 2 and thickly covered with clods of earth. Each house consists of 
a single room, nearly square, entered by an underground passage about 
25 feet long and 4 to 4£ feet high. The sloping mound of earth which 


Vertical Section. 
Fig. 9. — Plans of Eskimo winter house. 

covers the house, grading off insensibly to the level of the ground, gives 
the houses the appearance of being underground, especially as the land 
on which they stand is irregular and hilly. Without very careful 
measurements, which we were unable to make, it is impossible to tell 
whether the floor is above or below the surface of the ground. It is 
certainly not very far either way. I am inclined to think that a space 

1 Since the above was written, the word for pipe, "kuiuyc," has been found to he of Siberian origin. 
Seethe writer's article "On the Siberian origin of some customs of the Western Eskimos " (Amer- 
ican Anthropologist, vol. 1, pp. 325-336). 

2 In some of the older houses, the ruins of which are still to be seen at the southwest end of the vil- 
lage of Utkiavwiu, whales' bones were used for timbers. Compare Lyon Journal, p. 171, where the 
winter huts at Iglulik are described as "entirely constructed of the bones of whales, unicorns, wal- 
ruses, and smaller animals," with the interstices tilled with earth and moss. 




at or near the top of a hillock is simply leveled to receive the floor. In 
this case the back of the house on a hill side, like some in Utkiavwiii, 
would be underground. 

The passage is entered at the farther end by a vertical shaft about 6 
feet deep in the center of a steep mound of earth. Bound the mouth is 
a square frame or combing of wood, and blocks of wood are placed in 
the shaft to serve as steps. One or two houses in Utkiavwiii had ship's 
companion ladders in the shaft. This entrance can be closed with a 
piece of walrus hide or a wooden cover in severe weather or when the 
family is away. The passage is about 4 feet wide and the sides and 

Fig. 10.— Interior of iglu, looking toward door. 

roof are supported by timbers of whalebone. On the right hand near 
the inner end is a good-sized room opening from the passage, which has 
a wooden roof covered with earth, forming a second small mound close 
to the house, with a smoke hole in the middle, and serves as a kitchen, 
while various dark and irregular recesses on the other side serve as 
storerooms. The passage is always icy and dark. 

At the inner end of the passage a circular trapdoor in the floor opens 
into the main room of the house, close to the wall at the middle of one 
end. The floor is at such a height from the bottom of the tunnel that a 
man standing erect in the tunnel has his head and shoulders in the 
room. These rooms vary somewhat in dimensions, but are generally 
about 12 or 14 feet long and 8 or 10 feet wide. The floor, walls, and 
roof are made of thick planks of driftwood, dressed smooth and neatly 
fitted together, edge to edge. The ridgepole runs across the house and 
the roof slopes toward each end. The two slopes are unequal, the front, 
or that towards the entrance, being considerably the longer. The walls 



are vertical, those at the ends being between 3 and 4 feet high, while 
the sides run up to G or 7 feet at the ridgepole. The wall planks run 
up and down, and those of the roof from the ridge to the ends of the 
house, where there is a stout horizontal timber. In some houses the 
walls are made of paneled bulkheads from some wrecked whaler. 

In the front of the house over the trapdoor there are no planks for a 
space of about 2 feet. The lower part of this space is filled in with 
short transverse beams, so as to leave a square hole close to the ridge. 
This hole has a stout transverse beam at the top and bottom and serves 
as a window. When the house is occupied it is covered by a translucent 
membrane made of strips of seal entrail sewed together and stretched 

i • / / ^7^^/^7^-r;^^5^^,:^^ 

Fig. 11. — Interior of iglu. looking toward bench. 

over two arched sticks of light wood — whalebone was used in Dr. Simp- 
son's time 1 — running diagonally across from corner to corner. The win- 
dow is closed with a wooden shutter when the house is shut up in winter, 
but both apertures are left open in summer. Just above the window, 
close to the ridgepole, is a little aperture for ventilation. Across the 
back of the room runs a platform or banquette, about 30 inches high in 
front and sloping back a little, which serves as a sleeping and lounging 
place. It is about 5 feet wide, and the front edge comes nearly under 
the ridgepole. It is made of thick planks running across the house, and 
supported at each end by a horizontal beam, the end of which projects 
somewhat beyond the bench and is supported by a round post. At each 
side of the house stands a lamp, and over these are suspended racks in 
the shape of small ladders for drying clothing, 2 etc. Deerskin blankets 


2 Compare Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 46: "Small lattice shelves * * * on which moccasins 
arc put to dry." Plover Bay. See also plate to face p. 160 Tarry's Second Voyage. 


for the bed, which are rolled up and put under the bench when not in use, 
and a number of wooden tubs of various sizes — I counted nine tubs 
and buckets in one house in Utkiavwin — complete the furniture. 

Two families usually occupy such a house, in which case each wife has 
her own end of the room and her own lamp, near which on the floor she 
usually sits to work. Some houses contain but one family and others 
more. I knew one house in Utkiavwin whose regular occupants were 
thirteen in number, namely, a father with his wife and adopted daughter, 
two married sons each with a wife and child, his Avidowed sister with her 
son and his wife, and one little girl. This house was also the favorite 
stopping-place for people who came down from Nuwiik to spend the 
night. The furniture is always arranged in the same way. There is 
only one rack on the right side of the house and two on the left. Of 
these the farther from the lamp is the place for the lump of snow. In this 
same corner are kept the tubs, and the large general chamber pot and 
the small male urinal are near the trap door. Dishes of cooked meat 
are also kept in this corner. This leaves the other corner of the house 
vacant for women visitors, who sit there and sew. Male visitors, as well 
as the men of the house when they have nothing to do, usually sit on 
the edge of the banquette. 

In sleeping they usually lie across the banquette with their feet to 
the wall, but sometimes, when there are few people in the house, lie 
lengthwise, and occasionally sleep on the floor under the banquette. 
Petitot says that in the Mackenzie region only married peojde sleep with 
their heads toward the edge of the banquette. Children and visitors 
lie with their heads the other way. 1 (See Fig. 9, ground plan andsection 
of house, and Figs. 10 and 11, interior, from sketches by the writer. 
For outside see Fig. 12, from a photograph by Lieut. Eay). 

At the back of the house is a high oblong scaffolding, made by set- 
ting up tall poles of driftwood, four, six, or eight in number, and fasten- 
ing on cross pieces about 8 or 10 feet from the ground, usually in two 
tiers, of which the lower supports the frames of the kaiaks and the 
upper spears and other bulky property. Nothing except very heavy 
articles, such as sledges, boxes, and barrels, is ever left on the ground. 
A man can easily reach this scaffold from the top of the house, but it is 
high enough to be out of reach of the dogs. The cross pieces are usually 
supported on crotches made by lashing the lower jaw of a walrus to 
the pole, so that one ramus lies along the latter. Scaffolds of this sort, 
usually spoken of as "caches" or "cache frames," are of necessity used 
among the Eskimos generally, as it is the only way in which they can 
protect their bulky property. 2 

1 Monographic, etc., p. xxhi. 

2 Seo for instance, Crantz, History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 141; Franklin, 1st Exped., vol. 2, p. 194 
(Coppermine River) ; 2d Exped., p. 121 (Mouth of the Mackenzie, where they are made of drift logs 
stuck up so that the roots servo as crotches to hold the cross pieces) ; Hooper, Tents, etc., pp. 48, 228, 
and 343 (Plover Bay, Point Barrow, and Toker Point) ; J. Simpson, op. cit., p. 256 (Point Barrow) ; Nor- 
denskibld, Vega, vol. 2, p. 92 (Pitlokaj). 


Around Norton Sound, however, they use a more elaborate structure, 
consisting of a regular little house G feet square, raised 6 to 10 feet from 
the ground on four posts. 1 

Belonging to each household, and usually near the house, are low 
scaffolds for the large boats, rows of posts for stretching lines of thong, 
and one or more small cellars or underground rooms framed with whales' 
bones, the skull being frequently used for a roof, which serve as store- 
houses for blubber. These may be called "blubber rooms." 

These winter houses can oidy be occupied when the weather is cold 
enough to keep the ground hard frozen. During the summer the pas- 
sageways are full of water, which freezes at the beginning of winter 

Fig. 12.— House in Utkiavwifi. 

and is dug out with a pickax. The people of Utkiavwin began to come 
to us to borrow our pickax to clean out their iglus about September 24, 
1882, and all the houses were vacated before July 1, both seasons. 

This particular form of winter house, though in general like those 
built by other Eskimo, nevertheless differs in many respects from any 
described elsewhere. For instance, the Greenland house was an oblong 
flat-roofed building of turf and stones, with the passageway in the 
7iii(ldle of one side instead of one end, and not underground. Still, the 
door and windows were all on one side, and the banquette or "brix" 
only on the side opposite the entrance. The windows were formerly 
made of seal entrails, and the passage, though not underground, was 
still lower than the floor of the house, so that it was necessary to step 
up at each end. 2 

A detailed description of the peculiar communal house of the East 

'D.ill, Alaska, p. 13. 

2 Egede, Greenland, p. 114; Crantz, History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 139; Kink, Tales and Traditions, 
p. 7. 




Greenlanders, of which there is only one at each village, will be found 
in Capt. Holm's paper in the Geograftsk Tidskrift, vol. 8, pp. 87-89. This 
is the long house of West Greenland, still further elongated till it will 
accommodate "half a score of families, that is to say, 30 to 50 people." 
John Davis (158G) describes the houses of the Greenlanders "neere the 
Sea side," which were made with pieces of wood on both sides, and 
crossed over with poles and then covered over with earth. 1 

At Iglulik the permanent houses were dome shaped, built of bones, 
with the interstices filled with turf, and had a short, low passage. 2 No 
other descriptions of permanent houses are to be found until we reach the 

Fig. 13.— Ground plan and section of winter bouse in Mackenzie region. 

people of the Mackenzie region, who build houses of timbers, of rather 
a peculiar pattern, covered with turf, made in the form of a cross, 
of which three or all four of the arms are the sleeping rooms, the floor 
being raised into a low banquette. 3 (See Fig. 13.) Petit ot 4 gives a very 
excellent detailed description of the houses of the A nderson Eiver people. 
According to his account the passageway is built up of blocks of ice. He 
mentions one house with a single alcove like those at Point Barrow. 5 

We have no description of the houses at the villages between Point 
Barrow and Kotzebue Sound, but at the latter place was found the 

'Hakluyt, Voyages, etc. (1589), p. 788. 

2 Lyon, Journal, p. 171. 

3 See Tig. 13, ground plan and section, copied from Petitot, Monographic, etc., p. xxm. 

4 Monographie, etc., p. xxi. 

6 See also Franklin, 2d Exped., p. 121 (Mouth of the Mackenzie), and pp. 215 and 216 (Atkinson 
Island, Richardson. A ground plan and section closely resembling Petitot's are given here); and 
Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 243 (Toker Point). 


large triple house described by Dr. Simpson, and compared by Mm 
with that described by Eichardson, though in some respects it more 
closely resembles those seen by Hooper. 1 This house really has a fire- 
place in the middle, and in this approaches the houses of the southern 
Eskimo of Alaska. According to Dr. Simpson, 2 "a modification of the 
last form, built of undressed timber, and sometimes of very small dimen- 
sions, with two recesses opposite each other, and raised a foot above the 
middle space, is very common on the shores of Kotzebue Sound," but lie 
does not make it plain whether houses like those used at Point Barrow 
are not used there also. 

This form of house is very like the large snow houses seen by Lieut. 
Eay at hunting camps on Kulugrua. Dr. Simpson describes less perma- 
nent structures which are used on the rivers, consisting of small trees 
split and laid "inclining inward in a pyramidal form towards a rude 
square frame in the center, supported by two or more upright posts. 
Upon these the smaller branches of the felled trees are placed, and the 
whole, except the aperture at the. top and a small opening on one side, 
is covered with earth or only snow." 2 These buildings, and especially 
the temporary ones described by Dr. Simpson, used on the Nuuatak, 
probably gave rise to the statement we heard at Point Barrow that 
"the people south had no iglus and lived only in tents." The houses at 
Norton Sound are quite different from the Point Barrow form. The 
floor, which is not planked, is 3 or 4 feet under ground, and the passage 
enters one side of the house, instead of coming up through the floor, 
and a small shed is built over the outer entrance to the passage. The fire 
is built in the middle of the house, under the aperture in the roof which 
serves for chimney and window, and there is seldom any banquette, but 
the two ends of the room are fenced off by logs laid on the ground, to 
serve as sleeping places, straw and spruce boughs being laid down and 
covered with grass mats. 3 

The houses in the Kuskokwim region are quite similar to those just 
described, but are said to be built above ground in the interior, though 
they are still covered with sods. 4 There are no published accounts of the 
houses of the St. Lawrence islanders, but they are known to inhabit sub- 
terranean or partly underground earth-covered houses, built of wood, 
while the Asiatic Eskimo have abandonded the old underground houses, 
which were still in use at the end of the last century, and have adopted 
the double-skin tent of 5 In addition to the cases quoted by 
Dall, Capt. Cook speaks of finding the natives of St. Lawrence Bay in 
177S living in partly underground earth-covered houses. 6 

J See ante. 
2 Op. oit., p. 258. 

3 Dall, Alaska, pp. 13 and 14, diagram on p. 13. 
4 Petrott', Report, etc., p.15. 

6 See Dall, Cont. to N". A. Ethn., vol. 1, p. 105. Mr.E. W. Nelson tells me, however, that the village 
at East Cape, Siberia, is composed of real iglus. 
•Third Voyage, vol. 2, p. 450. 

Murdoch.] VILLA GES. 79 

Arrangement in villages. — The village of Utldavwm occupies a narrow 
strip of ground along the edge of the cliffs of Cape Smyth, about 1 ,000 
yards long, and extending some 150 yards inland. The houses are 
scattered among the hillocks without any attempt at regularity and at 
different distances from each other, sometimes alone, and sometimes in 
groups of two contiguous houses, which often have a common cache 
frame. Nuwiik, from Dr. Simpson's account ' and what we saw in our 
hurried visits, is scattered in the same way over the knolls of Point 
Barrow, but has its greatest extension in an east and west direction. 
From Simpson's account (ibid.) double houses appear more common at 
Nuwttk than at Utkiavwin, and he even speaks of a few threefold ones. 
All the houses agree in facing south. This is undoubtedly to admit 
the greatest amount of light in winter, and seems to be a tolerably 
general custom, at least among the northern Eskimo. 2 

The custom of having the dwelling face south appears to be a deeply 
rooted one, as even the tents in summer all face the same way. 3 

The tents on the sandspit at Plover Bay all face west. The same was 
observed by t\ie Krause brothers at East Cape. 4 At Utkiavwin there 
are twenty-six or twenty-seven inhabited houses. The uninhabited are 
mostly ruins and are chiefly at the southwest end of the village, though 
the breaking away of the cliffs at the other end has exposed the ruins 
of a few other old houses. Near these are also the ruins of the buildings 
destroyed by the ice catastrophe described above (p. 31). The mounds 
at the site of the United States signal station are also the ruins of 
old iglus. We were told that "long ago," before they had any iron, 
five families who "talked like dogs" inhabited this village. They 
were called Isu'tkwamiun. Similar mounds are to be seen at Pernyti, 
near the present summer camp. About these we only learned that 
people lived there "long ago." We also heard of ruined houses on the 
banks of Kulugrua. 

Besides the dwellings there are in Utkiavwin three and in Nuwuk 
two of the larger buildings used for dancing, and as workrooms for the 
men, so often spoken of among other Eskimo. 

Dr. Simpson states 5 that they are nominally the property of some of 
the more wealthy men. We did not hear of this, nor did we ever hear 
the different buildings distinguished as "So-and-so's," as I am inclined 
to think would have been the case had the custom still prevailed. They 
are called ku'dyigi or ku'drigi (karrigi of Simpson), a word which cor- 
responds, mutatis mutandis, with the Greenlandic kagsse, which means, 
first, a circle of hills round a small deep valley, and then a circle of 

1 Op. cit., p. 256. 

2 For example., I find it mentioned in Greenland by Kane, 1st Grinnell Exp., p. 40; at Iglulik by- 
Parry, 2d Voy., p. 499; and at the mouth of the Mackenzie by Franklin, 2d Exp., p. 121, as well as 
by Dr. Simpson at Nuwfik, op. cit., p. 256. 

3 Frobisher says the tents in Meta Incognita (in 1577) were "so pitched up, that the entrance into 
them, is alwaies South, or against the Sunne." Hakluyt's Voyages, etc., (1589) p. 628. 

4 Geographische Blatter, vol. 5, p. 27. 
6 Op. cit., p. 259. 


people who sit close together (and then, curiously enough, a brothel). 
At Utkiavwiii they are situated about the middle of the village, one 
close to the bank and the others at the other edge of the village. They 
are built like the other houses, but are broader than long, with the 
ridgepole in the middle, so that the two slopes of the roof are equal, 
and are not covered with turf, like the dwellings, being only partially 
banked up with earth. 

The one visited by Lieut. Ray on the occasion of the "tree dance" 
was 16 by 20 feet and 7 feet high under the ridge, and held sixty people. 
In the fall and spring, when it is warm enough to sit in the kii'dylgi 
without fire and with the window open, it is used as a general lounging 
place or club room by the men. Those who have carpentering and sim- 
ilar work to do bring it there and others come simply to lounge and 
gossip and hear the latest news, as the hunters when they come in gen- 
erally repair to the ku'dyigi as soon as they have put away their 

They are so fond of this general resort that when nearly the whole 
village was encamped at Imekjmii in the spring of 1883, to be near the 
whaling ground, they extemporized a club house by arranging four 
timbers large enough for seats in a hollow square near the middle of 
the camp. The men take turns in catering for the club, each man's 
wife furnishing and cooking the food for the assembled party when 
her husband's turn comes. The club house, however, is not used as a 
sleeping place for the men of the village, as it is said to be in the terri- 
tory south of Bering Strait, 1 nor as a hotel for visitors, as in the Nor- 
ton Sound region. 2 Visitors are either entertained in some dwelling or 
build temporary snow huts for themselves. 

The ku'dyigi is not used in the winter, probably on account of the 
difficulty of warming it, except on the occasions of the dances, festivals, 
or conjuring ceremonies. Crevices in the walls are then covered with 
blocks of snow, a slab of transparent ice is fitted into the window, and 
the house is lighted and heated with lamps. Buildings of this sort 
and used for essentially the same purposes have been observed among 
nearly all known Eskimo, except the Greenlanders, who, however, 
still retain the tradition of such structures. 3 Even the Siberian Eski- 
mo, who have abandoned the iglu, still retained the ku'dyigi until a 
recent date at least, as Hooper saw at Oong-wy-sac a performance in a 
"large tent, apparently erected for and devoted to public purposes 
(possibly as a council room as well as a theater, for in place of the 

1 Potroff, Report, etc., p. 128. 

»DaJl, Alaska, p. 16. 

3 See Rink, Tales and Traditions, p. 8; also Geografisk Tidskrift, vol 8, p. 141. Speaking of build- 
ings of this sort, Dr. Rink says: "Men i Gronlaud kjendes de vel kun af Sagnet. Paa Oer Disko vil 
man have paavist Ruinen af en saadau Bygning, som besynderlig nok sajrlig sagdes at have vairet 
bony ttet til Festlighederaf erotiskNatur." Boas, "The Central Eskimo," passim; Lyon, Journal, p. 325 
(Tglulik) ; Richardson, in Franklin's 2d Exp., pp. 215-216 (Atkinson Island); Pet: tot, Monographic, 
etc., xxx; "Kechim, ou maison des assemblies ;" Beechey, Voyage, p, 268 (Point Hope) ; Dall, Alaska, p. 
16 and elsewhere; Petroff, Rep. p. 128 and elsewhere. 

muedoch.] SNOW HOUSES. 81 

usual inner apartments only a species of bench of raised earth ran 
round it)." : These buildings are numerous and particularly large and 
much used south of Bering Strait, where they are also used as steam 
bath houses. 2 

Snow houses (apiiya). — Houses of snow are used only temporarily, as 
for instance at the hunting grounds on the rivers, and occasionally by 
visitors at the village who prefer having their own quarters. For 
example, a man and his wife who had been living at Nuwuk decided in 
the winter of 1882-'83 to come down and settle at TJtkiavwin, where 
the woman's parents lived. Instead of going to one of the houses in 
the village, they built themselves a snow house in which they spent 
the winter. The man said he intended to built a wooden house the 
next season. These houses are not built on the dome or beehive shape so 
often described among the Eskimo of the middle region of Dr. Rink. 3 

The idea naturally suggests itself that this form of building is 
really a snow tupek or tent, while the form used at Point Barrow is 
simply the iglu built of snow instead of wood. When built on level 
ground, as in the village, the snow house consists of an oblong room 
about 6 feet by 12, with walls made of blocks of snow, and high enough 
for a person to stand up inside. Beams or poles are laid across the top, 
and oyer these is stretched a roof of canvas. At the south end is a 
low narrow covered passage of snow about 10 feet long leading to a 
low door not over 2£ feet high, above which is the window, made, as 
before described, of seal entrail. The opening at the outer end of the 
passage is at the top, so that one climbs over a low wall of snow to 
enter the house. 

At the right side of the passage, close to the house, is a small fire- 
place about 2£ feet square and built of slabs of snow, with a smoke hole 
in the top and a stick stuck across at the proper height to hang a pot 
on. When the first fire is built in such a fireplace there is considerable 
melting of the surface of the snow, but as soon as the fire is allowed 
to go out this freezes to a hard glaze of ice, which afterwards melts 
only to a trifling extent. Opposite to the door of the house, which is 
protected by a curtain of canvas, corresponding to the Greenlandic 
ubkuaK, "a skin which is hung up before the entrance of the house," 4 
the floor is raised into a banquette about 18 inches high, on which are 
laid boards and skins. Cupboards are excavated under the banquette, 
or in the walls, and pegs are driven into the walls to hang things on. 

' Tents, etc., p. 136. 

2 See references to ball and Petroff, above . 

3 Parry, 2nd Voy., p. 100 and plate opposite; Franklin, 1st Exped. vol. 2, pp. 43^47, ground plan, p. 46; 
Boas, "Central Eskimo," pp. 539-553; Kumlien, Contributions, etc., p. 31; Petitot, Monographic etc., 
p. xvii (a full description with a ground plan and section on p. six), and all the popular accounts of 
the Eskimo. 

4 Granlandsk Ordbog, p. 404; Kane's 1st Grinnell Exp., p. 40, calls it a "skin-covered door." Com- 
pare, also, the skin or matting hung over the entrance of the housesat Norton Sound, Ball, Alaska, p. 
13, and the bear-skin doors of the Nunatanmiun and other Kotzebue Sound natives, mentioned by Dr. 
Simpson, op. cit., p. 259. 
9 ETH 6 



As such a house is only large enough for one family, there is only one 
lamp, which stands at the right-hand side of the house 1 . 

At the hunting grounds, or on the road thither in the winter, a place 
is selected for the house where the snow is deeply drifted under the edge 
of some bank, so that most of the house can be made by excavation. 
When necessary, the walls are built up and roofed over with slabs of 
snow. Such a house is very speedily built. The first party that goes 
over the road to the hunting ground usually builds houses at the end of 
each day's march, and these serve for the parties coming later, who 
have simply to clear out the drifted snow or perhaps make some slight 
repairs. On arriving at the hunting ground they establish themselves 
in larger and more comfortable houses of the same sort; generally for 
two families. Lieut. Ray, who visited these camps, has drawn the plan 
represented in Fig. 14. There is a banquette, a, at each end of the room, 


g \ c 


Pig. 14. — Ground plan of large snow bouse. 

which is much broader than long (compare the form of house common 
at Kotzebue Sound, mentioned above, p. 78), but only one lamp, on 
a low shelf of snow, h, running across the back of the room and excavated 
below into a sort of cupboard. There are also similar cupboards, c, at dif- 
ferent places in the walls, and a long tunnel,/, with the usual storerooms, 
i, and kitchen, h, from which a branch tunnel often leads to an adjoining 
house. The floor is marked d, the entrance to the tunnel g, and the 
door e. The house is lighted by the seal-gut windows of the iglu 
brought from the village. 

On going into camp the railed sled is stuck points down into the snow 
and net-poles, or ice-picks, thrust through the rails, making a tempo- 
rary cache frame/ on which are hung bulky articles — snowshoes and 

1 Compare Dr. Simpson's description, op. cit., p. 259. 

J Compare the woodcut on p. 406, vol. 1, of Kane's 2d Exp., where two sleds are represented as stuok 
up on end with their "upstanders" meeting to form a platform — Smith Sound. 

Murdoch.] SNOW HOUSES TENTS. 83 

guns. 1 Small storehouses of snow or ice are built to contain provisions. 
In the autumn many such houses are built in the village, of slabs of 
clear fresh- water ice about 4 inches thick cemented together by freezing. 
These resemble the buildings of fresh-water ice at Iglulik, described by 
Oapt. Lyon. 2 

Other temporary structures of snow, sometimes erected in the village, 
serve as workshops. One of these, which was built at the edge of the 
village in April, 1883, was an oblong building long enough to hold an 
umiak, giving sufficient room to get around it and work, and between 6 
and 7 feet high. The walls were of blocks of snow and the roof of can- 
vas stretched over poles. One end was left open, but covered by a canvas 
curtain, and a banquette of snow ran along each side. It was righted 
by oblong slabs of clear ice set into the walls, and warmed by several 
lamps. Several men in succession used this house for repairing and 
rigging up their umiaks, and others who had whittling to do brought 
their work to the same place. 

Such boat shops are sometimes built by" digging a broad trench in a 
snowbank and roofing it with canvas. Women dig small holes in the 
snow, which they roof over with canvas and use for work-rooms in which 
to dress seal skins. In such cases there is probably some superstitious 
reason, which we failed to learn, for not doing the work in the iglu. 
The tools used in building the snow houses are the universal wooden 
snow-shovel and the ivory snow-knife, for cutting and trimming the 
blocks. At the present day saws are very much used for cutting the 
blocks, and also large iron knives (whalemen's "boarding knives," etc.) 
obtained from the ■hips. 

Tents (tupek). — During the summer all the natives live in tents, 
which are pitched on dry places upon the top of the cliffs or upon the 
gravel beach, usually in small camps of four or five tents each. A few 
families go no farther than-the dry banks just southwest of the village, 
while the rest of the inhabitants who have not gone eastward trading 
or to the rivers hunting reindeer are strung along the coast. The first 
camp below Utkiavwiu is just beyond the double lagoon of Nunava, 
about 4 miles away, and the rest at intervals of 2 or 3 miles, usually at 
some little inlet or stream at places called Se'kqluka, Nake'drixo, Kuos- 
u'gru, Nuna/ktuau, Ipersua, Wa'lakpa (Refuge Inlet, according to Capt. 
Maguire's map, Pari. Eep. for 1854, opp. p. 186), Er'nivwin, Si'naru, 
and Sa'kamna. It is these summer camps seen from passing ships 
which have given rise to the accounts of numerous villages along this 
coast. There is usually a small camp on the beach at Si'nnyu and one 
at Ime'kpuh, while a few go to Pernyu even early in the season. 

As the sea opens the people from the lower camps travel up the coast 
and concentrate at Pernyu, where they meet the Nuwunmiun, the JSTuna- 

1 Firearms can not be carried into a warm room in cold weather, as the moisture in the air immedi- 
ately condenses on the cold surface of the metal. 
* Journal, p. 204 ; see also the plate opposite p. 358 of Parry's 2d Voyage. 


tanmiun traders, and the whalemen, and are joined later in the season 
by the trading parties returning from the east, all of whom stop for a 
few days at Pernyu. On returning to the village also, in September, 
the tents are pitched in dry places among the houses and occupied till 
the latter are dry enough to live in. Tents are used in the autumnal 
deer hunts, before snow enough falls to build snow houses. In the spring 
of 1883, when the land floe was very heavy and rough off Utkiavwin, 
all who were going whaling in the Utkiavwin boats went into camp 
with their families in tents pitched on the crown of the beach at Imek 
puil, whence a path led off to the open water. 

The tents are nowadays always made of cloth, either sailcloth obtained 
from wrecks or drilling, which is purchased from the ships. The latter 
is preferred as it makes a lighter tent and both dark blue and white are 
used. Reindeer or seal skins were used for tents as lately as 1854. 
Elson saw tents of sealskin lined with reindeer skin at Refuge Inlet, 1 
and Hooper mentions sealskin tents at Cape Smyth and Point Barrow. 2 
Dr. Simpson gives a description .of the skin tents at Point Barrow. 3 
Indeed, it is probable that canvas tents were not common until after the 
great "wreck seasons" of 1871 and 1876, when so many whaleships 
were lost. The Nunatahmiun at Pernyu had tents of deerskin, and I 
remember also seeing one sealskin tent at the same place, which, it is 
my impression, belonged to a man from UtkiavwiQ. Deerskin tents are 
used by the Anderson River natives, 4 while sealskins are still in use in 
Greenland and the east generally. 6 The natives south of Kotzebue 
Sound do not use tents, but have summer houses erected above ground 
and described as " generally log structures roofed with skins and open 
in front." 6 That they have not always been ignorant of tents is shown 
by the use of the word "topek" for a dwelling at Norton Sound. 7 

The tents at Point Barrow are still constructed in a manner very sim- 
ilar to that described by Dr. Simpson (see reference above). Four orflve 
poles about 12 feet long are fastened together at the top and spread out 
so as to form a cone, with a base about 12 feet in diameter. Inside of 
these about 6 feet from the ground is lashed a large hoop, upon which 
are laid shorter poles (sometimes spears, umiak oars, etc.). The canvas 
cover, which is now made in one piece, is wrapped spirally round this 

1 Beechey's Voyage, p. 315. 

2 Tents, etc., pp. 216, 225. 
s Op. cit., p. 260. 

4 MacFarlane MSS. ami Petitot, Monographic, etc., p. xx, "destentes coniqucs (tuppepk) en peaux de 

6 See Rink, Tales, etc., p. 7 ("skins" in this passage-undoubtedly means sealskins, as they are more 
plentiful than deerskins among the Greenlanders, and were used forthis purpose in Egede'stime — Green, 
land, p. 117; andKumlien, op. cit., p. 33.). In east Greenland, according to Holm, "OmSomiuerenbo Angs- 
magsalikcrnei Tclte, dererebetrukuemeddobbelteSkindog have Tarmskinds Forhamg." Geogr. Tids., 
vol. 8, p. 80. In Frobisher's description of Meta Incognita (in 1577), lie says: "Their houses are tents 
made of scale skins, pitched up with 4 Firre quarters, foure square, meeting at the toppe, and the skinnes 
sewed together with sinewes, and layd thereupon." Hakluyt's Voyages, etc. (1580), p. 028. See also Boas, 
"Central Eskimo." 

6 Petroff, op. cit., p. 128. 

» Dall, Alaska, p. 13. 




frame, so that the edges do not meet in front except at the top, leaving 
a triangular space or doorway, tilled in with a curtain of which part is a 
translucent membrane, which can be covered at night with a piece of 
cloth. A string runs from tbe upper corner of the cloth round the apex 
of the tent and comes obliquely down the front to about the middle of 
the edge of the other end of the cloth. The two edges are also held 
together by a string across the entrance. Heavy articles, stones, gravel, 
etc., are laid on the flap of the tent to keep it down, and spears, pad- 
dles, etc., are laid up against the outside. (See Fig. 15, from a photo- 
graph by Lieut. Ray.) 

Inside of the tent there is much less furniture than in the iglu, as the 
lamp is not needed for heating and lighting, and the cooking is done 
outdoors on tripods erected over fires. The sleeping place is at the 

Fig. 15. — Tent on tbe beach at TTtkiavwin. 

back of the tent, and is usually marked off by laying a log across the 
floor, and spreading boards on the ground. Not more than one family 
usually occupy a tent. The tents at the whaling camp mentioned above 
were, at first, fitted out with snow passages and fireplaces like a snow 
hut, and many had a low wall of snow around them, but these had all 
melted before the camp was abandoned. 

These tents differ considerably in model from those in use in the east, 
though all are made by stretching a cover over radiating poles. For 
example, the tents in Greenland have the front nearly vertical, 1 while at 
Cumberland Gulf two sets of poles connected by a ridgepole are used, 
those for the front being' the shorter. 2 The fashion at Iglulik is some- 

1 Egede, Greenland, p. 117 ; Crantz, vol. 1, p. 141 ; Rink, Tales, etc., p. 7. 

2 Kumlien, op. cit., p. 33. 



what similar. 1 Small rude tents only large enough to hold one or two 
people are used as habitations for women during confinement, and for 
sewing rooms when they are working on deerskins in the autumn. 
Tents for the latter purpose are called "su'dliwiil," the place for 



Canteens (i'mutin). — None of the canteens, the use of which has been 
described above (under " Drinks"), were obtained for the collection. 
They were seen only by Lieut. Ray and Capt. Herendeen, who made 
winter journeys with the natives. They describe them as made of seal- 
skins and of small size. I find no published mention of the use of such 
canteens among the Eskimo elsewhere, except in Baffin Land. 2 

Wallets, etc. — Food and such things are carried in roughly made bags 
of skin or cloth, or sometimes merely wrapped up in a piece of skin or 
eutrail, or whatever is convenient. Special bags, however, are used for 
bringing in the small fish which are caught through the ice. These are 
flat, about 18 inches or 2 feet square, and made of an oblong piece of 
sealskin, part of an old kaiak cover, doubled at the bottom and sewed up 
each side, with a thong to sling it over the shoulders. 

Buckets and tubs. — Buckets and tubs of various sizes are used for 
holding water and other fluids, blubber, flesh, entrails, etc., in the house, 

and are made by bending a thin 
plank of wood (spruce or fir) round 
a nearly circular bottom and sew- 
ing the ends together. These are 
probably all obtained from the Nu- 
natanmiun, as it would be almost 
impossible to procure suitable 
wood at Point Barrow. The col- 
lection contains four specimens — 
two tubs and two buckets. 

No. 56764 [370] (Fig. 16) will 
serve as a type of the water bucket 
(kutau'n). A thin strip of spruce 
8 inches wide is bent round a circu- 
lar bottom of the same wood 10£ 
inches in diameter. The edge of 

Fig. 16.— Wooden bucket. ° 

the latter is slightly rounded and 
fits into a shallow croze one-fourth inch from the lower edge of the strip. 
The ends of the strip overlap 3£ inches and are sewed together with 
narrow strips of whalebone in two vertical seams of short stitches, one 

1 See Parry's 2nd Voyage, p. 271 and plate opposite. Compare also Cuappcll, "Hudson Bay," pp. 75- 
77, figure on p. 75. 

2 "When out traveling, they mostly carry their water supply in a seal's stomach, prepared for the 
purpose." Kumlien, op. cit., p. 41. Compare also Hall, Arctic Researches, p. 584. 

Murdoch.] BUCKETS AND TUBS. 87 

seam close to the outer end, which is steeply chamfered off and painted 
red, and the other 1-0 inches from this. Both seams are countersunk in 
shallow grooves on the outer part. The bucket is ornamented with a 
shallow groove running round the top, and a vertical groove between 
the seams. These grooves and the seam grooves are painted red. The 
bail is of stout iron wire fastened on by two ears of white walrus ivory 
cut into a rude outline of a whale, and secured by neat lashings of whale- 
bone passing through corresponding holes in the ear and the bucket. 
The bucket has been some time in use. 

No. 50763 [369] is a bucket with a bail, and very nearly of the same 
shape and dimensions. It has, however, a bail made of rope yarns 
braided together, and the ears are plain flat pieces of ivory. Buckets 
of this size, with bails, are especially used for water, particularly for 
bringing it from the ponds and streams. The name " kd taut; " corre- 
sponds to the Greenlandic katauaK, " a water-pail with which water is 
brought to the house." x 

No. 89891 [1735] (Fig. 17), which is nearly new, is a very large tub 
(iluli'kpun, which appears to mean "a capacious thing ") without a bail, 
and is 11 inches high and 20 in diameter. 
The sides are made of two pieces of plank 
of equal length, whose ends overlap alter- 
nately and are sewed together as before. 
The bottom is in two pieces, one large and 
one small, neatly fastened together with 
two dowels, and is not only held in by hav- 
ing its edge chamfered to fit the croze, but 
is pegged in with fourteen small treenails. 
The seams, edges, and two ornamental 

grooves around the top are painted red as ,, , ,,...,. (ll)l 


No. 89890 [1753] is smaller, 9-7 inches high and 14-5 in diameter. It 
has no bail, and is ornamented with two grooves, of which the lower is 
painted with black lead. The bottom is in two equal pieces, fastened 
together with three dowels. This is a new tub and has the knotholes 
neatly plugged with wood. There are a number of these tubs in every 
house. They are known by the generic name of imusiaru (which is ap- 
plied also to a barrel, and which means literally " an unusual cup or 
dipper," small cups of the same shape being called i'musyu), but have 
special names signifying their use. For instance, the little tub about 6 
inches in diameter, used by the males as a urinal, is called kiivwin 
("the place for urine.") One of these large tubs always stands to 
catch the drip from the lump of snow in the house, and those of the 
largest size, like No. 89891 [1735], are the kind used as chamberpots. 

Vessels of this sort are in use throughout Alaska, and have been ob- 
served among the eastern Eskimo where they have wood enough to 

'Gronl. Ordbog., p. 135. 



make them. For instance, the Eskimo of the Coppermine River 
"form very neat dishes of fir, the sides being made of thin deal, bent 
into an oval form, secured at the ends by sewing, and fitted so nicely 
to the bottom as to be perfectly water-tight." : There are specimens in 
the Museum from the Mackenzie and Anderson Eivers, described in the 
MacFarlane MS. as u pots for drinking with, pails for carrying and 
keeping water, and also as chamber pots. Oil is also sometimes carried 
in them in winter." 

In some places where wood is scarce vessels of a similar pattern are 
made of whalebone. Vessels " made of whalebone, in a circular form, 
one piece being bent into the proper shape for the sides," are mentioned 
by Capt. Parry on the west shore of Baffins Bay, 2 and " circular and 
oval vessels of whalebone" were in use at Iglulik. 3 This is the same 
as the G-reenlandic vessel called pertaK (a name which appears to have 
been transferred in the form pl'tuno to the wooden meat bowl at Point 
Barrow), " a dish made of a piece of whalebone bent into a hoop, which 
makes the sides, with a wooden bottom inserted." 4 Nordenskiold 
speaks of vessels of whalebone at Pitlekaj, but does not specify the 
pattern. 5 Whalebone dishes were used at Point Barrow, but at the 
present day only small ones for drinking-cups are in general service. 
One large dish was collected. (Fig. 18. No. 89850 [1199] ). 

A strip of whalebone 4^ inches wide is bent round a nearly circular 
bottom of cottonwood so as to form a small tub. The edges of the bot- 
tom are chamfered to fit a 
shallow croze in the whale- 
bone. The overlapping ends 
of the whalebone are sewed 
together with a strip of 
whalebone in long stitches. 
This dish is quite old and 
impregnated with grease. 
Vessels of this kind are un- 
common, and it is probable 
that none have been made 
since whalebone acquired its 
present commercial value. 
They were very likely in much more general use formerly, as when there 
was no such market for whalebone as at present it would be cheaper to 
make tubs of this material than to buy wooden ones. In corroboration 
of this view it may be noted that Dr. Simpson does not mention wooden- 
ware among the articles brought for sale by the Nunataumiun. 6 The 
small whalebone vessels will be described under drinking cups, which 

Fig. 18.— Whalebone dish. 

'Franklin, 1st Exp., vol. 2, p. 181. 
2 First Voy., p. 286. 
s Second Voy., p. 503. 

4 Gronl.Ordbog., p. 293. 
8 Vega, vol. 2, p. 124. 
6 Op. cit., p. 266. 



l 4 

Meat bowls. — (Pi'tuno, see remarks on p. 88.) Large wooden bowls 
are used to hold meat, fat, etc., both raw and cooked, which are gen- 
erally served on trays. These are of local manufacture and carved 
from blocks of soft driftwood. The four specimens collected are all 
made of cottonwood, and, excepting No. 73570 [408], have been long in 
use and are thoroughly impregnated with grease and blood. 

No. 89864 [1322] (Fig. 19) will serve as the type. This is deep and 
nearly circular, with flat bottom and rounded sides. The brim is orna- 
mented with seven large sky-blue glass beads imbedded in it at equal 
intervals, except on one side, where there is a broken notch in the place 
of a bead. 

Another, No. 89863 [1320], is larger and not flattened on the bottom, 
and the brim is thinner. 
It is also provided with 
a bail of seal thong, very 
neatly made, as follows : 
One end of the thong 
is knotted with a single 
knot into one of the holes 
so as to leave one long 
part and one short part 
(about 3 inches). The 
long part is then carried 
across and through the 

other hole from the outside, back again through the first hole and again 
across, so that there are three parts of thong stretched across the bowl. 
The end is then tightly wrapped in a close spiral round all the other 
parts, including the short end, and the wrapping is finished off by 
tucking the end under the last turn. The specimen shows the method 
of mending wooden dishes, boxes, etc., which have split. A hole is 
bored on each side of the crack, and through the two is worked a neat 
lashing of narrow strips of whalebone, which draws the parts together. 

In No. 89865 [1321], which has been split wholly across, there are six 
such stitches, nearly equidistant, holding the two parts together. This 
bowl is strengthened by neatly riveting a thin flat " strap" of walrus 
ivory along the edge across the end of the crack. These three bowls 
are of nearly the same shape, wluch is the common one. The new bowl 
(No. 73570 [408] ) is of a less common shape, being not so nearly hemis- 
pherical as the others, but shaped more like a common milk pan. It is 
ornamented with straight lines drawn in black lead, dividing the sur- 
face into quadrants. These were probably put on to catch the white 
man's eye, as the bowl was made for the market. Irishes of this descrip- 
tion are common throughout Alaska (see the National Museum collec- 
tions) and have been noted at Plover Bay. 1 

Fig. 19. — Meat bowl. 

1 Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 147. 



Pots of stone and other materials (u'tkuzin). — In former times, pots of 
soapstone resembling those employed by the eastern Eskimo, and 
probably obtained from the same region as the lamps, were vised for 
cooking food at Point Barrow, but the natives have so long been able 
to procure metal kettles directly or indirectly from the whites (Elson 
found copper kettles at Point Barrow in 1826) 1 that the former have 
gone wholly out of use, and at the present day fragments only are to be 
found. There are four such fragments in the collection, of which three 
are of the same model and one quite different. 

No. 89885-6 [1559] (Fig. 20) is sufficiently whole to show the pattern 
of the first type. It is of soft gray soapstone. A large angular gap is 
broken from the middle of one side, taking out about half of this side, 

and a small angular 
piece from the bot- 
tom. From the cor- 
ner of this gap the 
pot has been broken 
obliquely across the 
bottom, and mended 
in three places with 
stitches of whale- 

!<-ia.20.-Stonepot bone made as de " 

scribed under No. 

89865 [1321]. One end is cut down for about half its height, and the 
edge carried round in a straight line till it meets the gap in the broken 
side. This end appears to have been pieced with a fresh piece of stone, 
as there are holes for stitches in the edge of the whole side and in the 
upper edge of the broken side. There are also two "stitch holes" at 
the other side of the gap, showing how it was originally mended. A 
low transverse ridge across the middle of the whole end was probably 
an ornament. Holes for strings by which the pot was hung up are 
bored one-fourth to one-half inch from the brim. Two of these are 
bored obliquely through the corners, which are now broken off. The 
holes in the sides close to the corners were probably made to take the 
place of these. The pot is neatly and smoothly made, and the brim is 
slightly rounded. It shows signs of great age, and is blackened with 
soot and crusted with oil and dirt. 2 

Nos. 89886 [680] and 89868 [1096] are much less complete. They are 
the broken ends of pots slightly smaller than the above, but of pre- 
cisely the same pattern, even to the ornamental transverse ridge across 
the end. 3 The string holes are bored through the corners as before, and 

'Beechey's Voyage, p. 572. 

2 This specimen was broken in transportation, anil the pieces received different Museum numbers. 
It is now mended with glue. 

3 Compare these pots with tho two figured in Parry's 2d Voyage (plate opposite p. 160). The smaller 
of these has a ridge only on the end, but on the larger tho ridge runs all the way round. The plate 
also shows how the pots were hung up. See also Fig. 1, plate opposite p. 548. 




in both, pots are holes showing where they have been mended by whale- 
bone stitches, fragments of which are still sticking in oue pot. This 
method of mending soapstone vessels by sewing is mentioned by Capt. 
Parry as practiced at Iglnlik. 1 

No. 89883 [1097] (Fig. 21) is a small pot of a quite different shape, 
best understood from the figure. Round the edge are eight holes for 
strings nearly equidistant. The outside is rough, especially on the 
bottom. One of the sides is much gapped, and the acute tip has been 
broken off obliquely and mended with a stitch of Avhalebone. The care 
used in mending these vessels shows that they were valuable and not 
easily replaced. I can 

find no previous mention 1/ 

of the use of stone ves- 
sels for cooking on the 
western coast, and there 
are no specimens in the 
National Museum collec- 
tions. The only Eskimo 
stone vessels are a couple 
of small stone bowls from 
Bristol Bay. These are 
yery much the shape of 
the wooden bowls above described, and appear to have been used as oil 
dishes and not for cooking, as the inside is crusted with grease, while the 
outside is not blackened. On the other hand, stone cooking pots are 
very generally employed even now by the eastern Eskimos, and have 
been frequently described. 2 The close resemblance of the pots from 
Point Barrow to those described by Capt. Parry, taken in connection 
with Dr. Simpson's statement 3 that the stone lamps were brought from 
the east, renders it very probable that the kettles were obtained in the 
same way. The absence of this utensil among the southern Eskimo of 
Alaska is probably due to the fact that being inhabitants of a well 
wooded district they would have no need of contrivances for cooking 
over a lamp. 

I obtained three fragments of pottery, which had every appearance 
of great age and were said to be pieces of a kind of cooking-pot which 
they used to make "long ago, when there were no iron kettles." The 
material was said to be earth (nu'na), bear's blood, and feathers, 4 
and appears to have been baked. They are irregular fragments (No. 

Fig. 21.— Small stone pot. 

'2d Voyage, p. 502. 

*I need only refer to Crantz, who describes the "bastard-marble kettle," hanging "by four strings 
fastened to the roof, which kettle is a foot long and half a foot broad, and shaped like a longish box" 
(vol. 1, p. 140) ; the passage from Parry's 2d Voyage, referred to above; Kumlien, op. cit., p. 20 (Cum- 
berland Gulf); Boas, "Central Eskimo," p. 545; and Gilder, Schwatka's Search, p. 260 (West Shore 
of Hudson Bay). 

3 Op. cit., pp. 267-269. 

"•Compare the cement for joining pieces of soapstone vessels mentioned by Boas (" Central Eskimo," 
p. 526) consisting of "seal's blood, a kind of clay, and dog's hair." 



89G97 [1589], Fig. 22) of perhaps more than one vessel, which appears 
to have been tall and cylindrical, perhaps shaped like a bean-pot, pretty 
smooth inside, and coated with dried oil or blood, black from age. 
The outside is rather rough, and marked with faint rounded transverse 
ridges, as if a large cord had been wound round the vessel while still 
soft. The largest shard has been broken obliquely across and mended 
with two stitches of sinew, and all are very old and black. 

Beechey (Voyage, p. 295) speaks of "earthen jars for cooking" at 
Hotkain Inlet in 1820 and 1827, and Mr. E. W. Kelson has collected a 


*®«5i^'- -- 

Fig. 22. — Fragments of pottery. 

few jars from the Norton Sound region, very like what those used at 
Point Barrow must have been. Clioris figures a similar vessel in his 
Voyage Pittoresque, PI. in (2d), Fig. 2, from Kotzebue Sound. Metal 
kettles of various sorts are now exclusively used for cooking, and are 
called by the same name as the old soapstone vessels, which it will be 
observed corresponds to the name used by the eastern Eskimo. Light 
sheet-iron camp-kettles are eagerly purchased and they are very glad 
to get any kind of small tin cans, such as preserved meat tins, which 

Murdoch.] BONE CRUSHEKS. 93 

they use for holding water, etc., and sometimes fit with bails of string 
or wire, so as to use them for cooking porridge, etc., over the lamp. 
They had learned the value of these as early as Maguire's time, 1 as had 
the people of Plover Bay in 1849. 2 

Bone crushers. — In preparing food it is often desirable to break the 
large bones of the meat, both to obtain the marrow and to facilitate the 
trying out of the fat for making the pemmican already described. Deer 
bones are crushed into a sort of coarse bone-meal for feeding the dogs 
when traveling. For this purpose heavy short-handled stone mauls are 
used. These tools may have been formerly serviceable as hammers for 
driving treenails, etc., as the first specimen obtained was described as 
"savik-pidjnk-nunamisini'ktuu-kati/te" (literally "iron-not-dead-ham- 
mer"), or the hammer used by those now dead, who had no iron. For 
this purpose, however, they are wholly superseded by iron hammers, 
and are now only used for bone crushers. The collection contains a 
large series of these implements, namely, 13 complete mauls and 13 
unhafted heads. Ail are constructed on the same general plan, con- 
sisting of an oblong roughly cylindrical mass of stone, with fiat ends, 
mounted on the expanded end of a short haft, which is applied to the 
middle of one side of the cylinder and is slightly curved, like the handle 
of an adz. Such a haft is frequently made of the "branch" of a rein- 
deer antler, and the expanded end is made by cutting off a portion of 
the "beam" where the branch joins it. A haft so made is naturally 
elliptical and slightly curved at right angles to the longer diameter of 
the ellipse, and is applied to the head so that the greatest thickness 
and therefore the greatest strength comes in the line of the blow, as in 
a civilized ax or hammer. The head and haft are held together by a 
lashing of thong or three-ply braid of sinew, passing through a large 
hole in the large end of the haft and round the head. This lashing is 
put on wet and dries hard and tight. 3 It follows the same general plan 
in all the specimens, though no two are exactly alike. The material of 
the heads, with three exceptions (No. 56631 [222], gray porphyry; No. 
89654 [906], black quartzite, and No. 89655 [1241], coarse-grained gray 
syenite), is massive pectolite (see above, p. 60), generally of a pale greenish 
or bluish gray color and slightly translucent, sometimes dark and opaque. 
No. 56635 [243] will serve as the type of these implements. 4 

The head is of light bluish gray pectolite, and is lashed with a three- 
ply braid of reindeer sinew to a haft of some soft coniferous wood, prob- 
ably spruce, rather smoothly whittled out and soiled by handling. The 
transverse ridge on the under side of the butt is to keep the hand from 
slipping off the grip; The whole is dirty and shows signs of consider- 
able age. 

1 See Further Papers, etc., p. 909. 

2 Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 57. 

3 We saw this done on No. 56634 [83], the head and haft of which were Drought in separate and put 
together by an Eskimo at the station. 

4 Figured in Kay's Point Barrow Report, Ethnology, PI. n, Fig. 6. 



Fig. 23. — Stono maul. 

These mauls vary considerable in size. The largest is 74 inches long 
and 2-5 in diameter, and the smallest 24 inches long by 2-4. This is a 
very small hammer, No. 56634 [83] having a haft only 4-7 inches long. 
The haft is usually about 5 inches long. The longest (belonging to one 
of the smaller heads, 4 inches by 2) is 7-2 inches long, and the shortest 
(belonging to a slightly larger head, 4-7 by 3-1 inches) is 4-5 inches. The 
largest two heads, each 74 by 2-5 inches, have hafts 5 inches long. 

The lashing of all is put on in the same general way, namely, by se- 
curing one end round the head and through the eye, then taking a varia- 
ble number of turns round 
the head and through the 
hole, and tightening these 
up by wrapping the end 
spirally round all the parts, 
where they stretch from 
head to haft on each side. 
Seal thong, narrow or broad, 
is more generally used than 
sineAV braid (only three specimens out of the thirteen have lashings of 
sinew). When broad thong is used the loop is made by splicing, as 
follows: A slit is cut about 1J inches from the end of the thong, and 
the end is doubled in a bight and passed through this slit. The end is 
then slit and the other 
end of the thong passed 
through it and drawn 
taut, making a splice 
which holds all the 
tighter for drawing on 
it. A simple loop is tied 
in sinew braid. 

The following figures 
will illustrate the most 
important variations in 
the form of this imple- 
ment. Fig. 23, No. 56634 
[83] from Utkiavwin, has 
a head of light gray 
pectolite, slightly trans- 
lucent, and evidently 
ground flat on the faces, 
and the haft is of reindeer antler, with a slight knob at the butt. A 
square piece of buckskin is doubled and inserted between the head and 
haft. The lashing is of fine sealskin twine, and the spiral wrapping is 
carried wholly round the head. This was the first stone maul collected, 
and was put together at the station, as mentioned above. It is rather 
smaller than usual. Fig. 24, No. 56637 [196], from Utkiavwiii, has the 

Fig. 24. — Stone maul. 



head of grayish peetolite, rough and unusually large. The haft is of 
some soft coniferous wood soaked with grease. It is nearly round, in- 
stead of elliptical, with an irregular knob at the butt, and not curved, 
but fastened obliquely to the head. The loop of double thong attached 
to the haft is probably to go round the wrist. 

Fig, 25, No. 5CG39 [101], from Utkiavwin, is of peetolite, the upper 
and lower faces almost black and the sides light gray. The haft is of 

Fig. 25. - Stone maul. 

hard wood and unusually long (7-2 inches). It is noticeable for being at. 
tached at right angles to the head, by a very stout lashing of thong of 
the usual kind, and further tightened by a short flat stick wedged in 
below the head on one side. There appears to have been a similar ' ' key " 
on the other side. This is an unusual form. 

Fig. 20, No. 89054 [900], is from Nuwiik. The head is an oblong, 
nearly cylindrical, water- 
worn pebble of black 
quartzite, 7-lincheslong; 
the haft is of reindeer ant- 
ler, and thelashingof seal 

Fig. 27, No. 89055 
[1241], from Utkiavwin. 
The head of this maul is 
a long pebble of rather 
coarse-grained gray sy- 
enite, and is peculiar in 
having a shallow groove 
roughly worked out 
round the middle to keep 
the lashing from slip- 
ping. It is 4-7 inches 
long and 3-1 in diameter. 
The haft is of reindeer antler 4-5 inches long, and the lashing of seal thong 
peculiar only in the large number of turns in the spiral wrappings. 

Fig. 26.— Stone maul. 



Fig. 28, No. 89057 [877], from Nuwtik. This is peculiar in having the 
haft fitted into a deep angular groove on one side of the head, which is 
of pectolite and otherwise of the common pattern. The haft of reindeer 
antler and the lashing of broad thong are evidently newer than the head 
and are clumsily made and put on, the latter making several turns 

about one side of the 
haft as well as through 
it and round the head. 
None of the unmount- 
ed heads, which are all 
of pectolite, are grooved 
in this way to receive 
the haft, but No. 50058 
[205] has two shallow, 
incomplete grooves 
round the middle for 
lashings, and No. 50055 
[218], which is nearly 
square in section, has 
shallow notches on the edges for the same purpose. One specimen of 
the series comes from Sidaru, but differs in no way from specimens from 
the northern villages. 

Stonemauls of this type have previously been seldom found among 
the American Eskimo. The only specimens in the Museum from America 
are two small unhafted maul heads of pectolite, one from Hotham Inlet 
and the other from Cape Nome, and a roughly made maul from Norton 
Sound, all collected by Mr. Nelson. The last is an oblong piece of dark- 
colored jade rudely lashed to the end of a short thick stick, which has a 
lateral projection round which the lashing passes instead of through a 

Stone maul. 

Fig. 28.— Stono maul. 

hole in the haft. Among the "Chukckes" at Pithkaj, however, Nor - 
denskiold found stone mauls of precisely the same model as ours and 
also used as bone crushers. He observed that the natives themselves 
ate the crushed bone after boiling it with blood and water. 1 Lieut. Kay 
saw only dogs fed with it in the interior. Nordenskiohl does not men- 

1 Vega, vol. 2, p. 113; figures on p. 112. 




tion the kind of stone used for these tools, but the two in the National 
Museum, collected by Mr. Nelson at Cape Wankarem, are both of 
granite or syenite and have a groove for the lashing. (Compare No. 
89G55 [1241], fig. 27.) 

In addition to the above-described stone mauls, there are in the col- 
lection five nearly similar maids of heavy bone, which have evidently 

Fio. 29.— Bono maul. 

served the same purpose. They were all brought over for sale from 
Utkiavwin at about the same time, and from their exceedingly oily con- 
dition were evidently brought to light in rummaging round in the old 
"blubber-rooms," where they have long lain forgotten. Four of these 
differ in no respect from the stone mauls except in having the heads 
made of whale's rib; the fifth is all in one piece. 
The following figures will illustrate the general form of these imple- 

Fig. 30.— Bono maul. 

ments: Fig. 29, No. 89847 [1046]: The head is a section of a small rib, 
4-8 inches long, and has a deep notch on each side to receive the lashing. 
The haft is probably of spruce (it is so impregnated with grease that it 
9 eth 7 



is impossible to be sure about it), and is rough and somewhat knobby, 
with a rounded knob on the butt and two shallow finger notches on the 
under side of the grip. It is attached by a lashing of stout thong of the 
ordinary pattern. Fig. 30, No. 89849 [1047]: The head is a straight 
four-sided block of whale's rib, 6 inches long. The dee]) notches for the 
lashing, one on each side, are 1 inch behind the middle. The haft is a 

Bono maul. 

roughly whittled knotty piece of spruce, and instead of a knob has a 
thick flange on the lower side of the butt. The lashing is of fourteen or 
fifteen turns of seal twine, and keyed upon each side by a roughly split 
stick thrust in under the head. Fig. 31, No. 89846 [1048] : This is pecul- 
iar in having the haft not attached at or near the middle of the head, 
but at one end, which is shouldered to receive it. The haft is of the com- 
mon pattern and attached as usual, the lashing being made of very stout 

Bono maul. 

sinew braid. The head is a section of a small rib inches long. Fig. 32, 
No. 89845 [1049] : This is made in one piece, and roughly carved with 
broad cuts from a piece of whale's jaw. The grooves and holes in the 
bone are the natural canals of blood vessels. All these mauls are bat- 
tered on the striking face, showing that they have been used. 

At the first glance it seems as if we had here a series illustrating the 
development of the stone hammer. Fig. 3l3 would be the first form, whde 




tlie next step would be to increase the weight of the head by lashing a 
large piece of bone to the end of the haft, instead of carving the whole 
laboriously out of a larger piece of bone. The substitution of the still 
heavier stone for the bone would obviously suggest itself next. The weak 
point in this argument, however, is that the advantage of the transition 
from the first to the next form is not sufficiently obvious. It seems to me 
more natural to suppose that the. hafted stone hammer has been de- 
veloped here, as is believed to have been the case elsewhere, by simply 
adding a handle to the pebble which had already been used as a hammer 
without one. These bone implements are then to be considered as make- 
shifts or substitutes for the stone hammer, when stones suitable for 
making the latter could not be procured. Now, such stones are rare at 
Point Barrow, and must be brought from a distance or purchased from 
other natives; hence the occasional use of such makeshifts as these. 
This view will account for the rarity of these bone hammers, as well as 
the rudeness of their construction. No. 89845 [10-40] would thus be merely 
the result of individual fancy and not a link in the chain of development. 


Cooked food is generally served in large shallow trays more or less 
neatly carved from driftwood aud nearly circular or oblong in shape. 

Fig. 33.— Meat dish. 

The collection contains two specimens of the circular form and three ob- 
long ones. All but one of these have been long in use and are very 
greasy. No. 73576 [392] (Fig. 33) has been selected as the type of the 



circular dishes ( i'libiu). This is very smoothly carved from a single piece 
of pine wood. The brim is rounded, with a large rounded gap in one 
side, where a piece has probably been broken out. The brim is slightly 
cracked and chipped. The vessel is very greasy and shows marks in- 
side where meat has been cut up in it. No. 89SC7 [1323] is a very simi- 
lar dish, and made 
/ ° of the same mate- 

rial, but elliptical 
instead of circular, 
and larger, being 
22-5 inches long, 15-5 
broad, and 2-1 deep. It has been split in two, and mended with whale- 
bone stitches in the manner previously described. 

No. 73575 [223] (Fig. 34) is a typical oblong dish. It is neatly hol- 
lowed out, having a broad margin painted with red ocher. It measures 
24 inches in length, is made of pine, rather roughly carved on the out- 
side, and is new and clean. 

Flo. 34.— Oblong moat dish. 

This is a common form of dish. Fig. 35, No. 

KlG. 35. — Oblong moat dish ; very old. 

89808 [1377], is an old tray of an unusual form. It is rudely hewn 
out of a straight piece of plank, 34-8 inches long, showing inside and out 
the marks of a dull adz, called by the seller " kau'dlo tu'uiai," "the foot- 
prints of the stone (soil, adz)." The excavation is shallow and leaves a 
margin of 2 inches at oue end, and the outside is roughly beveled off 
at the sides and ends. The holes near the ends were evidently for 
handles of thong. The material is spruce, discolored and somewhat 
greasy. Fig. 30, No. 89800 
[1370], was said by the native 
who brought it over for sale to 
be especially intended for fish- 
It is much the shape of No. 
73575 [223], but broader, 
slightly deeper, and more 

curved. The brim is narrow and rounded and the bottom smoothly 
rounded off. It measures 23-3 inches in length, and is made of pine. 
It has been deeply split in two places and stitched together with whale- 

FlG. 36.— Fish dish. 




bone in the usual way. Trays and dishes of this sort are in general use 
among all Eskimo, 1 and are sometimes made of tanned sealskins. 2 

Of these there are five 


Fig. 37. —Whalebone ci;p. 


Whalebone Cup (I'miisyu). — One of the commonest forms of drinking 
vessels is a little tub of whalebone of precisely the same shape as the 
large whalebone dish described above (p. 88) 
specimens in the collection, all froinUt- 
kiavwin. No. 89853 [1302] (Fig. 37) will 
serve as the type. It is 4-6* inches long 
and made by binding a strip ot black 
whalebone round a spruce bottom, and 
sewing together the ends, which over- 
lap each other about 1£ inches, with 
coarse strips of whalebone. 

There are two vertical seams three- 
fourths inch apart. The bottom is held 
in by fitting its slightly chamfered edge 
into a shallow croze cut in the whalebone. All these cups are made 
almost exactly alike, and nearly of the same size, varying only a frac- 
tion of an inch in height, and from 4-2 to 5-5 inches in length. The 
only variation is in the distance the ends overlap and the number of 
stitches in the seams. Such cups are to be found in nearly every house, 
and one is generally kept conveniently near the water bucket. Though 
the pattern is an ancient one, they are still manufactured. No. 5G5G0 

[654] was found among the 
debris of one of the ruined 
houses at Utkiavwin, and 
differs from the modern 
cups only in having the 
ends sewed together with 
one seam instead of two, 
while No. 89851 [1300], 
though it has been in ac- 
tual use, was made after 
our arrival, as the bottom 
is made of a piece of one of 
fig. 38,-Hon, dipper. our cigar boxes. 

Dippers of horn are in very general use for drinking water. These 
are all of essentially the same shape, and are made of the light yellow 
translucent horn of the mountain sheep. There are three specimens in 
our collection, of which No. 5G534 [28] (Fig. 38) has been selected as the 
type. This is made of a single piece of pale yellow translucent horn, 

■See for example, Crantz, vol. 1, p. 144, Greenland; Parry, 2d. Voy., p. 503, Iglulik; and Hooper, 
Tents, etc., p. 170, Plover Bay. 

2 Bessels, Naturalist, Sept. 1884, p. 867. 


apparently softened and molded into shape, cut only on the edges and 
the handle. A stout peg of antler is driven through the handle, 1 inch 
from the tip, and projects behind, serving as a hook by which to hang 
the dipper on the edge of a bucket. The other two are similar in shape 
and size, but No. 89831 [1293] has no peg, and has one side of the handle 
cut into a series of slight notches to keep the band from slipping, while 
No. 89832 [1577] is rather straighter and has a smaller, shallower bowl, 
and the grip of the, handle roughened with transverse grooves. Fig. 
39, No. 89739 [774 1, is a horn dipper, but one that is very old and of a 

pattern no longer in use. The bowl, 
which is much broken and gapped, 
is oval and deep, with a thick handle 
at one end, running out in the line 
of the axis of the bowl. This handle, 
which is the thick part of the horn, 

Fig. 39.-Horn dipper. . f ' 

near the tip, is flat above, rounded 
below, and has its tip slightly rounded, apparently by a stone tool. 
Just where the bowl and handle meet there is a deep transverse saw- 
cut, made to facilitate bending the handle into its place. The material 
is horn, apparently of the mountain sheep, turned brown by age and 
exposure. The specimen had been long lying neglected round the vil 
lage of Utkiavwin. 

Horn dippers of the same general pattern as these are common 
throughout Alaska. The Museum collection contains a large series oi 
such utensils, collected by Mr. Nelson and others. Tbe cups and dip- 
pers of musk-ox horn found by Parry at Iglulik are somewhat different 
in shape. 1 Those made of the enlarged base of horn 2 have a short 
handle and a nearly square bowl, while the hollow top of the horn is 
used for a cup without alteration beyond sometimes bending up the 
end, which serves as a handle. 3 Curiously enough, cups of this last 
pattern appear not to be found anywhere else except at Plover Bay, 
eastern Siberia, where very similar vessels (as shown by the Museum 
collections) are made from the horn of the Siberian mountain sheep. 
An unusual form of dipper is beautifully made of fossil ivory. Such 
cups are rare and highly prized. We saw only three, one from each 
village, Nuwiik, Utkiavwin, and Sidaru, and all were obtained for the 
collection. They show signs of age and long use. They differ some- 
what in shape and size, but each is carved from a single piece of ivory 
and has a large bowl and a straight handle. No. 56535 [371] (Fig. 40), 
which will serve as the type of the ivory dipper (i'musyu, kiligwu'garo), 
is neatly carved from a single piece of tine-grained fossil ivory, yel- 
lowed by age. The handle, polished by long use, terminates in a blunt, 
recurved, tapering hook, which serves the purpose of the peg in the 

1 Second Voyage, p. 503. 

2 See Fig. 26, plato opposite p. 550. 

3 See Figs. 8 and 9, opposite p. 548. 




liorn dipper. The rounded gap iu the brim opposite the handle is an 
accidental break. Another, No. 89S30 [1259], from Sidarn, is a long 
trough-like cup, with rounded ends and a short flat handle at one end, 
made of a short transverse section of a rather small tusk, keeping the 
natural roundness of the tusk, but cut off flat on top and excavated. A 
wooden peg, like those in the horn dippers, is iusertea in the end of 
the handle. This cup is especially interesting from its resemblance to 
the one obtained by Beechey (Voyage, PI. i, Fig. 4) at Eschscholtz 

Fig. 40. — Dipper of fossil ivory. 

Bay, from which it differs only in being about 2 inches shorter and 
deeper in proportion. Thomas Simpson speaks of obtaining an ivory 
cup from some Point Barrow natives at Dease Inlet exactly like the one 
figured by Beechey, but with the handle broken off. 1 Fig. 41, No. 89833 
[933], from Nuwiik, has a large bowl, nearly circular, with a broad, 
straight handle and a broad hook. The part of the bowl to which the 
handle is attached, a semicircular piece 3 inches long and If wide, has 
been split out with the grain of the tusk, and mended with three 
stitches, in this case of sinew, in the usual manner. There was an old 
gap in the brim opposite to the handle, and the edges of it have been 

Fig. 41.— Dipper of fossil ivory. 

freshly and roughly whittled down. The ornamentation of the outside 
and handle, consisting of narrow incised lines and small circles, each 
with a dot in the center, is well shown in the figure. These engrav- 
ings were originally colored with red ocher, but are now filled with 
dirt and are nearly effaced by wear on the handle. This dipper is not 
of such fine quality of ivory as the other two. It is not unlikely that 
all these vessels were made by the natives around Kotzebue Sound, 
where ivory is plenty, and where Beechey, as quoted above, found one 
so like one of ours. We were informed by the owner that No. 50535 
[371] was obtained from the Nunataumiun. 

1 Narrative, p. 148. 



Spoons and ladles. — Each family has several spoons of various sizes, 
and narrow shallow ladles of Lorn, bone, etc. The large spoon is for 
stirring and ladling soup, etc. There is only one specimen in the col- 
lection, No. 89739 J1352] (Fig. 42). This is a new one, made by a native 
of Utkiavwiii, whom I asked to make himself a new spoon and bring 

me his old one. He, how- 
ever, misunderstood me and 
brought over the new one, 
which Lieut. Ray pur- 
chased, not knowing that 
I had especially asked for 
the old one. These spoons 
seem to be in such constant 
use that the natives did not 
offer them for sale. This 
specimen is smoothly carved from a single piece of pine, and painted all 
over, except the inside of the bowl, with red ocher. A cross of red ocher 
is marked in the middle of the bowl, and there is a shallow groove, colored 
with blacklead, along the middle of the handle on top. The length is 13-2 
inches. A small spoon of light-colored horn, No. 89410 [1379], has a bowl 
of the common spoon shape with a short, flat handle. Spoons of this sort 
were not seen in use, and as this is new and evidently made for sale it 

Fig 42.— Wooden spoon. 

Fig. 43.— Horn ladle. 

may be meant for a copy of one of our spoons. The narrow ladles of horn 
or bone may formerly have been used for eating before it was so easy to 
get tin pots, but at present are chiefly used for dipping oil, especially for 
filling the lamp. The collection contains one of horn and four of bone. 
No. 89415 [1070], Fig. 43, is made of a single piece of mountain-sheep 
horn, dark brown from age and use, softened and molded into shape. 

Fig. 44.— Bone ladle. 

It is impregnated with oil, showing that it has been long in use. This 
utensil closely resembles a great number of specimens in the Museum 
from the more southern parts of Alaska. No. 89411 [1294] (Fig. 44) is 




a typical bone ladle. The material is rather coarse-grained, compact 
bone from a whale's rib or jawbone. No. 89414 [1013J closely resembles 
this bnt is a trifle larger. The other two specimens are interesting as 
showing an attempt at ornamentation. No. 89412 [1102] (Fig. 45, from 
Nuwuk) is carved smoothly into a rude, flattened figure of a whale (Ba- 
laena mysticetus). The flukes 
form the handle and the belly 
is hollowed out into the bowl 
of the ladle. No. 89413 [934] 
(Fig. 46, from Utkiavwm) has 
the handle carved into a rude 
bear's head, which has the eyes, 
nostrils, and outline of the 
mouth incised and filled in with 
dark oil dregs. All these ladles have the curved side of the bowl on the 
left, showing that they were meant to be used with the right hand. The 
name, kHiu'te, obtained for these ladles is given in the vocabulary col- 
lected by Dr. Oldmixon as " scraper," which seems to be the etymological 
meaning of the word. These implements may be used for scraping 
blubber from skins, or the name may correspond in meaning to the 

Fig. 45.— Bone ladle in the form of a whale. 

Fig. 46.— Bone ladle. 

cognate Greenlandic kiliortut, "a scraper; especially a mussel shell (a 
natural scraper)." The resemblance of these ladles to a mussel shell is 
sufficiently apparent for the name to be applied to them. Indeed, they 
may have been made in imitation of mussel shells, which the Eskimo, 
in all probability, like so many other savages, used for ladles as well as 


Lamps (kddlo). — Mention has already been made of the stone lamps 
or oil-burners used for lighting and warming the houses, which, in Dr. 
Simpson's time, were obtained by trading from the "Kunniu'dlm," who 
in turn procured them from other Eskimo far to the east. These are 
flat, shallow dishes, usually like a gibbous moon in outline, and are of 
two sizes: the larger house lamp, 18 inches to 3 feet in length, and the 
small traveling lamp, 6 or 8 inches long. The latter is used in the tem- 
porary snow huts when a halt is made at night. In each house are 
usually two lamps, one standing at each side, with the curved side 
against the wall, and raised by blocks a few inches from the floor. In 
one large house, that of old Yuksi'ua, the so-called "chief," at Nuwuk, 



there were three lamps, the third standing in the right-hand front cor- 
ner of the house. The dish is filled with oil, which is burned hy means 
of a wick of moss fibers arranged along the outer edge. Large lamps 
are usually divided into three compartments, of which the middle is the 
largest, by wooden partitions called sa'potin (corresponding to the 
Greenlaudic sapntit, "(1) a dam across a stream for catching fish, (2) a 
dam or dike in general"), along which wicks can also be arranged. The 
women tend the lamps with great care, trimming and arranging the 
wick with little sticks. The lamp burns with scarcely any smoke and a 


■ ' ' ., ' < 

FIG. 47. — Stone house lamp. 

bright flame, the size of which is regulated by kindling more or less of 
the wick, and is usually kept filled by the drip from a lump of blubber 
stuck on a sharp stick (aju/ksuxbwifi) projecting from the wall about a 
foot above the middle of the lamp. 1 

In most houses there is a long slender stick (kukun, "a lighter"), 
which the man of the house uses to light his pipe with when sitting on 
the banquette, without the trouble of getting down, by dipping the end 
in the oil of the lamp and lighting this at the flame. The sticks used 
for trimming the wick also serve as pipe-lighters and for carrying fire 
across the room in the same way. 2 No food, except an occasional 

1 Compare the custom noticed by Parry, at Iglulilc, of hanging a long thin strip of blubber near the 
flame of the lamp to feed it (2d Voyage, p. 502). Aecordingto Petitot (Monographic, etc., p. xviii), the 
lamps in the Mackenzie district are fed by a lump of blubber stuck on a stick, as at Point Harrow. 

'Compare Nordenskiiild, Vega, vol. 2, p. 119: "The wooden pins she uses to trim the wick . . . 
are used when required as a light or torch . . . to light pipes, etc. In the same way other pins 
dipped iu train-oil are used" (Pitlekaj), and foot not eon same page: "I have seen such pins, also oblong 
stones, sooty at one end, which, after having been dipped in train-oil, have been used as torches. 
. . . iu old Eskimo graves in uorthwestern Greenland." 




luncheon of porridge or something' of the sort, is now cooked over these 
lamps. Two such lamps burning at the ordinary rate give light enough 
to enable one to read and write with ease when sitting on tlie ban- 
quette, and easily keep the temperature between 50° and 00° F. in the 
coldest weather. In the collection are three house lamps, two complete 
and one merely a fragment, and three traveling lamps. 

Fig. 47 (No. 89879) [872] is a typical house lamp, though rather a 
small specimen. It is carved out of soft gray soapstone and is 17 inches 
long. The back is nearly vertical, while the front flares strongly out- 
ward. The back wall is cut down vertically inside with a narrow 
rounded brim and the front curves gradually in from the very edge to 
the bottom of the cavity, which is 1£ inches deep in the middle. The 
posterior third of the cavity is occupied by a flat, straight shelf with a 
sloping edge about 0-7 inch high. About a third of one end of the lamp 

Fig. 48. — Sandstone lamp. 

has been broken off oblicpiely and mended, as usual, with stitches. 
There are two of these neatly countersunk in channels. The specimen 
has been long in use and is thoroughly incrusted with oil and soot. No. 
89880 [1731] (Fig. 48) is peculiar, from the material of which it is made. 
This is a coarse, gritty stone, rather soft, but much more difficult to work 
than the soapstone. It is rudely worked into something the same shape 
as the type, but has the cavity but slightly hollowed out, Avithout a shelf, 
and only a little steeper behind than in front. The idea at once sug- 
gests itself that this lamp, which is very old and sooty, was made at 
Point Barrow and was an attempt to imitate the imported lamps with 
stone obtained from the beds reported by Lieut. Ray in Kulugrna. 
There is, of course, no means of proving this supposition. There is 
no mention of any material except soapstone being made into lamps 
by the Greenlanders or other eastern Eskimo, but the lamps from 
Kadiak and Bristol Bay in the National Museum are made of some hard 
gray stone. 

Fig. 49, No. 56G73 [133], is a traveling lamp, and is a miniature of the 
large lamp, No. 89879 [S72], 8-7 inches long, 4-2 wide, and 1 inch high, also 
of soapstone and without a shelf. The front also is straighter, and the 
whole more roughly made. No. 89882 [1298] is another traveling lain]), 
also of soapstone, and made of about half of a large lamp. It has been 



used little if sit all since it was made over, as tlie inside is almost new 
while the outside is coated with soot and grease. It is G-3 inches long- 
No. 89881 [1209] is a mini- 
ature of No. 89880, 8-1 
inches long, and is made 
of the same gritty stone. 

Suitable material is not 
at hand for the proper 
eiing lamp. comparison of the lamps 

used by the different branches of the Eskimo race. All travelers who' 
have written about the Eskimo speak of the use of such lamps, which 
agree in being shallow, oblong dishes of stone. Dr. Bessels 1 figures 
a lamp of soapstone from Ita, Smith 
Sound, closely resembling No. 89880, 
and a little lamp in the Museum from 
Greenland is of essentially the same 
shape, but deeper. The same form ap- 
pears at Hudson Strait in the lamps 
collected by Mr. L. M. Turner, while 
those used at Iglnlik are nearly semi- 
circular. 2 South of Kotzebue Sound 
lamps of the shape so common in the 
east are used, but these, Mr. Turner in- 
forms me, are never made of soapstone, 
but always of sandstone, shale, etc. 
The people of Kadiak and the Aleuts 
anciently used lamps of hard stone, 
generally oval in shape, and sometimes 
made by slightly hollowing out one 
side of a large round pebble. 3 Such 
a rough lamp was brought by Lieut. 
Stoney, U. S. Navy, from Kotzebue 
Sound. No such highly finished and 
elaborate lamps as the large house 
lamps at Point Barrow are mentioned 
except by Nordenskiold, who figures 
one from Siberia. 4 This lamp is inter- 
esting as the only one described with a 
ledge comparable to the shelf of No. 
89S79. Lamps from the region between 
Point Barrow and Boothia Felix are especially needed to elucidate the 
distribution and development of this utensil. The rudely hollowed peb- 

1 Naturalist, September, 1884, p. 867, Fig. 2. 
'Parry, Second Voyage, PI. opposite p. 548, Pig. 2. 

3 See Dull, Alaska, p. 387; and Tetroff, Report, etc., p. 141. See also the collections of Turner and 
Fischer from Attn and Kadiak. 

4 Vega, vol. 2, p. 23, Fig. b on p. 22, and diagrams, p. 23. 

Fig. 50. 

-Socket for blubber holder. 

Murdoch.] CLOTHING. 109 

ble of the ancient Aleut and the elaborate lamp of the Point Barrow 
Eskimo are evidently the two extremes of the series of forms, but the 
intermediate patterns are still to be described. 

Fig. 50, No. 5641)2 [108], is a peculiar article of which only one specimen 
was collected. We were given to understand at the time of purchasing 
it that it was a sort of socket or escutcheon to be fastened to the wall 
above a lamp to hold the blubber stick described above. No such 
escutcheons, however, were seen in use in the houses visited. The 
article is evidently old. It is a flat piece of thick plank of some soft 
wood, 11 '4 inches long, 4-2 broad, and about 1| thick, very rudely carved 
into a human head and body without arms, with a large round hole 
about 1| inches in diameter through the middle of the breast. The eyes 
and mouth are incised, and the nose was in relief, but was long ago split 
off. There is a deep furrow all around the head, perhaps for fastening 
on a hood. 



The clothing of these people is as a rule made entirely of skins, though 
of late years drilling and calico are used for some parts of the dress 
which will be afterwards described. Petroff 1 makes the rather sur- 
prising statement that " a large amount of ready-made clothing finds its 
way into the hands of these people, who wear it in summer, but the ex- 
cessive cold of winter compels them to resume the fur garments formerly 
in general use among them." Fur garments are in as general use at 
Point Barrow as they ever were, and the cast-off clothing obtained from 
the ships is mostly packed away in some corner of the iglu. We landed 
at Cape Smyth not long after the wreck of the Daniel Webster, whose 
crew had abandoned and given away a great deal of their clothing. 
During that autumn a good many men and boys wore white men's coats 
or shirts in place of the outer frock, especially when working or loung- 
ing about the station, but by the next spring these were all packed 
away and were not resumed again except in rare instances in the sum- 

The chief material is the skin of the reindeer, which is used in various 
stages of pelage. Fine, short-haired summer skins, especially those of 
does and fawns, are used for making dress garments and underclothes. 
The heavier skins are used for everyday working clothes, while the 
heaviest winter skins furnish extra warm jackets for cold weather, 
warm winter stockings and mittens. The white or spotted skins of the 
tame Siberian reindeer, obtained from the "Nunatafiiniun," are espe- 
cially valued for full-dress jackets. We heard no mention of the use of 
the skin of the unborn reindeer fawn, biit there is a kind of dark deer- 
skin used only for edgings, which appears to be that of an exceedingly 
young deer. This skin is extremely thin, and the hair so short that it 
is almost invisible. Siberian deerskins can always be recognized by 

1 Keport, etc., p. 125. 



having the flesh side colored red, 1 while American dressed skins are 
worked soft and rubbed with chalk or gypsum, giving a beautiful 
white surface like pipe-clayed leather. 

The skins of the white mountain sheep, white and blue fox, wolf, dog, 
ermine, and lynx are sometimes used for clothing, and under jackets 
made of eider duck skins are rarely used. Sealskin dressed with the 
hair on is used only for breeches and boots, and for those rarely. Black 
dressed sealskin — that is, with the epidermis left on and the hair shaved 

off — is used for waterproof boots, while the 
white sealskin, tanned in urine, with the epi- 
dermis removed, is used for the soles of winter 
boots. Waterproof boot soles are made of oil- 
dressed skins of the white whale, bearded seal, 
walrus, or polar bear. The last material is not 
usually mentioned as serving for sole leather 
among the Eskimo. Nordenskiold, 2 however, 
found it in use among the Chukches for this 
purpose. It is considered an excellent ma- 
terial for soles at Point Barrow, and is some- 
times used to make boat covers, which are 
beautifully white. Heavy mittens for the win- 
ter are made of the fur of the polar bear or of 
dogskin. Waterproof outer frocks are of seal 
entrails, split and dried and sewed together. 
For trimmings are used deerskin of different 
colors, mountain-sheep skin, and black and 
white sealskin, wolf, wolverine, and marten 
fur, and whole ermine skins, as well as red 
worsted, and occasionally beads. 


Dr. Simpson 3 gave an excellent general de- 
scription of the dress of these people, which is 
the same at the present day. While the same 
in general pattern as that worn by all other 
Eskimo, it differs in many details from that worn by the eastern Eskimo, 4 
and most closely resembles the style in vogue at and near Norton Sound. 5 
The man's dress (Fig. 51, from a photograph of Apaidyao) consists of the 
usual loose hooded frock, without opening except at the neck and wrists. 
This reaches just over the hips, rarely about to mid- thigh, where it is cut 

1 Compare Nordenskiold, Vega, vol 2. p. 213. 

2 Vega, vol. 2, p. 98. 

3 Op. cit., pp. 241-245. 

"See for example, Egedo, p. 219; Crantz, vol. 1, p. 130; Bessels, Op. cit,, pp. 805 and 868 (Smith 
Sound); Kane, 1st Grinnell Exp., pp. 45 (Greenland) and 132 (Cape York); Brodbeek, "Nach Osten," 
pp. 23, 24, and Holm, Geografisk Tidskrift, vol. 8, p. 90 (East Greenland); Parry, 2d Voy., pp. 494-6 
(Iglulik) ; Boas, " Central Eskimo," pp. 554-6 ; Kumlien, loc. cit., pp. 22-25 (Cumberland Gulf) ; also, Fro- 
bisher, in Hakluyt's Voyages, 1589, etc., p. 628. 

'Hall, Alaska, pp. 21 and 141. 

Eig. 51.— Man in ordinary deer 
skin clothes. 

mukdoch.] • STYLE OF DKESS. Ill 

off square, and is usually confined by a girdle at the waist. Under this 
garment is worn a similar one, usually of lighter skin and sometimes with- 
out a hood. The thighs are clad in one or two pairs of tight-fitting knee 
breeches, confined round the hips by a girdle and usually secured by a 
drawstring below the knee which ties over the tops of the boots. On 
the legs and feet are worn, first, a pair of long, deerskin stockings with the 
hair inside; then slippers of tanned sealskin, in the bottom of which is 
spread a layer of whalebone shavings, and outside a pair of close-fitting 
boots, held in place by a string round the ankle, usually reaching above 
the knee and ending with a rough edge, which is covered by the breeches. 
Dress boots often end with an ornamental border and a drawstring just 
below the knee. The boots are of reindeer skin, with white sealskin 
soles for winter and dry weather, but in summer waterproof boots of 
black sealskin with soles of white whale skin, etc., are worn. Over- 
shoes of the same material, reaching just above the ankles, with a draw- 
string at the top and ankle strings, are sometimes worn over the winter 
boots. When traveling on snowshoes or in soft dry snow the boots 
are replaced by stockings of the same shape as the under ones, but made 
of very thick winter deerskins with the flesh side out. 

Instead of breeches and boots a man occasionally wears a pair of 
pantaloons or tight-fitting trousers terminating in shoes such as are 
worn by the women. Over the usual dress is worn in very cold weather 
a circular mantle of deerskin, fastened by a thong at the neck — such 
mantles are nowadays occasionally made of blankets — and in rainy 
weather both sexes wear the hooded rain frock of seal gut. Of late 
years both sexes have adopted the habit of Avearing over their clothes 
a loose hoodless frock of cotton cloth, usually bright-colored calico, 
especially in blustering weather, when it is useful in keeping the drift- 
ing snow out of their furs. 

Both men and women wear gloves or mittens. These are of deer- 
skin for ordinary use, but in extreme A^eather mit- 
tens of polar bear skin are worn. When hunting in 
winter it is the custom to wear gloves of thin deer- 
skin under the bearskin mitten, so that the rifle can 
be handled without touching the bare hand to the 
cold iron. The women have a common trick of wear- 
ing only one mitten, but keeping the other arm with- 
draAyn from the sleeve and inside of the jacket. 

The dress of the Avomen consists of two frocks, 
Avhich differ from those of the men in being- con- , 

° Fig. 52. — Womans hood. 

tinned from the Avaist in tAvo rather full rounded 
skirts at the front and back, reaching to or below the knee. A woman's 
frock is always distinguished by a sort of rounded bulge or pocket at 
the nape of the neck (see Fig. 52, from a sketch by the writer), which is 
intended to receive the head of the infant when carried in the jacket. 
The little peak at the top of the hood is also characteristic of the 


woman's frock. Ou her legs a woman wears a pair of tight-fitting 
deerskin pantaloons with the hair next the skin, and outside of these a 
similar pair made of the skins of deer legs, with the hair out, and having 
soles of sealskin, bnt no anklestrings. The outer pantaloons are usually 
laid aside in spring, and waterproof boots like the men's, but fastened 
below the knee with drawstrings, are worn over the under x>antaloons. 
In the summer pantaloons wholly of waterproof sealskin are often put 
on. The women's pantaloons, like the men's breeches, are fastened with 
a girdle just above the hips. It appears that they do not stay up very 
well, as the women are continually " hitching" them up and tightening 
their girdles. 

Until they reach manhood the boys wear pantaloons like the women, 
but their jackets are cut just like those of the men. The dress of the 
girls is a complete miniature of that of the women, even to the pocket 
for the child's head. Those who are well-to-do generally own several 
complete suits of clothes, and present a neat appearance when not en- 
gaged in dirty work. The poorer ones wear one suit on all occasions 
till it becomes shabby. New clothes are seldom put on till winter. 

The outer frock is not often worn in the iglu, being usually taken off 
before entering the room, and the under one is generally dispensed with. 
Men habitually leave off their boots in the house, and rarely their 
stockings and breeches, retaining only a pair of thin deerskin drawers. 
This custom of stripping in the house has been noticed among all Es- 
kimos whose habits have been described, from Greenland to Siberia. 
The natives are slow to adopt any modifications in the style of dress, 
the excellence and convenience of which has been so frequently com- 
mented upon that it is unnecessary to refer to it. One or two youths 
learned from association with us the convenience of pockets, and accord- 
ingly had " patch pockets" of cloth sewed on the outside of the skirt of 
the inner frock, and one young man in 1SS3 wore a pair of sealskin 
hip boots, evidently copies from our india-rubber wading boots. I now 
proceed to the description of the clothing in detail. 

Head clothing. — The only head covering usually worn is the hood of 
the frock, which reaches to about the middle of the head, the front 
being covered by the hair. Women who are carrying children in the 
jacket sometimes wrap the head in a cloth. (I have an indistinct rec- 
ollection of once seeing a woman with a deerskin hood, but was too 
busy at the time to make a note or sketch of it.) One man at Iltki- 
avwifi (Nagawau'ra, now deceased), who was quite bald on the forehead, 
used to protect the front of his head' with a sort of false front of deer- 
skin, tied round like a fillet. No specimens of any of these articles 
were obtained. Fancy conical caps are worn in the dances and theat- 
rical performances, but these belong more properly under the head of 
Games and Pastimes (where they will be described) than under that of 



Frocks (atige). — Two frocks are always worn by both sexes except in 
the house, or in warm weather, the inner (ilupa) with the hair next the 
skin, and the outer (kaluru'm) 
with the hair out. The outer 
frock is also sometimes worn with 
the hair in, especially when it is 
new and the flesh side clean and 
white. This side is often orna- 
mented with little tufts of marten 
fur and stripes of red ocher. The 
difference in shape between the 
frocks of the two sexes has been 
already mentioned. The man's 
frock is a loose shirt, not fitted to 
the body, widening at the bottom, 
and reaching, when unbelted, just 
below the hips. The skirts are 
cut off square or slightly rounded, 
and are a little longer behind 
than in front. The hood is 
rounded, loose around the neck, 
and fitted in more on the sides 
than on the nape. The front edge 
of the hood, when drawn up, comes a little forward of the top of the 
head and runs round under the chin, covering the ears. 

There are in the collection three specimens, all rather elaborate dress 
frocks, to be worn outside. All have been worn. No. 50751 [184] 
(Fig. 53), brown deerskin, will serve as the type. The pattern can best 

Fig. 53.— Man's frock. 

Fig. 54. — Pattern of man's deerskin frock. 

be explained by reference to the accompanying diagrams (Fig. 54). 
The body consists of two pieces, front and back, each made of the 
9 eth 8 



greater part of the skin of a reindeer fawn, with the hack in the 
middle and the sides and belly coining at the edges. The head of the 


."."■I "!.'"' 

l A 

Fig. 55. — Detail of trimming, skirt and shoulder of man's frock. 

animal is made into the hood, which is continuous with the back. 
Each sleeve is in two pieces, front and back, of the same shape, which 
are sewed together along the upper edge, but separated below by the 

arm flap of the front, which 
is bent down and inserted 
like a gusset from the arm- 
pit nearly to the wrist. A 
band of deerskin an inch 
broad is sewed round the 
edge of the hood, flesh side 
out. The trimming consists, 
first, of a narrow strip of long- 
haired wolfskin (taken from 
the middle of the back) sewed 
to the outer side of the bind- 
ing of the hood, its ends sep- 
arated by the chin piece, so 
that the long hairs form a 
fringe around the face. Sim- 
ilar strips are sewed round 
each wrist with the fur in- 
ward. The binding round 
the skirt (Fig. 55a) is 1\ 
inches broad. The light- 
colored strips arc clipped 
mountain sheep skin, the 
narrow pipings are of the 
dark brown skin of a very 
young fawn, the little tags 
on the second strip are of red 
worsted and the fringe is of 

i'lG. 56.— Man wearing plain, heavy frock. 

wolverine far, sewed on with the flesh side, which is colored red, prob- 
ably with ocher, outward. A band of similar materials, arranged a 



little differently (Fig. 556) and 1.J inches broad, is inserted into the 
body at each shoulder seam, so that the fringe makes a sort of epaulet. 
This jacket is 24-5 inches long from the chin to the bottom of the skirt, 
21 inches wide across the shoulders, and 24-5 inches wide at the bottom. 

Apart from the trimming this is a very simple pattern. There are 
no seams except those absolutely necessary for producing the shape, 
and the best part of each skin is brought where it will show most, 
while the poorer portions are out of sight under the arms. 

The chief variation in deerskin frocks is in the trimming. All have 
the hood fitted to the head and throat, with cheek and throat pieces, 
and these are invariably white or light colored, even when the frock is 
made of white Siberian deer skin. When possible the head of the deer 

Fig. 57. — Man's frock of mountain sheepskin, front and back. 

is always used for the back of the hood, as Oapt. Parry observed to be 
the custom at Iglulik. 1 A plain frock is sometimes used for rough 
work, limiting, etc. This has no fringe or trimming round the hood, 
skirt, or wrists, the first being smoothly hemmed or bound with deer- 
skin and the last two left raw-edged. Fig. 56 shows such a jacket, 
which is often made of very heavy winter deerskin. Most frocks, how- 
ever, have the border to the hood either of wolf or wolverine skin, in 
the latter case especially having the end of the strips hanging down 
like tassels under the chin. The long hairs give a certain amount of 
protection to the face when walking in the wind. 2 Instead of a fringe 
the hood sometimes has three tufts of fur, oue on each side and one 

'Second Voy., p. 537. 

2 Compare Ball, Alaska, p. 22. 



Trimmings of edging like that above described, or of plain wolverine 
fur round the skirts and wrists, are common, and the shoulder straps 
rather less so. Frocks are sometimes also fringed on the skirts and 
seams with little strips of deerskin, after what the Point Barrow people 
called the " Kunmudllfi " fashion. 1 Nearly all the natives wear outer 
frocks of deerskin, but on great occasions elaborately made garments 
of other materials are sometimes seen. Nos. 56758 [ST] (Fig. 57, a and 
b) and 56757 [11] (Fig. 58, a and h) are two such frocks. No. 50758 [87] 
is of mountain sheep skin, nearly white. As shown in the diagrams 
(Fig. 59, ft, £», c,) the general pattern is not unlike the type described, 
but there are more pieces in the hood and several small gussets are in- 
serted to improve the set of the garment. The trimmings are shoulder 

a b 

Fig. 58. — Man's frock of ermine skins, front and back. 

straps, and a border round the skirt of edging like that described above, 
and the seams of the throat pieces are piped with the dark almost 
hairless deerskin, which sets them off from the rest of the coat. The 
wrists have narrow borders of wolf fur, and there was a wolfskin fringe 
to the hood, which was removed before the garment was offered for sale. 
No. 5(5757 [11] is a very handsome garment (Fig. 58). The body 
and sleeves are of white and browu (winter and summer) ermine skins 
arranged in an elegant pattern, and the hood of reindeer and mountain 
sheep skin. This is the only frock seen in which the hood is not fitted 
to the sides of the throat by curved and pointed throat pieces, after the 
fashion universal among the western Eskimo, from Cape Bathurst at 
least to Norton Sound. The pattern of the hood is shown by the dia- 

1 There are several frocks so trimmed in the National Jluseuin, from the Mackenzie and Anderson 




gram (Fig. CO a). The middle piece is the skin of a reindeer head, 
the two cheek pieces and median chin piece of mountain sheep skin. 
When the hood is put together the lower edge, of it is sewed to the neck 
of the body, which has the back and front of nearly the same size and 
shape (diagram, Fig. GO />), though the back is a little longer in the 

Fig. 59.— Pattern of sheepskin frock. 

skirt. There is no regular seam on the shoulders, where irregular bits 
of white ermine skin are pieced together so as to lit. From the armpit 
on each side runs a narrow strip of sheepskin between back and front. 
The sleeve is a long piece made of three white ermine skins put together 
lengthwise, doubled above, with a straight strip of sheepskin let in be- 
low, and enlarged near the body by two triangular gussets (front and 
back) let in between the ermine and sheepskin. The wristbands are 
broad pieces of sheepskin. The skirts are of white ermine skins pieced 
together irregularly, but the skins composing the front, back, and 
sleeves are split down the back of the animal and neatly cut into long 
rectangular pieces, with the 
feet and tails still attached. 
They are arranged in a pat- 
tern of vertical stripes, two 
skins fastened together end 
to end making a stripe, 
which ivS the same on the 
front and the back. There 

Fig, GO. — Pattern of ermine frock, a, hood; b, body. 

is a brown stripe down the middle, then two white stripes on each side, 
and a brown stripe on each edge. The hood is bound round the edge 
with white sheepskin and bordered with wolfskin. There are shoulder 
straps and a border round the skirt of edging of the usual materials, but 
slightly different arrangement, and tagged with small red glass beads. 



The former owner of this beautiful frock (since dead) was always very 
elegantly dressed. His deerskin clothes were always much trimmed, and 
he owned an elegant frock of foxskins, alternately blue and white, with 
a hood of deerskin, which we did not succeed in obtaining for the col- 
lection. (The "jumper of mixed white and blue fox pelts," seen by Dr. 
Kane at Ita, 1 must have been like this.) 

The woman's frock differs from that worn by the men, in the shape 
of the hood and skirts, as mentioned above, and it is also slightly fitted 

FlG. 61. — Woman's frock, front and back. 

in to the waist and made to "bag" somewhat in the back, in order to 
give room for carrying the child. The pattern is considerably different 
from that of the man's frock, as will be seen from the description of the 
type specimen (the only one in the collection), No. 7404:1 [1791] (Fig. 
Gl, a and />), which is of deerskin. The hood is raised into a little point 
on top and bulges out into a sort of rounded pocket at the nape. This 
is a holiday garment, made of strips of skin from the shanks and belly 
of the reindeer, pieced together so as to make a pattern of alternating 

'Second Grinnell Exp., vol. 1, p. 203. 




Fig. 62. — Pattern of woman's frock. 

light and dark stripes. The pattern is shown in the diagram, Fig. 62. 
The sleeves are of the same pattern as those of No. 56751 [184]. The 
edge of the hood is bound with 
deerskin, hair outwards. Trim- 
ming: a strip of edging (Fig. 03) 
in which the light stripes are 
clipped white mountain sheep- 
skin, the dark pipings brown, 
almost hairless, fawnskin, and the 
tags red worsted, is inserted in 
the seam between 7 on each side 
and 6 and 2, and a similar strip 
between the inner edge of 3, 2, 7, 
9, and 1. A broader strip of simi- 
lar insertion, fringed below with 
marten fur, with the flesh side out 
and colored red, runs along the short seam ffff. The seam between 9 
and 7 has a narrow piping of thin brown deerskin, tagged with red 
worsted. A strip of edging, without tags and fringed with marten fur 
(Fig. 64), is inserted in the seam gggg. The border of the skirt is 1 inch 
wide (Fig. 64). The dark stripe is brown deerskin, 
the white, mountain sheep, and the fur, marten, with 
the red flesh side out. The fringes are double strips 
of white deerskin sewed to the inside of the last seam, 
about 3 inches apart. The shoulder straps are of 
edging like that at g, but have the fur sewed on so 
as to show the red flesh side. The hood has a fringe 
of wolfskin sewed to the outside of the binding. This 
frock measures 45 inches in the back, 32 in the front, 19 across the 
shoulders, and 17 at the waist. The skirts are 21 inches wide, the 
front 18, and the back 20 inches long. The pieces 7, 8, and 9 of the 
hood are white. This is an unusually handsome garment. 



wx^> <^ ^^ s ia> ^i! m <le ^ i .^bs i 

Fig. 63.— Detail of edg 

ing, woman's frock. 

Fig. 64. — Details of trimming, woman's frock. 

Deerskin garments rarely have the ornamental piecing seen in this 
frock. Each one of the numbered parts of the pattern is generally in 
one piece. The pieces 8 and 9 are almost universally white, and 7 is 
often so. About the same variety in material and trimming is to be 
found as in the men's frocks, though deer and mountain sheep skins 
were the only materials seen used, and the women's frocks are less often 
seen without the fringe round the hood. Plain deerskin frocks are 
often bordered round the skirts with a fringe cut from deerskin. The 


women nowadays often line the outer frock with drilling, bright calico, 
or even bedticking, and then wear it with this side out. 

The frocks for both sexes, while made on the same general pattern 
as those of the other Eskimo, differ in many details from those of east- 
ern America. For instance, the hood is not fitted in round the throat 
with the pointed throat pieces or fringed with wolf or wolverine skin 
until we reach the Eskimo of the Anderson Biver. Here, as shown by 
the specimens in the National Museum, the throat pieces are small and 
wide apart, and the men's hoods only are fringed with wolverine skin. 
The women's hoods are very large everywhere in the east for the better 
accommodation of the child, which is sometimes carried wholly in the 
hood. 1 

The hind flap of the skirt of the woman's frock, except in Greenland, 
has developed into a long narrow train reaching the ground, while the 
front flap is very much decreased in size (see references just quoted). 
The modern frock in Greenland is very short and has very small flaps 
(see illustrations in Eink's Tales, etc., pp. 8 and 9), but the ancient 
fashion, judging from the plate in Crantz's History of Greenland, re- 
ferred to above, was much more like that worn by the western Eskimo. 
In the Anderson and Mackenzie regions the flaps are short and rounded 
and the front flap considerably the smaller. There is less difference in 
the general shape of the men's frocks. The hood is generally rounded 
and close fitting, except in Labrador and Baffin Land, where it is 
pointed on the crown. The skirt is sometimes prolonged into rounded 
flaps and a short scallop in front, as at Iglulik and some parts of Baffin 
Land. 2 Petitot 3 gives a full description of the dress of a "chief" from 
the Anderson Eiver. He calls the frock a " blouse 6ckancree par cote" et 
terminee ea queues arrondies par devant et par derriere." The style of 
frock worn at Point Barrow is the prevalent one along the western coast 
of America nearly to the Kuskokwim. On this river long hoodless 
frocks reaching nearly or quite to the ground are worn. 4 The frock 
worn in Kadiak was hoodless and long, with short sleeves and large 
armholes beneath these. 5 

The men of the Siberian Eskimo and sedentary Chukches, as at 
Plover Bay, wear in summer a loose straight-bottomed frock without a 
hood, but with a frill of long fur round the neck. The winter frock is 
described as having "a square hood without trimmings, but capable of 
being drawn, like the inouth of a bag, around the face by a string in. 

1 Egede, p. 131 ;■ Crantz, i, p. 137 and PI. in. (Greenland) ; Bessels, op. cit., p. 865 (Smith Sound— married 
women only) ; Parry, 2nd Voy ., p. 494, and numerous illustrations, passim (Iglulik) ; Packard, Naturalist 
Vol. 19, p. 6, PI. xxni (Labrador), and Kumlion, 1. c.,p. 33 (Cumberland Gulf). See also several speci- 
mens in the National Museum from Ungava (collected by L. M. Turner) and the Mackenzie and Ander- 
son rivers (collected by MacFarlane). The hoods from the last region, while still much larger and 
wider than those in fashion at Point Harrow, are not so enormous as the more eastern ones. The little 
peak on the top of the woman's hood at Point Barrow may bo a reminiscence of tho pointed hood worn 
by the women mentioned by Bessels, op. cit. 

2 Parry, 2d Voy., p. 494, and 1st Voy., p. 283. 
2 Monographic, etc., p. xiv. 

4 Petroff, op. cit. p. 134, Pis. 4 and 5. See also specimens in the National Museum. 
6 Petroff, op. cit., p. 139, and Liscansky, Voy., etc., p. 194. 




serted in the edge." 1 According to Nordenskiold, 2 the men at Pitlekaj 
wear the hoodless frock summer and winter, putting on one or two sep- 
arate hoods in winter. The under hood appears to be like one or two 
which I saw worn at Plover Bay, namely, a close-fitting nightcap of 
thin reindeer skin tied under the chin. The 
dress of the Siberian women consists of frock 
and baggy kneebreeckes in one piece, sewed 
to tightfitting boots reaching to the knees. 3 
Mantles. — " Circular" mantles of deerskin, 
fastened at the neck by a thong, and put on 
over the head like a poncho, are worn by the 
men in very cold weather over their other 
clothes when lounging in the open air about 
the village or watching at a seal hole or tend- 
ing the seal nets at night. The cloaks are 
especially affected by the older men, who, 
having grown-up sons or sons-in-law, do not 
have to go sealing in winter, and spend a 
great deal of their time in bright weather 
chatting together out of doors. There is Fio-65.-Man's cloak of deerskin, 
one specimen in the collection, No. 5G7G0 [94] (Fig. 65). It is made of 
fine summer doe-reindeer skin, in three pieces, back and two sides of 
dark skin, sewed to a collar of white skin from the belly of the animal. 

For pattern see diagram 
(Fig. 6G). The seams at a 
are gored to make the cloak 
hang properly from the 
shoulder. The collar is in 
two pieces, joined in the 
middle, and the edge c is 
turned over toward the hair 
side and "run" down in a 
narrow hem. The points b 
of the collar are brought 
together in the middle and 
joined by a little strap of 
deerskin about an inch 
long, so that the edge c 
makes a round hole for the 
neck. The width of the 
mantle is 60 inches and its 

liu. uo.-PaUern of man's cloak. depth 39 J± ^ w()m ^^ 

the white flesh side out, as is indicated by the seams being sewed "over 

1 Dall, Alaska, p. 379. 

2 Vega, vol. 2, p. 98. 

:< Nordenskibld, Vega, vol. 2, p. 100 and Fig. on p. 57; Dall, Alaska, p. 379 and plate opposite. I also no- 
ticed this dress at Plover Bay in 1881. Compare also Krauso Brothers, Geogr. Blatter, vol. 5, No. 1, p. 5, 
where the dress along the coast from East Cape to Plover Bay is described as we saw it at Plover Bay. 


and over" cm the hair side. All the mantles seen were essentially of 
the same pattern. The edge is sometimes cut into an ornamental 
fringe, and the tlesh side marked with a few narrow stripes of red ocher. 
This garment appears to be peculiar to northwestern America. No men- 
tion is to be found of any such a thing except in Mr. MacFarlane's 
MS. notes, where he speaks of a deerskin blanket "attached with aline 
across the shoulders in cold weather," among the Anderson Biver Es- 
kimo. We have no means at present of knowing whether such cloaks 
are worn by the coast natives between Point Barrow and Kotzebue 
Sound, but one was worn by one of the Xunata'nmiun who were at 
Nuwuk in the autumn of 1881. 

Rain-frocks. — The rain-frock (silu'na) is made of strips of seal or wal- 
rus intestines about 3 inches broad, sewed together edge to edge. This 
material is light yellowish brown, translucent, very light, and quite 
waterproof. In shape the frock resembles a man's frock, but the hood 
comes well forward and fits closely round the face. It is generally plain, 
but the seams are nowadays sewed with black or colored cotton for orna- 
ment. The garment is of the same shape for both sexes, but the women 
frequently cover the flesh side of a deerskin frock with strips of en trail 
sewed together vertically, thus making a garment at once waterproof 
and warm, which is worn alone in summer with the hair side in. These 
gut shirts are worn over the clothes in summer when it rains or when 
the wearer is working in the boats. There are no specimens in the col- 

The kaiak jacket of black sealskin, so universal in Greenland, is un- 
known at Point Barrow. The waterproof gut frocks are peculiar to the 
western Eskimo, though shirts of seal gut, worn between the inner and 
outer frock, are mentioned by Egede (p. 130) and Crantz 1 as used in 
Greenland in their time. Ellis also^ says : " Some few of them [i. e., the 
Eskimo of Hudsons Strait] wear shifts of seals' bladders, sewed to- 
gether in pretty near the same form with those in Europe." They have 
been described generally under the name Tcamle'iJca (said to be a Siberian 
word) by all the authors who have treated of the natives of this region, 
Eskimo, Siberians, or Aleuts. We saw them worn by nearly all the 
natives at Plover Bay. One handsome one was observed trimmed on 
the seams with rows of little red nodules (pieces of the beak of one of 
the puffins) and tiny tufts of black feathers. 

The cotton frock, already alluded to as worn to keep the driving snow 
out of the furs, is a long, loose shirt reaching to about midleg, with a 
round hole at the neck large enough to admit the head. This is gener- 
ally of bright-colored calico, but shirts of white cotton are sometimes 
worn when hunting on the ice or snow. Similar frocks are worn by the 
natives at Pitlekaj. 3 

'Vol. 1, p. 137. 

2 Voyage to Hudsons Bay, p. 136. 

3 Nordenskiolil, Vega, vol. 2, p. 98. 





Mittens. — The hands are usually protected by mittens (aitka/ti) of 
different kinds of fur. The commonest kind are of deerskin, worn with 
the flesh side out. Of these the collection contains one pair, No. 89828 
[973] (Fig. G7). They are made of thick winter reindeer skin, with the 
white flesh side outward, in the shape of ordinary mittens bat short and 
not narrowed at the wrists, with the thumb short and clumsy. The 
seams are all sewed " over and over " on the hair side. These mittens 
are about 7£ inches long and 4£ broad. The free part of the thumb is 
only 2-jf inches long on the outer side. Such mittens are the ordinary 
hand covering of men, women, and children. In extreme cold weather 
or during winter hunting, very heavy mittens of the same shape, but 
gathered to a wristband, are worn. These are made of white bearskin 
for men and women, 
for children of dog- 
skin, with the hair 
out. When the hand 
covered with such a 
mitten is held upon 
the windward sideof 
the face in walking, 
the long hair affords 
a very efficient pro- 
tection against the 
wind. The long stiff 
hair of the bear- 
skin also makes the 
mitten a very con- 
venient brush for re- 
moving snow and hoar frost from the clothes. It is even sometimes 
used for brushing up the floor. 

In the MacFarlane collection are similar mittens from the Mackenzie 
region. Petitot 1 says the Anderson Eiver "chief" wore pualuk "mi- 
taines en peau de morse, aussi blanches et aussi soyeuses que de belle 
laine." These were probably of bearskin, as a mitten of walrus skin 
is not likely to be "blanche" or " soyeuse." Gloves are worn under 
these as at Point Barrow. All these mittens are short in the wrist, 
barely meeting the frock sleeve, and leaving a crack for the cold to get 
in, which is partially covered by the usual wolf or wolverine skin fringe 
of the sleeve. I have already mentioned the common habit among the 
women of carrying only one mitten and drawing one arm inside of the 
frock. 2 The men, except when hunting, frequently wear only one of 
these heavy mittens, which are called pu'alu. Waterproof mittens of 
black sealskin, coming well up over the forearm, were also observed, but 
not obtained. I do not remember ever seeing them in use. 

■Mouograpkie, etc., p. xv. 

2 Compare 1'arry, 2d Voy., p. 494, where a similar habit is mentioned at Iglulik. 

Fig. 67. — Deerskin mittens. 



Gloves. — Gloves of thin deerskin, worn with the hair in, and often 
elegantly ornamented, are used with full dress, especially at the dances. 
As already stated, the men wear such gloves under the pualu when 
shooting in the wilder. When ready to shoot, the hunter slips off the 
mitten and holds it between his legs, while the glove enables him to 
cock the rifle and draw the trigger without touching the cold metal with 
his bare hands. There are two pairs of gloves in the collection. ISTo. 
89829 [974] (Fig. OS) illustrates a very common style called a'drigudrin. 
They are made of thin reindeer skin, with the white flesh side out, and 

Fig. 08. — Deerskin gloves. 

are rights and lefts. The short and rather clumsy fingers and thumbs 
are "separate pieces from the palm, which is one straight, broad piece, 
doubled so as to bring the seam on the same side as the thumb. The 
thumbs are not alike on both hands. The outside piece of the thumb 
runs down to the wrist on the left glove, but is shorter on the right, 
the lower 2 inches of the edge seam being between the edges of the 
palm piece. Each finger is a single piece doubled lengthwise and 
sewed over the tip and down one side. The wrists are ornamented with 
an edging of two narrow strips of clipped mountain sheep skin, bordered 
with a narrow strip of wolverine fur with the reddened flesh side out. 
These gloves were made for sale and are not well mated, one being 8£ 
inches, with fingers (all of the same length) 4i inches long, while the 
other is 8 inches long with fingers of 3i inches. No. 5G747 [128] is a 
pair of gloves made in the same way but more elaborately ornamented. 
There is a band of deerskin but no fringe round the wrist. The back 
of the hand is covered with brown deerskin, hair out, iuto which is in- 
serted the square ornamental pattern in which the light stripes are 
white deerskin and the dark pipings the usual almost hairless fawn- 
skin. Gloves like this type are the most common and almost univer- 
sally have a fringe round the wrist. They are also usually a little 
longer-wristed than the mittens. 




Mittens ;ue universally employed among the Eskimo, but gloves 
with lingers, which, as is well known, are a much less warm covering 
for the hand than mittens, are very rare. They are in use at Norton 
Sound ' and in the Mackenzie district, 2 and have even been observed 
among the Arctic Highlanders of Smith Sound, who, however, gener- 
ally wear mittens. 3 Dr. Simpson 4 mentions both deerskin and bear- 
skin mittens as used at Point Barrow, but makes no reference to 
gloves. The natural inference from this is that the fashion of wearing 
gloves has been introduced since his time. It is quite probable that 
the introduction of firearms has favored the general adoption of gloves. 
The following hypothesis may be suggested as to the way the fashion 
reached Point Barrow: We may suppose that the Malimiut of Norton 
Sound got the idea directly from the Russians. They would carry the 
fashion to the Nunatanmiun at Kotzebue Sound, who in their turn 
would teach it to the Point Barrow traders at the Oolville, and these 
would carry it on to the eastern natives. 


Breeches (M'Jcli). — The usual leg-covering of the men is one or two 
pairs of knee breeches, rather 
loose, but fitted to the shape of 
the leg. They are very low in 
front, barely covering thepubes, 
but run up much higher behind, 
sometimes as high as il\e small 
of the back. They are held in 
place by a girdle of thong round 
the waist, and are usually fas- 
tened below the knee, over the 
boots, by a drawstring. There 
is one pair in the collection, No. 
5G759 [91], Fig. G9. They are 
of short-haired brown reindeer 
skin, from the body of the ani- 
mal, worn with the hair out. 
The waist is higher behind than 
in front, and each leg is sbghtly 
gatherer! to a band just be- 
low the knee. Pattern (see 
diagram, Fig. 70): There are 
two pieces in each leg, the in- 
side and the outside. The 
spaces between the edges e of the two legs is filled by the gusset, 

Fig. 09. — Man's breeches of deerskin. 

1 Dall, Alaska, pp. 23, 152, anil 153. He speaks of the thumb (p. 23) as " a triangular, shapeless pro- 
tuberance " ; a description which applies well to those in our collection. 
2 MacFarlano MS., and Petitot, Monographic, etc., p. xv. 
3 Bessels, Naturalist, vol. 18, p. 8G5. 
* Op. cit., p. 242. 



made of Ave pieces, which covers the pubes. The crotch is reinforced 
by a square patch of white deerskin sewed on the inside. The trim- 
ming consists of strips of edging. The first strip (Fig. 71) is li inches 
wide, and runs along the front seam, inserted in tbe outside piece, to 
the knee-band, beginning 5 inches from the waist. The light strips 

are of clipped mountain sheepskin ; 
the dark one of dark brown deerskin ; 
the pipings of the thin fawn skin, and 
the tags of red worsted. The edges 
of the strip are fringed with narrow 
double strips of mountain sheepskin 
2 inches long, put on about li inches 
apart. A straight strip, 2 inches wide, 
is inserted obliquely across theoutside 
piece from seam to seam. It is of the 
fig. 70.— Pattern of mans breeches. same materials, but differs slightly in 

pattern. The knee-band is of the same materials and 2£ inches deep. 
The length from waist to knee is 24 inches behind, 23 in front; the 
girth of the leg 24 inches round the thigh and 14 round the knee. 
These represent a common style of full-dress breeches, and are worn 
with a pair of trimmed boots held up by drawstrings 
They are always worn with the hair out and usually 
over a pair of deerskin drawers. The ordinary 
breeches are of heavier deerskin, made perfectly 
plain, being usually worn alone, with the hair turned 
in. AVhen a pair of under breeches is worn, however, 
the hair of the outer ones is turned out. Trimmed 
breeches are less common than trimmed frocks, as 
the plain breeches when new are often worn for full 
dress. The clean, white flesh side presents a very 
neat appearance. The skin of the rough seal is 

Fig. 71. 



sometimes, but rarely, used for summer breeches; ofmaa'sbreeehes. 
which are worn with the hair out. With this exception, breeches seem 
to be invariably made of deerskin. This garment is practically uni- 
versal among the Eskimo and varies very little in pattern. 

Pantaloons (Icthniln). — The women and children, and occasionally the 
men, wear pantaloons (stricly speaking), i. c, tight-fitting trousers con- 
tinuous with the foot covering. Of the two pairs of pantaloons in the 
collection, No. 74042 [1792] (Fig. 72) will serve as the type. The shoes 
with sealskin moccasin soles and deerskin uppers are sewed at the 
ankles to a pair of tight-fitting deerskin trousers, reaching above the 
hips and higher behind than in front. Pattern (diagram, Fig. 73a): 
Each leg is composed of four long pieces (front 1, outside 2, back 3, 
and inside 4), five gussets (one on the thigh 5, and four on the calf, 
6, 6, 6, 6), winch enlarges the garment to fit the swell of the calf and 
thigh and the half-waistbaud (7). The two legs are put together by 




joining the edges d d d of the opposite legs and sewing the gusset (8) 
into the space in front with its base joined to the edges e e of the two 
legs. The sole of each shoe is a single piece of white tanned sealskin 
with the grain side out, bent up about 
1^ inches all round the foot, rounded 
at the toe and heel and broadest across 
the ball of the foot. The toe and heel 
are "gathered" into shape by crimping 
the edge vertically. A space of about 
3£ inches is left uncrimped on each 
side of the foot. (The process of crimp- 
ing these soles will be described under 
the head of boots and shoes, where it 
properly belongs). Around the top of 
this sole is sewed a narrow band of 
white sealskin, sewed "over and over" 
on the edge of the uncrimped space, 
but "run" through the gathers at the 
ends, so as to draw them up. The 
upper is in two pieces (heel, 9, and 
toe, 10). The heel piece is folded round 
the heel, and the toe piece doubled 
along the line/, and the curved edges 
g g joined to the straight edges h h, 
which makes the folded edge /, tit the 
outline of the instep. The bottom is 
then cut off accurately to fit the sole 
and sewed to the edge of thebaud. The 

Fig. 72. — Woman's pantaloons. 

Pieces 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are of 

trousers and shoes are sewed together 
at the ankles. The whole is made of the 
short-haired skin from the deer's legs. 
dark brown skin (10 put on so that the tuft of coarse hair on the deer's 
aukle comes on the outside of the wearer's ankle), while the remain- 
ing pieces are white, making a pleasing pattern of broad stripes. The 
inner edge of 5 is piped with dark brown fawnskin, and a round piece 
of white skin is inserted at the bottom of 2. No. 56748 [130] is a 
pair of pantaloons of nearly the same pattern (see diagram, Pig. 73i>) 
and put together in a similar way. These pantaloons have soles of 
sealskin with the hair left on and worn inside, and are made of deer 
leg skin, wholly dark brown, except the gussets on the calf, which are 
white. There is a piece of white skin let out, 2, as before, and the 
ankle tuft is in the same position. 

From the general fit of these garments they appear to be all made on 
essentially the same pattern, probably without greater variations than 
those already described. When worn by the women the material is 
usually, if not always, the skin of reindeer legs, and most commonly of 



the pattern of No. 56748 [136], namely, brown, with white leg gussets. 
Pantaloons wholly of brown skin are quite common, especially for every- 
day wear, while striped ones, like No. 74042 [1792], are much less usual 
and worn specially for full dress. Children's pantaloons are always 
brown, and I have seen one pair, worn by a young lad, of lynx skin. 
The two or three pairs which we saw worn by men were wholly brown. 
These pantaloons of leg skin with sealskin soles are always worn with 
the hair out and usually over a pair of under pantaloons of the same 
shape, but made of softer skins with longer hair, which is worn next 
the skin, and with stocking feet. The outer pantaloons are discarded 

JB'lQ. 73. — Patterns of wonan's pantaloons. 

in summer and the inner ones only worn, the feet being protected by 
sealskin waterproof boots, as already stated. The waterproof sealskin 
pantaloons mentioned in the same connection do not fit so neatly, as 
they are made with as few seams as possible (usually only one, up the 
leg) to avoid leakage. They are sewed with the waterproof seam, and 
held up round the ankle by strings, like the waterproof boots to be de- 
scribed further on. This last- mentioned garment seems to be peculiar 
to the Point Barrow region (including probably Wainwright Inlet and 
perhaps the rest of the coast down to Kotzebue Sound). No mention 
of such a complete protection against wet is to be found in any of the 
published accounts of the Eskimo elsewhere, nor are there any speci- 
mens in the Museum. 1 

'Dr. Simpson's language (op. cit., p. 241?) is a little indefinite ("Tlie feet and legs are incased in 
water-tight sealskin boots"), but probably refers to these as well as to the knee boots. Tho "outside 
coat of the same material," and the boots and outside coat "made all in one, with a drawing string 
round the face," mentioned in the same place, appears to have gone wholly out of fashion since his 
time. At all events, we saw neither, though wo continually saw the natives when working in the 
boats, and theso garments, especially the latter, could hardly have failed to attract our attention. 




Boots and breeches united in this way so as to form pantaloons are 
peculiar to the west of America, where they are universally worn from 
the Mackenzie district westward and southward. We have no speci- 
mens of women's leg coverings from the Mackenzie district, but Petitot ' 
describes them thus : "Lepantalon * * ** fait corps avec la chaus- 
sure." In the east the women always wear breeches separate from the 
boots, which usually differ from those of the men in their size and length, 
often reaching to the hips. 2 

Stockings. — Next to the skin on the feet and legs the men wear stock- 
ings of deerskin, usually of soft, rather long-haired skin, with the hair in. 
These are usually in three pieces, the leg, 1, 
toe piece, 2, and sole, 3 (see diagram, Fig. 
74). A straight strip about 1 inch wide often 
runs round the foot between the sole and the 
other pieces. Stockings of this pattern, but 
made of very thick winter deerskin, are sub- 
stituted for the outer boots when deer-hunt- 
ing in winter in the dry snow, especially 
when snowshoes are used. They are warm ; 
the flesh side sheds the snow well and the 
thick hair acts as a sort of wadding which 
keeps the feet from being galled by the bars 
and strings of the snowshoes. Many of the 
deer-hunters in 1883 made rough buskins 
of this pattern out of the skins of freshly 
killed deer simply dried, without further 

Boots and shoes. — Over the stockings are 
worn boots or shoes with uppers of various 
kinds of skin, with the hair on, or black 
tanned sealskin, always fitted to heelless 
crimped moccasin soles of some different 
leather, of the pattern which, with some 
slight modifications of form, is universal 
among the Eskimo. These soles are made 
as follows: A ''blank" for the sole is cut 
out, of the shape of the foot, but a couple 
of inches larger all round. Then, begin- 
ning at one side of the ball of the foot, the 
toe part is doubled over toward the inside of the sole, so that the 
edges just match. The two parts are then pinched together with 

1 Monographic, etc., p. xv. 

2 Bessels, Naturalist, vol. 18, p. 865, Smith Sound ; Egede, p. 131, and Crantz, vol. 1, p. 138, Greenland ; 
Parry, 2d Voy., p. 495 and 496, Iglulik, and Kumlien, op. cit., p. 23, Cumberland Gulf. Also in Labra- 
dor, see PI. XVII, Naturalist, vol. 19, Xo. 6. The old couple whom Franklin met at the Bloody Fall of 
the Coppermine appear to have worn pantaloons, for he speaks of their "tight leggings sewed to 
shoes" (1st Exp., vol. 2, p. 180). 

9 ETH 9 

Fig. 74. — Pattern of stocking. 


the teeth along a line parallel to the folded edge and at a distance 
from it equal to the depth of the intended fold. This bitten line runs 
from the edge of the leather as far as it is intended to turn up the side 
of the sole. A series of similar folds is carried round the toe to a point 
on the other side of the sole opposite the starting point. In the same 
way a series of crimps is carried round the heel, leaving an uncrimped 
space of 2 or 3 inches on each side of the foot. The sole is then sewed 
to a band or to the edge of the upper, with the thread run through each 
fold of the crimps. This gathers the sole in at the heel and toe and 
brings the uncrimped part straight up on each side of the shank. When 
the folds are all of the same length and but slightly gathered the sole is 
turned up nearly straight, as at the heel usually, and at the toe also of 
waterproof boots. When the folds are long and much gathered the sole 
slopeswell in over the foot. Some boots, especially those intendedfor full 
dress, have the sole deeper on the sides than at the toe, so that the top of 
the sole comes to a point at the toe. The ordinary pattern is about the 
same height all round and follows the shape of the foot, being rather more 
gathered in over the toe than at tl\e heel. The "blank" for the sole is cut 
out by measuring the size of the foot on the leather and allowing by eye 
the margin which is to be turned up. The crimping is also done by 
eye. Any irregularity in the length of the crimps can be remedied by 
pressing out the crease. I have never seen at Point Barrow the ivory 
knives, such as are used at Norton Sound for arranging the crimps. 

Different kinds of leather are used for the soles, and each kind is 
supposed to be best suited for a particular purpose. The beautiful 
white urine-tanned sealskin is used for winter wear when the snow is 
dry, but is not suited for standing the roughness and dampness of the 
salt-water ice. For this purpose sealskin dressed with the hair on and 
worn flesh side out is said to be the very best, preferable even to the 
various waterproof skins used for summer boot soles. For waterproof 
soles are used oil-dressed skins 1 of the walrus, bearded seal, polar bear, 
or, best of all, the white whale. This last makes a beautiful light yellow 
translucent leather about 04 inch thick, which is quite durable and 
keeps out water for a long time. It is highly prized and quite an article 
of trade among the natives, a pair of soles usually commanding a good 
price. These Eskimo appear to be the only ones who have discovered 
the excellence of this material for waterproof soles, as there is no men- 
tion to be found of its use elsewhere. The "narwhal skin" spoken of 
by Dr. Simpson 2 is probably this material, as he calls it " Kel-lel'-lu-a," 
which is the ordinary word for white whale at Point Barrow. The nar- 
whal is very rare in these waters, while the white whale is comparatively 
abundant. Dr. Simpson appears not to have seen the animal from which 
the skin was obtained. It is, however, by no means impossible that some 
skins of the narwhal, which when dressed would be indistinguishable 

1 Probably prepared like the boat covers deseribeil by Crantz, vol. 1, p. 167, by drying them without 
removing all of their own blubber. 
'Op.cit., pp. 242-266. 




from the white whale skins, are obtained from the eastern natives or 
elsewhere. Such crimped soles are in use among the Eskimo every- 
where, varying but little in general pat- 
tern. The Greenland boots are specially 
noticeable for the neatness of the crimp- 
ing, while specimens in the Museum from 
the central region are decidedly slovenly 
in their workmanship. The boots worn 
by the natives of Plover Bay have the 
sole narrowed at the shank and hardly 
coming over the foot except at the toe 
and heel, where they are crimped, but 
less deeply than usual. This style of sole 
very much resembles those of a pair of 
Kamchatdale boots in the National Mu- 
seum, which, however, are turned up with- 
out crimping, as is the case with the boots 
used by the Aleuts on the Commander 
Islands, of which Dr. L. Stejneger has 
kindly shown me a specimen. There is a 
folded "welt" of sealskin in the seam be- 
tween the upper and sole of the Plover 
Bay boots. I am informed by Capt. Heren- 
deen that the natives have been taught to 
put this in by the whalemen who every 
year purchase large numbers of boots on 
the Siberian coast, for use in the Arctic. Similar welts, which are very 
unusual on Eskimo boots, are to be seen on some brought by Mr. Nelson 

from Kings Island and Norton Sound. The 
winter boots usually have uppers of deer- 
skin, generally the short-haired skin from 
the legs. Mountain-sheep skin is sometimes 
used for full-dress boots, and sealskin with 
the hair out for working boots. The latter 
is not a good material, as the snow sticks 
to it badly. There are four pairs of men's 
winter boots in the collection, from which 
No. 56750 [111] (Fig. 75) has been selected 
as the type of the everyday pattern. They 
are made of deer-leg skin with white seal- 
skin soles. Leg and upper are in four 
pieces, 1 back 1, two sides 2 2, and front 3; 
1 and 3 are gored at a a a to fit the swell 
of the calf; 1 and 3 are of dark skin, and 2 2 lighter colored, especially 
along the middle. The bottom is cut off accurately to fit the sole but the 
top is left irregular, as this is concealed by the breeches. The boots are 

Fig. 75.— Man's boot of deerskin. 

Fig. 76.— Pattern < »1* deerskin boot. 

1 See diagram, Fig. 76. 



lield up round the ankles by two tie-strings of sealthong, sewed in be- 
tween the sole and the band, one on each side just under the middle 
of the ankle. They are long enough to cross above the heel, pass once or 

twice - round the ankle, which fits more loosely 
than the rest of the boot,and tie in front. On 
each heel is a large round patch of sealskin 
with the hair on and pointing toward the toe 
(to prevent slipping). These patches are 
carefully "blind-stitched" on so that the 
stitches do not show on the outside. 

Boots of this style are the common every- 
day wear of the men, sometimes made wholly 
of dark deerskin and sometimes variegated. 
They are often made of a pattern like that of 
the lower part of the women's pantaloons; 
that is, with the uppers separate from the leg 
pieces, which are brown, with four white gus- 
sets on the calf. Fig. 77, No. 56759 [91], is 
one of a pair of full-dress boots of a slightly 
different pattern. The leg pieces are the 
same iu number as in No. 56750, and put to- 
gether in the same way, but 2 and 3 are of a 
different shape. 1 They are made of deer- 
leg skins, each piece with a lighter streak 
down the middle. The soles are of white 
sealskin, finely crimped, with the edge com- 
ing to a point at the toe, and the five ornamental bands are of seal- 
skin, alternately black and white. A 
strip of edging three-fourths of an inch 
wide is inserted in the seam between 
2 and 3 on each side. The light stripes 
are mountain -sheep skin and the dark 
ones the usual young fawuskin, tagged 
with red worsted. The leg reaches to 
just below the knee, and is hemmed 
over on the inside, to hold the draw- 
string, which comes out behind. There 
.are strings at the ankles as before. 

Fig. 79, No. 89834 [770], is one of a 
pair of almost precisely the same pat- 
tern as the last, but made of mountain- 
sheep skin. The soles are more deeply 
turned up all round and have three 
ornamental bands of sealskin around 
the edge, black, white, and black. Edg- 
ing is inserted into both the seams on each side. 

Jfia. 77.— Man's dress boot of deer- 

FlG. 78. 

-Pattern of man'; 

dress boot of 

it is of strips of nioun- 

1 See diagram, Fig 




tain-sheep skin and a dark brown deerskin, tagged with red worsted, with 
the edge winch hips over the side piece cut into oblique tags. There are 
no tiestrings, as the soles are turned up high enough to stay in place 
without them. These boots were brought from the east by one of the 
Nuwiik trading parties in 1882. Fig. 80, No. 56749 [110], is also a full- 
dress boot, with soles like the last and no tiestrings. The leg is of two 
pieces of dark brown deerskin with the hair clipped short. These 
pieces are shaped like 2 in No. 56750, and the inner is larger, so that it 
laps round the leg, bringing the seam on the outside. The leg is en- 
larged to fit the swell of the calf by a large triangular gusset from the 
knee to the midleg, meeting the in- 
side piece in an oblique seam across 
the calf. Instead of a hem, the 
top of the leg has a half-inch band 
sewed round it and a binding for 
the drawstring above this. Edging 
is inserted in the front seam, and 
obliquely across the outside of the 
leg. That in the front seam is three 
narrow strips of deerskin, dark in 
the middle and light on each side. 
The other is of mountain-sheep skin 
in three strips, piped with fawnskin 
and tagged with worsted. 

The boots belong with the 
breeches, No. 56759. They fairly 
represent the style of full-dress 
boots worn with the loose-bottomed 
breeches. They all have draw- 
strings just below the knee, and 
often have no tie-strings at the 
ankles. The eastern Eskimo are everywhere described as wearing the 
boots tied at the top with a drawstring and the bottoms of the breeches 
usually loose and hanging clown on them. Tying down the breeches 
over the tops of the boots, as is done at Point Barrow, is an improve- 
ment on the eastern fashion, as it closes the garments at the knee so as 
to prevent the entrance of cold air. The same result is obtained in an 
exactly opposite way by the people of Smith Sound, who, according to 
Bessels (Naturalist, vol. 18, p. 865), tie the boots over the breeches. 

All fur garments, including boots, are sewed in the same way, usually 
with reindeer sinew, by fitting the edges together and sewing them 
"over and over" on the "wrong" side. The waterproof boots of black 
sealskin, however, are sewed with an elaborate double seam, which is 
quite waterproof, and is made as follows : The two pieces are put to- 
gether, flesh side to flesh side, so that the edge of one projects beyond 

Fig. 79. — Man's dress boot of skin of mountain 



the other, which is then "blind-stitched" down by sewing it "over and 
over" on the edge, taking pains to run the stitches only part way 
through the other piece. The seam is then tinned and the edge of 

the outer piece is turned in and 
"run" down to the grain side 
of the under with fine stitches 
which do not ran through to 
the flesh side of it. Thus in 
neither seam are there holes 
through both pieces at once. 
The sewing is done with fine 
sinew thread and very fine 
round needles (the Avonien used 
to ask for "little needles, like 
a hair"), and the edge of the 
leather is softened by wetting- 
it in the mouth. A similar wa- 
terproof seam is used in sewing 
together boat covers. 

There is one pair of water- 
proof boots in the collection 
(No. 76182 [1791] Fig. 81). The 
tops are of black dressed seal- 
skin, reaching to the knee and 
especially full on the instep and 
ankle, which results from their being made with the least possible num- 
ber ot seams, to reduce the chance of leaking. The soles are of white 
whale skin, turned up about 1£ inches all around. The leg and upper 
are made all in one piece so that the double water-tight seam runs down 
the front of the leg to the instep, and then diagonally across the foot 
to the quarter on one side. The bottom is cut off accurately to fit the 
top of the sole. The edges of the upper and the sole are put together 
so that the inside of the former comes against the inside of the latter, 
and the two are "ran" together with fine stitches, with a stout double 
under-thread running through them along the surface of the upper. 
Tlic ornamental band at the top is of white sealskin "run" on with 
strong dark thread, and the checkered pattern is made by drawing a 
strip of black skin through slits in the white. Round the top of the 
band is sewed a binding of black sealskin, which holds a drawstring 
of sinew braid. The sole is kept up in shape and the boot made to fit 
round the ankle by a string of sealskin twine passed through four loops, 
one on each side just back of the ball of the foot, and one on each 
quarter. These loops are made of little strips of white whale skin, 
doubled over and sewed to the edge of the sole on the outside. The 
ends of the string are passed through the front loop so that the bight 

Fig. SO.— Pair of man's dress boots of deerskin. 




comes across the ball of the foot, then through the hinder loops, and 
are crossed above the heel, carried once or twice around the ankle, and 
tied in front. 

Such boots are universally worn 
in summer. The men's boots are 
usually left with an irregular edge 
at the top, and are held up by the 
breeches, while the women's usually 
have white bands around the tops 
with drawstrings. Half- boots of 
the same material, reaching to mid- 
leg, without drawstrings, or shoes 
reaching j nst above the ankle with 
a string round the top are some- 
times worn over the deerskin boots. 
Similar shoes of deerskin are some- 
times worn in place of boots. 

Waterproof boots of black seal- 
skin are universally employed by 
Eskimo and by the Aleuts. These 
boots stand water for a long time 
without getting wet through, but 
when they become wet they must 
be turned inside out and dried very 
slowly to prevent them from shrink- 
ing, and worked soft with a stone 
skin-dressing tool or the teeth. Tin 
sun. When the black epidermis wears off this leather is no longer 
waterproof, so that the women are always on the watch for white spots, 
which are mended with water-tight patches as soon as possible. 

In the early spring, before it thaws enough to render waterproof boots 

necessary, the surface of the snow becomes 
very smooth and slippery. To enable them- 
selves to walk on this surface without fall- 
ing, the natives make a kind of "creeper" 
out of strips of sealskin. These are doubled 
lengthwise, and generally bent into a half- 
moon or horseshoe shape, with the folded 
edges on the outside of the curve, sewed on the toe and heel of the 
sealskin sole, as represented in Fig. 82. 

Fig. 81. — Woman's waterproof sealskin boot. 

natives prefer to dry them in the 

Fig. 82.— Sketch of " ice-creeper 
hoot sole. 


Belts (tapsi). — The belt which is used to hold up the pantaloons or 
breeches is simply a stout strip of skin tied round the waist. The gir- 
dle, which is always worn outside of the frock, except when the weather 
is warm or the wearer heated by exercise, is very often a similar strap 
of deerskin, or perhaps wolfskin. Often, however, and especially for 



full dress, the men wear a handsome belt woven from feathers, and the 
women one made of wolverines' toes. There are in the collection two 
of the former and one of the latter. 

No. 89544 [1419] (Fig. 83a) has been chosen as the type of a man's 
belt. It is 35 inches long and 1 inch broad, and made of the shafts of 
feathers woven into an elegant pattern, bordered on the edges with 
deerskin, and terminating in a leather loop at one end and a braided 
string at the other. The loop is a flat piece of skin of the bearded seal r 
in which is cut a large oblong eye. The weaving begins at the square 
end of the loop. The warp consists of nine long strands sewed through 
the inner face of the leather so as to come out on the hinder edge. 
The middle strand is of stout sinew braid, ending in a knot on the 

Fig. 83. — Man's belt woven of feathers. The lower cut shows detail of pattern. 

inner side of the leather. The four on each side are of fine cotton 
twine or stout thread, each two being one continuous thread passing 
through the leather and out again. The woof is the shafts of small 
feathers regularly woven, the first strand woven over and under, end- 
ing over the warp, the next under and over, ending under the warp, 
and so on alternately, each strand extending about one-fourth inch 
beyond the outer warp-strand on each side. This makes the pattern 
shown in Fig. 83£>, a long stitch on each side, three very short ones- 
on each side of the middle, and a slightly longer one in the mid 
die. The strips of feathers forming the woof are not joined together, 
but one strip is woven in as far as it will go, ending always on the 
inner side of the belt, a new strip beginning where the other ends. 
The shafts of black feathers, with a few of the barbs attached, are 




woven into the woof at tolerably regular intervals. Each black strand 
starts under the first strand of the warp, making the outer and inner 
of the three short stitches on each side black. This produces a checkered 
pattern along the middle of the belt (see enlarged section, Fig. 83b). 
The woof strands are driven home tightly and their ends are secured 
on each side by a double thread of cotton sewed into the corner of the 
leather loop. One thread runs along the out- 
side of the belt and the other along the inside, 
passing between the ends of the feathers about 
every ten feathers and making a turn round 
the outer thread, as in Fig. 84. The edges of 
the belt are trimmed off even and bound with 
a narrow strip of deerskin with the flesh side out and painted red. 
The binding of the upper edge makes an irregular loose lining on the 
inside of the belt. Across the end of the belt is sewed on each side a 
narrow strip of sealskin, and the ends of the warp are gathered into 
a three-ply braid 16 inches long, which is used to fasten the belt by 
drawing it through the loop and knotting it. An ancient bone spear- 
head is attached to the belt as an amulet by a stout strap. 

No. 89543 [1420] is a similar belt worn in precisely the same way, 
but with the black feathers introduced in a different pattern. The 
weaving is done by hand with the help of some little tools, to be 
described under implements for making and Avorking fiber. Belts of 

Fig. 84. — Diagram showing 
method of fastening the 
ends of feathers in helt. 



■ L ' ','>■■■ 'i\r 

3 / '"" "WWi^ll** 


Fig, 85.— Woman's belt of wolverine toes. 

this style appear to be peculiar to the Point Barrow region. Indeed, 
girdles of any kind are seldom worn over the jacket by the men in the 
eastern regions. 

The women never wear anything except a simple strip of skin or the 
wolvervine belt mentioned above. No. 89542 [1421], Fig. 85, is one of 
these. It is made of nine strips of dark brown skin from round the 
foot of the wolverine, sewed together end to end. Each strip, except 
the one at the end, has a claw at the lower corner (on some of the 
strips the bit of skin bearing the claws is pieced in) so that there are 


eight nearly equidistant claws making a fringe round the lower edge 
of the belt. There is a hole at each end into which is half-hitched the 
end of a narrow strip of deerskin about 8 inches long. These strings 
serve to tie the girdle. This belt is 33 inches long and li inches wide, 
and has been worn so long that the inside is very dirty. Such belts 
are very valuable and highly prized, and are worn exclusively by the 

Fig. 86, No. 89718 [1055], is an object which is qiute uncommon and 
seldom if ever now seen in use. It is of walrus ivory, 
very old and yellow. It served as a belt-fastener (tap- 
sign). I have seen a brass clock wheel nsed on a girl's 
belt for the same purpose. This specimen is very old, 
fig 86 —Beit-fast- neatly made, and polished smooth, probablv from long 
ener - . use. 
Ornaments. — In addition to the trimmings above described there are 
certain ornamental appendages which belong to the dress, but can not 
be considered as essential parts of any garments, like the trimmings. 
For instance, nearly every male in the two villages wears dangling from 
his back between the shoulders an ermine skin either brown or white, 
or an eagle's feather, which is transferred to the new garment when the old 
one is worn out. This is perhaps an amulet as well as an ornament, as Dr. 
Simpson states. ' An eagle's feather is often worn on the outside of the 
hood, pendant from the crown of the head. Attached to the belt are vari- 
ous amulets (to be described under the head of "Religion") and at the 
back always the tail of an animal, usually a wolverine's. Very seldom 
a wolf's tail is worn, but nearly all, even the boys, have wolverine 
tails, which are always saved for this purpose and used for uo other. 
This habit among the Eskimo of western America of wearing a tail at 
the girdle has been noticed by many travelers, and prevails at least as 
far as the Anderson River, since Petitot, 2 in describing the dress of the 
Anderson River "chief," says: "par derriere il portait aux reins une 
queue epaisse et oudoyante de renard noir. " According to him 3 it is 
the women of that region, who wear, " a titre de talismans, des defroques 
empaillees de corbeau, de faucon, ou d'hermine. " The custom of wear- 
ing an ermine skin on the jacket was observed by Dr. Armstrong of the 
Investigator at Cape Bathurst. 4 


Tattooing. — The custom of tattooing is almost universal among the 
women, but the marks are confined almost exclusively to the chin and 
form a very simple pattern. This consists of one, three, five, or perhaps as 

1 Op. oit., p. 243. 3 

'' Monographic, eta., p. xiv. 4 Personal Narrative, p. 176. 

Murdoch.! TATTOOING. 139 

many as seven vertical lines from the under lip to the tip of the chin, 
slightly radiating when there are more than one. When there is a 
single line, which is rather rare, it is generally broad, and the middle 
line is sometimes broader than the others. The women as a rule are 
not tattooed until they reach a marriageable age, though there were a 
few little girls iu the two villages who had a single line on the chin. 

I remember seeing but one married woman in either village who was 
not tattooed, and she had come from a distant settlement, from Point 
Hope, as well as we could understand. 

Tattooing on a man is a mark of distinction. Those men who are, or 
have been, captains of whaling umiaks that have taken whales have 
marks to indicate this tattooed somewhere on their persons, sometimes 
forming a definite tally. For instance, Aiioru had a broad band across 
each cheek from the corners of the mouth (Fig. 87, from a sketch by the 
writer), made up of many indistinct lines, which was said to indicate 
"many whales." Amaiyuna had the "flukes" of seven whales in a line 
across his chest, and Mu'iiialu had a couple of small marks on one fore- 
arm. Niaksara, the wife of Ahoru, also had a little mark tattooed in 
each corner of her mouth, which she said were 
u whale marks," indicating that she was the wife 
of a successful whaleman. Such marks, accord- 
ing to Petitot (Monographic, etc., p. xv) are a part 
of the usual pattern in the Mackenzie district. — 

II deux traits aux commissures de la bouche." One 
or two men at Nuwnk had each a narrow line FlG 87 _ Man with tat tooea 
across the face, over the bridge of the nose, which cheeks. 

were probably also " whale marks," though we never could get a definite 
answer concerning them. 1 

The tattooing is done with a needle and thread, smeared with soot or 
gunpowder, giving a peculiar pitted appearance to the lines. It is 
rather a painful operation, producing considerable inflammation and 
swelling, which lasts several days. The practice of tattooing the 
women is almost universal among the Eskimo, from Greenland to 
Kadiak, including the Eskimo of Siberia, the only exception being the 

'Compare the custom observed by H. M. S. Investigator, at Cape Bathurst, where, according to Mc- 
Clure (Discovery of the Northwest Passage, p. 93), a successful harpooner has a blue line drawn across 
his face over the bridge of the nose; or, according to Armstrong (Personal Narrative, p. 176), he has a 
line tattooed from the inner angle of the eye across the cheek, a new one being added for every whale 
he strikes. Petitot, however (Monographie, etc., p. xxv), says that in this region whales are ' ' scored" by 
tattooing crosses on the shoulder, and that a murderer is marked across the nose with a couple of hori- 
zontal lines. It is interesting to note in this connection that one of the "striped" men at Nuwuk told 
us that he had killed a man. According to Holm, at Angmagsalik (east Greenland), "Mtendene ere 
kun undtagelsvis tatoverede og da kun med enkelte mindre Streger paa Anne og Haandled, for at 
kunne harpunere godt" (Geogr. Tids., vol. 8, p. 88). Compare also Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 37, "Men 
only make a permanent mark on the face for an act of prowess, such as killing a bear, capturing a 
whale, etc.;" and Parry, 2d Voyage, p. 449, where some of the men at Iglulik are said to lie tattooed 
on the back of the hand, as a souvenir of some distant or deceased person . 


natives of Smith Sound, though the custom is falling into disuse among 
the Eskimo who have much intercourse with the whites. 1 

The simple pattern of straight, slightly diverging lines on the chin 
seems to prevail from the Mackenzie district to Kadiak, and similar 
chin lines appear always to form part of the more ela- 
borate patterns, sometimes extending to the arms and 
other parts of the body, in fashion among the eastern 
Eskimo 2 and those of Siberia, St. Lawrence Island, and 
the Diomedes. 

wStrdinTry tltto* Fi g- 88 > from a sketch made on the spot by the writer, 
ing. shows the Point Barrow pattern. 

Painting. — On great occasions, such as dances, etc., or when goiug 
whaling, the face is marked with a broad streak of black lead, put on 
with the finger, and usually running obliquely across the nose or one 
cheek. 3 Children, when dressed up in new clothes, are also frequently 
marked in this way. This may be compared with the ancient custom 
among the people of Kadiak of painting their faces "before festivities 
or games and before any important undertaking, such as the crossing 
of a wide strait or arm of the sea, the sea-otter chase, etc." 4 


Method of wearing the hair. — The men and boys wear their hair combed 
down straight over the forehead and cut off square across in front, but 
hanging in rather long locks on the sides, so as to cover the ears. There 
is ahvays a small circular tonsure on the crown of the head, and a strip 
is generally clipped down to the nape of the neck. (See Fig. 89, from 
a sketch from life by the writer.) The natives believe that this clip- 
ping of the back of the head prevents snow blindness in the spring. 
The people of the Mackenzie district have a different theory. " La large 

' Bessels, Naturalist, vol. 18, p. 875 (Smith Sound) ; Egede, p. 132, and Crantz, vol. 1, p. 138, already 
given up by the Christian Greenlanders (Greenland) ; Holm, Geogr. Tids., vol. 8, p. 88, still practiced 
regularly in east Greenland; Parry, 1st Voyage, p. 282 (Baffin Land); 2d Voyage, p. 498 (Iglulik); 
Kumlien, Contrib., p. 26 (Cumberland Gulf, aged women chiefly); Boas, "Central Eskimo," p. 561; 
Chappell, "Hudson Bay, "p. 60 (Hudson Strait); Back, Journey, etc., p. 289 (Great Fish River) ; Frank- 
lin, 1st Exped., vol. 2, p. 183 (Coppermine River) ; 2d Exped., p. 126 (Point Sabine) ; Petitot, Mono- 
graphic, etc., p. xv (Mackenzie district) ; Dall, "Alaska," pp. 140,381 (Norton Sound, Diomede Islands, 
and Plover Bay) ; Petroff, Report, etc., p. 139 (Kadiak) ; Lisiansky, Voyage, p. 195 (Kadiak in 1805, 
"the fair sex were also fond of tattooing the chin, breasts, and back, but this again is much out of 
fashion") ; Nordenskiold, Vega, vol. 2, pp. 99, 100, 251, and 252, with figures (Siberia and St. Lawrence 
Island); Krause brothers, Geographische Blatter, vol.5, pp. 4, 5 (East Cape to Plover Bay); Hooper, 
Tents, etc., p. 37, "Women were tattooed on the chin in diverging lines" (Plover Bay) ; Rosse, Cruise 
of the Corwin, p. 35, fig. on p. 36 (St. Lawrence Island)!' 

Frobisher's account, being the earliest on record, is worth quoting: " * * The women are 

marked on the face with blcwe streekes dowuo the cheekes and round about the eies " (p. 621) . ' * * 
''Also, some of their women race their faces proportionally, as chinne, cheekes, and forehead, and the 
wristes of their hands, whereupon they lay a colour, which continueth dark azurine" (p. 627). Hak- 
luyt's Voyages, etc., 1589. 

2 Holm (East Greenland) says : "ot Paar korte Streger paa Hagen " (Geogr. Tids. vol. 8, p. 88). 

3 Compare Kotzebue's Voy., vol. 3, p. 296. where Chamisso describes the natives of St. Lawrence 
Bay, Siberia, as having large quantities of fine graphite, with which they painted their faces. 

4 Petroff Report, etc., p. 139. 



tonsure que portent nos Tchiglit a pour but, m'ont-ils dit, de permettre 
au soleil de reekauffer leur cerveau et de transmettre par ce moyen 
sa bienfaisante chaleur a leur coeur pour les faire vivre." 1 Some of the 
Nunatauniiun and one man from Kilauwitaiwifi that we saw wore tbeir 
front bair long, parted in tbe middle, and confined by a narrow fillet 
of leather round the brow. The hair on the tonsure is not always 
kept clipped very close, but sometimes allowed to grow as much as an 
inch long, which probably led Hooper to believe tkat tke tonsure was 
not common at Point Barrow. 2 It is universal at the present day, as 
it was in Dr. Simpson's time. 3 The western Eskimo generally crop 
or shave the crown of the head, while those of the east allow their hair 
to grow pretty long, sometimes clipping it on the forehead. The practice 
of clipping the crown appears to be general in the Mackenzie district, 4 
and was occasionally observed at Iglulik by Capt. Parry (2d Voy., p. 493). 
The natives of St. Lawrence Island and the Siberian coast carry this 
custom to an extreme, clipping the whole crown, so as to leave only a 
fringe round the head. 5 The women dress their 
hair in the fashion common to all the Eskimo ex- 
cept the Greenlanders and the people about the 
Mackenzie and Anderson Eivers, where the women 
bring the hair up from behind into a sort of high 
top-knot, with the addition in the latter district of 
large bows or pigtails on the sides. 6 The hair is 
parted in the middle from the forehead to the nape 
of the neck, and gathered into a club on each side FlG - 89 — Man ' s metnod of 

. . wearing the hair. 

behind the ear. The club is either simply braided 

or without further dressing twisted and lengthened out with strips of 
leather, and wound spirally for its whole length with a long string of 
small beads of various colors, a large flat brass button being stuck into 
the hair above each club. The wife of the captain of a whaling umiak 
wears a strip of wolfskin in place of the string of beads when the boat 
is "in commission" (as Oapt. Hereudeen observed). 

Some of the little girls wear their hair cut short behind. The hair is 
not arranged every day. Both sexes are rather tidy about arranging 
their hair, but there is much difference in this between individuals. 
The marrow of the reindeer is sometimes used for pomatum. Baldness 

1 Petitot, Monographie, etc., p. xxxi. 

2 Tents, etc., p. 225. 

3 Op. cit., p. 238. 

4 Petitot, Monographie, etc., p. xxxi. See also Franklin, 2d Exp., p. 118. 

6 See also Nordenskiold, Vega, vol. 2, pp. 9 and 252, and figures passim, especially pp. 84 and 85 
Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 27 ; and Call, Alaska, p. 381. 

6 See Kane, 2d Grinnell Exp. Many illustrations, passim, Smith Sound; Egede, p. 132, and Crantz 
vol. 1, p. 128, Greenland ; Brodbeck, " Nach Osten," p. 23, and Holm, Geogr. Tids., vol. 8, p. 90, East Green- 
land; Frobisher, in Hakluyt, Voyages, etc. (1589), p. 627, Baffin Land; Parry, 2d Voy., p. 494, and 
Lyon, Journal, p. 230, Iglulik; Petitot, Monographie, etc., p. xxix, Mackenzie district; Hooper, Tents 
etc., pp. 257, Icy Keef, and 347, Maitland Id.; Franklin, 2d Exp., p. 119, Point Sabine; Dall, Alaska, 
pp. 140 and 381, Norton Sound and Plover Bay. See also references to Nordenskiold, given above, and 
Krause Bros., Geographische Blatter, vol. 5, pt. 1, p. 5. 


in either sex is rare. I do not remember ever seeing a bald woman, and 
there were only two bald men at the two villages. Neither of these 
men was very old. 

Head-bands. — Some of the men and boys wear across the forehead a 
string of large bine glass beads, sometimes sewed on a strip of deer- 
skin. Occasionally, also a fillet is worn made of the skin of the head 
of a fox or a dog, with the nose coming in the middle of the forehead. 
Such head-dresses are by no means common and seem to be highly 
prized, as they were never offered for sale. MacFarlane (MS.) speaks 
of a similar head-dress worn at the Anderson River, " generally made 
of the skin of the fore part of the head skins of wolves, wolverines, and 
marmots. Very often, however, a string of beads is made use of in- 
stead." Another style of head-dress is the badge of a whaleman, and 
is worn only when whaling (and, I believe, at the ceremonies in the 
spring preparatory to the whaling). This seems to be very highly 
prized, and is, perhaps, " looked upon with superstitions regard." : 
None were ever offered for sale and Ave had only two or three oppor- 
tunities of seeing it. It consists of a broad fillet of mountain-sheep 
skin, with pendants of flint, jasper, or crystal, rudely flaked into the 
shape of a whale (see under "Amulets," where specimens are described 
and figured), one in the middle of the brow and one over each ear. 
Some of them are also fringed with the incisor teeth of the mountain 
sheep attached by means of a small hole drilled through the end of the 
root, as on the dancing cap (see under " Games and Pastimes"). The cap- 
tain and harpooner of a whaling crew which I saw starting out in the 
spring of 1882 each wore one of these fillets. The harpooner's had 
only the whale pendants, but the captain's was also fringed with teeth. 
This ornament closely resembles the fillet fringed with deer's teeth, 
observed by Gapt. Parry at Iglulik, 2 which " was understood to be 
worn on the head by men, though we did not learn on what occasions." 

Earrings (nogolu). — Nearly all the women and girls perforate the 
lobes of the ears and wear earrings. The commonest pattern is a little 
hook of ivory to which are attached pendants, short strings of beads, 
etc. Large, oblong, dark-blue beads and bugles are specially desired 
for this purpose. Cheap brass or " brummagem " earrings are some- 
times worn nowadays. The fashion in earrings seems to have changed 
somewhat since Dr. Simpson's time, as I do not remember ever having 
seen the long strings of beads hanging across the breast or looped up 
behind as he describes them. 3 At present, one earring is much more 
frequently worn than a pair. There are in the collection two pairs of 
the ivory hooks for earrings, which, though made for sale, are of the 
ordinary pattern. Of these No. 89387 [1340] (Fig. 90) will serve as 
the type. They are of coarse, white walrus ivory. 

1 See Dr. Simpson, op. oit., p. 243. Compare also Brodbeck, ''Naeli Osten " (p. 23). Speaking of "ein 
Kopf- oder Stirnband," he says: " VielleicM gilt es ilinen als erne Art von Zaubersehutzmittel, denn 
es ist urn kein Geld zu haben. Draugt man sie, so sagen sie wohl, es sei nicht ihr eigen." 

'' Second Voy., p. 498 and Fig. 7, pi. opposite p. 548. 

3 Op. cit., p. 241. 




No. 89380 [1340] is a similar pair of earrings, in which the hook pro- 
jects at right angles and terminates in a flat, round button. Both of the 
specimens are of the usual pattern, but very roughly made. The custom of 
wearing earrings is very general among the Eskimo. I need only refer 
to the descriptions of dress and ornaments already quoted. 

Labrets,— As has been stated by all travelers who have visited Point 
Barrow since the time of Elson, all the adult males wear the labrets 
or stud-shaped lip ornaments. The discussion of the origin and extent 
of this habit, or even a comparison of the forms of labrets in use among 
the Eskimo, would lead me far beyond the scope of the present work. 1 
They are or have been worn by all the Eskimo of western America, 
including St. Lawrence Island and the Diomedes, from the most south- 
ern point of their range to the Mackenzie and Anderson district, and 
were also worn by Aleuts in ancient times. 2 East of the Mackenzie dis- 
trict no traces of the habit are to be observed. Petitot 3 says that Cape 
Bathurst is the most eastern point at 
which labrets are worn. The custom of 
wearing them at this place is perhaps 
recent, as Dr. Armstrong, of the Investi- 
gator, expressly states that he saw none 
there in 1850. At Plover Bay, eastern 
Siberia, however, I noticed one or two 
men with a little cross or circle tattoed 
under each corner of the mouth, just in 
the position of the labret. This may be a 
reminiscence of an ancient habit of wear- 
ing labrets, or may have been done in imi- Im , 
tation of the people of the Diomedes and 
the American coast. FlG - 90 — Earrings. 

At Point Barrow at the present day the lip is always pierced for two 
labrets, one at each corner of the mouth, though one or both of them 
are frequently left out. They told us, however, that in ancient times 
a single labret only was worn, for which the lip Avas pierced directly in 
the middle. Certain old and large-sized labrets in the collection are said 
to have been thus worn. The incisions for the labrets appear to be made 
about the age of puberty, though I knew one young man who had been 
married for some months before he had the operation performed. From 
the young man's character, I fancy shyness or timidity, as suggested by 
Dr. Simpson, 4 had something to do with the delay. Contrary to Dr. 
Simpson's experience, I did not see a single man above the age of 18 or 
19 who did not wear the labrets. It seems hardly probable that ability 

1 This subject has been thoroughly treated by Mr. W. H. Dall in his admirable paper in the Report of 
the Bureau of Ethnology, No. 3 for 1881-82, pp. 67-203. 

2 See Dall, Contrib., etc., vol. 1, p. 87, and the paper just referred to. 

3 Monographie, etc., p. xxvi. 

4 Op. cit„ p., 241. 


to take a seal entitles a boy to wear labrets, as he suggests. We knew 
a number of boys who were excellent seal hunters and even able to 
manage a kaiak, but none had their lips pierced under the age of 14 or 
15, when they may be supposed to have reached manhood. The in- 
cisions are at first only large enough to admit a flat-headed pin of wal- 
rus ivory, about the diameter of a crow quill, worn with the head rest- 
ing against the gum. These are soon replaced by a slightly stouter 
pair, and these again by stouter ones, until the holes are stretched to a 
diameter of about one-half inch, when they are ready for the labrets. 

We heard of no special ceremonies or festivals connected with the 
making of these incisions, such as Ball observed at Norton Sound, 1 but 
in the one case where the operation was performed at the village of 
Utkiavwin during our stay, we learned that it was done by a man out- 
side of the family of the youth operated upon. We were also informed 
that the incisions must be made with a little lancet of slate. The em- 
ployment of an implement of ancient form and obsolete material for this 
purpose indicates, as Dall says in the passage referred to above, "some 
greater significance than mere ornamentation. 1 ' - 

The collection contains two specimens of such lancets. No. 89721 
[1153] (figured in Kept. Point Barrow Expedition, Ethnology, PL v, 
Fig. 4) is the type. A little blade of soft gray slate is carefully inclosed 
in a neat case of, cottonwood. The blade is lanceolate, 
1-3 inches long, 0-6 broad, and 0-1 thick, with a short, 
broad tang. The faces are somewhat rough, and ground 
with a broad bevel to very sharp cutting edges. The 
case is made of two similar pieces of wood, flat on one 
side and rounded on the other, so that when put together 
they make a rounded body 3 inches long, slightly flat- 
tened, and tapering toward the rounded ends, of which 
tig. 9i.— Plug for one is somewhat larger than the other. Round each 
enlarging labret eil( j j s a uaiTO w, deep, transverse groove for a string to 
hold the two parts together. A shallow median groove 
connects these cross grooves on one piece, which is hollowed out on the 
flat face into a rough cavity of a shape and size suitable to receive the 
blade, which is produced into a narrow, deep groove at the point, prob- 
ably to keep the point of the blade from being dulled by touching the 
wood. The other piece, which serves as a cover, has merely a rough, 
shallow, oval depression near the middle. The whole is evidently very 
old, and the case is browned with age and dirt. 

No. 89579 [1200] is a similar blade of reddish purple slate, mounted 
in a rough haft of bone. Eig. 91, No. 89715 [1211], is one of a pair of 
bone models, made for sale, of the ivory plugs used for enlarging the 
holes for the labrets, corresponding in size to about the second pair used. 
It is roughly whittled out of a coarse-grained compact bone, and closely 

•Alaska, p. 141. 

muhdoch.] LABRETS. 145 

Tesembles the plugs figured by Dall from Norton Sound, 1 but lacks the 
hole in the tip for the transverse wooden peg, which is not used at Point 
Barrow. One youth was wearing the final size of plugs when we landed 
at the station. These were brought to a point like the tip of a walrus 
tusk, and had exactly the appearance of the tusks of a young walrus 
when they first protrude beyond the Up. The labrets worn at Point 
Barrow at the present day are usually of two patterns. One is a large, 
flat, circular disk about 1J inches in diameter, with a flat stud on the 
back something like that of a sleevebutton, and the other a thick 
cylindrical plug about 1 inch long, and one-half inch in diameter, with the 
protruded end rounded and the other expanded into an oblong flange, 
presenting a slightly curved surface to the gum. These plug labrets 
are the common fashion for everyday wear, and at the present day, 
as in Dr. Simpson's time, are almost without exception made of stone. 
Granite or syenite, porphyry, white marble, and sometimes coal (rarely 
jade) are used for this purpose. 

One of the Nunatafimiun wore a glass cruet-stopper for a labret, and 
many natives of Utkiavwin took the glass stopples of Worcestershire 
sauce bottles, which were thrown away at the station, and inserted them 
in the labret holes for everyday wear, sometimes grinding the round 
top into an oblong stud. There is one specimen of the plug labret 
in the collection. Labrets of all kinds are very highly prized, and it 
was almost impossible to obtain them. 2 Though we repeatedly asked 
for them and promised to pay a good price, genuine labrets that had 
been worn or that were intended for actual use were very rarely offered 
for sale, though at one time a large number of roughly made models or 
imitations were brought in. The single specimen of the plug labret 
(tu't-e) is No. 89700 [1103] (figured in Point Barrow Report, Ethnology, 
PL v, Fig. 3). It is a cylindrical plug of hard, bright green stone 
(jade or hypochlorite), 1-1 inches long and 0-0 in diameter at the outer 
end, which is rounded off, tapering slightly inward 
and expanded at the base into an elliptical disk 1-2 
inches long and 0-9 broad, slightly concave on the 
surface which rests against the teeth and gum. The 
specimen is old and of a material very ixnusual at 
Point Barrow. Fig. 92, No. 89719 [1160], from Nu- 
wuk, may also be called a plug labret, but is of a 
very unusual pattern, and said to be very old. It 
has an oblong stud of walrus ivory surmounted by 
a large, transparent, slightly greenish glass bead, FlG - 92.— Labret of beads 
on top of which is a small, translucent, sky-blue lvory ' 

bead. The beads are held on by a short wooden peg, running through 
the perforations of the beads and a hole drilled through the ivory. 
There is a somewhat similar labret in the Museum collection (No. 48202) 

1 Alaska, p. 140. 

2 Tbe men whom Thomas Simpson met at or near Barter Island sold their labrets, but demanded a 
hatchet or a dagger for a pair of them (Narrative, p. 119). 
9 ETH 10 


from Cape Prince of Wales, also very old. It is surmounted by a single 
oblong blue bead. 

I saw but one other labret made of whole beads, and this had three 
good sized oval blue beads, in a cluster, projecting from the hole. It 
was worn by a man from Nuwuk. This may be compared with a speci- 
men from the Mackenzie district, No. 7714, to which two similar beads 
are attached in the same way. The disk labret is the pattern worn on 
full-dress occasions, seldom when working or hunting. One disk and 
one plug labret are frequently worn. Disk labrets are made of stone, 
sometimes of syenite or porphyry, but the most fashionable kind is made 
of white marble, and has half of a large, blue glass bead cemented on 
the center of the disk. These are as highly prized as they were in Dr. 
Simpson's time, and we consequently did not succeed in procuring a 

I obtained one pair of syenite disk labrets, No. 56710 [197] (figured in 
Point Barrow Eept., Ethnology, PI. v, Fig. 2). Each is a flat circular 
disk (1*7 and 1-6 inches in diameter, respectively) of rather coarse-grained 
black and white syenite, ground very smooth, but not polished. On the 
back of each is an elliptical stud, like that of a sleeve-button, 1-2 and 
1-1 inches long and 0-8 and 0-6 broad, respectively. 

Fig. 93, No. 2083, is one of the blue and white disks said to come from 
the Anderson Eiver. This is introduced to represent those worn at 
Point Barrow, which are of precisely the same pattern. The disk is of 
white marble, H inches in diameter, and in the center of it is cemented, 

apparently with oil dregs, 
half of a transparent blue 
glass bead, three-quarters of 
an inch in diameter, around 
the middle of which is cut a 
shallow groove. Similar mar- 
ble disks without the bead 

Fig. 93.— Blue and white labret from Anderson River. ,..,„ sometimes Worn These 

blue and white labrets appear to be worn from Cape Bathurst to the 
Kaniag peninsula, including the Diomede Islands (see figure on p. 
140 of Dall's Alaska). There are specimens in the Museum from the 
Anderson Eiver and from the north shore of Norton Sound and we 
saw them worn by the Nunataumiun, as well as the natives of Point 
Barrow and Wainwright Inlet. The beads, which are larger than those 
sold by the American traders, wereundoubtedly obtained from Siberia, 
as Kotzebue, in 1810, found the people of the sound which bears his name 
wearing labrets "ornamented with blue glass beads." 1 The high value 
set on these blue-bead labrets has been mentioned by Franklin 2 and T. 
Simpson, 3 as well as by Dr. Simpson. 4 The last named seems to be the 

1 Voyage, vol. 1, p. 210. Labrets of precisely the same pattern as the one described are figured in the 
frontispiece of this volume. (See also Cboris, Voyage Pittoresque). 

2 2d Exp., p. 118. 

3 Narrative, p. 119. 

4 Op. cit., p. 239. 



first to recognize that the disks were made of marble. All previous 
writers speak of them as made of walrus ivory. 

There are still at Point Barrow a few labrets of a very ancient pattern, 
such as are said to have been worn in the middle of the lip. These are 
very rarely put on, but are often carried by the owners on the belt as 
amulets. All that we saw were of light green translucent jade, highly 
polished. I obtained one specimen, No. 89705 [8GG] (figured in Point 
Barrow Bept., Ethnology, PI. v, Fig. 1), a thin oblong disk of light green, 
translucent, polished jade, 2-6 inches long, 1-1 wide in the middle, and 
0-8 wide at the ends, with the outer face slightly convex. On the back 
is an oblong stud with rounded ends, slightly curved to fit the gums. 

Labrets of this material and pattern do not seem to be common any- 
where. Beechey saw one in Kotzebue Sound 3 inches long and li wide,' 
and there is a large and handsome one in the Museum brought by Mr. 
Nelson from the lower Yukon. A similar one has recently been re- 
ceived from Kotzebue Sound. 

Pig. 94, No. 89712 [1169], from Sidaru is a labret of similar shape, 3 
inches long and 1£ broad, but made of compact bone, rather neatly 
carved and ground 
smooth. It shows 
some signs of having 
been worn. There 
are marks on the stud 
where it appears to 
have been rubbed fig. 94-obiong labret of bone. 

against the teeth, and it is probably genuine. The purchase of this 
specimen apparently started the manufacture of bone labrets at Utki- 
avwiii, where no bone labrets, old or new, had previously been seen. 
For several days after we bought the specimen from Sidaru the natives 
continued to bring over bone labrets, but all so newly and clumsily made 

that we declined to purchase 
any more than four specimens. 
About the same time they began 
to make oblong labrets out of 
soapstone (a material which we 
never saw used for genuine la- 
brets), like Fig. 95, No. 89707 

Fig. 95. — Oblong labret of soapstone. 

[1215]. The purchase of three specimens of these started a whole- 
sale manufacture of them, and we stopped purchasing. 

The oblong labret appears to have been still in fashion as late as 1826, 
for Elson saw many of the men at Point Barrow wearing oblong labrets 
of bone (cf. No. 89712 [1169] and stone, 3 inches long and 1 broad. 2 Un- 
fortunately, he does not specify whether they were worn in pairs or 

Voyage, p. 249. 

'Beechey's Voy.. p. 308. 



singly, and if singly, as would be natural from their size and shape, 
whether in the middle of the lip or at one side. 

Nbs. 89304 [1713], 89710 [1042], and 89717 [1031] (Fig. 90) are very old 
labrets, which are interesting from their resemblance to the ancient 
Aleutian single labrets found by Dall in the cave on Amaknak Island. 1 
No. 89304 [1713] is an elliptical plug of bituminous coal, with a projecting 
flange round the base, which is slightly concave to fit the curve of the 
jaw. This labret is very old and was said to have been found in one of 
the ruined houses in Utkiavwih. The other two labrets are of walrus 
ivory and of similar shape, but have the flange only at the ends of the 
base. All of these three are large, the largest being 2-2 inches wide and 

Fie. 96.— Ancient labrets. 

0-7 thick, and the smallest 1-3 by 0-5, so that they required a much larger 
incision in the lip than is at present made. In connection with what 
has been said of the ancient habit of wearing labrets in the middle of the 
lip, it is interesting to note that Nordenskiold saw men at Port Clarence 
who had, besides the ordinary labret holes, "a similar hole forward in 
the lip." 2 The various portraits of natives previously inserted show the 
present manner of wearing the labrets at Point Barrow. 


Most of the women and girls wear necklaces made of strings of beads, 
large or small, frequently strung together with much taste. The tobacco 
pouch is often attached to this necklace. 


Bracelets. — The women all wear bracelets, which are sometimes strings 
of beads, but more commonly circles of iron, brass, or copper wire, of 
which several are often worn on the same wrist, after the fashion of 
bangles. The men also sometimes wear bracelets. These consist of cir- 

'See Contrib., etc., vol. 1, p. 89, and the two upper figures on the plate, opposite. 
2 Vega, vol. 2, p. 233. 

Murdoch.] BEADS COMBS. 149 

cles of narrow thong, upon which are strung one or two large beads or 
a couple of Dentalium shells (pu'tu). 1 

We brought home one pair of men's bracelets (newly made), one of 
which (89388 [1355] ) is figured in Point Barrow Rept. Ethnology, PI. i, 
Fig. 4. They are made of strips of seal thong 0-2 inch broad, bent 
into rings (9-4 and 8-6 inches in circumference, respectively), with the 
ends slightly overlapping and sewed together. On each is strung a 
cylindrical bead of soapstone about one-half inch long and of the same 
diameter. A single bracelet is generally worn. 

Finger-rings. — Both sexes now frequently wear brass finger-rings, 
called katu'kqlerufi, from katu'kqlufi, the middle finger, upon which 
the ring is always worn. 


Beads. — In addition to the ornaments already described, the women 
use short strings of beads, buttons, etc., to ornament various parts of 
the dress, especially the outer side of the inner frock (i'lupa), and 
strings of beads are often attached to various objects, such as pipes, 
tobacco pouches, etc. One or two women were also observed to wear 
large bunches of beads and buttons attached to the inner girdle in 
front so as to hang down between the legs 
inside of the pantaloons. A similar strange 
custom was observed by Beechey at Hotham 
Inlet, where a young woman wore a good- 
sized metal bell in the same uncomfortable 
manner. 2 These people appear to have at- 
tempted the manufacture of beads in former 
times, when they were not so easily obtained 
as at present. There is in the collection a fig. 97—Beads of amber, 

string of four small beads made from amber picked up on the beach 
(Fig. 97, No. 89700 [1716] ). They are of dark honey-colored transparent 
amber, about one-third inch long and one-half inch diameter at the 
base. Such beads are very rare at the present day. The above speci- 
mens were the only ones seen. 


The only object in use among these people that can be considered a 
toilet article is the small hair comb (l d lai'utin), usually made of walrus 

The collection contains ten specimens, from which ]STo. 56566ft [182] 
(Fig. 98a) has been selected as the type. It is made of walrus ivory 
(from near the root of the tusk). When in use, it is held with the tip of 
the forefinger in the ring, the thumb and middle finger resting on each 

'There is in the collection a bunch of five of these shells (No. 89530 [1357], which are scarce and highly 
Tallied as ornaments. Mr. R. E. C. Stearns, of the V. S. National Museum, has identified the species 
as Dentalium Indianorum Cpr. (probably= D. pretiosum, Sby.), called " allkotci'k " by the Indians of 
northwest California, and "hiqua" (J. K. Lord) or "hya-qua" (F. Whymper) by the Indians round 
Queen Charlotte Sound. 

2 Voyage, p. 295. 



side of the neck. This is perhaps the commonest form of the comb, 
though it is often made with two curved arms at the top instead of a 
ring, as in Fig. 986, No. 56509 [194], or sometimes with a plain top, like 
No. 56572 [210] (Fig. 98c). Nine of the ten combs, all from Utkiavwin, 
arc of walrus ivory, but No. 89785 [1006], which was the property of 
IhVbwga, the Nunatafimiun, who spent the winter of 1882-'83 at Utki- 

FlG. 98. — Hair combs. 

avwiii, is made of reindeer antler. This was probably made in the 
interior, where antler is more plentiful than ivory. All these combs are 
made with great care and patience. The teeth are usually cut with a 
saw, but on one specimen the maker used the sharp edge of a piece of 
tin, as we had refused to loan him a tine saw. This kind of comb is very 
like that described by Parry from Iglulik. 1 


Knives. — All the men are now supplied with excellent knives of civil- 
ized manufacture, mostly butcher knives or sheath knives of various 
patterns, which they employ for numerous purposes, such as skinning and 
butchering game, cutting up food, and rough whittling. Fine whittling 
and carving is usually done with the "crooked knife," to be described 
further on. In whittling the knife is grasped so that the blade projects 
on the ulnar side of the hand and is drawn toward the workman. A 
pocketknife, of which they have many of various patterns, is used in 
the same way. I observed that the Asiatic Eskimo at Plover Bay held 
the knife in the same manner. Lyon, in describing a man whit- 

2ud Voyage, p. 194, Fig. 12, PI. opp. ]). 548. 



tling at Winter Island, says: "As is customary with negroes, he cut to- 
ward the left hand and never used the thumb of the right, as we do, for 
a check to the knife." 1 This apparently refers to a similar manner of 
holding the knife. Before the introduction of iron, knives appear to 
have been always made of slate, worked by grinding. We obtained 
twenty-six more or less complete knives, most of which are genuine old 
implements, which have been preserved as heirlooms or amulets. These 
knives are either single or double edged, and the double-edged knives 
may be divided into four classes, according to their shape. The first class 
consists of rather small knives with 
the edges straight or only slightly 
curved, tapering to a sharp or trun- 
cated point, with the butt termina- 
ting in a short broad tang slightly 
narrower than the blade, which is 
inserted in the end of a straight 
wooden haft, at least as long as 
the blade. The commonest mate- 
rial is a hard, dark purple slate, 
though some are of black or dark 
gray slate. Of this class we have 
three complete knives and five 
blades without the haft. 

No. 89584 [1107] (figured in Point 
Barrow Kept., Ethnology, PI. nr, 
Fig. 3), will represent this class. 
It is a blade of dark purple slate, 
ground smooth, 3-5 inches long, 
tapering from a width of 1-3 inches 
at the butt, with curved edges to 
a sharp point, and beveled on both 
faces from the middle line to the 
edges, and the fiat tang is inserted 
into a cleft in the end of a straight 
haft of spruce. The blade is se- 
cured by a whipping of about fifteen 
turns of sinew braid lodged in a 
broad shallow groove round the end of the haft. In a hole in the other end 
of the haft is looped a short lanyard of seal thong. Fig. 99a, No. 89581 
[1011], is a knife of the same class and about the same size, having a haft 4 
inches and a blade 3 inches long. The blade is secured by two lashings, 
of which the first is a narrow strip of whalebone, and the other of sinew 
braid. The materials of blade and haft are the same as before. No. 
89585 [1710] (Fig. 99Z>), has a blade of dark gray slate, and the haft, 
which appears to be of cotton wood, is in two longitudinal sections. The 

Fig. 99.— Slate knives 

1 Journal, p. 92. 



lashing- which holds these two sections together is of braided sinew. Of 
the blades, the only sharp-pointed one, No. 5G684 [228] (Fig. 100), is like 
the blade of 89584 [1107], but rather larger. The others 
all have rounded or truncated points and are not over 3£ 
inches long, including the tang, but otherwise closely 
resemble the blades already described. They all show 
signs of considerable age and several of them are nicked 
and gapped on the edge from use. Knives of this class 
are not like any in use at the present day, and it was- 
not possible to learn definitely whether this shape served 
any special purpose. We were, however, given to under- 
stand that the sharp-pointed ones were sometimes, at 
least, used for stabbing. Perhaps they were used specially 
for cutting up the smaller animals. 

The second class, of which there are four specimens, is- 
not unlike the first, but the blade is short and broad, 
with strongly curved edges, and always sharp pointed,, 
while the haft is always mucb longer than the blade. 
Instead of being evenly beveled off on both faces from the 
middle line to the edges, they are either slightly convex, 
gradually to the edge, or flat witli narrowly beveled 
ire all small knives, the longest being 8-3 inches long, 

Fig. 100.— Slate 

worked down 

edges. They 

with the blade projecting 

3-1 inches from the haft, 

and the shortest 4-9 inches, 

with the blade projecting 

only 1-4 inches. 

Fig. 101, No. 89583 [1305], 
is a knife of this class, with 
the blade a nearly equilat- 
eral triangle (1-4 inches long and 

Fig. 101.— Slate knife. 

Fig. 102.— Slate knife. 

1-3 inches wide at the base), with 
a flat wooden haft as wide as the 
blade and 3& inches long, cleft at 
the tip and lashed with thirteen or 
fourteen turns of sinew braid. The 
holes near the butt of the haft were 
probably to receive a lanyard. Fig. 

102, No. 89591 [1016], is another form of the same class. The blade is- 

secured by a single rivet of 


The third class consists 

of large knives, with long, 

broad, lanceolate blades, 

and short straight hafts. 

There is only one complete 

specimen, No. 89592 [1002], Fi 


Fig. 103.— Slate hunting-knife 

L03. This lias a blade of soft, light green- 




Fig. 1(1-1.— Blade of slate hunting-knife. 

isli slate, inches long and 2-G inches broad, with the edges broadly bev- 
eled on both faces. The haft of spruce is in two longitudinal sections, 
put together so as to inclose the short tang of the blade, and is secured 
by a tight whipping of eighteen turns of fine seal twine, and painted 
with red ocher. This knife is 
new and was made for sale, 
but is undoubtedly a correct 
model of an ancient pattern, 
as No. 56676- [204] (Fig. 104), 
which is certainly ancient, ap- 
pears to be the blade of just 
such a knife. We were told that the latter was intended for cutting 
blubber. This perhaps means that it was a whaling knife. Mr. Nelson 
brought home a magnificent knife of precisely the same pattern, made 
of light green jade. 

The two knives, representing the fourth class, are both new and 
made for sale, having blades of soft slate. As we obtained no genuine 
knives of this pattern, it is possible that they are merely commercial 
fabrications. The two knives are very nearly alike, but the larger, No. 

89590 [984] (Fig. 105), is 
the more carefully made. 
The blade is of light green- 
"■■>■"••■■ 7 ish gray slate, 0-2 inches 

long and 2 inches broad, 
and is straight nearly to 
the tip, where it curves to a sharp point, making a blade like that of 
the Eoman gladius. The haft is a piece sawed out of the beam of an 
autler, and has a cleft sawed in one end to receive the short broad 
tang of the blade. The whipping is of sinew braid. 

The single-edged knives were probably all meant specially for cut- 
ting food, and are all of the same general pattern, varying in size from 
a blade only 2£ inches long to one of 7 inches. The blade is generally 
more strongly curved along the edge than on the back and is usually 
sharp-pointed. It is fitted with a broad tang to a straight haft, usually 
shorter than the blade. Tbere 
are in the collection four complete 
knives and five unhafted blades. 
No. 89597 [1052] (Fig. 106) is a typ- 
ical knife of this kind. Theblade 
is of black slate, rather rough, and 
is 5-0 inches long (including the tang) 
inch long and the same breadth, is lashed against one end of the flat 
haft of bone which is cut away to receive it, with five turns of stout 
seal thong. No. 89594 [1053] differs from the preceding only in hav- 
ing the tang inserted in a cleft in the end of the haft, and No. 89589a. 

Fig. 105.— Large slate knife. 

Fig. 100. — Large single-ed 


The tang, which is about one-half 



[1054] has the back more curved than the edge, the haft of antler and 
the lashing of whalebone. All three are of very rude workmanship. 
No. 89587 [1587] is a small knife with a truncated point and the tang 
imbedded without lashing in the end of a roughly made haft of bone. 

Most of the blades are those of knives similar to the type, more 
smoothly finished, but No. 56712 [226] (Fig. 107«) is noticeable for the 

extreme "belly" of the edge and the 
smoothness with which the faces are 
beveled from back to edge. Such 
knives approach the woman's round 
knife (ulu, ulu'ra). No. 80(501 [77<>] 
(Fig. 107b) is almost double-edged, 
the back being rounded off. Fig. 
108, No. 89631 [1081], is a very re- 
markable form of slate knife, of 
which this was the only specimen 
seen. In shape it somewhat resem. 
fig. io7.— Mades of knives. bles a hatchet, having a broad tri- 

angular blade with a strongly curved cutting edge, along the back of which 
is fitted a stout haft of bone 12J inches long. The blade is of soft, dark 
purple slate, ground smooth, and resembles the modern knives in having 
the sharp cutting edge beveled almost wholly on one face. The haft is 
the foreshaft of an old whale harpoon, and is made of whale's bone. 
The back of the blade is fitted into a deep narrow saw cut, and held on 
by three very neat lashings of narrow strips of whalebone, each of which 
passes through a hole drilled through the blade close to the haft and 
through a pair of vertical holes in the haft on each side of the blade. 
These holes converge towards the back of the haft and are joined by 
a deep channel, so that the lashing is countersunk below the surface of 

Fig. 108.— Peculiar slate knife. 

the haft. This implement was brought down from Nuwuk and offered 
for sale as a knife anciently used for cutting off the blubber of a whale. 
The purchaser got the impression that it was formerly attached to a 
long pole and used like a whale spade. On more careful examination 
after our return it was discovered that the haft was really part of an old 
harpoon and that the lashings and holes to receive them were evidently 
newer than the haft. 



It is possible that the blade may have been long ago fitted to the 
haft and that the tool may have been used as described. That knives 
of this sort were occasionally used by the Eskimo is shown by a speci- 
men in the Museum from Norton Sound. This is smaller than the one 
described but has a slate blade of nearly the same shape and has a 
haft, for hand use only, put on in the same way. 

With such knives as these the cut is made by drawing the knife toward 
the user instead of pushing it away, as in using the round knife. We 
found no evidence that these Eskimo ever used knives of ivory (except 
for cutting snow) or ivory knives with bits of iron inlaid in the edge, 
such as have been observed among those of the East. 

Fig. 109, No. 89477 [1122], is a very extraordinary implement, which 
was brought down from Point Barrow and which has evidently been 
exposed alongside of some corpse at the cemetery. The blade is a long, 
flat, thin piece of whale- 
bone wedged between 
the two parts of the 
haft, which has been 
sawed lengthwise for 

6£ inches to receive it. Fl °' 109 -" " i,h «***«» blade. 

The haft is a slender piece of antler. No other specimens of the kind 
were seen, nor have similar implements, to my knowledge, been observed 
elsewhere. The natives insisted that it was genuine, and was formerly 
used for cutting blubber. 

I have introduced four figures of old iron or steel knives, of which 
we have six specimens, in order to show the way in which the natives 
in early days, when iron was scarce, utilized old case-knives and bits of 
tools, fitting them with hafts of their own make. All agree in having 
the edge beveled on the upper face only. All the knives which they ob- 
tain from the whites at the present day are worked over with a file so as 
to bring the bevel on one face only. Fig. 110, No. 89296 [970], from 

Nuwiik, has a blade 
of iron, and the flat 
haft is made of two 
longitudinal sec- 
tions of reindeer 
antler, held together 
with four large rivets nearly equidistant. The two which pass through 
the tang are of brass and the other two of iron. The blade is 3-6 inches 
long, the haft 4-1 long and 0-9 broad. Fig. 110, No. 89294 [901], from 
Utkiavwln, has a short, thick, and sharp-pointed blade, and is hafted 
in the same way with antler, one section of the haft being cut out to 
receive the short, thick tang. The first two rivets are of iron, the other 
three of brass and not quite long enough to go wholly through the haft. 
The blade is barely 2 inches long. Fig. lllr/, No. 89297 [1125], from 
Nuwuk, has a short blade, 2£ inches long, and the two sections of the 

Fig. 110— Small iron knife. 



haft are held together, not by rivets, but by a close spiral lashing of 
stout seal thong extending the whole length of the haft. No. 89293 
[1330], Fig. lllfr, from Utkiavwin, has a peculiarly shaped blade, which 
is a bit of some steel tool imbedded in the end of a straight bit of 
antler 4 inches long. One of these knives, not figured, is evidently 
part of the blade of an old-fashioned curved case knife. It is stamped 

Fig. 111. — Small iron knives. 

with the name "Wilson," and underneath this are three figures, of 
which only <^> can be made out. This may be a table knife bought or 
stolen from the Plover in 1852-'51. 

There is in the collection one large double-edged knife (Fig. 112, No. 
89298 [1102]) of precisely the same form as the slate hunting knife (Fig. 
103) and Mr. Nelson's jade knife previously mentioned. The blade is of 
thick sheet iron, which has in it a couple of rivet holes, and the haft 
of reindeer antler in two sections, held together by a large copper rivet 

Fig. 112.— Iron hunting knife. 

at each end and a marline of sinew braid. Each edge has a narrow 
bevel on one face only, the two edges being beveled on opposite faces. 
There are a small number of such knives still in use, especially as hunting 
knives (for cutting up walrus, one man said). They are considered to 
be better than modern knives for keeping off evil spirits at night. As 
is not unusual, the antiquity of the object has probably invested it with 
a certain amount of superstitious regard. These knives are undoubtedly 
the same as the "double-edged knives (pan'-na)" mentioned by Dr. 



Simpson (op. cit., p. 266) as brought for sale by the Nunatahmiun, who 
obtained them from the Siberian natives, and which he believes to be 
carried as far as the strait of Fury and Hecla. It would be interesting 
to decide whether the stone hunting knives were an original idea of the 
Eskimo, or whether they were copies, in stone, of the first few iron 
knives obtained from Siberia; but more material is needed before the 
matter cau be cleared up. 

The natives of Point Barrow, in ordinary conversation, call all knives 
savik, which also means iron, and is identically the same as the word 
used in Greenland for the same objects. If, then, there was a time, as 
these people say, when their ancestors were totally ignorant of the use 
of iron — and the large number of stone implements still found among 
them is strongly corroborative of this — the use of this name indicates 
that the first iron was obtained from the east, along with the soap- 
stone lamps, instead of from Siberia. Had it first come from Siberia, as 
tobacco did, we should expect to find it, like the latter, called by a 
Bussian or Siberian name. 

Like all the Eskimo of North America from Cape Bathurst westward 
the natives of Point Barrow use for fine whittling and carving on wood, 
ivory, bone, etc., "crooked knives," consisting of a small blade, set on 
the under side of the end of a long curved haft, so that the edge, which 
is beveled only on the upper face, projects about as much as that of a 
spokeshave. The curve of blade and haft is such that when the under 
surface of the blade rests against the surface to be cut the end of the 
haft points up at an angle of about 45°. This knife differs essentially 
from the crooked carving knife so generally used by the Indians of 
North America. As a rule the latter has only the blade (which is 
often double edged) curved and stuck into the end of a straight haft. 
These knives are at the present time made of iron or steel and are of two 
two sizes, a large knife, mi'dlifi, with a haft 10 to 20 inches long, intended 
for working on wood, and a small one, savigro'n (lit. " an instrument for 
shaving"), with a haft 6 or 7 inches long and intended specially for cut- 
ting bone and ivory. Both sizes are handled in the same way. The 
knife is held close to the blade between the index and second fingers of 
the right hand with the thumb over the edge, which is toward the work- 
man. The workman draws the knife toward him, using his thumb as a 
check to gauge the depth of the cut. The natives use these knives with 
very great skill, taking off long and very even shavings and producing 
very neat workmanship. 1 

There are in the collection four large knives and thirteen small ones. 
No. 89278 [787] (Fig. 113) will serve as the type of the large knives. 
The haft is a piece of reindeer antler, flat on one face and rounded on 
the other, and the curve is toward the rounded face. The flat face is 
hollowed out by cutting away the cancellated tissue from the bend to 

1 Compare this with what Capt. Parry says of the workmanship of the people of Iglulik (2d Voy.,p. 
336). The almost exclusive use of the double-edged pan'na is the reason their work is so "remarkably 
coarse and clumsy." 



the tip, and the lower edge is sloped off so that the end of the haft is 
flat and narrow, with a slight twist. The blade is riveted to the flat 
face of the haft with three iron rivets, and is a piece of a saw counter- 
sunk flush with the surface of the haft, so that it follows its curvature. 
The cutting edge is beveled only on the upper face. The lower edge of 
the haft, from the blade to the place where it begins to narrow, is pierced 
with eleven equidistant holes, through which is laced a piece of seal- 
skin thong, the two parts crossing like a shoe-lacing, to prevent the 


1 knife 

hand from slipping. The ornamental pattern on the upper face of the 
haft is incised and was originally colored with red ocher, but is now 
filled with dirt. 

Fig. 114, No. 89780 [1004a"], is a very long hafted knife (the haft is 
12-3 inches long), but otherwise resembles the type, though not so 
elaborately ornamented. The blade is also a bit of a saw. It is pro- 
vided with a sheath 3£ inches long, made of black sealskin with the 
black side out, doubled over at one side, and sewed "over and over" 
down the other side and round one end. To the open end is sewed a bit 
of thong with a slit in the end of it, into which one end of a lanyard of 
seal twine 15 inches long is fastened with a becket-hitch. When the 

FIG. 114. — Large crooked knife, with sheath. 

sheath is fitted over the blade the lanyard is passed through a hole in 
the haft and made fast by two or three turns around it. Such sheaths 
are often used by careful workmen. This particular knife was the 
property of the "inlander" IliYbwgv, previously mentioned. No. 89283 
["967], from Nuwiik, is interesting as being the only left-handed tool we 
obtained. The fourth knife has a blade with a cutting edge of 3J inches, 
while that of each of the others is 3 inches. 

The small knife differs little from the mi'dlin except in having the 
haft very much shorter and not tapered off at the tip. Fig. 115a, No. 
50552 [145], from Utkiavwin, .shows a common form of this kind of 
knife, though the blade usually has a sharp point like those of the large 




knives, projecting beyond the end of the haft. This knife has a blade 
of iron riveted on with two iron rivets to a haft of reindeer antler. The 
edges of the haft close to the blade are roughened with crosscuts to 
prevent slipping. 

The blades of the small knives are frequently inserted into a cleft in 
the edge of the haft, as in Fig. 1156, 89632 [827], and 89277 [1172]. The 
blade, in such cases, is secured by wedging it tightly, with sometimes the 
addition of a lashing of thong through a hole in the haft and round the 
heel of the blade. The blade is usually of steel, in most cases a bit of 

Fig. 115. — Small crooked knives. 

a saw and the haft of reindeer antler, generally plain, unless the circular 
hollows, such as are to be seen on No. 89277 [1172], which are very com- 
mon, are intended for ornament. Fig. 116, No. 89275 [1183], from Ut- 
kiavwiii, is a rather peculiar knife. The haft, which is the only one 
seen of walrus ivory, is nearly straight, and the unusually long point 
of the blade is strongly bent up. The rivets are of copper. This knife, 
the history of which we did not obtain, was very likely meant both for 
wood and ivory. It is old and rusty and has been long in use. 

Fig. 116.— Crooked knife. 

All of the crooked knives in the collection are genuine implements 
which have been actually in use, and do not differ in type from the 
crooked knives in the Museum from the Mackenzie district, Kotzebue 
Sound, and other parts of Alaska. Similar knives appear to be used 
among the Siberian Eskimo and the Chukches, who have adopted their 
habits. Hooper (Tents, etc., p. 175), mentions "a small knife with a 
bent blade and a handle, generally made of the tip of a deer's horn," as 
one in general use at Plover Bay, and handled in the same skillful way 



as at Point Barrow. 1 Among the Eskimo of the central region they 
are almost entirely unknown. The only mention I have seen of such 
tools is in Parry's Second Voyage (p. 504), where he speaks of seeing at 
Iglulik " several open knives with crooked wooden handles," which he 
thinks "must have been obtained by communication alongshore with 
Hudson Bay." I can find no specimen, figure, or description of the sa'nat 
(''tool"), the tool par excellence of the Greenlauders, except the follow- 
ing definition in Ivleinschmidt's "Gr^nlandsk Ordbog": "2. Specially 
a narrow, long-hafted knife, which is sharpened on one side and slightly 
curved at the tip (and which is a Greenlander's chief tool)." This seems 
to indicate that this knife, so common in the West, is equally common 
in Greenland. 2 

Whether these people used crooked knives before the introduction of 
iron is by no means certain, though not improbable. Fig. 117«, No. 
89033 [1190], from Utkiavwiu, is a knife made by imbedding a flake of 
gray flint in the lower edge of a haft of reindeer antler, of the proper 
shape and curvature for a midhn handle. The haft is soiled and 

undoubtedly old, while 
the flaked surfaces of the 
flint do not seem fresh, 
and the edge shows 
slight nicks, as if it had been 
used. Had this knife been fol- 
lowed by others equally genuine 
looking, I should have no hes- 

FlG. 117.— Crooked knives, flint bladed. itatlon ill pronouncing it a pi'C- 

historic knife, and the ancestor of the present steel one. The fact, how- 
ever, that its purchase gave rise to the manufacture of a host of flint 
knives all obviously new and more and more clumsily made, until we 
refused to buy any more, leads me to suspect that it was fabricated 
with very great care from old material, and skillfully soiled by the maker. 
Ten of these knives of flint were purchased within a fortnight before 
we detected the deceit. Fig. 1176, No. S9030 [1212] is one of the 
best of these counterfeits, made by wedging a freshly flaked flint blade 
into the haft of an old savigron, which has been somewhat trimmed to 
receive the blade and soiled and charred to make it look old. Other 
more carelessly made ones had clumsily carved handles of whale's bone. 
with roughly flaked flints stuck into them and glued in with oil dregs. 
All of these came from Utkiavwiu. Another suspicious circumstance 
is that a few days previously two slate-bladed crooked knives had been 
brought down from Nuwuk and accepted without question as ancient. 
On examining the specimens since our return, I find that while the 
hafts are certainly old, the blades, which are of soft slate easily worked, 

1 Lisiansky also mentions "a small crooked knife" (Voyage, p. 181), as one of the tools used in Ka- 
diak in 1805. 

2 A specimen lias lately been received at the Xatioual Museum. It is remarkably like the Indian 
knife in pattern. 




are as certainly new. Fig. 118a, 1186, represent these two knives 
(89580 [1062], 89586 [1061]), which have the blades lashed on with deer 
sinew. It is worthy of note in this connection that there are no stone 
knives of this pattern in the museum from any other locality. 

The women employ for all purposes for which a knife or scissors could 
be used a semicircular knife of the same general type as those described 
by every writer from the days of Egede, who has had to deal with the 


Fig. 118. — Slate-bladed crooked knives. 

Eskimo. The knives at the present day are made of steel, usually, and 
perhaps always, of a piece of a saw blade, which gives a sheet of steel of 
the proper breadth and thickness, and are manufactured by the natives 
themselves. Dr. Simpson says 1 that in his time they were brought 
from Kotzebne Sound by the Nunatafimiun, who obtained them from the 
Siberian Eskimo. There are in the collection three of these steel knives, 
all of the small size generally called ulun? ("little xilu "). Xo. 5G54G [14] 
lias been picked out for description (Fig. 119). 
The blade is wedged into a handle of walrus 
ivory. The ornamentation on the handle is 
of incised lines and dots blackened. The cut- 
ting edge of the blade is beveled on one face 
only. This knife represents the general 
shape of knives of this sort, but is rather r ' G - U9 -Woman' 8 knif e , s teei blade, 
smaller than most of them. I have seen some knives with blades fully 
5 or 6 inches long and deep in proportion. The handle is almost always 
of walrus ivory and of the shape figured. I do not remember ever 
seeing an ulu blade secured otherwise than by fitting it tightly into a 
narrow slit in the handle, except in one case, when the handle was part 
of the original handle of the saw of which the knife was made, left 
still riveted on. 

It is not necessary to specify the various purposes for which these 
knives are used. Whenever a woman wishes to cut anything, from her 
food to a thread in her sewing, she uses an ulu in preference to anything 
else. The knife is handled precisely as described among the eastern 
Eskimo, making the cut by pushing instead of drawing, 2 thus differing 
from the long-handled round knife mentioned above. Knives of this 

•Op. cit.,p.266. 

9 ETH 11 

2 See for example, Kmulien, op.,cit., p. 26. 




120.— Woman's 

knife, slate 

coarse whale's bone 
village at Pernye. 

pattern are very generally used among the western Eskimo, hut in 
the east the blade is always separated from the handle by a short shank, 
as in our mincing knives. 

The natives of Point Barrow used round knives long before the intro- 
duction of iron. There are in the collection twenty-three more or less 

complete round knives of stone, most of which 
are genuine implements that have been used. 
Of these a few, which are perhaps the more 
recent ones, have blades not unlike the modern 
steel knife, For instance, No. 89680 [1106] Fig. 
120, has a blade of hard gray mica slate of al- 
most precisely the modern shape, but both 
faces are gradually worked down to the cut- 
ting edge without a bevel on either. The 
handle is very large and stout and made of 
This knife was said to have come from the ruined 
Fig. 121, No. 89679 [971], from Nuwuk, was made 
for sale, but is perhaps a model of a form sometimes 
used. The shape of the blade is quite different from 
those now in use, in having the cutting edge turned 
so strongly to the front. The handle is of oak and the 
blade of rather hard, dark purple slate. Fig. 122, 89689 
[985], also from Nuwiik, and made for the market, is 
introduced to show a method of halting which may 
have been formerly employed. The haft is of reindeer 
antler in two longitudinal sections, between which 
the blade is wedged. These two sections are held together by lashings 
of sinew at each end, passing through holes in each piece and round the 
ends. These lashings being put on wet, have shrunk 
so that the blade is very tightly clasped between the 
two parts of the handle. The commoner form of 
these stone knives, however, has the back of the 
blade much longer, so that the sides are straight in- 
stead of oblique and usually round off gradually at 
the ends of the cutting edge without being produced 
into a point at either end. No. 89682 [958] is a form 
blade - intermediate between this and the modern shape, 

having a blade with a long back, but pro- 
duced into a sharp point at one end. The han- 
dle is of reindeer antler and the blade rather 
soft black slate. This specimen is a very cleverly 
counterfeited antique. 

No. 89636 [1122], Fig. 123, approaches yet 
nearer the ancient shape, but still has one end 
slightly produced. The handle is also of reindeer 
antler, which seems to have been very commonly used with the slate 
blades. The lashing round the blade close to the handle is of seal 

Fig. 121. — Woman's 
knife, slate blade. 

Fig. 12-. 


123. — Woman': 
slate Wade. 





Fig. 124. — Woman's ancient slate-bladed knife. 

thong, with the end wound spirally round all the parts on both sides 
and neatly tucked in. It seems to serve no purpose beyoud enlarging 
the handle so as to make it lit the hand better. One beautiful blade 
of light olive green, clouded jade, 
No. 89675 [1170], belonged to a 
knife of this pattern. The older 
pattern is represented by No. 
89670 [1586], a small knife blade 
from Ukiavwifi, which has been 
kept as an amulet. No. 56660 
[129], is a blade of the same type, 
but elongated, being 7£ inches 
long and 2 broad. This is a very beautiful implement of pale olive jade, 
ground smooth. The bevel along the back of each of these blades indi-' 
cates that they were to be fitted into a narrow slit in a- long haft, like 
that of No. 89681 [886], Fig. 121, from Nuwiik. Though both blade and 
handle of this specimen are very old, and have been put together in their 

present shape for a long time, the 
handle, which is of whale's bone, evi- 
dently belonged to a longer blade, 
which fitted in the cleft withouc the 
need of any lashing. Fig. 125, No. 
89693 [871], shows a form of handle 
evidently of very great antiquity, 
as the specimen shows signs of great age. It was purchased from a 
native of Utkiavwlh. It is made of a single piece of coarse whale's 
bone. It was intended for a blade at least 7 inches long. 

Fig. 126, No. 56672 [191], from UtkiavwiQ, is a very crude, large knife, 
intended for use without a handle. It is of rough, hard, dark purplish 

Fig. 125. — Ancient bone handle for woman 

Fig. 126. — Large knife of slate. 

slate. The upper three-quarters of both faces are almost untouched 
cleavage surfaces, but the lower quarter is pretty smoothly ground down 
to a semicircular cutting edge, which is somewhat nicked from use. 


The angular grooves oil the two faces were evidently begun with the 
intention of cutting the knife in two. We were told that this large 
knife was specially for cutting blubber. It is a genuine antique. 

While ground slate is a quite common material for round knives, flint 
appears to have been rarely used. We obtained only three of this mate- 
rial. No. 89690 [1311] is a flint knife halted with a rough, irregular lump 
of coarse whale's bone. The blade is a rather thin " spall " of light gray 
flint, flaked round the edges into the shape of a modern ulure blade, 
with a very strongly curved cutting edge. Though the handle is- new, 
the flaking of the blade does not seem fresh, so that it is possibly a 
genuine old blade fitted with a new haft for the market. A similar 
flint blade, more neatly flaked, was brought from Kotzebue Sound by 
Lieut. Stoney, U. S. Navy, in 1884. The other two flint knives are in- 
teresting from being made for use without handles. 

No. 89(591 [13G0], Fig. 127, from Sidaru, is an oblong, wedge-shaped 
spall of gray flint, of which the back still preserves the natural surface 
of the pebble. It is slightly shaped by coarse flaking along the back 
and one end, and the edge is finely flaked into a curved outline round- 
ing up at the ends. The specimen is old and dirty, and was probably 
preserved as a sort of heirloom or amulet. No. 89092 [1178] is a similar 

spall from a round pebble. Such knives as 
these are evidently the first steps in the de- 
velopment of the round knife. The shape 
of the spalls, produced by breaking a round 
or oval pebble of flint, would naturally sug- 
gest using them as knives, and the next step 
would be to improve the edge by flaking. 
The greater adaptability of slate, from its 
fig. 127.— Woman's knife of flaked softness and easy cleavage, for making such 

flint. J & ' & 

knives would soon be recognized, and we 
should expect to find, as we do, knives like No. 50(572 [191]. The next 
step would naturally be to provide such a knife with a haft at the point 
where the stone was grasped by the hand, while reducing this haft so as 
to leave only just enough for the grasp and cutting away the superfluous 
corners of the blade would give us the modern form of the blade. Round 
knives of slate are not peculiar to Point Barrow, but have been collected 
in many other places in northwestern America.' 

The relationship between these knives and the semilunar slate blades 
found in the North Atlantic States has already been ably discussed by 
Dr. Charles Ran. 2 It must, however, be borne in mind that while these 
are sufficiently "fish-cutters" to warrant their admission into a book 
on fishing, the cutting of fish is but a small part of the work they do. 
The name "fish-cutter," as applied to these knives, would be no more 

1 Sec, especially, l)all, Contrib., vol. 1, pp. 59 and 79, for figures of such knives from the caves of Uua- 
"Prehistoric Fishing, pp. 183-188, 




distinctive than the name "tobacco-cutter" for a Yankee's jack- 
knife. 1 

Adzes (udlimau). — Even at the present day the Eskimo of Point Bar- 
row use no tool for shaping large pieces of woodwork, except a short- 
handled adz, hafted in the same manner as the old stone tools which 
were employed before the introduction of iron. Though axes and hatch- 
ets are frequently obtained by trading, they are never used as such, 
but the head is removed and rehafted so as to make an adz of it. This 
habit is not peculiar to the people of Point Barrow. There is a hatchet 
head, mounted in the same way, from the Anderson River, in the 
Museum collection, and the same thing was noted in Hudson's Strait 
by Capt. Lyon 2 and at Iglulik by Oapt. Parry. ;i Mr. L. M. Turner in- 
forms me that the Eskimo of Ungava, on the south side of Hudson's 
Strait, who have been long in contact with the whites, have learned to 
use axes. The collection contains two such adzes made from small 
hatchets. No. 89873 [972], Fig. 128, is the more typical of the two. The 
blade is the head of a small hatchet or tomahawk lashed to the haft 
of oak with a stout thong of seal hide. The lashing is one piece, and 

Fig. 128.— Hatchet hafted as an adz. 

is put on wet and shrunk tightly on. This tool is a little longer in the 
haft than those commonly used, and the shape and material of the haft 
is a little unusual, it being generally elliptical in section and made of 
soft wood. 

Fig. 129, No. 56638 [309], from Utkiavwlfi, is a similar adz, but the 
head has been narrowed by cutting off pieces from the sides (done by 
filing part way through and breaking the piece off), and a deep trans- 
verse groove has been cut on the front face near the butt. Part of the 
lashing is held in this groove as well as by the eye, the lower half of 
which is filled up with a wooden plug. The haft is peculiar in being a 

'It is but .just to Dr. Ran to say that ho recognized the fact that these implements are not exclu- 
sively rish -cutters, and applies this name only to indicate that he has treated of them simply in refer- 
ence to their use as such. The idea, however, that these, being slightly different in shape from the 
Greenland olu orulu, are merely fish knives, has gained a certain currency among anthropologists 
which it is desirable to counteract. 

2 Journal, p. 28. 

3 2d Voyage, p. 530, and pi. opp. p. 548, fig. 3. 



piece of reindeer antler which has been reduced in thickness by sawing 
out a slice for 8 inches from the butt and bringing the two parts together 
with four stout wooden treenails about li inches apart. This is pref- 
erable to trimming it down to a proper thickness from the surface, as 
the latter process would remove the compact tissue of the outside and 
expose the soft inside tissue. The whipping of seal thong just above 
the flange of the butt helps to give a better grip and, at the same time, 
to hold the parts together. As before, there are two large holes for 
the lashing. Adzes of this sort are used for all large pieces of wood 
work, such as timbers for boats, planks, and beams for houses, etc. 
After roughly dressing these out with the adz they are neatly smoothed 
off with the crooked knife, or sometimes, of late years, with the plane. 
The work of "getting out" the large pieces of wood is almost always 
done where the drift log lies on the beach. When a man wants a new 
stem or sternpost for his urniak, or a plank to repair his house, he 
searches along the beach until he finds a suitable piece of driftwood, 

Fig. 120. — Hatchet hafted as an adz. 

which he claims by putting a mark on it, and sometimes hauls up out 
of the way of the waves. Then, when he has leisure to go at the work, 
he goes out with his adz and spends the day getting it into shape and 
reducing it to a convenient size to carry home, either slung on his back 
or, if too large, on a dog-sled. A man seldom takes the trouble to carry 
home more of a piece of timber than he actually needs for the purpose 
in hand. 

The adz was in general use long before the introduction of iron. 
There is in the collection a very interesting series of ancient tools, 
showing the gradual development of the implement from a rude oblong 
block of stone worked down to a' cutting edge on one end, to the 
steel adzes of the present day. They have, however, not even yet 
learned to make an eye in the head of the tool in which to insert the 
haft, but all tools of this class — adzes, hammers, picks, and mattocks — 
are lashed, with one face resting against the expanded end of the haft. 
Firmness is obtained by putting the lashing on wet and allowing it to 
shrink tight. Nearly all these ancient adzes are of jade, a material 
well adapted for the purpose by its hardness, which, however, renders 




it difficult to work. Probably the oldest of these adzes is No. 56675 
[69], Fig. 130, which has been selected as the type of the earliest form 
we have "represented in the collection. This is of dark olive green, 
almost black, jade, 7-2 inches long, 2-8 wide, and 1-3 thick, and smoothly 
ground on the broader faces. The cutting edge is much broken from 
long use. One broad face is pretty smoothly ground, but left rough at the 
butt end. The other is rather flatter, but more than half of it is irregu- 
larly concave, the natural inequalities being hardly touched by grinding. 
Like the other dark-colored jade tools, this specimen is very much 
lighter on a freshly fractured surface. The dark color is believed to be 
due to long contact with greasy substances. 

Fig. 130.— Adz-head of jade. 

Fig. 131.— Adz-head of jade. 

No. 89662 [900], from Nuwuk, is an exceedingly rough adz of similar 
shape, but so slightly ground that it is probably one that was laid aside 
unfinished. From the battered appearace of the ends it seems to have 
been used for a hammer. It is of the same dark jade as the preceding. 
No. 89689 [792], from Utkiavwifi, is of rather light olive, opaque jade 
and a trifle better finished than the type, while No. 89661 [1155], Fig. 
131, also from Utkiavwifi, is a still better piece of workmanship, the 
curve of the faces to the cutting edge being very graceful. The inter- 
esting point about this specimen is that a straight piece has been cut 
off from one side by sawing down smoothly from each face almost to the 
middle and breaking the piece off. We were informed that this was done 
to procure rods of jade for making knife sharpeners. We were informed 
that these stones Avere cut in the same way as marble and freestone are 
cut with us, namely, by sawing with a flat blade of iron and sand and 
water. A thin lamina of hard bone was probably used before the intro- 
duction of iron. Possibly a reindeer scapula, cut like the one made 



into a saw (No. 89470 [1200], Fig. 147), but without teeth, was used for 
this purpose. 

That such stone blades were used with a haft is shown by the only 
hafted specimen , No. 56628 [214] , Fig. 132, from Nuwiik. This is a rather 
small adz. The head of dark green jade differs from those already de- 

Fig. 132.— Haft ml jade ad*. 

scribed only in dimensions, being 4 inches long, 24 wide, and 1-7 thick. 
The haft is of reindeer antler and in shape much like that of No. 50038 
[309], but has only one hole for the lashing. The lashing is of the usual 
stout seal thong and put on in the usual fashiou. No. 
89073 [1423] is an old black adz from Sidaru of the same 
pattern as those described, but very smoothly aud 
neatly made. About one-half of this 
specimen has been cut off for whet- 
stones, etc. 

The next step is to make the lash- 
ing more secure by cutting trans- 
verse grooves on the upper face of the 
head to hold the thong in place. 
This has been done on No. 50007 
[215], figured in Point Barrow Kept., 
Ethnology, PI. n, Fig. 5, an adz of dark 
olive green jade, from Utkiavwin, 
which shows two such grooves, broad 
and shallow, running across the 
upper face. Of these two classes the 
collection contains thirteen unhafted 
specimens and one hafted specimen, 
all of jade. As cutting these grooves in the stone is a laborious process, 
the device of substituting some more easily worked substance for the 
back part of the head would naturally suggest itself. 

Fig. 133, No. 89058 [1072], from Utkiavwin, has a long blade of black 
stone with the butt slightly tapered off and imbedded in a body of 
whale's bone, which has a channel 1 inch wide, for the lashing, cut round 

Fig. 133.— Adz-head 

of jade and bone. 

Fig. 134.— Adz-head of 

bone and iron, with- 
out eves. 




it and a shallow socket on the face to receive the end of the haft. Adz 
heads of this same type continued in use till after the introduction of 
iron, which was at first utilized by inserting a flat blade of iron into 
just such a body, as is shown in Fig. 134 (No. 89877 [752], from the cem- 
etery at Utkiavwln). 

From this type to that shown in Fig. 135 (No. 89876 [696] brought 
by the natives from the ruins on the Kulugrua) the transition is easy. 
Suppose, for the greater protection of the lashings, we inclose the chan- 
nels on the sides of the head — in 
other words, bore holes instead of cut- 
ting grooves — we have exactly this 
pattern, namely, vertical eyes on each 
side of the head joined by transverse 
channels on the upper face. The 
specimen figured has on each side two 
oblong slots with a round eye be- 
tween them. The blade is of iron, 
Fig. 136, No. 56640[260] has two eyes 
on each side, and shows a different 
method of attaching the blade, which 
is countersunk flush with the upper 
surface of the body and secured with 
three stout iron rivets. The next step 
is to substitute horizontal eyes for the 
vertical ones, so as to have only one 
set of holes to thread the lashings through. This is seen in No. 89869 
[878], Fig. 137, fromNuwuk, which in general pattern closely resembles 
No. 89876 [696], but has three large horizontal eyes instead of the ver- 
tical ones. The blade is of iron and the haft of whale's bone. The 
lashing is essentially the same as that of the modern adz, No. 56638 

Fig. 135. — Adz-head of 
bone and and iron, 
with vertical eyes. 

Fig. 136.— Adz-head of 
bone and iron, with 
vertical eyes.- 

Fig. 137. — nafted bono and iron adz. 

That this final type of hafting was reached before stone had gone 
out of use for such implements is shown by Fig. 138, No. 89S39 [769], 
from Utkiavwln, which, while very like the last in shape, has a blade 



of hard, dark purple slate. The haft is of reindeer antler. The lash- 
ing has the short end knotted to the long part after making the first 
round, instead of being slit to receive the latter. Otherwise it is of 
the usual pattern. These composite adzes of bone and stone or iron 
seemed to have been common at the end of the period when stone was 
exclusively used and when iron first came into use in small quantities, 
and a good many have been preserved until the present day. We 
obtained four hafted and six unhafted specimens, besides seven jade 
blades for such composite adzes, which are easily recognizable by 

Fig. 138. — Hafted bone and stone adz. 

their small size and their shape. They are usually broad and rather 
thin, and narrowed to the butt, as is seen in Fig. 139, No. 56685 [71], a 
beautiful little adz of bright green jade 2-8 inches long and 2-3 wide, 
from Utkiavwln. No. 56070 [246] also from Utkiavwih, is a similar 

blade of greenish jade slightly larger, 
being 3-4 inches long and 2 inches wide. 
No. 89670 [1092] is a tiny blade of hard, 
fine-grained black stone, probably oil- 
soaked jade, only 1-7 inches long and 1-5 
wide. It is very smoothly ground. Such 
little adzes, we were told, were especially 
used for cutting bone. The implement, 1 
which Nordenskjdld 'calls a "stone 
chisel," found in the ruins of an old Es- 
kimo-house atCape North, isevidently the 
head of one of these little bone adzes, as is' 
plainly seen on comparing this figure with the larger adzes figured above. 
I have figured two more composite adzes, which are quite different 
from the rest, No. 89838 [1109], Fig. 110, has a blade of neatly flaked 
gray flint, but this as well as the unusually straight haft is newly 

Figured in the Voyage of the Vega, vol. 1, p. 444, Fig. 1. 




made. These are fitted to a very old bone body, which when whole 
was not over 3 inches long, and was probably part of a little bone 
adz. There is no evidence that these people ever used flint adzes. 
Fig. 141, No. 89872 [785], isintroduced to show howthenativehas utilized 
an old cooper's adz, of which the eye was probably broken, by fitting it 
with a bone body. 

Fig. 140.— Hafted adz of bone and flint. 

While the adzes already described appear to have been the predomi- 
nating types, another form was sometimes used. Fig. 142, No.89874 [904], 
from Nuwiik, represents this form. The haft is of whale's rib, 1 foot 
long, and the head of bone, apparently whale's scapula, 5*0 inches long 
and 2-8 inches wide on the edge. There is an adze in the Museum from 
the Mackenzie River region with a steel blade of precisely the same 
pattern. That adzes of this pattern sometimes had stone blades is 

Fig. 141. — Old cooper's adz, rehafted. 

probable. No. 89840 [1317], is a clumsily made commercial tool of this 
type, with a small head of greenish slate. It has an unusually straight 
haft, which is disproportionately long and thick. 

All these adzes, ancient and modern, are hafted upon essentially the 
same pattern. The short curved haft, the shape of which is sufficiently 
well indicated by the figures, seems to have been generally made of 
whale's lib or reindeer antler, both of which have a natural curve suited 



to the shape of the haft. A "branch" of a reindeer's antler is particu- 
larly well suited for the haft of a small adze. Not only does it have 
naturally the proper dimensions and a suitable curve, but it is very easy, 
by cutting, out a small segment of the "beam" where the "branch" 
starts from it, to make a flange of a convenient shape for fitting to the 
head. Antler is besides easily obtained, not only when the deer is 
killed lor food, but by picking up shed antlers on the tundra, and is 
consequently employed for many purposes. The haft usually has a knob 
at the tip to keep the hand from slipping, and the grip is sometimes 
roughened with cross cuts or wound with thong. There are usually as 
many holes for the lashing as there are eyes in the head, though there 
are two holes when the head has only one large eye. On the bone heads, 
the surfaces to which the haft is applied and the channels for the lash- 
ings are roughened with cross cuts to prevent slipping. The lashing 
always follows the same general plan, though no two adzes are lashed 
exactly alike. The plan may be summarized as follows : One end of the 

Fig. 142.— Adz with bone blade. 

thong makes a turn through one of the holes in the haft, and around or 
through the head. This turn is then secured, usually by passing the 
long end through a slit in the short end and hauling this loop taut, 
sometimes by knotting the short end to the long part, or by catching 
the short end doVn under the next turn. The long part then makes 
several turns round or through the head and through the haft, sometimes 
also crossing around the latter, and the whole is then finished off by 
wrapping the end two or three times around the turns on one side and 
tucking it neatly underneath. This is very like the method of lashing 
on the heads of the mauls already described, but the mauls have only 
one hole in the haft, and there are rarely any turns around the latter. 

Jade adz blades, like those already described, have been brought by 
Mr. Nelson from Kotzebue Sound, the Diomedes, St. Michaels, etc., and 
one came from as far south as the Kuskoquim River. 

Chisels. — We collected a number of small short handled chisels, re- 
sembling the implements called "trinket makers," of which there are so 
many in the National Museum. We never happened to see them in actual 
use, but were informed that they were especially designed for working 




on reindeer antler. Of the eight specimens collected No. 89302 [884], 
Fig. 143, has been selected as a type of the antler chisel (kl'nnusa). The 
blade is of steel, and the haft is of reindeer antler, in two longitudinal 
sections, put together at right angles to the plane of the blade, held 
together by a stout round bone treenail 2£ inches from 
the butt. The square tip of the blade is beveled on both 
faces to a rough cutting edge. Fig. 144 
(No. 89301) [1000] has a small blade with 
an oblique tip not beveled to an edge, 
and a haft of walrus ivory yellowed from 
age, and ornamented with rows of rings, 
each with a dot in the center, all incised 
and colored with red ocher. The two 
parts of the haft are fastened together 
by a stout wooden treenail and a stitch of 

The rest of the steel-bladed chisels, 
four in number, are all of about the 
same size and hafted with antler. The 
blades are somewhat irregular in shape, 
imu u:i. a. ale. but all have square or oblique tips and 
no sharp edge. Three of them have 





the sections of the haft put together as described, and fastened by a 
treenail and a whipping of seal twine or sinew braid at the tip. One 
has the two sections put together in the plane of the blade and fastened 
with a large copper rivet, which also passes through the 
butt of the blade, and three stout iron ones. The hafts 
of all these tools show signs of much handling. The 
remaining two specimens have blades of black flint. No. 
89G37 [1207], has a haft of walrus ivory, of the usual 
pattern, fastened together by a bone treenail and two 
stitches, one of sinew braid and one of seal thong. 
The lashing of seal twine near the tip serves to mend 
a crack. The haft is old and rusty about the slot into 
which the blade is fitted, showing that it originally 
had an iron blade. The flint blade was probably put 
in to make it seem ancient, as there was a special 
demand for prehistoric articles. No. 89G53 [1290], Fig. 145, is nothing 
but a fanciful tool made to meet this demand. The haft is of light- 
brown mountain sheep horn, and the blade of black flint. Such flint- 
bladed tools may have been used formerly, but there is no proof that 
they were. 

Whalebone shaves. — There is in use at Point Barrow, and apparently 
not elsewhere among the Eskimo, a special tool for shaving whalebone, 
a substance which is very much used in the form of long, thin strips 
for fastening together boat timbers, whipping spear shafts, etc. The 

Fig. 145.— Spurious 
tool, flint blade. 


thin, long shavings which curl up like "curled hair," are carefully saved 
and used for the padding between stocking and boot. Whalebone is 
also sometimes shaved for this special purpose. The tool is essentially 
a little spokeshave about 4 inches long, which is held by the index and 
second finger of the right hand, one on each handle, with the thumb 
pressed against one end, and is drawn toward the workman. The col- 
lection contains three specimens of the ordinary form (savigy), repre- 
sented by No. 89300 [885] (figured in Point Barrow Report, Ethnology, 
PL in, Fig. 0). This has a steel blade and a haft of walrus ivory. The 
upper face of the haft is convex and the under flat, and the blade, 
which is beveled only on the upper face, is set at a slight inclination to 
the flat face of the haft. The edge of the blade projects 02 inch from 
the haft above and 0-3 below. The hole at one end of the haft is for a 
lanyard to hang it up by. The other two are of essentially the same 
pattern, but have hafts of reindeer antler. 

The collection also contains six tools of this description, with stone 
blades, but they are all new and very carelessly made, with hafts of 
coarse-grained bone. The shape of the tools is shown in Fig. 140, No. 
89649 [1213J, from Utkiavwm, which has a rough blade of soft, light 

greenish slate. The other five have blades of 
black or gray flint, roughly flaked. All these 
blades are glued in with oil dregs. No. 89052 
[1225] is like the others in shape, but more 
fig. uc— whalebone shave, slate neatly made, and is peculiar in having a blade 

of hard, compact bone. This is inserted by saw- 
ing a deep, narrow slit along one side of the haft from end to end. The 
blade is wedged into the middle of the slit, the ends of which are neatly 
tilled in with slips of the same material as the haft. This was the only 
tool of the kind seen. It is very probable that shaves of stone were 
formerly used, though we obtained uo genuine specimens. The use of 
oblong chips of flint for this purpose would naturally suggest itself to 
a savage, and the convenience of fitting these flakes into a little haft 
would soon occur to him. No. 89616 [1176] is such an oblong flinti 
flaked to an edge on one face, which is evidently old, and which was 
said to have been used for shaving whalebone. The material is black 
flint. Whalebone is often shaved nowadays with a common knife. The 
slab of bone is laid upon the thigh and the edge of the knife pressed 
firmly against it, with the blade perpendicular to the surface of the 
slab, which is drawn rapidly under it. 

Saws. — If the Eskimo had not already invented the saw before they 
became acquainted with the whites they readily adopted the tool even 
when they had scanty materials for making it. Crantz 1 speaks of " a 
little lock saw" as one of a Greenlander's regular tools in his time, and 
Egede 2 mentions handsaws as a regular article of trade. Oapt. Parry 3 

1 History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 149. 2 Greenland, p. 175. 3 2d Voyage, p. 536, 



Fig. 147.— Saw made of deer's scapula. 

found the natives of Iglulik,in 1821-1823, using a saw made of a notched 
piece of iron. On our asking Nikawa'alu, one day, what they had for 
tools before they got iron he said that they had drills made of seal bones 
and saws made of the shoulder blade of the reindeer. Some time after- 
wards he brought over 
a model of such a saw, 
which he said was ex- 
actly like those for- 
merly used. Fig. 147, 
No. 89476 [1206], repre- 
sents this specimen. It 
is made by cutting off the anterior edge of a reindeer's scapula in a 
straight line parallel to the posterior edge and cutting line saw teeth 
on this thin edge. The spine is also cut off nearly flat. This makes a 
tool very much like a carpenter's hacksaw, the narrow part of the 
scapula forming a convenient handle. 

Fig. 148, No. 56559 [15], shows how other implements were utilized 
before it was easy to obtain saws in plenty. It is a common case knife 

stamped on the blade, "Wilson, Hawksworth, n & Co., Sheffield," 

which perhaps came 

___^ from the Plover, with 

■) saw teeth cut on the 

edge. It was picked 

up at the Utkiavwiii 

cemetery, where it 

had been exposed with a corpse. Saws are now a regular article of 

trade, and most of the natives are provided with them of various styles 

and makes. The name for saw is ulua/ktun. 

Drills and borers. — The use of the bow drill appears to be universal 
among the Eskimo. Those at present employed at Point Barrow do 
not differ from the large series collected at the Mackenzie and Ander- 
son rivers by MacFarlane. The drill is a slender rod of steel worked to 
a drill point and imbedded in a stout wooden shaft, which is tapered to 
a rounded tip. This fits into a stone socket imbedded in a wooden block, 
which is held between the teeth, so that the point of the drill can be 
pressed down against the object to be drilled by the head, leaving both 
hands free to work the short bow, which has a loose string of thong long 
enough to make one turn round the shaft. The collection contains ten 
of these modern steel or iron drills, fifteen bows, and seven mouthpieces. 
No. 89502 [853], figured in Point Barrow Rept., Ethnology, PI. n, Fig. 1, 
has been selected as a typical drill (nia'ktun). The drill is a cylindrical 
rod of steel beaten out into a small lanceolate point, which is filed 
sharp on the edges. The shaft is made of hard wood. The remaining 
drills are of essentially the same pattern, varying in total length from 
about 11 inches to 16 J. 

Fig. 149, No. 89499 [968] shows a somewhat unusual shape of shaft. 
The lashings round the large end are to keep it from splitting any more 

Fig. 148. — Saw made of a case-knife. 



than it has done already. The drill is of iron and the shaft of spruce, 
which was once painted with red ocher. 

No. 89497 [819] (Fig. 150) has a ferrule of coarse-grained bone neatly 
pegged on with two small pegs of the same material. This is unusual 

with steel drills. The shaft is of 

spruce and of the same shape as 

in the preceding specimen. No. 

89595 [875] (Fig. 151) is figured to 

show the way in which the shaft 

has been mended. A wedge-shaped 

piece 3^ inches long and 0-3 to 0-4 
Iff ' m ' u wu ^ e nas been split out of the 

large end and replaced by a fresh 

piece of wood neatly fitted in and 

secured by two tight whippings of 

sinew braid, each in a deep groove. 
No. 89515 [861], figured in Point 

Barrow Report, Ethnology, Pl.U, 

Fig. 2, is a typical bow (pizlksua) 

for use with these drills. It is of 

walrus ivory, 16 inches long and 

oval in section. Through each end 

is drilled a transverse hole. A 

string of seal thong 21 inches long 

is looped into one of these holes 

by passing one end of the thong 

through the hole, cutting a slit 

in it, and passing the other end 

through this. The other end is 
fig. 149 -Bow passed through the other hole and 

knotted at the tip. 
These bows vary slightly in dimensions, but 
are not less than a foot or more than 16 inches 
long, and are almost always of walrus ivory. 
No. 89508 [956] (Fig. 152), is an old and rudely 
made bow of whalebone, which is more strongly 
arched than usual, and has the string attached 
to notches at the ends instead of into holes. 
This was said to belong with an old bone drill, 
No. 89498 [956]. Both came from Nuwuk. 
These bows are often highly ornamented both 
by carving and with incised patterns colored 
with red ocher or soot. The following figures 
are introduced to show some of the different 
styles of ornamentation. 

Fig. 153a, No. 56506 [298] is unusually broad and fiat and was prob- 
ably made for a handle to a tool bag. Such handles, however, appear 


150. — Bow drill and mouth 




The string is 

to be also used for drill bows. The tips of this bow represent seals 
heads, and have good sized sky-blue glass beads inserted for 
eyes. The rest of the ornamentation is incised and blackened. 
Fig. 153b, No. 89421 [1260], from Utkiavwifi, is a similar bow, 
which has incised on the back figures of men and animals, 
which, perhaps, tell of some real event. Mr. L. M. Turner 
informs me that the natives of Norton Sound keep a regular 
record of hunting and other events engraved in this way upon 
their drill bows, and that no one ever ventures to falsify these 
records. We did not learn definitely that such was the rule 
at Point Barrow, but we have one bag-handle marked with 
whales, which we were told indicated the number killed by 
the owner. Fig. 153c, No. 89425 [1732], from Utkiavwifi, is a 
similar bow, ornamented on the back with simply an incised 
border colored red. On the other side are the figures of ten 
bearded seals, cross-hatched and blackened. These are per- 
haps a "score." Fig. 153(7, No. 89509 [914], from Nuwuk, is a 
bow of the common pattern, but ornamented by carving the 
back into a toothed keel. 

Fig. 153e, No. 89510 [961], from Utkiavwifi, is ornamented 
on one side only with an incised pattern, which is blackened. 
Fig. 153/, No. 89511 [961], also from Utkiavwifi, has, in addi- 
tion to the incised and blackened pattern, a small transparent 
sky-blue glass bead inlaid in the middle of the back. Fig. 
153r/, No. 89512 [836], from the same place, is a flat bow with 
the edges carved into scallops. The incised line along the 
middle of the back is colored with red ocher 
made of sinew braid. 

Fig. 154, No. 89777 [10046], which belongs in the "kit" of Fi». isi.- 
Ilu'bw'ga, the Nunatafimiun, previously mentioned, is inter- Bow driU " 
esting from having been lengthened 3J inches by riveting on a piece of 
reindeer antler at one end. The two pieces are neatly joined in a "lap 
splice" about 2 inches long and fastened with three iron rivets. The 
owner appears to have concluded that his drill bow was too short when 



Fig. 152.— Drill bow. 

he was at home, in the interior, where he could obtain no walrus ivory. 
The incised pattern on the back is colored with red ocher. 

The mouthpiece (ki'fimia) consists of a block of hard stone (rarely 
iron), in which is hollowed out a round cup-like socket, large enough to re- 
ceive the tip of the drill shaft, imbedded in a block of wood of a suit- 
able size to hold between the teeth. This block often has curved flanges 

9 ETH 12 



on each side, which rest against the cheeks. Such mouthpieces are 
common all along the coast from the Anderson Eiver to Norton Sound, 
as is shown by the Museum collection, No. 89500 [800], figured in Point 
Barrow Report, Ethnology, PI. n, Pig. 3, is a type of the flanged mouth- 
piece. The block is of r ine, carved into a thick, broad arch, with a 
large block on the inside. Into the top of the arch is inlaid a piece of gray 

Fig. 153.— Drill bows. 

porphyry with black .spots, which is slightly convex on the surface, so as 
to project a little above the surface of the wood. In the middle of the 
stone is a cup-shaped cavity one-half inch in diameter and of nearly the 
same depth. This is a rather large mouthpiece, being inches across 
from one end of the arch to the other. 

FIG. 154.— Spliced drill bow. 

There are two other specimens of the same pattern, both rather smaller. 
No. 89503 [891], Fig. 150, from Nuwiik, has the stone of black and white 
syenite. This specimen is very old and dirty, and worn through to the 
stone on one side, where the teeth have come against it. No. 89787 
[1004c], Fig. 155, is almost exactly the same shape as the type, but has 




for a socket a piece of iron 1-1 inches square, hollowed out as usual. 
The outside of the wood has been painted with red ocher, but this is 
mostly worn off. This mouthpiece belonged to Ilu'bw'ga. 

Fig. 156, No. 89505 [892], from 
Utkiavwin, represents the pat- 
tern which is perhaps rather 
commoner than the preceding. 
The wood, which holds the 
socket of black and white sy- 
enite, is simply an elliptical 

, . . j, mi • Fig. 155. — Drill mouthpiece, with iron socket. 

block of spruce. The remain- 
ing three specimens are of the same pattern and of the same material as 
the last, except No. 89507 [908], from Nuwtik, in which the wood is oak. 
As it appears very old, this wood may have come from the Plover. 

When not in use, the point of the drill is sometimes protected with a 
sheath. One such sheath was obtained, No. 89447 [1112], fig- 
ured in Point Barrow Eeport, Ethnology, PI. II, Fig. 1. It is 
of walrus ivory, 3-6 inches long. The end of a piece of thong 
is passed throngh the eye and the other part fastened round 
the open end with a marline-hitch, catching down the end. 
This leaves a lanyard 9^ inches long, which is hitched or 
knotted round the shaft of the drill when the sheath is fitted 
over the point. 

The drills above described are used for perforating all sorts 
of material, wood, bone, ivory, metal, etc., and are almost the 
only boring implements used, even 
awls being unusual. Before the in- 
troduction of iron, the point was made 
of one of the small bones from a seal's 
leg. We obtained four specimens of 
these bone drills, of which two, at 
least, appear to be genuine. No. 
fig. i56.-Driii mouthpiece with- 89498 [956], Fig. 157, is one of these, 

out wings. from Nuwflk# The shaffc ig of the 

ordinary pattern and made of some hard wood, but the point 

is a roughly cylindrical rod of bone, expanding at the point, 

where it is convex on one face and concave on the other and 

beveled on both faces into two cutting edges, which meet in 

an acute angle. The larger end of the shaft has been split 

and mended by whipping it for about three-quarters of an 

inch with sinew braid. No. 89518 [1174], is apparently also 

genuine, and is like the preceding, but beveled only on the 

concave face of the point, which is rather obtuse. No. 89519 

[1258] was made for the market. It has a rude shaft of whale's 

bone, but a carefully made bone point of precisely the pattern 

of the modern iron ones. No. 89520 [1182] has no shaft, and appears to 

be an old unfinished drill fitted into a carelessly made bone ferrule. 


Fig. 157— 





The drill at tlic present day is always worked with a bow, which allows 
one hand to be used for steadying the piece of work. We were informed, 
however, that formerly a cord was sometimes used without the bow, but 
furnished with a transverse handle at each end. 

We collected six little handles of ivory, carved into some ornamental 
shape, each with an eye in the middle to which a thong coidd be attached. 
All were old, and we never saw them in use. The first two were col- 
lected at an early period of our acquaintance with these people, and from 
our imperfect knowledge of the language we got. the impression that 
they were handles to be attached to a harpoon line. 

We were not long, however in finding out that the harpoon has no 
such appendage, and when the other four came in a year later, at a time 

when the press of other work pre- 
vented careful inquiry into their 
use, we supposed that they were 
meant for handles to the lines used 
for dragging dead seals, as they 
somewhat resemble such an im- 
plement. On our return home, 
when I had opportunities for mak- 
ing a careful study of the collec- 
tion, I found that none of the drag 
lines, either in our own collection 
or in those of the Museum, had 
handles of this description. On 
the other hand, I found many sim- 
ilar implements in Mr. Nelson's 
collection labeled "drill-cord han- 
dles," and finally one pair (No. 
36319, from Kashunuk, near Cape 
Romanzoff), still attached to the 
drill cord. These handles are al- 
most identical in shape with No. 
89458 [835], from Utkiavwin. This leaves no doubt in my mind that 
the so-called " drag-line handles" in our collection are nothing more than 
handles for drill cords, now wholly obsolete and supplanted by the bows 
already described. I have figured all six of these handles to show the 
different patterns of ornamentation. They are all made of walrus ivory, 
and are all "odd" handles, no two.Jbeing mates. Fig. 158a (No. 56526) 
[86], is 5-2 inches long, and light blue beads are inserted for eyes in the 
seal's heads. The eye for the drill cord is made by boring two median 
holes at the middle of one side so that they meet under the surface and 
make a longitudinal channel. 

Fig. 15Sb (No. 56527 [23] from Utkiavwin), is 4-3 inches long, and is 
very accurately carved into the image of a man's right leg and foot, 
dressed in a striped deerskin boot. The end opposite to the foot is the 

Fig. 158.— Handles lor drill cords. 

Murdoch.] DRILL-CORD HANDLES. 181 

head of some animal, perhaps a wolf, with bits of dark wood inlaid for 
eyes. The eye is a simple large transverse hole through the thigh. 

Fig. 158c (No. 89455 [929] from Nuwfik), is 5-9 inches long. The eye 
is drilled lengthwise through a large lump projecting from the middle 
of one side. Small blue beads are inlaid for the eyes, and one to indi- 
cate the male genital opening. 

Fig. 158rZ (No. 89456 [930] from Nuwfik) is like No. 50527 [23], but 
represents the left foot and is not so artistically carved. It is 3-7 inches 

Fig. 158e (No. 89457 [925] from Nuwfik) is 4-7 inches long, and re- 
sembles No. 89455 [929 J, but has instead of the seal's tail and flippers 
a large ovoid knob ornamented with incised and blackened rings. The 
"eye" is bored transversely. 

Fig. 158/ (No. 89458 [835] from Utkiavwin) differs from No. 89455 [925] 
in having a transverse eye, and being less artistically carved. Bits of 
lead are inlaid for the eyes. It is 4-4 inches long. The name of this 
implement is ku'fi-i. 

We obtained six specimens of an old flint tool, consisting of a rather 
long thick blade mounted in a straight haft about 10 inches long,of 
which we had some difficulty in ascertaining the use. We were at last 
able to be quite sure that they were intended for drilling, or rather 
reaming out, the large cavity in the base of the ivory head of a whale 
harpoon, which fits upon the conical tip of the fore-shaft. The shape 
of the blade is well fitted for this purpose. It is not unlikely that such 
tools, worked as these are, by hand, preceded the bone drills for boring 
all sorts of objects, and that the habit of using them for making the 
whale harpoon was kept up from the same conservatism founded on 
superstition which surrounds the whole whale fishery. (See under 
"Whale fishing," where the subject will be more fully discussed.) No. 
89626 [870], figured in Point Barrow Eeport, Ethnology, PI. n, Fig. 4, 
is a typical implement of this class (itaun, i'tugetsau'). The blade is 
of black flint, flaked, 2 inches long, imbedded in the end of a haft of 
spruce, 10-5 inches long. The blade is held in place by whipping the 
cleft end of the haft with sinew braid. 

Two of the other specimens, No. 89627 [937] and No. 89628 [912], are 
of essentially the same pattern and material, but have rounded hafts. 
No. 89629 |960] and No. 89630 [1068], Figs. 159a, 159&, have blades of the 
same pattern, but have hafts fitted for use with the mouthpiece and 
bow, showing that sometimes, at least in later times, these tools were so 
used. No. 89625 [1217] (Fig. 160) has no haft, but the blade, which is 
rather narrow in proportion to its length (2-3 inches by 0-5), is fitted 
into a short ferrule of antler, with a little dovetail on the edge for attach- 
ing it to the haft. 

Of awls we saw only one .specimen, which, perhaps, ought rather to 
be considered a little hand drill. This is No. 89308 [1292], Fig. 161, 
from Utkiavwm. The point is the tip of a common three-cornered file, 



sharpened down. It is imbedded in a handle of fossil ivory which has 
turned a light yellowish brown from age. Its total length is 2-8 inches. 

■ M& >c sc^S^ 5> 


Fig. 159 Flint-bladed reamers. 

Hammers. — At the present day nearly every man has been able to 
procure an iron hammer of some kind, which he uses with great handi- 
ness. Before the introduction of iron, in addition to the bone and 
stone mauls above described as bone crushers, unhafted pebbles of con- 
venient shape were also employed. No. 5GCG1 [274] is such a stone. It 
is an ovoid water- worn pebble of greenish gray quartzite, 3£ inches long. 
The ends are battered, showing how it had been used. It was brought 
from one of the rivers in the interior by one of the natives of Utkiav- 

Files. — Files of all kinds are eagerly sought after by the natives, 
who use them with very great skill and patience, doing nearly all their 
metal work with these tools. For instance, 
one particularly ingenious native con- 
verted his Winchester rifle from a rim fire 
to a central Are with nothing but a file. To 
do this he had to make a new firing pin, as 
the firing pin of the rim-fire gun is too short 
to reach the head of the cartridge. He 
accomplished this by accurately cutting off 
to the proper length, an old worn-out three- 
cornered file. He then filed off enough of 
each edge so that the rod fitted evenly in 
the cylindrical hole where the firing pin 
works. The work was done so carefully 
that the new firing pin worked perfectly, 
and he had only to complete the job by 
cutting off his central fire cartridge shells 
to a proper length to fit the chamber of 

t r,fin 



Fig. 160.— Fliut- 
bladed reamer. 

the gun. 

Fig. 161.— Awl. 

They have almost no knowledge of working metal with 
the aid of heat, as is natural from the scarcity of fuel. 
I have, however, seen them roughly temper small articles, such as fire 
steels, etc., by heating them in the fire and quenching them in cold 




water. One native very neatly mended a musket barrel which had been 
cracked by firing too heavy a charge. He cnt a section from another old 
barrel of somewhat larger caliber, which he heated until it had expanded 
enough to slip down over the crack, and then allowed it to shrink on. 

Whetstones (ipiksaun). — Knives are generally sharpened with a file, 
cutting a bevel, as before mentioned, on one face of the blade only. 
To "set" or "turn" the edge they use pieces of steel of various shapes, 
generally with a hole drilled in them so that they can be hung to the 
breeches belt by a lanyard. One man, for instance, used about half of 


Fig. 162.— Jade whetstones. 

a razor blade for this purpose, and another a small horseshoe magnet. 
In former times they employed a very elegant implement, consisting of 
a slender rod of jade from 3 to 7 inches long, with a lanyard attached to 
an eye in the larger end. These were sometimes made by cutting a 
piece from one of the old jade adzes in the manner already described. 
There are a few of these whetstones still in use at the present day, and 
they are very highly prized. We succeeded in obtaining nine speci- 
mens, of which No. 89618 [801], Fig. 162a, has been selected as the type. 
It is of hard black stone, probably jade, 6-3 inches long. Through the 
wider end is drilled a large eye, into which is neatly spliced one end 
of a stout flat braid of sinew 4| inches long. 



The remaining whetstones are of very much the same pattern. I 
have figured five of them, to show the slight variations. Fig. W2b (No. 
50002 [393], from Utkiavwih) is of light grayish green jade, smoothly pol- 
ished and 4-1 inches long. It is chamfered only on the small end at 
right angles to the breadth, and has the eye prolonged into ornamental 
grooves on the two opposite faces. The long lanyard is of common 
sinew braid. No. 5(5(503 [229] (from the same village) is of olive green, 
slightly translucent jade, 6-8 inches long, and elliptical in section, also 
chamfered only at the small end. The lanyard, which is a strip of seal 
thong 9 inches long, is secured in the eye, as described before, with 
two slits, one in the standing part through which the end is passed 
and the other in the end with the standing part passed through it. 
No. 89(317 [1202] (from Sidaru) is of olive green, translucent jade, 6-1 

Fig. 163.— Jade whetstones. 

inches long, and shaped like the type, but chamfered only at the small 
end. The lanyard of seal thong is secured in the eye by a large round 
knot in one end. No. 89019 [837] (from Utkiavwin) is of bright green, 
translucent jade, 5-1 inches long, and unusually thick, its greatest diam- 
eter being 0-0 inch. The tip is gradually worked off to an oblique edge, 
and it has ornamental grooves running through the eye like No. 50002 

No. 89020 [805] (from Nuwiik) is shaped very much like the type, but 
has the tip tapered off almost to a point. It is of olive green, slightly 
translucent jade and is 7 inches long. The lanyard is a piece of sinew 




braid with the ends knotted together and the bight looped into the eye. 
A large sky-blue glass bead is slipped on over both parts of the lanyard 
and pushed up close to the loop. Fig. 163a (No. 89621 [757], from 
Utkiavwin) is very short and broad (3-6 inches by 0-6), is chamfered at 
both ends, and has the ornamental grooves at the eye. The material is 
a hard, opaque, bluish gray stone, veined with black. 

A whetstone of similar material was brought by Lieut. Stoney from 
Kotzebue Sound. The long lanyard is of sinew braid. Fig. 1636 (No. 
89622 [951], also from Utkiavwin) is a very small, slender whetstone, 
3-3 inches long, of dark olive green semitranslucent jade, polished. The 
tip is not chamfered, but tapers to a blunt point. It has the ornamental 
grooves at the eye. These are undoubtedly the " stones for making 
. . . whetstones, or these ready-made" referred to by Dr. Simpson 
(Op. cit., p. 266) as brought by the Nunataiiiniuu from the people of 

Fig. 164.— Wooden tool boxes. 

the " Ko-wak Eiver." A few such whetstones have been collected on 
other parts of the northwest coast as far south as the northern shore 
of Norton Sound. The broken whetstone mentioned above is of a 
beautiful bluish green translucent jade. Bits of stone are also used for 
whetstones, such as No. 89786 [1001/], which belong in Ilu'bw'ga's tool 
bag. They are two rough, oblong bits of hard dark gray slate, appar- 
ently split off a flat, weathered surface. 

Tool boxes and bags. — We collected six specimens of a peculiarly 
shaped long, narrow box, carved from a single block of wood, which we 
were informed were formerly used for holding tools. They have gone 
out of fashion at the present day, and there are but few of them left. 
No. 89860 [1152], Fig. 164«, represents the typical shape of this box. 
It is carved from a single block of pine. The cover is slightly hollowed 
on the under side and is held on by two double rings of twine (one of 
seal twine and the other of sinew braid), large enough to slip over the 



end. Each ring is made by doubling- a long piece of twine so that the 
two parts are equal, passing one end through the bight and knotting it 
to the other. The box and cover seem to have been painted inside and 
out with red ocher. On the outside this is mostly faded and worn off 
and covered with dirt, but inside it has turned a dark brown. Fig. 1046 
(No. 89858 [1319], from Utkiavwlfl,) is a similar box, 214 inches long. 
The cover is held on by a string passing over little hooked ivory studs 
close to the edge of tLe box. There were originally five of these studs, 
two at each end and one in the middle of one side. The string started 
from one of these studs at the pointed end. This stud is broken and 
the string fastened into a hole close to it. To fasten on the cover the 
string was carried over and hooked under the opposite stud, then 
crossed over the cover to the middle stud, then across to the end stud 
on the other side, and the loop on the end hooked onto the last stud. 

No. 89859 [1318] is a smaller box (19 inches long) of the same pat- 
tern, with only four studs. The cover has three large blue glass beads, 

Fig. 165. — Large wooden tool boxes. 

like those used for labrets, inlaid in a line along the middle. No. 89858 
[1144], from Utkiavwin, is the shape of the type, but has a thicker 
cover and six stud holes in the margin. No. 898G1 [1151], Fig. 165a, 
from the same place, is shaped something like a violin case, 22-2 inches 
long. The cover has been split and " stitched" together with whale- 
bone, and a crack in the broader end of the box has been neatly mended 
by pegging on, with nine little wooden treenails, a strap of reindeer 
antler of the same width as the edge and following the curve of its 
outline. There are four studs, two at each end. The string is made 
fast to one at the smaller end, carried over to the opposite one, then 
crossed to the opposite stud at the other end and back under the last 
one, a bight of the end being tucked under the string between the two 
last-mentioned studs. The string is made of sinew braid, rope-yarns, 
and a long piece of seal thong. It was probably at first all of sinew 




braid, and, gradually growing too short by being broken and knotted 
together again, was lengthened out with whatever came to hand. 

No. 89802 [1593], Fig. 165b, is a large box, of a very peculiar shape, 
best understood from the figure. The outside is much weathered, but 
appears to have been roughly carved, and the excavation of the box 
and cover is very rudely done, perhaps with a stone tool. A hole in the 
larger end is mended by a patch of wood chamfered off to fit the hole 
and sewed on round the edges with "over-and-over" stitches of whale- 
bone. The string is arranged in permanent loops, under which the 
cover can be slipped off and on. 

The arrangement, which is rather complicated, is as follows : On one 
side of the box, one-half inch from the edge and about 7 inches from 
each end, are two pairs of holes, one-half inch apart. Into each pair is 
fastened, by means of knots on the inside, a loop of very stout sinew 
braid, 3 inches long, and similar loops of seal thong, 5 inches long, are 

Fig. 166.— Tool bag of wolverine akin. 

fastened into corresponding pairs of holes on the other side. A piece 
of seal thong is fastened with a becket-hitch into the loop of seal thong 
at the small end of the box, passes through both braid loops on the 
other side, and is carried over through the loop of seal thong at the 
large end. The end of the thong is knotted into one of the pairs of 
holes left by the breaking away of a stitch at the edge of the wooden 
patch above mentioned. 

All these boxes are very old and were painted inside with red ocher, 
which has turned dark brown from age. Tools are nowadays kept in a 
large oblong, flat satchel, lkquxbwiil, which has an arched handle of 
ivory or bone stretched lengthwise across the open mouth. These bags 
are always made of skin with the hair out, and the skins of wolverines' 
heads are the most desired for this purpose. The collection contains 
four such bags. No. 89794 [1018], Fig. 100, is the type of these bags. 
The bottom of the bag is a piece of short-haired brown deerskin, with 



the hair out, pieced across the middle. The sides and ends are made of 
the skins of four wolverine heads, "without the lower jaw, cut off' at the 
nape and spread out and sewed together side by side with the hair out- 
ward and noses up. One head comes on each end of the hag and one 
on each side, and the spaces between the noses are filled out with gus- 
sets of deerskin and wolverine skin. A narrow strip of the latter is 
sewed round the mouth of the bag. The handle is of walrus ivory, 14 £ 
inches long and about one-half inch square. There is a vertical hole 
through it one-half inch from each end, and at one end also a trans- 
verse hole between this and the tip. One end of the thong which 
fastens the handle to the bag is drawn through this hole and cut off 
close to the surface. The other end is brought over the handle and 
down through the vertical hole and made fast with two half-hitches into 
a hole through the septum of the nose of the head at one end of the bag. 
The other end of the handle is fastened to the opposite nose in the same 
way, but the thong is secured in the hole by a simple knot in the end 
above. On one side of the handle is an unfinished incised pattern. 

JFig. 167. — Tool bag of wolverine skin. 

Fig. 1G7, No. 8977G [1004], is a similar bag, made of four wolverine 
heads with the lower jaws attached. The bottom is of stout leather 
without hah\ The mouth is tied up by a bit of thong passed through 
the nostrils of the two side heads so that it can spread open only 
about If inches. The handle is broad and flat, made of walrus ivory, 
and ornamented with an incised border on top. One end is broken and 
pieced out with reiudeer antler secured by a clumsy "fishing" of seal 
twine, which is passed through holes in the two parts. The pieces seem 
to have been riveted together as in the drill bow, No. 89777 [1004ft] (Fig. 
154), which belongs to this bag. There is a rivet still sticking in the 
antler. It is possible that the ivory may have broken in the process of 
riveting the two together. The handle has two vertical holes at each 
end for the thong, by which it is fastened to the end noses, both in the 




median line and joined by a short channel on top of the handle. This 
bag was the property of the Nunatafimiun Ilubw'ga, so frequently men- 
tioned, and was purchased with all its contents. 

These are two bow drills, one large and one small (Figs. 168a and 168&, 
Nos. 89778 and 89779 [1004a]); a drill bow (Fig. 154, No. 89777 [10046]); 
a mouthpiece (Fig. 155, No. 89787 [1004c]); a large 
crooked knife with a sheath (Fig. 114, No. 89780 
[1004d]); aflintflaker (No. 89752 [1004eJ); a comb for 
deerskins (Fig. 169, No. 89781 [1005]); a haircomb 
made of antler (No. 89785 [1006]); a fishhook (No. 

89783 [1007]); and a small seal harpoon head (No. 

89784 [1008]). 
No. 89796 [1118], from Nuwuk, is of rather unusual 

materials. The bottom is of brown 

reindeer skin and the sides and ends 

are the heads of two wolves and a red 

fox. The wolf heads meet on one side, 

and the fox head is put in between 

them on the other. The fox head has 

no lower jaw, and one wolf head has 

only the left half of the lower jaw. The 

vacant spaces around the mouth are 

filled by triangular gussets of wolf 

and reindeer skin. The eyeholes are 

patched on the inside with deerskin. 

It has no handle. No. 89795 [1309], the 

remaining bag, is of the usual pattern, but carelessly 

made of small pieces of deerskin, with a handle of 

coarse-grained whale's bone. It was probably made 

for sale. 

I have figured four handles of such bags to show 
the style of ornamentation. Fig. 170a (No. 89420 
[1111], from Nuwuk) has incised figures of men and 
reindeer on the back, once colored with ocher, of which 
traces can still be seen. This is perhaps a hunting score. (See remarks 
on this subject under "Bow drills.") Fig. 1706 (No. 89423 [996], from 
Utkiavwm) is a very elaborate haodle, with scalloped edges and fluted 
back, which is also ornamented with an incised pattern colored with 
red ocher. The other side is covered with series of the incised circles, 
each with a dot in the center, so frequently mentioned. Fig. 170c (No. 
89424 [890], from Nuwuk) has on the under side two rows of figures 
representing the flukes and "smalls" of whales. This is the specimen 
already mentioned, which the natives called an actual score. The series of 
twenty-six tails were said to be the record of old Yuksi'na (" Erksinra" of 
Dr. Simpson), the so-called "chief" at Nuwiik. All the above handles 
are of walrus ivory, and have been in actual use. Fig. 170c (No. 56513 

Fig. 169.— Comb for 
deerskins in the 
tool bag. 




168.— Drills belong 
g to the tool bag. 



[43], from Utkiavwifi) is a handle of different material (reindeer antler) 
and of somewhat different pattern. One end is neatly carved into an 
exceedingly accurate image of the head of a reindeer which has shed 

Fig. 170.— Bag handles. 

its antlers, with small blue beads inlaid for the eyes. The back of the 

handle is ornamented with an incised pattern colored with red ocher. 

We were told that such handles were sometimes fitted to the wooden 

buckets, but I never saw one so used. 
No. 89798 [1075], Fig. 171, is a bag of rather unusual pattern, the 

only one of the kind we saw. The bottom is a single round piece, 9 

inches in diameter, of what seems 
to be split skin of the bearded 
seal, flesh side out, and the rest 
of the bag is of white -tanned 
seal leather. The sides are of 
five broad pieces (6, 4£, 4, 5£, and 
5 inches broad at the bottom, re- 
spectively, narrowing to 2£, 1£, 
1J, 2, and 2J, respectively, at 
the top), alternating with five 
straight strips, respectively 1£, 
1, 1£, 1J, and 1^ inches broad. 
The edges of these strips overlap 
the edges of the broad pieces, 
and are neatly stitched with two 

Fig. 171— Bag of leather. 

threads, as on the soles of the waterproof boots. The outer thread, 
which is caught in the loop of each stitch of the other, is a slender fila- 
ment of black whale-bone. This produces a sort of embroidery. The 
neck is stitched to the bag with the same seam, but the hem at the 
mouth is merely "run" round with sinew. This bag was probably for 
holding small tools and similar articles. 





As would naturally be expected from what has been said of the 

peaceful character of these people, offensive weapons, specially intended 

for use against men, are exceedingly rare. In case 

of quarrels between individuals or parties the bows, 

spears, and knives intended for hunting or general 

use would be turned against their enemies. Even 

their rifles, nowadays, are kept much more for hunt- 
ing than as weapons of offense, and the revolvers of 

various patterns which many of them have obtained 

from the ships are chiefly carried when traveling back 

and forth between the two villages as a protection 

against a possible bear. We, however, obtained a 

few weapons which were especially designed for tak- 
ing human life. One of these was a little club 

(ti'glun) (No. 89492 [1310], Fig. 172, from Utkiavwm) 

made of the butt end of an old pickax head of whale's 

bone, with the point cut down to a blunt end. It is 

6-4 inches long and meant to be clenched in the 

hand like a dagger, and used for striking blows, prob- 
ably at the temple. The transverse grooves for haft- 

ing give a good hold for the fingers. This was the 

only weapon of the kind seen. 

We collected a single specimen of a kind of slung 

shot, No. 89472 [905J (Fig. 173), made 
of a roughly ovoid lump of heavy bone, 
the symphysis of the lower jaw of a 
walrus, 3£ inches long. At the smaller 
end two large holes are bored in 
obliquely so as to meet under the sur- 
face and form a channel through which 
is passed a slip of white seal skin about 
15 inches long, the ends of which 
fasten together with two slits, so as to 
make a loop. This may be compared 
with the stone balls used by the ancient 
Aleuts for striking a man on the temple. 
The commonest weapon of offense 
was a broad dagger made of a bone of 
the polar bear. This was said to be 
especially meant for killing a "bad 
man," possibly for certain specified 
offenses or perhaps in cases of insanity. 
fig. m.-siungshot made of walrus jaw. insane persons were sometimes killed 

in Greenland, and the act was considered "neither decidedly adiniSSi- 

FlG. 172.— Little hand- 




ble nor altogether unlawful." l The use ot bears' bones for these weapons 
points to some superstitious idea, perhaps having reference to the 
ferocity of the animal. We collected five specimens of these daggers, 
of which No. 80484 [767], Fig. 174, has been selected as the type. It is 
the distal end of the ulna of a polar bear, with the neck and condyles 
forming the hilt, and the shaft split so as to expose the medullary cavity 
and cut into a pointed blade. It is very old, blackened, and crumbling 
on the surface, and is a foot long. 

Fig. 175a, No. 89475 [988], from Nuwtik, is made of a straight splinter 
from the shaft of one of the long bones, 9f inches long. No. 89480 [1141], 
from Utkiavwin, has a roughly whittled hilt and a somewhat twisted 
blade, rather narrow, but widened to a sharp lanceolate point. 
It is 12 inches long. No. 89481 [1175], from the same place, 

has the roughly shaped hilt 

whipped with two turns of 

sinew. No. 89482 [1709], Fig. 

175&, also from Utkiavwin, is 

dirk-shaped, having but one 

edge and a straight back. 

The hilt, as before, is roughly 

sawed from the solid head of 

the bone. No. 89485 [965], 

Fig. 176, from Nuwiik, was 

also said to be a dagger, but 

could not have been a very 

effective weapon. It is of 

whale's bone, 5 inches long. 

It is rather rudely carved, 

old, and dirty, but the notches 

on the haft are newly cut. 
Dirks or daggers of bear's 

bone, like those described, 

are really rather formidable 

weapons, as it is easy to give 

the splinter of bone a very 

keen point. The Museum con- 
tains a bone dagger curiously 

like these Eskimo weapons, 

but made of the bone of the 
fig. 174.— Dagger of grizzly bear, and used by 

the Indians of the McCloud 

They believe that the peculiar shape of 
the point, having a hollow (the medullary cavity) on one face, like the 
Eskimo daggers, causes the Avound to bleed internally. 

bear's bone. 

River, northern California. 

Fig. 175. — Bone daggers. 

Riuk, Tales and Traditions, p. 35. 





Firearms. — When Dease and Simpson first met these people, in 1837, 
they had no firearms, but the next party of whites who came in contact 
with them (Pullen and Hooper, in 1849) found the "chief" in possession 
of an old shaky musket of English make, with the name "Barnett" on 
the lock. 1 Hooper believed this to be the gun lost by Sir John Frank- 
lin's party in 1826. 2 This gun was, however, often seen by the people 
of the Plover (in fact, Capt. Maguire kept it on board of the Plover for 
some time 3 ), and was found to have on the lock, besides the name "Bar- 
nett," also the date, "1843," so that of course it was not lost in 1826. 
Armstrong 4 also mentions seeing this gun, which, the natives told him, 
they had procured "from the other tribes to the south 
ward." In the summer of 1853 they began to purchase 
guns and ammunition from the eastern natives. Yuksina 
and two other men each bought a gun this year. 6 

As the whalers began to go to Point Barrow in 1854, 
the opportunity for obtaining firearms has been afforded 
the natives every year since then, so that they are now 
well supplied with guns, chiefly of American manufacture. 
That all their firearms have not been obtained from this 
source is probable from the fact they have still in their 
possession a number of smoothbore percussion guns, 
double and single barreled, of Eussian manufacture. 
They are all stamped in Eussian with the name of Tula, 
a town on the Oopa, 105 miles south of Moscow, which 
has received the name of the u Sheffield and Birmingham 
of Eussia," from its vast manufactory of arms, established 
by Peter the Great. These guns must have come from Fia . i76._so-caiied 
the "Nunataniniuu," who obtained them either from dagger of bone, 
the Siberian traders or from the Eussians at Norton Sound through 
the Malemiut. Both smoothbore and rifled guns are in general use. 
The smoothbores are of all sorts and descriptions, from an old flintlock 
musket to more or less valuable single and double percussion fowling- 
pieces. Three of the natives now (1883) have cheap double breechloaders 
and one a single breechloader (made by John P. Lovell, of Boston). 
Guns in general are called " cupufi," an onomatopoeic word in general 
use in western America, but many of the different kinds have special 
names. For instance, a double gun is called madro'lih (from madro, two). 
The rifles are also of many different patterns. The kind preferred by 
the natives is the ordinary Winchester brass-mounted 15-shot repeater, 
which the whalers and traders purchase cheaply at wholesale. This is 

1 Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 239. 

2 Franklin, 2d Exp., p. 148. In the hurry of leaving Barter Island ' ' ono of the crew of the Reliance 
left his gun and ammunition." 

3 See McClure's N. W. Passage, p. 390. 

4 Narrative, p. 109. 

6 Maguire, Further Papers, p. 907. 
9 ETH 13 


called akimiulifi ("that which has fifteen," sc, shots). The whalers are 
also in the habit of baying up all sorts of cheap or second-hand guns 
for the Arctic trade, so that many other kinds of gnus are also common. 
Of breechloaders, we saw the Sharpe's rifle, savigro'lifi (from a fancied 
resemblance between the crooked lever of this gun and the crooked 
knife, savigro'n); other patterns of Winchester; the Spencer repeater, 
kai'psualin (from kaipsi, cartridge); the peculiar Sharps-Hankins, once 
used in the U. S. Navy, and which was the favorite weapon of the rebel 
Boers in South Africa; the Peabody-Martini, made in America for the 
Turkish Government, marked on the rear sight with Turkish figures, 
and, exposed with a corpse at the cemetery, one English Snider. The 
regulation Springfield rifles belonging to the post, which were often 
loaned to the natives for the purpose of hunting, were called mfikpa- 
ra'lin (from multpara', book, referring to the breech action, which opens 
like a book). 

They formerly had very few muzzle-loading rifles, but of late years, 
since the law against trading arms to the natives has been construed 
to refer solely to breech-loading rifles, the whalers have sold them 
yager rifles, of the old U. S. Army pattern, Enfield rifles, ship's mus- 
kets with thd Tower mark on them, and a sort of bogus rifle made 
especially for trade, in imitation of the old-fashioned Kentucky rifle, 
but with grooves extending only a short distance from the muzzle. 
They of course depend on the ships for their supplies of ammunition, 
though the Nunatanmiun sometimes bring a few cartridges smuggled 
across from Siberia. They naturally are most desirous to procure 
cartridges for the rim-fire Winchester guns, as these are not intended 
to be used more than once. They have, however, invented a method of 
priming these rim-fire shells so that they can be reloaded. A common 
"G. D." percussion cap is neatly fitted into the rim of the shell by 
cutting the sides into strips which are folded into slits in the shell, 
a little hole being drilled under the center of the cap to allow the flash 
to reach the powder. This is a very laborious process, but enables the 
natives to use a rifle which would otherwise be useless. Such car- 
tridges reloaded with powder and home-made bullets — they have many 
bullet molds and know how to use them — are tolerably effective. Great 
care must be taken to insert the cartridge right side up, so that the 
cap shall be struck by the firing pin, which interferes with using the 
gun as a repeater. 

They are very careless with their rifles, allowing them to get rusty, 
and otherwise misusing them, especially by tiring small shot from them 
in the duck-shooting season. As a rule they are very fair shots with 
the rifle, but extremely lavish of ammunition when they have a sup- 
ply. The ouly economy is shown in reloading cartridges and in loading 
their shotguns, into which they seldom put a sufficient charge. In 
spite of this some of them shoot very well with the shotgun, though 
many of them show great stupidity in judging distance, firing light 

Murdoch.] FIREARMS BOWS. 195 

charges of shot at short rifle range (100 to 200 yards). Though they 
mold their own bullets, I have never known any of them to attempt 
making shot or slugs. This, which they call kakriira (little bullets, 
from kS/kru, originally meaning arrow and now used for bullet as well) 
is always obtained from the whites. The gun is habitually carried in a 
case or holster long enough to cover the whole gun, made of sealskin, 
either black-tanned or with the hair on the outside. This, like the 
bow case, from which it is evidently copied, is slung across the back 
by a thong passing round the shoulders and across the chest. 
This is the method universally practiced for carrying burdens of all 
sorts. The butt of the gun is on the right side, so that it can be easily 
slipped out of the holster under the right arm without unslinging it. 
Revolvers are also carried slung in holsters on the back in the same 
way. Ammunition is carried in a pouch slung over the shoulder. 
They are careless in handling firearms and ammunition. We knew two 
men who shot off the tip of the forefinger while filing cartridges which 
had failed to explode in the gun. 

Whaling guns. — In addition to the kinds of firearms for land hunting 
above described a number of the natives have procured from the 
whalemen, either by purchase or from wrecks, whaling guns, such as 
are used by the American whalers, in place of the steel lance for dis- 
patching the whale after it is harpooned. These are of various pat- 
terns, both muzzle and breech loading, and they are able to procure 
nearly every year a small supply of the explosive lances to be shot from 
them. They use them as the white men do for killing harpooned whales, 
and also, when the leads of open water are narrow, for shooting them as 
they pass close to the edge of the ice. 

Bows (pixi'lise). — In former times the bow was the only projectile 
weapon which these people possessed that could be used at a longer range 
than the "dart" of a harpoon. It was accordingly used for hunting 
the bear, the wolf, and the reindeer, for shooting birds, and in case of 
necessity, for warfare. It is worthy of note, in this connection, as 
showing that the use of the bow for fighting was only a secondary con- 
sideration, that none of their arrows are regular " war arrows" like those 
made by the Sioux or other Indians; that is, arrows to be shot with the 
breadth of the head horizontal, so as to pass between the horizontal 
ribs of a man. Firearms have now almost completely superseded the 
bow for actual work, though a few men, too poor to obtain guns, still use 

Every boy has a bow for a plaything, with which he shoots small 
birds and practices at marks. Very few boys, however, show any great 
skill with it. We never had an opportunity of seeing an adult shoot 
with the bow and arrow; but they have not yet lost the art of bow- 
making. The newest boys' bows are as skillfully and ingeniously con- 
structed as the old bows, but are of course smaller and weaker. The 
bow in use among these people was the universal sinew-backed bow of 


the Eskimo carried to its highest degree of efficiency. 1 It was of what 
I have called the "Arctic type/' namely, a rather short bow of spruce, 
from 43 to 52 inches in length, nearly elliptical in section, but flatter on 
the back than on the belly, and slightly narrowed and thickened at the 
handle. The greatest breadth was usually about 1£ inches and the 
thickness at the handle about three-fourths of an inch. The ends were 
often bent up as in the Tatar bow, and were sometimes separate pieces 
mortised on. Strength and elasticity was given to the brittle spruce 
by applying a number of strands of sinew to the back of the bow in 
such a way that drawing the bowstring stretched all these elastic cords, 
thus adding their elasticity to that of the wood. This backing was 
always a continuous piece of a three-ply braid of sinew, about the size 
of stout pack thread, and on a large bow often 40 or 50 yards long. It 
began, as on all Eskimo bows which I have been able to examine (ex- 

's & 

Fig. 177.— Boy's bow from TJtkiavwifi. 

cept those from St. Lawrence Island and the mainland of Siberia — 
my "western type"), with an eye at one end of the cord looped over 
one nock of the bow, usually the upper. The cord was then laid on the 
back of the bow in long strands running up and down and round the 
nocks, as usual on the other types of bow, but after putting on a num- 
ber of these, began running backward and forward between the bends 
(if the bow was of the Tatar shape), or between corresponding points 
on a straight bow, where they were fastened with complicated hitches 
around the bow in such a way that the shortest strands came to the 
top of the backing, which was thus made to grow thicker gradually 
toward the middle of the bow r , where the greatest strength and elas- 
ticity were needed. When enough strands had been laid on they 
were divided into two equal parcels and twisted from the middle into 
two tight cables, thus greatly increasing the tension to be overcome in 
drawing the bow. These cables being secured to the handle of the 
bow, the end of the cord was used to seize the whole securely to the 

This seizing and the hitches already mentioned served to incorporate 
the backing very thoroughly with the bow, thus equalizing the strain 
and preventing the bow from cracking. This made a very stiff and 
powerful bow, capable of sending an arrow with great force. We were 
told by a reliable native that a stone-headed arrow was often driven by 

1 See the writer's paper on the subject of Eskimo bows in the Smithsonian Keport for 1884, Part II, 
pp. 307-316. 





one of these bows wholly through a polar bear, "if there was no bone." 

Three bows only were obtained : One from Nuwtik, one from Utkiav- 

wifi (a lad's bow), and one from Sidaru. 

The bow from Utkiavwiii, No. 89904 [786] (Fig. 177), though small, 

is in some respects nearer the type than the other 

two, and has been selected for description. The body 

of the bow is a single piece of the heart of a log of 

spruce driftwood 36^ inches long, elliptical in section, 

flattened more on the back than on the belly. It is 

tapered to the nocks, which are small club-shaped 

knobs, and narrowed and thickened at the handle. 

The backing is of round three-ply braid of sinew in 

one continuous piece. The string is a round four-ply 

braid with a loop at each end, made by tying a single 

knot in the standing part, passing the end through 

this and taking a half hitch with it round the standing 

part (Fig. 178). The upper loop is a little the larger. 
No. 89245 [25] (Fig. 179), from Nuwiik, is a full- 
sized man's bow, which is old and 
has been long in use. It is of the 
same material, and is 47-3 inches 
long. Its greatest breadth is 1£ 

fig. i78.-Loop at end of inches, and it is 0-8 inch thick at 
bowstring. the handle ; It is s i iglltly narr owed 

and thinned off from the broadest part to about 6 
inches from each tip, and is then gradually thickened 
to the nocks and bent up so that the ends make an 
angle of about 45° with the bow when unstrung. The 
ends are separate pieces fitted on at the bends. The 
ends of the body are chamfered off laterally to a wedge 
which fits into a corresponding notch in the end piece, 
making a scarf 3J inches long, which is strengthened 
by a curved strap of antler, convex above and thick- 
est in the middle, fitting into the bend on the back. 
The joint is held together wholly by the backing. 

We never saw bows of this pattern made and con- 
sequently did not learn how the bending was accom- 
plished. The method is probably the same as that 
seen by Capt. Beechey in 1826, at Kotzebue Sound 
(Voyage, p. 575). The bow was wrapped in wet 
shavings and held over the fire, and then pegged 
down on the ground (probably on one side), into shape. A strip of raw- 
hide (the split skin of the bearded seal, with the grain side out), 1 inch 
wide, runs along the back from bend to bend under the backing. The 
chief peculiarity of this bow is the third cable, above the other two, and 
the great and apparently unnecessary complication of the hitches. 

Fig. 179.— Large bow from 




No. 72771 [234], from Sidaru (Fig. 180« and h), is a bow with bent 
ends like the last, but all in one piece and smaller. Its length is 43£ 
inches and its greatest breadth 1£. The backing has only two cables, 
and its chief peculiarity is in having the loose end of the last strand 
twisted into one of the cables, while the seizing, of the same pattern as 
in the last bow, is made of a separate piece. The workmanship of this 
bow is particularly neat, and it is further 
strengthened with strips of rawhide (the skin 
of the bearded seal, split), under the backing. 
The method of making the string is very inge- 
nious. It appears to have been made on the 
bow, as follows: Having the bow sprung back 
one end of a long piece of sinew twine was 
made fast temporarily to the upper nock, leaving 
an end long enough to finish off the bowstring. 
The other end was carried round the lower nock 
and the returning strand half-hitched round 
the first snugly up to the nock, and then carried 
round the upper nock and back again. This 
was repeated, each strand being half-hitched 
round all the preceding at the lower nock until 
there were eight parallel strands, and an eye 
fitted snugly to the lower nock. The bight was 
then slipped off the upper nock, the end untied 
and the whole twisted tight. This twisted 
string is now about 2 inches too long, so the 
Upper eye is made by doubling over 2 iuches 
of the end and stopping it down with the free 
end mentioned above, thus making a long eye 
of seven strands. With the end, six similar 
strands are added to the eye, each being 
stopped to the twist with a half hitch. The 
end is neatly tucked in and the strands of the 
eye twisted tightly together. 

In my paper on Eskimo bows, already men- 
tioned, I came to the conclusion that the bows 
formerly used by the Eskimo of western North 
America and the opposite coast of Asia were 
constructed' upon three well defined types of 
definite geographical distribution, and each easily recognized as a 
development of a simple original type still to be found in Baffin Land 
in a slightly modified form. These three types are: 

I. The Southern type, which was the only form used from the island 
of Kadiak to Cape Eomanzoff, and continued in frequent use as far as 
Norton Sound, though separated by no hard and fast line from 

II. The Arctic type, to which the bows just described belong, in use 

FlO. 180.— Liirgo bow from 


from the Kaviak peninsula to the Mackenzie and Anderson rivers; and 
III. The Western type, confined to St. Lawrence Island and the main- 
land of Siberia. 

I have shown how these three types differ from each other and from 
the original type, and have expressed the opinion that these differences 
result from the different resources at the command of the people of dif- 
ferent regions. I have also endeavored to account for the fact that we 
find sporadic examples of the Arctic type, for instance as far south as 
the Yukon, by the well known habits of the Eskimo in regard to trad- 
ing expeditions. 

Outside of the region treated in my paper above referred to, there 
is very little material for a comparative study of Eskimo bows, either 
in the Museum or in the writings of travelers. Most writers have con- 
tented themselves with a casual reference to some of the more salient 
peculiarities of the weapon without giving any detailed information. 
Beginning at the extreme north of Greenland, Ave find that the so-called 
"Arctic Highlanders" have hardly any knowledge of the bow. Dr. 
Kane saw none during his intercourse with them, but Dr. Bessels 1 men- 
tions seeing one bow, made of pieces of antler spliced together, in the 
possession of a man at Ita. In Danish Greenland, tbe use of the bow 
has been abaudoned for many years. When Crantz 2 wrote it had already 
gone out of use, though in Egede's 3 time it was still employed. It ap- 
pears to have been longer than the other Eskimo bows. Nordenskiold 4 
reproduces a picture of a group of Greenlanders from an old painting 
of the date of 1654 in the Ethnographical Museum, of Copenhagen. The 
man holds in his left hand a straight bow, which appears to have the 
backing reaching only part way to the ends like a western bow without 
the end cables, and yet twisted into two cables. If this representation 
be a correct one, this arrangement of the backing, taken in connection 
with what Crantz and Egede say of the great length of the bow, would 
be an argument in favor of my theory that the St. Lawrence Island 
bow was developed from the primitive form by lengthening the ends of 
the bow without lengthening the backing. The addition of the end 
cables would then be an after invention, peculiar to the western bow. 
In Baffin Land the bow is very rudely made, and approaches very closely 
to my supposed primitive form. Owing to the scarcity of wood in this 
region the bow was frequently made of reindeer antler, a substance still 
more unsuitable for the purpose than the soft coniferous woods used 
elsewhere. There are in the Museum three specimens of such antler 
bows, brought from Cumberland Gulf by Mr. Kamlien. 

'Naturalist, vol 8, STo. 9, p. 869. 

2 "In former times they made use of bows for land game; they were made of soft fir, a fathom in 
length, and to make it the stitfer it was bound round with whalebone or sinews." History of Green- 
land, vol. 1, p. 146. 

3 "Their Bow is of an ordinary Make, commonly made of Fir Tree, . . . and on the Back 
strengthened with Strings made of Sinews of Animals, twisted like Thread." " The Bow is a good 
fathom long." Greenland, p. 101. 

4 Voyage of the Vega, vol. 1, p. 41. 


The first mention of the Eskimo bow with sinew backing will be found 
in Frobisher's account of his visit to Meta Incognita in 1577 1 1 "Their 
bowes are of wood of a yard long, sinewed on the back with strong 
sinewes, not glued too, but fast girded and tyed on. Their bowe strings 
are likewise sinewes." 

Of the bow used at the straits of Fury and Hecla we have a most 
excellent figure in Parry's Second Voyage (PI. opposite p. 550, Fig. 22), 
and the most accurate description to be found in any author. It is, in 
fact, as exact a description as could be made from an external examina- 
tion of the bow. From the figure the bow appears to have been almost 
of the arctic type, having an unusual number of strands (sometimes 
sixty, p. 511) which are not, however, twisted, but secured with a spiral 
wrapping, as on southern bows. The backing is stopped to the handle, 
but not otherwise seized. It appears to have been rather a large bow, 
as Parry gives the length of one of their best bows, made of a single 
piece of fir, as "4 feet 8 inches" (p. 510). "A bow of one piece is, 
however, very rare ; they generally consist of from two to five pieces 
of bone of unequal lengths, fastened together by rivets and treenails" 
(p. 511). Parry also speaks of the use of wedges for tightening the 
backing. Schwatka 2 speaks of the Netyllik of King Williams Land as 
using bows of spliced pieces of musk-ox horn or driftwood, but gives 
no further description of them. Ellis 3 describes the bow in use at Hud- 
son's Strait in 1746 as follows : 

Their greatest Ingenuity is shown in the Structure of their Bows, made commonly 
of three Pieces of Wood, each making a part of the same Arch, very nicely and exactly 
joined together. Tbey are commonly of Fir or Larch, which the English there call 
Juniper, and as this wants Strength and Elasticity, they supply both by bracing the 
Back of the Bow with a kind of Thread or Line made of the Sinew of their Deer, and 
the Bowstring of the same material. To make them draw more stiffly, they dip them 
into Water, which causes both the Back of the Bow and the String to contract, and 
consequently gives it the greater force. 4 

Ellis's figure (plate opposite p. 132) shows a bow of the Tatar shape, 
but gives no details of the backing, except that the latter appears to be 

We have no published descriptions of the bows used in other regions. 

As far as I have been able to ascertain, the practice of backing the 
bow with cords of sinew is peculiar to the Eskimo, though some Ameri- 
can Indians stiffen the bow by gluing flat pieces of sinew upon the 

One tribe of Indians, the "Loucheux" of the Mackenzie district, 
however, used bows Uke those of the Eskimos, but Sir Alexander Mac- 
kenzie 5 expressly states that these were obtained from the Eskimo. 

1 Hakluyt's Voyages, 1589, p. 628. 

2 Science, vol. 4 , 98, p. 543. 

3 Voyage to Hudson's Bay, p. 138. 

4 Compare what I have already said about the backing being put on wet. 

6 Voyages from Montreal . . . to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans, p. 48. 


Arrows. — With these bows were used arrows of various patterns 
adapted for different kinds of game. There are in the collection fifty-one 
arrows, which are all about the same length, 25 to 30 inches. In describ- 
ing these arrows I shall employ the terms used in modern archery 1 for 
the parts of the arrow. The greatest variation is in the shape and size 
of the pile. The stele is almost always a straight cylindrical rod, 
almost invariably 0-4 inch in diameter, and ranging in length from 20 
to 28 inches. Twenty-five inches is the commonest length, and the 
short steles, when not intended for a boy's bow, are generally fitted 
with an unusually long pile. From the beginning of the feathering the 
stele is gradually flattened above and below to the nock, which is a 
simple notch almost always 0-2 inch wide and of the same depth. The 
stele is sometimes slightly widened just in front of the nock to give a 
better hold for the fingers. The feathering is G or 7 inches long, con- 
sisting of two, or less often, three feathers. (The set of sixteen arrows 
from Sidaru, two from Nuwtik, and one from Utkiavwifi, have three 
feathers. The rest of the fifty-one have two.) The shaft of the feather 
is split and the web is cut nar- 
row, and tapered off to a point 
ateachend(Fig.lSl). The ends 
of the feathers are fastened to 

the Stele With Whippings of fine FlG - 181— Feathering of the Eskimo arrow. 

sinew, the small end of the feather which, of course, comes at the nock, 
being often wedged into a slit in the wood (with a special tool to be 
described below), or else doubled back over a few turns of the whip- 
ping and lashed down with the rest. The small end of the feather is 
almost always twisted about one turn, evidently to make the arrow 
revolve in flight, like a rifle ball. Generally, if not universally, the 
feathering was made of the feathers of some bird of prey, falcon, eagle, 
or raven, probably with some notion of giving to the arrow the death- 
dealing quality of the bird. Out of the fifty-one arrows in the collec- 
tion, only nine are feathered with gull's feathers, and of these all but 
two are new, or newly feathered for sale to us. 2 Dr. Simpson 3 says that 
in his time "feathers for arrows and head-dresses," probably the eagles' 
feathers previously mentioned, were obtained in trade from the "Nuna- 

Four kinds of arrows were used: the bear, arrow, of which there were 
three varieties, the deer arrow, the arrow for geese, gulls, and other large 
fowl, and the blunt headed arrow for killing small birds without man- 
gling them. 

1 Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, article Archery. 

2 On this subject of using the feathers of birds of prey for arrows, compare Crantz, History of Green- 
land, i, p. 146, "the arrow . . . winged behind with a couple of raven's feathers." Bessels, 
Naturalist, vol.18, pt. 9, p. 869 (the three arrows at Ita had raven's feathers). Parry, 2d Voyage, p. 
511, " Toward the opposite end of the arrow are two feathers, generally of the spotted owl, not very 
neatly lashed on;" and Kunilien, Contributions, p. 37, "The feather-vanes were nearly always made 
from the primaries of Strix scandiaca or Graculus carbo." The last is the only mention I find of using 
any feathers except those of birds of prey. 

3 0p.cit.,p.266. 



Bear arrows. — These are of three kinds, all having a broad, sharp pile, 
often barbed. The first kind has a pile of flaked flint, called kuki ("claw" 
or "nail"), and was known as knki'ksadlin ("provided or fitted with claw 
material"). Of this kind we have eight complete arrows and one shaft. 

No. 89240 [25], Fig. 182, will serve as the type. The pile is of black 
flint, double edged and sharp pointed, 2 inches long, with a short tang 
inserted into a cleft in the end of the stele, and secured by a whipping 
of about fifteen turns of fine sinew. The stele is of spruce, 25J inches 




ft > 


Fig. 182.— Flint-headed arrow (kukiksadlfii). 

long and four-tenths inch in diameter, and painted with red ocher from 
the feathering to 5 inches from the pile. The three feathers, apparently 
those of the gyrfalcon, have their ends simply whipped to the stele. 
They are inches long. This is one of the two arrows 
from Nuwiik with three feathers. 

No. 72780 [234 a], from Sidaru, is feathered with three 
^f§| niveii feathers, of which the small ends are wedged into 
slits in the wood. The pile is of brown jasper, long and 
lancet-tipped, expanding into rounded wings at each 
side of the base. The stele is peculiar 
only in being slightly widened in front 
of the nock. It is of pine, 26-8 inches 
long, and painted with two rings, one 
red and one green, at the middle of the 

The only variations of importance in 
these arrows are in the shape of the pile, 
which is made of black or gray flint, or 
less often of jasper, mostly variegated, 
brown and gray. There are four pat- 
terns to be found in the series of eight 
arrows and twenty-two stone piles. The 
first is long and narrow, like No. 56704 
[232], Fig. 183, from Utkiavwin, which 
is of gray flint. The next is similar in 
shape, but shorter, as shown in Fig. 182 (No. 89240 [25], 
from Nuwuk), which is only 2 inches long, exclusive of 
the tang. The third pattern, which is less common than 
the others, is about the size of the last, but rhomboidal 
in shape (Fig. 184, No. 50091c [04c], from Utkiavwin, of 
dark grayish brown flint, rather coarsely flaked). The 
fourth kind is very short, being not over 1£ inches, including the half- 
inch tang, but is 1 


Fig. 184.— Short flint 


Fig. 183.— Long 


inch broad, thick and convex on both faces. It is 
triangular, with a square base and curved edges (Fig. 185, No. 50702& 
[113/>J, from Utkiavwin, newly made for sale). 




No stone arrow or dart heads made by these people have anything 
like barbs except the square shoulders at the base. They seem never 
to have attained to the skill in flint-working which 
enabled many other savages to make the beautiful 
barbed heads so often seen. To keep the flint-beaded 
arrow from dropping out of the wound they hit upon 
the contrivance of mounting it not directly in the stele 
but in a piece of bone upon which barbs could be cut, 
or, as is not unlikely, having already the deer arrow 
with the barbed head of antler, they added the flint 
head to this, thus combining the penetration of the 
flint arrow with the holding power of the other. I 
was at first inclined to think that this piece of bone 
bore the same relation to the rest of the arrow as the fore shaft of 
many Indian arrows, and was to be considered as part of the stele. 
Considering, however, that its sole function is to furnish the pile with 
barbs, it evidently must be considered as part of the latter. I shall 
designate it as "after-pile." Arrows with this barbed " after-pile " form 

Fig. 185.— Heart-shaped 
flint pile. 





Fig. 186.— Arrows : (a) Arrow with "after-pile'' (ipudligadlifi) ; (6) arrow with iron pile (savidlin; 
(c) arrow with iron pile (savidlin) ; (d) arrow with copper pile (savidlin) ; (c) deer-arrow (nutkodllfi). 

the second kind of bear arrows, which are called ipudli'gadlifi ("having 
the ipu'dlige" [Gr. ipuligak, the similar bone head of a seal lance with 
iron tip]). After the introduction of iron, metal piles sometimes re- 
placed the flint in arrows of this kind. We collected eight with flint 
and two with metal piles. No. 72787 [23-ia j, Fig. 186a, has been selected 
to illustrate this form of arrow. This pile is of gray flint with the tang 
wedged by a slip of sealskin into the tip of the after-pile, which is 
cleft to receive it and kept from splitting by a whipping of sinew. 
The after-pile is fitted into the tip of the stele with a rounded sharp- 
pointed tang, slightly enlarged just above the tip. It is of reindeer 


antler. The rest of the arrow does not differ from those previously 
described. The stele is of pine and is feathered with three gyrfalcon 

Two others from Sidaruhave only a single barb on the after-pile, but 
the ether four have two, one behind the other on the same side. No. 
89237 [164], from Utkiavwiii, differs in no respect from the single-barbed 
flint arrows from Sidarn,but No. 72763 [164], from the same village, has 
four small barbs on the after-pile, which is unusually (nearly 7 inches) 
long, and a pile of sheet brass. This has the basal angles on each side 
cut into three small, sharp, backward-pointing teeth. The total length 
of this arrow is 28 inches. 

The after-piles of all arrows except one were of reindeer antler, which 
is another reason for supposing that this form of arrow is a modification 
of the deer arrow. After the introduction of iron, this metal or copper 
was substituted for the flint pile of the kuki'ksadliil, making the third 
and last form of bear arrow, the sa'vidlih ("fitted with iron"). This 
arrow differs from the others only in the form of the pile, which is gen- 
erally broad and flat, and either rhomboidal, with the base cut into 
numerous small teeth, or else triangular, with a shank. The barbs are 
usually bilateral. 

No. 72758 [25], from Nuwiik, represents the first form. The pile is 
of iron, rough and flat, 2£ inches long. No. 72770 [2416], from Utki- 
avwiii, is of the same form. No. 72760 [165], Fig. 186c, from Utkiavwiii, 
has a similar pile 3*3 inches long, but has each of the under edges cut 
into four sharp, backward-pointing teeth. No. 72778 [2346], Fig. 186r7, 
has a pile of sheet copper 2-3 inches long, of the same shape, but with six 
teeth. This arrow came from Sidaru. No. 72765 [25], from Nuwuk, is a 
long, narrow iron pile with three bilateral barbs, all simple. 

Nos. 72755 [25], from Nuwuk, 72759 [25], also from Nuwiik, and 72764 
[165], from Utkiavwiii, show the shanked form. The first is triangular, 
with a flat shank and a simple barb at each angle of the base. It is of 
steel (piece of a saw) and 2-8 inches long. The second resembles No. 
72760 [165], with more teeth, mounted on a slender cylindrical shank 1J 
inches long. It is of iron and 3-9 inches long. The third is a long pile 
with a sinuate outline and one pair of simple bilateral barbs, and a flat 
shank one-half inch long. Nos. 72757 [25] (Fig. 1866) and 72762 [25], both 
from Nuwiik, are peculiar in being the only iron-pointed arrows with un- 
ilateral barbs. Thepiles are made of the two blades of a pair of large scis- 
sors, cut off at the point, with enough of the handle left to make a tang. 
The unilateral barb is filed out on the back of the blade, which has been 
beveled down on both faces to a sharp edge. All of these broadheaded 
arrows have the breadth of the pile at right angles to the plane of the 
nock, showing that they are not meant to fly like the Sioux war arrows. 
Although iron makes a better material for arrow piles and is more 
easily worked than flint, the quivers which some men still carry at Point 
Barrow contain flint as well as iron headed arrows. They are probably 


kept in use from the superstitious conservatism already mentioned. It 
is certain that the man who raised a couple of wolf cubs foi the sake of 
their fur was obliged by tradition to have a flint-headed arrow to kill 
them with. These arrows, we were informed, were especially designed 
for hunting " na'nu, " the polar bear, but of course they also served for 
use against other dangerous game, like the wolf and brown bear, and 

Fig. 187.— Pile of deer arrow (nutk&n). 

there is no reason to believe that they were not also shot at reindeer, 
though the hunter would naturally use his deer arrows first. 

Deer arrows have a long trihedral pile of antler from 4 to 8 inches 
long, with a sharp thin-edged point slightly concaved on the faces like 
the point of a bayonet. Two of the edges are rounded, but the third is 
sharp and cut into one or more simple barbs. Behind the barb 
the pile takes the form of a rounded shank, ending in a shoulder 
and a sharp rounded tang a little enlarged above the point. 

No. 72768 [162], Fig. 186e from TJtkiavwin, has a pile 3£ inches 
long with two barbs. The pile of No. 89238 [162] from the same 
village is 3J inches long and has but one barb, while that of 
No. 89241rt [162] is 7-8 inches long and has three barbs. The 
rudely incised figure on the shank of No. 89238 [162] represents 
a wolf, probably a talisman to make the arrow as fatal to the 
deer as the wolf is. No. 56588 [13], Fig. 187, is a pile for one of 
these arrows slightly peculiar in shape, being elliptical in sec- 
tion, with one edge sharp and two-barbed and a four-sided point. 
The figure shows well the shape of the tang. The peculiarity 
of these arrows is that the pile is not fastened to the shaft, but 
can easily be detached. 1 When such an arrow was shot into a 
deer the shaft would easily be shaken out, leaving the sharp 
barbed pile in the wound. 

The Eskimo told us that a deer wounded in this way would 
" sleep once and die," meaning, apparently, that death would 
ensue in about twenty-four hours, probably from peritonitis. 
The bone pile is called nu'tkan, whence comes the name of the 
arrow, nu'tko'dlm. We collected ten arrows and three piles of 
this pattern. No. 89460 [1263], Fig. 188, is a peculiar bone arrow 'Z 
pile, perhaps intended for a deer arrow. It is 7 inches long and Fl »- 18 8— 
made of one of the long bones of some large bird, split length- aii fi »™ r ! 
wise so that it is rounded on one side and deeply concave on row P° e - 
the other, with two thin rounded edges tapered to a sharp point. Each 

•Compare the passage in Frobisher's Second Voyage (Hakluyt, 1589, p. 628). After describing the 
different forms of arrowheads used by the Eskimo of "Meta Incognita" (Baffin Land) in 1577 he 
says: "They are not made very fast, hut lightly tyed to, or else set in a nooke, that upon small occa- 
sion the arrowo leaveth these heads behind them." 



edge has three little barbs about the middle of the pile. This was the 
only arrowhead of the kind seen at Point Barrow, and the native who 
sold it said it was a "Kuhmud'lin" arrow. I was pleased to find the 
truth of this corroborated by the Museum collection. There are two 
arrows from the Mackenzie region (Nos. HOG and 1900) with bone piles 
of almost the same form. 

For shooting gulls, geese, and other large fowl they used an arrow 
with a straight polygonal pile of walrus ivory, 5 or inches long and about 
one-half inch in diameter, terminating in a somewhat obtuse polygonal 
point, and having one or more unilateral barbs. These piles are gener- 
ally five-sided, though sometimes trihedral, and have a long, rounded 
tang inserted into the end of the shaft. Fig. 189a (No. 89349 [119] 
from Utkiavwin), represents one of these arrows with a 
five-sided pile 5-5 inches long, with four simple barbs. 
The rest of the arrow does not differ from the others de- 
scribed. No. 89238 [25], from Nuwuk, has a trihedral pile 
6-6 inches long, with a single barb. Another from Nuwuk 
(No. 89241 [25]) has a trihedral pile 5-3 inches long, with 
two barbs, and one from Utkiavwin (No. 89241 [119]) has 
a five-sided pile with three barbs. The remaining three, 
from Sidaru, all have five-sided piles with one barb. 

Arrows of this pattern are called tuga'lih (from tu'ga, 
walrus ivory). There are also'in the collection two small 
arrows of this pattern suited for a boy's bow. They are 
only 25 inches long, and have roughly trihedral sharp- 
pointed ivory piles about 4 inches long, without barbs. 
(No. 89904« [780] from Utkiavwin). These arrows are new 
and rather carelessly made, and were intended for the 
lad's bow (No. 89904 [780]) already described. The three 
kinds of arrows which have been described all have the 
pile secured to the stele by a tang fitting into a cleft or 
hole in the end of the latter, which is kept from splitting 
by whipping it with sinew for about one-half inch. 

The fourth kind, the blunt bird arrow (ki'xodwain), on 

the other hand, has the pile cleft to receive the wedge- 

shaped tip of the stele and secured by a whipping of sinew. 

fig. 189.— Arrows : The four arrows of this kind ill the collection are almost 

(tugaiifi) i (6) exactly alike, except that three of them, belonging to the 

bird anw (ldx- se ^ f rom si f i aru? have three feathers. Fig. 1896, No. 72773 

[234c] from Sidaru represents the form of arrow. The pile 

is of hard bone 2-3 inches long. A little rim at each side of the butt 

keeps the whipping of sinew from slipping off. The rest of the arrow 

differs from the others described only in having the end of the stele 

chamfered down to a wedge-shaped point to fit into the pile. 

This is the kind of arrow mostly used by the boys, whose game is 
almost exclusively small birds or lemmings. Nowadays the bone pile 



mdbdoch.] ARROWS ARROW RELEASE. 207 

is often replaced by an empty cartridge shell, which makes a very good 
head. I have seen a phalarope transfixed at short range by one of these 
cartridge-headed arrows. An assortment of the different kind of arrows 
is usually carried in the quiver. The lot numbered 25, from Nuwuk, 
which I believe to be a fairly average set, contains two flint-headed 
bear arrows, one barbed bear arrow with a steel pile, six bear arrows 
with iron piles, one deer arrow, two fowl arrows, and one bird arrow. 

As I have already .said, all these arrows are flattened above and below 
at the nocks. This indicates that they were intended to be held to the 
string and let go after the manner of what is called the " Saxon release," 
namely, by hooking the ends of the index and second fingers round the 
string and holding the arrow between them, the string being released 
by straightening the fingers. This is the " release" which we actually 
saw employed both by the boys and one or two men who showed us how 
to draw the bow. This method of release has been observed at Cum- 
berland Gulf 1 and at East Cape, Siberia, and is probably universal 
among the Eskimo, as all the Eskimo arrows in the National Museum 
are fitted for this release. There is ample material in the Museum col- 
lections for a comparative study of Eskimo arrows, which I hope some 
day to be able to undertake, when the material is in a more available 
condition. One or two references to other regions will not, however, be 
out of place. The arrow with a barbed bone after-pile seems a very 
general form, being represented in the Museum from most of the 
Alaskan regions, as well as from the Mackenzie. Scoresby mentions 
finding the head of one of these at the ancient settlements in east 
Greenland. 2 The arrow, however, described by Capt. Parry 3 has a real 
foreshaft of bone, not a barbed after pile. One of these arrows from 
the Mackenzie has the after pile barbed on both sides, the only instance, 
I believe, in the Museum of a bilaterally-barbed Eskimo arrow where 
the pile is not wholly of metal. 

Bow cases and quivers. — The bow and arrows were carried in a bow 
case and quiver of black sealskin, tied together side by side and slung 
across the back in the same manner as the gun holster already de- 
scribed. We obtained one case and quiver which belong with the bow 
and arrows (No. 25, from Nuwilk) and a single quiver with the bow and 
arrows (So. 234, from Sidaru.) The case, No. 89245 [25], Fig. 190a 
(pizi'ksizax), is of such a shape that the bow can be carried in it strung 
and ready for use. It is made by folding lengthwise a piece of black 
sealskin with the flesh side in and sewing ftp one side "over and over" 
from the outside. The bag is wide enough — 6 inches at the widest 
part — to allow the bow to slip in easily when strung, and the small end 

1 "In shooting this weapon the string is placed on the first joint of the first and second fingers of the 
right hand." (Kumlien, Contributions, p. 37.) 

"Beim Spannen wird der Pfeil nicht zwisehen Damnen und Zeigefinger, sondern zwisehen Zeige- und 
Mittelfinger gehalten," Krause Brothers, Geographische Blatter, vol. 5, p. 33. 

'Voyage to the Northern Whale Fishery, p. 187. 

3 2d Voyage, p. 511, and figured with the bow (22) on PI. opposite p. 550. 



is bent up into the shape of the end of the bow. Along the folded edge 
are three round holes about 10 inches apart, through which a round 
stick was formerly thrust, coming out from the inside through the first 
hole, in through the second and out through the third again. This 
served to hold the case in shape when the bow was withdrawn, and to 
its ends were fastened the thong for slinging it across the shoulders. It 
was gone from the specimen before we obtained it. 

The quiver (No. 89240-1 [25], Fig. 1906) is a long, straight bag of the 
same material, open at one end, with a seam down one side, and the 

i m 



■m : 

Fig. 190. — Bow case and quivers. 

edge of the month opposite to the seam forming a rounded flap 2 inches 
long. The other end is closed by an elliptical cap of white tanned seal 
skin, turned up about 2 inches all round, and crimped round the ends 
like a boot sole. Its extreme length is 30 inches, and its circumference 
1 foot. Inside along the seam is a roughly rounded rod of wood about 
£ inch in diameter, with one end, which is pointed, projecting about 1£ 
inches" through a hole in the bottom, and the other projecting about 1 




inch beyond the mouth, where it is secured by a bit of thong knotted 
through a couple of small holes in the bag close to the edge and pass- 
ing round a notch on the stick. The stick serves to stiffen the quiver 
when there are no arrows in it. A bit of thong is knotted round the 
middle, one end being hitched into a loop on the other, 
for tightening up the quiver and confining the arrows. 

The quiver from Sidaru (No. 72788 [234] Fig. 190c) is 
like the preceding, but larger at the bottom than at the 
mouth. The latter is 8£ inches in circumference and the 
former 12f , and the seam is left open for abont 7£ inches 
from the mouth to facilitate getting at the arrows. The 
stiffening rod is made of pine, and does not project through 
the bottom or reach the edge of the mouth. It is held in 
by two pieces of thong about 10 inches long, which also 
serve to fasten it to the bow case. This quiver is nearly 

It is probable that the form of the bow case and quiver 
varied but little, among the American Eskimo at least. 
Those figured by Capt. Lyon 1 are almost exactly like the 
ones we collected at 
Point Barrow, even 
to the crimped cap 
on the bottom of the 
quiver. A similar set 
belong with a lad's 
bow in the Museum 

from Point Hope (No. 63611). Nordenskiold, however, 
figures a very elaborate flat quiver, 2 in use at Pitlekaj, 
which is evidently of genuine Asiatic origin. 

Some pains seem to have been bestowed on ornament- 
ing the quiver in former times, when the bow was in more 
general use. Fig. 191, No. 56505 [231], from Nuwtik, rep- 
resents what we understood had been a stiffening rod for 
a quiver or bow case. It is of reindeer antler, 17 inches 
long, and one end is very neatly carved into the head and 
shoulders of a reindeer, with small, blue glass beads in- 
serted for the eyes. The lanceolate point at the tip was 
probably made with an idea of improving it for sale. The 
hole at the back of the neck is for a thong to fasten it on 
with. A similar reindeer head of antler, Fig. 192, No. 
89449 [1066], also from Nuwuk, seems to have been a cap for a quiver 
stick. The back of the neck makes a half-ferrule, in which are three 
holes for rivets or treenails. 
Bracers. — In shooting the bow, the wrist of the bow hand was pro- 

Fig. 192. —Cap for quiver rod. 


Fig. 19] .—Quiver 

9 ETH- 

1 Parry's 2d Voyage, PI. opposite p. 550, Fig. 24, 
2 Vega, vol. 2, p. 106. 




Fig. 193.— Bracer. 

pose except ornament. 

tected from being chafed by the bowstring by a small shield or "bracer" 
of bone or horn, strapped on with a thong-. We never saw these in use, 

as the bow is so seldom employed except by 
the children. Two of these, newly made, 
were offered for sale. I will describe one of 
these, No. 89410& [1233], Fig. 193. 

It is of pale yellow mountain sheep horn, 
convex on the outer face and concave on the 
inner and considerably arched lengthwise. 
In the middle are two straight longitudinal 
narrow slots, which serve no apparent pur- 
The short slot near the edge at the middle of 
each side, however, is for the thongs which strap the bracer to the wrist. 
One of these is short and made into a becket by fastening the ends 
together with double slits. One end of the other is passed through 
the slot, slit, and the other end passed through this and drawn taut. 
A knot is tied on the free end. This thong is just long enough to fasten 
on the bracer by passing round the wrist and catching the knot in the 
loop opposite, The other, No. 89410«. [1233], is like this, but 1 inch 
shorter and nearly flat, The arch of the specimen figured is probably 
unintentional and due to the natural shape of the material, as it does 
not fit well to the wrist. It is probable that these 
people used a flat bracer, as Fig. 194, No. 89350 
[1382], from Utkiavwifi, is apparently such an im- 
plement. It is a thin elliptical plate of hard bone, 
2£ inches long and H wide, with two rows of holes 
crossing at right angles in the middle, The holes 
at the side were probably for the thong and the 
others for ornament, as some of them go only part 
way through. Four small pebbles are lodged in the 
four holes around the center in the form of a cross. 
Mr. Nelson collected several specimens of bracers 
from Kotzebue Sound and St. Lawrence Island. 
These are all slightly larger than our specimens, 
and bent round to fit the wrist. They are of bone 
or copper. When Beechey visited Kotzebue Sound, 
in 1826, he found the bracer in general use, 1 I find 
no other mention of this implement in the writers who have described 
the Eskimo. 

Bird darts. — For capturing large birds like ducks or geese, sitting 
on the water, especially when they have molted their wing feathers so 
as to be unable to escape by flight, they use the universal Eskimo 
weapon, found from Greenland to Siberia, namely, a dart with one or 
more points at the tip, but carrying a second set of three ivory prongs 

1 ' ' They buckle on a piece of ivory, called mun-era, about 3 or 4 inches long, hollowed out to the wrist, 
or a guard made of several pieces of ivory or wood fastened together like an iron-holdor." Voyage, 
p. 575. 

Fig. 194.— Bracer of bono. 




in a circle round the middle of the shaft. The object of these prongs is 
to increase the chance of hitting the bird if he is missed 
by the head of the dart. They always curve forward, 
so that the points stand out a few inches from the 
shaft, and are barbed on the inner edge in such a way 
that, though the neck of a fowl will easily pass in be- 
tween the prong and the shaft, it is impossible to draw 
it back again. The weapon is in very general use at 
Point Barrow, and is always thrown from the boat with 
a handboard (to be described below). It can be darted 
with considerable accuracy 20 or 30 yards. We seldom 
saw this spear used, as it is chiefly employed in catch- 
ing molting fowl, in the summer season, away from the 
immediate neighborhood of the station. It is called 
nuia'kpai, which is a plural referring to the number 
of points, one of which is called nuia'kpnk ("the great 

nuiak")- 1 

No. 89244 [1325], Fig. 195, from TTtkiavwm, has been 
selected as the type of this weapon. The shaft is of 
spruce, 61£ inches long and 0-7 inch in diameter at the 
head. The end of the butt is hollowed out to fit the 
catch of the throwing board. The head, of white wal- 
rus ivory, is fitted into the cleft end of the shaft with 
a wedge-shaped tang as broad as the shaft. The head 
and shaft are held together by a spaced lashing of 
braided sinew. To the enlargement of the shaft, 22 
inches from the butt, are fastened three curved prongs 
of walrus ivory at equal distances from each other 
round the shaft. The inner side of each prong is cut 
away obliquely for about 2 inches, so that when this 
edge is applied to the shaft, with the point of the prong 
forward, the latter is about 1 inch from the shaft. Each 
prong has two little ridges on the outside, one at the 
lower end and the other about 1 inch above this. They 
are secured to the shaft by three separate lashings of 
sinew braid, two narrow ones above the ridges just 
mentioned and one broad one just below the barb. In 
making this the line is knotted round one prong, then 
carried one-third of the distance round the shaft to the 
prong; half hitched round this, and carried round next 
the next prong; half hitched round this, and carried 
round to the starting point, and half hitched round 

1 This word appears to be a diminutive of the Greenlandic nuek — nuik, now 
used only in the plural, nugfit, for the spear. These changes of name may rep- 
resent corresponding changes in the weapon in former times, since, unless we 
may suppose that the bird dart was made small and called the. 'little nuik," 
and enlarged again after the meaning of the name was forgotten, it is hard to see any sense in the 
present name, "big little nuik." 


-Jiird dart. 



this. It goes around in this way seven times, and then is carried one 
prong farther, half hitched again, and the end taken down and made 
fast to the first narrow lashing. The shaft is painted with red ocher 
to within 13i inches (the length of the throwing board) from the butt. 
This is an old shaft and head fitted with new prongs, and was made 
by NTkawa'alu, who was anxious to borrow it again when getting ready 
to start on his summer trip to the east, where he would find young ducks 
and molting fowl. 

The form of head seen in this dart appears to be the commonest. 
It is called by the same name, niYtkaii, as the bone head of the deer 
arrow. There is considerable variation in the number of 
barbs, which are always bilateral, except in one ^_^ 
instance, No. 56590 [122], Fig. 196, from Utkiav- 
wiii, which has four barbs on one side only. It is 
7 J inches long exclusive of the tang. Out of 
eight specimens of such heads oue has one pair of 
barbs, one two pairs, two three pairs, one four 
unilateral barbs, one five pairs, one six pairs, and 
one seven pairs. The total length of these heads 
is from 9 inches to 1 foot, of which the tang makes 
about 2 inches, and they are generally made of 
walrus ivory, wherein they differ from the nugftt 

II J" t! <<jn 



Fio.lltfi.— Point . 
for bird dart 

of the Greenlanders, which, since Crantz's time 1 
has always had a head of iron. Iron is also used 
at Cumberland Gulf, as shown by the specimens 
in the National Musuem. Fig. 197 represents 
a very ancient spearhead from Utkiavwm, No. 
89372 [760]. It is of compact whale's bone, dark- 
ened with age and impregnated with oil. It is 
8-7 inches long and the other end is beveled off 
into a wedge-shaped tang roughened with cross- 
cuts on both faces, with a small hole for the end 
of a lashing as on the head of No. 89244 [1325]. 
This was called by the native who sold it the 
head of a seal spear, a/kqliguk, and it does bear 
some slight resemblance to the head of weapon 
used iu Greenland and called by a similar name 2 
(agdligak). The roughened tang, however, indi- 
cates that it was intended, to be fixed permanently 
in the shaft, aud this, taken in connection with 
jts strong resemblance to the one-barbed head of 

Fig. 197.— An- 
cient point 
for bird dart. 

the Greenland nugfit 3 as well as to the head of the Siberian 
bird dart figured by Nordenskiold 4 , makes it probable that it is really 
the form of bird dart head anciently used at Point Barrow. It is pos- 

1 History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 14S. 
*Crantz, vol. 1, p. 147, and Figs. 6 and 7, PI. V. 

3 Ibid., Fig. 8. 

4 Vega, vol. 2, p. 105, Fig. 5. 





sible that this pattern lias been so long out of use that the natives have 
forgotten what this old point was made for and supposed it to belong to 
a seal spear. 

One of the eight heads of the ordinary pattern in the collection, No. 
56592 [284], a genuine one, old and dirty, is made of coarse-grained 
whale's bone, an unusual material. No. 89373 [948], from 
Utkiavwin, an ivory head of a good typical shape, has 
been figured (Fig. 198) to .show a common style of orna- 
menting these heads. A narrow incised line, colored 
with red ocher, runs along the base of the barbs on each 
side for about three-fourths the length of the 
blade. These heads are sometimes secured by 
treenails as well as by a simple lashing, as is 
shown by the holes through the tang of this 

An improvement on this style of dart, which 
appears to be less common, has two prongs at 
the tip instead of a sharp head, so that the bird 
may be caught if struck on the neck with the 
point of the spear. No. 89905 [1320], Fig. 199, 
from Utkiavwin, is one of this pattern. The 
two prongs are fastened on with a lashing of 
fine sinew braid. The rest of the dart does 
not differ from the one described except in the 
method of attaching the three prongs at the 
middle (Fig. 199Z>). These are fitted into slight 
grooves in the wood and secured by two neat 
lashings of narrow strips of whalebone, one 
just above a little ridge at the lower end of 
Point for each prong and one through little holes in each 
bird <iart. prong at the top of the oblique edge. Each 
lashing consists of several turns with the end closely 
wrapped around them. There is one specimen, No. 89242 
[520], in the collection which not only has not the prongs a 
at the middle, but lacks the enlargement of the shaft to fig- 199.-BM dart 
receive them. The head is undoubtedly old and gen- withao " bl "i' oiut - 
uine, but the shaft and fittings, though dirty, look suspiciously fresh. 
I am inclined to believe that this head was mounted for sale by a man 
who had no prongs ready made, and was in too much of a hurry to get 
his price to stop to make them. Imperfect or unfinished objects were 
frequently offered for sale. 

The bird darts used at Point Barrow, and by the western Eskimo 
generally, are lighter and better finished than those used in the east. 
The latter have a heavy shaft, which is four-sided in Baffin Land, and 
the prongs are crooked and clumsy. 1 

'See Crantz's figure referred to above; also one in Parry's second voyage, PI. opposite p. 550, Fig. 
19, and Rink, Tales., etc., PI. opposite p. 12. - 



Fig. 200, No. 89380 [793], is a fragment of a very ancient narwhal ivory 
spearhead, dark brown from age and shiny from much handling, which 
appears to have been worn as an amulet. It was said to have come 
from the east and to belong to a bird dart, though it does not 
resemble any in use at the present day in this region. It is a 
slender four-sided rod, having on one side three short oblique 
equidistant simple barbs. The resemblance of this specimen 
to the bone dart heads from Scania figured by Dr. Ran 1 is 
very striking. 

Seal darts. — The Eskimo of nearly all localities use a dart 
or small harpoon to capture the smaller marine animals, with 
a loose, barbed head of bone fitted into a socket in the end of 
the shaft, to which it is attached by a line of greater or less 
length. It is always contrived so that when the head is 
struck into the quarry, the shaft is detached from the head 
and acts as a drag upon the animal. This is effected by 
attaching an inflated bladder to the shaft, or else by attach- 
ing the line with a martingale so that the shaft is dragged 
sideways through the water. Nearly all Eskimo except those of Point 
Barrow, as shown in the National Museum collections and the figures 
in Crantz 2 and Kink 3 , use weapons of this kind of considerable size, 
adapted not only to the capture of the small seals (Phoca vitulina and 
P.fcetida), but also to the pursuit of the larger seals, the nar- 
whal and beluga. At Point Barrow, however, at the present 
day, they employ oidy a small form of this dart, not over 5 feet 
long, with a little head, adapted only for holding the smallest 
seals. That they formerly used the larger weapon is shown 
by our finding a single specimen of the head of such a spear, 
No. 89374 [1281] Fig. 201. It is of hard, compact bone, impreg- 
nated with oil, 8-1 inches long. The flat shank is evidently 
intended to fit into a socket. The two holes through the widest 
part of the shank are for attaching the line. 

This is very like the head of the weapon called agligalc 
(modern Greenlaudic agdligak), figured by Crantz, and re- 
ferred to above, except that the barbs are opposite each other. 
Mr. Lucien M. Turner tells me that it is precisely like the head 
of the dart used at Norton Sound for capturing the beluga. The 
native who sold this specimen called it "nuia'kpai niYtkoa," 
" the point of a bird dart," to which it does bear some resem- 
blance, though the shape of the butt and the line holes indicate 
plainly that it was a detachable dart head. Probably, as in the 
case of the ancient bird dart point, No. 89372 [760], referred to 
above, this weapon has been so long disused that the natives have 
forgotten what it was. The name a'kqliguk, evidently the same as the 



1 Prehistoric fishing, Figs. 94 ami 95, p. 73. 

2 History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 147, PI. v. Figs. C and ' 
3 Tales, etc., PI. opposite p. 12 ( "bladder arrow"). 




Fig. 202.- 

-Nozzle for bladder 

Greenlandic agdligal; is still in use, but was always applied to the old 
bone harpoon heads, which are, however, of the toggle-head pattern 
(described below). It seems as if the Point Barrow natives had for- 
gotten all about the a/kqligfik except that it was a 
harpoon with a bone head for taking seals. At the 
present time the small bladder float, permanently 
attached to the shaft of the harpoon, is never used 
at Point Barrow. That it was used in ancient times 
is shown by our finding in one of the ruined houses 
in Utkiavwih a very old broken nozzle for inflating one of these floats. 
Fig. 202, No. 89720 [756], is this specimen, which was picked up by Capt. 
Herendeen. This is a rounded 
tube of fossil ivory, 1-3 inches 
long and about one-half inch 
in diameter, slightly contract- 
ed toward one end and then 
expanded into a stout collar. 
At the other is a stout longi- 
tudinal flange, three -fourths 
inch long, perforated with an 
oblong slot. Between the 
flange and the collar the sur- 
face is roughened with cross- 
cuts, and the other end is still 
choked with the remains of a 
wooden plug. This nozzle was 
inserted into a hole in the blad- 
der as far as the flange and 
secured by tying the bladder 
above the collar. The whole 
was then secured to the shaft 
by a lashing through the slot, 
and could be inflated at pleas- 
ure and corked up with the 
wooden plug. 

As I have already said, the 
only harpoon of this kind now 
used at Point Barrow is a 
small one intended only for 
the capture of small seals. It 
has no bladder, but the rather 
long line is attached to the 
shaft by a martingale which 
makes the shaft drag sideways 
through the water. Three of these little darts, which are thrown with 
a handboard like the bird dart, make a set. The resistance of the shafts 

Fig. 203.— Seal dart. 


of these three spears darted into the seal in succession is said to be suf- 
ficient to fatigue the seal so that he can be easily approached and dis- 
patched. We never saw these weapons used, though they are very com- 
mon, as they are intended only for use from the kaiak, which these people 
seldom use in the neighborhood of the villages. When in the umiak, 
shooting with the rifle is a more expeditious means of taking seals. We 
collected three sets of these darts (kukign). 

No. 89249ft [523], Fig. 203, has been selected for description. The shaft 
is of spruce, 54£ inches long, and 0-8 inch in diameter at the tip, tapering 
slightly almost to the butt, which is hollowed on the end to fit the catch 
of the throwing board. The foreshaft is of white walrus ivory 5 inches 
long, and is fitted into the tip of the shaft with a wedge-shaped tang. 
This foreshaft, which has a deep oblong slot to receive the head in the 
middle of its flat tip, serves the double purpose of making a strong 
solid socket for the head and giving sufficient weight to the end of the 
dart to make it fly straight. The head is a simple flat barbed arrow-head 
of hard bone 2-3 inches long and one-half inch broad across the barbs, 
with a flat tang, broadest in the middle, where there is a hole for attach- 
ing the line. This head simply serves to attach the drag of the shaft 
to the seal as it is too small to inflict a serious wound. It is fastened to 
the shaft by a martingale made as follows : One end of a stout line of 
sinew braid 5£ feet long is passed through the hole in the head and se- 
cured by tying a knot in the end. The other end of this line divides 
into two parts not quite so stout, one 3 feet long, the other 2 feet 8 
inches. The latter is fastened to the shaft 18£ inches from the butt by 
a single marling hitch with the end wedged into a slit in the wood and 
seized down with fine sinew. The longer part serves to fasten the fore- 
shaft to the shaft, and was probably put on separately and worked into 
the braiding of the rest of the line at the junction. The foreshaft is 
kept from slipping out by a little transverse ridge on each side of the 
tang. When the weapon is mounted for use the two parts of the bridle 
are brought together at the middle of the shaft and wrapped spirally 
around it till only enough line is left to permit the head to be inserted 
in the socket, and the bight of the line is secured by tucking it under 
the last turn. When a seal is struck with this dart his sudden plunge 
to escape unships the head. The catch of the martingale immediately 
slips ; the latter unrolls and drags the shaft through the water at right 
angles to the line. The shaft, besides acting as a drag on the seal's 
motions, also serves as a float to indicate his position to the hunter, as 
its buoyancy brings it to the surface before the seal when the latter 
rises for air. 

The shaft is usually painted red except so much of the end as lies in 
the groove of the throwing-board, in the act of darting. These darts 
vary but little in size and material, and are all of essentially the same 
pattern. They are always about 5 feet in length when mounted for 
use. (The longest is 64£ inches, and the shortest 57.) The head, as 











well as tlie foresliaft, is sometimes made of walrus ivory, and the latter 
sometimes of whale's boue. The chief variation is in the length of the 
martingale, and the details of the method of attaching it. 
No two are precisely alike. The foresliaft is generally 
plain, but is occasionally highly ornamented, as is shown 
in Fig. 204, No. 56516 [105]. The figures are all incised 
and colored, some with ocher and some with soot. 

Both of the kinds of darts above described are thrown 
by means of a hand board or throwing-board. This is a 
flat, narrow board, from 15 to 18 inches long, with a handle 
at one end and a groove along 
the upper surface in which 
the spear lies with the butt 
resting against a catch at the 
other end. The dart is pro- 
pelled by a quick motion of 
the wrist, as in casting with a 
fly-rod, which swings up the 
tip of the board and launches 
the dart forward. This con- 
trivance, which practically 
makes of the hand a lever 
18 inches long, enables the 
thrower by a slight motion of 
the wrist to impart great ve- 
locity to the dart. The use 
of this implement is universal 
fig. 204.-Fore- among the Eskimo, though not 
shaft of seal dart, peculiar to them. The Green- 
landers, however, not only use it for the two 
kinds of darts already mentioned, but have 
adapted it to the large harpoon. 1 " This is 
undoubtedly to adapt the large harpoon for 
use from the kaiak, which the Greenlanders 
use more habitually than most other Eskimo. 
On the other hand, the people of Baffin Land 
and the adjoining regions, as well as the 
inhabitants of northeastern Siberia, use it 
only with the bird dart. 2 Throughout west- 
ern North America the throwing-board is 
used essentially as at Point Barrow. Prof. 
O. T. Mason has given 3 an interesting ac- 
count of the different forms of throwing-board used by the Eskimo and 
Aleuts of North America. 

a b 

Fig. 205. — Throwing board for darts. 

1 Crantz, vol. 1, p. 146, PI. v, Figs. 1 and 2, and Fink as quoted above, also Kane, First Fxp., p. 478. 

2 Parry, Second Voyage, p. 508 (Iglulik); and Nordenskiold, Vega, vol. 2, p. 105, Fig. 5. 
'Smithsonian Report for 1884, part II , pp. 279-289. 



We obtained five specimens of the form used at Point Barrow, No. 
89233 [523], Fig. 205a, belonging to the set of seal darts bearing the 
same collector's number, has been selected as the type. This is made 
of spruce, and the hole is for the forefinger. A little peg of walrus 
ivory, shaped like a flat-headed nail, is driven through the middle of 
the tip so that the edge of the head just projects into the groove. This 
fits into the hollow in the butt of the dart and serves to steady it. It 
is painted red on the back and sides. Fig. 205Z>, No. 89235 [60], differs 
from this in having a double curve instead of being flat. A slight ad- 
vantage is gained by this as in a crooked lever. The catch is a small 
iron nail. The others are essentially the same as the type. No. 89234 
[528], has a small brass screw for the catch, and No. 89902 [1326], has 
an ivory peg of a slightly different shape, the head having only a pro- 
jecting point on one side. They are generally painted with 
/Ik red ocher except on the inside of the groove. There appears 

to be no difference between throwing boards meant for seal 
darts and those used with the bird dart. 

Unfortunately I had no opportunity of observing accu- 
rately how the handle was grasped, but it is probably held as 
seen by Beechey at Eschscholtz Bay, 1 namely, with the fore- 
finger in the hole, the thumb and middle finger clasped round 
the spear, and the third and little fingers clasping the handle 
2 under the spear. This seems a very natural way of holding 
it. Of course, the fingers release the spear at the moment 
of casting. All the thro wing-boards from Point Barrow are 
right handed. 

Harpoons. — All kinds of marine animals, including the 
smaller seals, which are also captured with the darts just 
described and with nets, are pursued with harpoons of the 
same general type, but of different patterns for the different 
animals. They may be divided into two classes — those in- 
tended for throwing, which come under the head of projectile 
weapons, and those which do not leave the hand, but are thrust into the 
animal. These fall properly under the head of thrusting weapons. Both 
classes agree in having the head only attached permanently to the line, 
fitted loosely to the end of the shaft, and arranged so that when struck 
into the animal it is detached from the shaft, and turns under the skin 
at right angles to the line, like a toggle, so that it is almost impossible 
for it to draw out. 

No. 89793 [873], Fig. 206, is a typical toggle head of this kind, in- 
tended for a walrus harpoon (tuke), and will be described in full, as the 
names of the different parts will apply to all heads of this class. The 
body is a conoidal piece, 4£ inches in length, and flattened laterally so 
that at the widest part it is 1 inch wide and 0-7 thick. On one side, 
which may be called the lower, it is cut off straight for about half the 

Fig. 206.— Har 
poem head. 

'Voyage, p. 324. 




longer diameter, while the upper side is produced into a long, four- 
sided spur, the barb. The line hole is a round hole about one-fourth 
inch in diameter, a little back of the middle of the body, at right angles 
to its longer diameter. From this, on each side, run shallow line grooves 
to the base of the body, gradually deepening as they run into the line hole. 
In the middle of the base of the body is the deep, cup-shaped shaft- 
socket, which fits the conical tip of the shaft or fore shaft. In 
the tip of the body is cut, at right angles to the longer diam- 
eter of the body, and therefore at right angles to the plane of 
the barb, the narrow blade slit, 14 inches deep, into which fits, 
secured by a single median rivet of whalebone, the flat, thin 
blade of metal (brass in this case). This is triangular, with 
curved edges, narrowly beveled on both faces, and is 1-9 inches 
long and 1 broad. 

The body is sometimes cut into faces so as to be hexagonal 
instead of elliptical in section as in Fig. 207 (No. 89791 [873]), V$ 
and intermediate forms are common. When such a head is FlG 207 _ 
mounted for use a bight of the line or leader, a short line for Harpoon 
connecting the head with the main line, runs through the line 
hole so that the head is slung in a loop in the end of the line. The tip 
of the shaft is then fitted into the shaft socket and the line brought 
down the shaft with the parts of the loop on each side resting in the line 
grooves and is made fast, usually so that a slight pull will detach it from 
the shaft. When the animal is struck the blade cuts a wound large 
enough to allow the head to pass in beyond the barb. The struggles of 

the animal make the head slip off the tip of 
the shaft and the strain on the line imme- 
diately toggles it across the wound. The 
toggle head of the whale harpoon is called 
kia<j;ron, of the walrus harpoon, tuke, and of 
the seal harpoon, naule. They are all of 
essentially the same pattern, differing chiefly 
in size. 

There is in the collection an interesting 
series of old harpoon heads, showing a num- 
ber of steps in the development of the modern 
pattern of harpoon headfroman ancientform. 
These heads seem to have been preserved as 
amulets ; in fact one of them is still attached 
to a belt. They are not all of the same kind, 

F.G.208._Ancient bone harpoon head. ^ ^^ ^ different kiuds as mentioned 

above juactically differ only in size, their development was probably 
the same. The earliest form in the collection is No. 89382 [1383], Fig. 
208, from Nuwtik, which is evidently very old, as it is much worn and 
weathered. It is a single flat piece of fine-grained bone 3 inches long, 
pointed at the end and provided with a single unilateral barb. Be- 



hind this it is narrowed and then widened into a broad flat base pro- 
duced on one side into a sharp barb, in the same plane as the other barb, 

which represents the blade, but on the opposite 
side. The line hole is large and irregularly tri- 
angular, and there are no line grooves. Instead 
of a shaft socket bored in the solid body, one 
side of the body is excavated into a deep longi- 
tudinal groove, which was evidently converted 
into a socket by a transverse band, probably 
of sealskin, running round the body, and kept 
in place by a shallow transverse groove on the 
convex side of it. A harpoon head with the 
socket made by inclosing a groove with thongs 
was seen by Dr. Kane at 
Smith Sound. 1 
The next form, No. 89331 



209a, has two 
bilateral barbs to the blade 
part, thus increasing its 
holding power. Instead of 
an open transverse groove 
to hold the thong, it has 
to the 

Fig. 210. 

-Bone harpoon 

Fig. 209.— Harpoon heads: (a) an 
cient bone harpoon head ; (6) va- tW0 Slots parallel 
riant of the type. t , , 

socket groove running ob- 
liquely to the other side, where they open into a 
shallow depression. Figs. 209b and 210, Nos. 89544 
[1419] and 89377 [760], are variants of 
this form, probably intended for the 
larger seal, as the blade part is very 
long in proportion. No. 89544 [1419] is 
interesting from its close resemblance 
to the spear head figured by Nordenskiold 2 from the ancient 
"Onkilon" house at North Cape. No. 89377 [760] is a pe- 
culiar form, which was perhaps not general, as it has left 
no descendants among the modern harpoon. Instead of the 
bilateral blade barbs it has an irregular slot on each side, 
which evidently served to hold a blade of stone, and the 
single barb of the body is replaced by a cluster of four, 
which are neither in the plane of the blade nor at right 
angles to it, but between the two. No modern harpoon 
heads from Point Barrow have more than two barbs on the 
body. The next improvement was to bore the shaft socket 
instead of making it by inclosing a groove with thongs. 
This is shown in Fig. 211 (No. 89379 [795], from Utkiavwin), 
which is just like No. 89544 [1419] except in this respect. The line 
grooves first appear at this stage of the development. 


Fig. 211.— Bone 
harpoon head. 

' Second Grinnell Exp., vol. 1, Figs, on pp. 412 and 411!. 

2 Vega, vol. 1, p. 444, Fig. 5. 





The next step was to obtain greater penetration by substituting a 
triangular blade of stone for the barbed bone point, with its breadth 
still in the plane of the body barb. This blade was either 
of slate (No. 89744 [9G9] from Nuwiik) or of flint, as in Fig. 
212 (No. 89748 [928], also from Nuwiik). Both of these are 
whale harpoons, such as are sometimes used even at the 
present day. 

Before the introduction of iron it was discovered that if 
the blade were inserted at right angles to the plane of the 
body barb the harpoon would have a surer hold, since the 
strain on the line would always draw it at right angles to 
the length of the wound cut by the blade. This is shown 
in Fig. 213 (No. 56620 [199], a walrus harpoon head from 
Utkiavwili), which has the slate blade inserted in this posi- 
tion. Substituting a metal blade for the stone one gives 
us the modern toggle head, as already described. That the 
insertion of the stone blade preceded the rotation of the 
plane of the latter is, I think, conclusively shown by the 
whale harpoons 1 already mentioned, in spite of the fact that 

we have a bone har- 
poon head in the col- 
lection, No. 89378 
[1261], figured in 
Point Barrow report, 
which is exactly like 
No. 89379 [795], ex- 
cept that it has the 
blade at right angles to the plane 
of the body barb. This is, how- 
ever, a newly made model in rein- 
deer antler of the ancient harpoon, 
and was evidently made by a man 
so used to the modern pattern that 
he forgot this important distinc- 
tion. The development of this 
spear head has been carried no 
further at Point Barrow. At one 
or two places, however, namely, 
at Cumberland Gulf in the east 2 
and at Sledge Island in the west 
(as shown in Mr. Nelson's collec- 
tion), they go a step further in making the head of the seal harpoon, 
body and blade, of one piece of iron. The shape, however, is the 
same as those with the ivory or bone body. 

1 Compare, also, tho walrus harpoon figured by Capt. Lyon, Parry's Second ,Voyage, PI. opposite 
p. 550, Pig. 13. 

2 See Kumlien, Contributions, p. 35, and Boas, "Central Eskimo," p. 473, Pig. 393. 


Fig. 212.— Har- 
poon head, bone 
and stone. 

Fig. 213. — Harpoon head, bone and stone. 


All of the Eskimo race, as far as I liave any definite information, use 
toggle harpoon heads. There are specimens in the National Museum 
from Greenland, Cumberland Gulf, the Anderson and Mackenzie region, 
and from the Alaskan coast from Point Barrow to Kadiak, as well as 
from St. Lawrence Island, which are all of essentially the same type, 
but slightly modified in different localities. The harpoon head in use 
at Smith Sound is of the same form as the walrus harpoon heads used 
at Point Barrow, but appears always to have the shaft socket made by 
a groove closed with thongs. 1 In Danish Greenland, however, the body 
has an extra pair of bilateral barbs below the blade. The Greenlauders 
have, as it were, substituted a metal blade for the point only of the 
barbed blade portion of such, a bone head as No. 89379 [795]. 2 

Curiously enough, this form of the toggle head appears again in the 
Mackenzie and Anderson region, as shown by the extensive collections 
of Boss, MacFarlaue, and others. In this region the metal blade itself is 
often cut into one or more pairs of bilateral barbs. At the Straits of Fury 
and Hecla, Parry found the harpoon head, with a body like the walrus 
harpoon heads at Point Barrow, 3 but with the blade in the plane of the 
body barb. Most of the pictures scattered through the work represent 
the blade in this position, but Fig. 19 on the same plate has the blade 
at right angles to the barb, so that the older form may not be universal. 
At Cumberland Gulf the form of the body is considerably modified, 
though the blade is of the usual shape and in the ordinary position. 
The body is flattened at right angles to the usual direction, so that the 
thickness is much greater than the width. It always has two body 
barbs. On the western coast the harpoon heads are much less modified, 
though there is a tendency to increase the number of body barbs, at the 
same time ornamenting the body more elaborately as we go south from 
Bering Strait. Walrus harpoon heads with a single barb, hardly dis- 
tinguishable from those used at Point Barrow, are in the collection from 
the Diomedes and all along the northern shore of Norton Sound, and 
one also from the mouth of the Kuskoquim. They are probably also 
used from Point Barrow to Kotzebue Sound. At St. Lawrence Island 
and on the Asiatic shore they are the common if not the universal form. 4 
The seal harpoon head (uaulu) at Point Barrow appears always to have 
the body barb split at the tip into two, and this is the case rarely with 
the tu'ku. This form, which appears occasionally north of Norton 
Sound (Port Clarence, Cape Nome), appears to be more common south of 
this locality, where, however, a pattern with the barb divided into three 
points seems to be the prevailing form. I will now- proceed to the de- 
scription of the different forms of harpoon with which these toggle 
heads are used. 

■Kane, 2d Grinnell Exp., vol. 1, pp.412 and 413 (Fig. 1), and Bessells, Naturalist, vol. 18, pt. 9, p. 
869, Figs. 6-12. 
2 Crantz, vol. 1, p. 146, and PI. v, Figs. 1 and 2, and Rink Tales, etc., PI. opposite p. in. 

3 2d Voyage, PI. opposite p. 550, Fig. 13. 

4 Museum collections and Nordenskiold, Vega, vol. 2, p. 105, Fig. 1. This figure shows the blade in 
he plane of the barb, but none of the specimens from Plover Bay are of this form. 

Murdoch.] HARPOONS. 223 

Throwing-harpoons are always thrown from the hand without a 
throwing-board or other assistance, and are of two sizes, one for the 
walrus and bearded seal, and one for the small seals. Both have a long 
shaft of wood to the tip of which is attached a heavy bone or ivory fore- 
shaft, usually of greater diameter than the shaft and somewhat club- 
shaped. This serves the .special purpose of giving weight to the head 
of the harpoon, so it can be darted with a sure aim. The native name 
of this part of the spear, ukumailuta (Greenlandic, okimailutaK, weight), 
indicates its design. This contrivance of weighting the head of the 
harpoon with a heavy foreshaft is peculiar to the western Eskimo. On 
all the eastern harpoons (see figures referred to above and the Museum 
collections) the foreshaft is a simple cap of bone no larger than the shaft 
the tip of which it protects. Between the foreshaft and the toggle-head 
is interposed the loose shaft (i'gimu), a slender rod of bone whose tip 
fits into the shaft socket of the head, while its butt fits loosely in a socket 
in the tip of the foreshaft. It is secured to the shaft by a thong just 
long enough to allow it to be unshipped from the foreshaft. This not 
only prevents the loose shaft from breaking under a lateral strain, but 
by its play facilitates unshipping the head. On these harpoons intended 
for throwing, this loose shaft is always short. This brings the weight 
of the foreshaft close to the head, while it leaves space enough for the 
head to penetrate beyond the barb. 

The walrus harpoon varies in size, being adapted to the strength and 
stature of the owner. Of the six in our collection, the longest, when 
mounted for use, is 9 feet 6 inches long, and the shortest 5 feet 8 
inches. The ordinary length appears to be about 7 feet. It has a long, 
heavy shaft (ipua) of wood, usually between 5 and 6 feet long and 
tapering from a diameter of 1£ inches at the head to about 1 inch at the 
butt. The head is not usually fastened directly to the line, but has a 
leader of double thong 1 to 2 feet long, with a becket at the end into 
which the main line is looped or hitched. At the other end of the line, 
which is about 30 feet long, is another becket to which is fastened a 
float consisting of a whole sealskin inflated. When the head is fitted 
on the tip of the loose shaft the line is brought down to the middle of 
the shaft and hooked by means of a little becket to an ivory peg (ki'lerb- 
wln) projecting from the side of the shaft. The eastern Eskimo have, 
in place of the simple becket, a neat little contrivance consisting of a 
plate of ivory lashed to the line with a large slot in it which hooks over 
the catch, but nothing of the sort was observed at Point Barrow. 

The harpoon thus mounted is poised in the right hand with the fore- 
finger resting against a curved ivory projection (ti'ka) and darted like a 
white man's harpoon, the float and line being thrown overboard at the 
same time. When a walrus is struck the head slips off and toggles as al- 
ready described ; the line detaches itself from the catch, leaving the shaft 
free to float and be picked up. The float is now fastened to the wal- 
rus, and, like the shaft of the seal dart, both shows his whereabouts 



and acts as a drag on his movements until he is "played" enough for 

the hunters to eome up and dispatch him. 
This weapon is called u'nakpiik, "the great 
u'na or spear." U'na (unak, u'nau) appears 
to be a generic term in Eskimo for harpoon, 
but at Point Barrow is now restricted to the 
harpoon used for stabbing seals as they come 
up to their breathing holes. 

We collected six of these walrus harpoons 
complete and forty-two separate heads. Of 
these, No. 56770 [534], Fig. 214«, has the most 
typical shaft -and loose shaft. The shaft is 
of spruce 71 inches long, roughly rounded, 
and tapering from a diameter of 1£ inches at 
the tip to 0-8 at the butt. The foreshaft is of 
white walrus ivory, 6-7 inches long, exclusive 
of the wedge-shaped tang which fits into a 
cleft in the tip of the shaft. It is somewhat 
club-shaped, being 1-6 inches in diameter at 
the tip and tapering to 1-3 just above the 
butt, which expands to the diameter of the 
shaft, and is separated from the tang by a 
square transverse shoulder. The shaft and 
foreshaft are fastened together by a whip- 
ping of broad seal thong, put on wet, one end 
passing through a hole in the foreshaft one- 
quarter inch from the shaft, and kept from 
slipping by a low transverse ridge on each 
side of the tang. In the tip of the foreshaft 
is a deep, round socket to receive the loose 
shaft, which is a tapering rod of walrus ivory 
4*4 inches long, shouldered off at the butt, 
which is 0-7 inch in diameter, to a blunt, 
rounded tang 0-9 inch long. It fits loosely 
into the foreshaft up to the shoulder, and is 
secured by a piece of narrow seal thong 
which passes through a transverse hole one- 
half inch above the shoulder. The end is 
spliced to the standing part with double slits 
about G inches from the loose shaft, and the 
other end makes a couple of turns outside of 
the lashing on the shaft mentioned above and 
is secured with two half-hitches. 

The line catch (ki'lerbwiii) is a little, blunt, 
backward-pointing hook of ivory inserted in 

Fig. 214,-Walrus haxpoons. ^ ^^ ^ j^^ from ^ tip ^ pro j ecting 

about one-third iuch. Ten and one-fourth inches farther back and 90 




Murdoch.] WALEUS HARPOONS. 225 

degrees round the shaft from the line catch is the finger rest — a conical 
recurved piece of ivory 1 inch high, with a flat base, resting against the 
shaft and secured by a lashing of whalebone, which passes through two 
corresponding holes, one in the rest and one in the shaft. The head and 
liue belonging to this harpoon are intended for hunting the bearded 
seal, and will be described below. No. 56772 [536], Fig. 2146, from 
Utkiavwiii, is fitted with fairly typical walrus gear. The head is of 
the typical form, 6 inches long, with a conoidal body of walrus ivory, 
ornamented with incised lines colored with red ocher, and a blade of steel 
secured by a whalebone rivet. The "leader," which is about 15 inches 
long, is made by passing one end of a piece of stout walrus-hide thong 
about one-quarter inch wide through the line hole and doubling it with 
the head in the bight, so that one part is about 6 inches the longer. 
The two parts are stopped together about 2 inches from the head 
with a bit of sinew braid. The ends are joined and made into a becket, 
as follows : The longer end is doubled back for 7 inches and a slit cut 
through both parts about 2 inches from the end. The shorter end is 
passed through this slit, and a slit is cut 5 inches from the end of this, 
through which the loop of the other end is passed and all drawn taut. 
The whole joint is then tightly seized with sinew braid so as to leave a 
becket 3 inches and a free end 4 inches long. This becket is looped into 
an eye li inches long at the end of the main line, made by doubling 
over 5 inches of the end and stopping the two parts firmly together 
with sinew braid. The liue is of the hide of the bearded seal, about the 
same diameter as the leader, and 27 feet long. It is in two nearly equal 
parts, spliced together with double slits, firmly seized with sinew 
braid. There is a becket about 8 inches long at the other end of the 
line for attaching the float, made by doubling over the end and tying a 
carrick bend, the end of which is stopped back to the standing part 
with sinew braid. The becket to hook upon the line catch is a bit 'of 
sinew braid, fastened to the line 2J feet from the head, as follows : Oue 
end being laid against the line it is doubled in a bight and the end is 
whipped down to the line by the other end, which makes five turns 
round them. 

I will now consider the variations of the different parts of these har- 
poons in detail, beginning with the head. Our series is so large, con- 
taining in all forty-eight heads, besides some spare blades, that it 
probably gives a fair representation of the common variations. The 
longest of this series is 6 inches long and the shortest 3i, but by far the 
greater number are from 4£ to 5 inches long. Their proportions are 
usually about as in the types figured, but the long head just figured 
(No. 56772 [534] ) is also unusually slender. Sheet brass is the com- 
monest material for the blade (thirty blades are of this material), though 
iron or steel is sometimes used, and rarely, at present, slate. There is 
one slate-bladed head in the series (No. 56620 [199])' figured above, and 
four blades for such heads. The blade is commonly of the shape of the 
9 eth 15 



Fig. 215. — Typical walrus-har- 
poon beads. 

type figured, triangular with curved edges, varying from a rather long 
triangle like tlie slate blade just mentioned to a 
rather short one with very strongly curved edges 
like Fig. 215a (No. 89750 [1038]), which is peculiar 
as the only walrus liarjjoon head with a body of 
reindeer antler. It also has an iron blade and a 
rivet of iron, not seldom with rounded basal an- 
gles so as to be almost heart-shaped, like Fig. 215b 
(No. 50621 [283]). A less common shape of blade 
is lanceolate, with the base cut off square as in 
Fig. 216a (No. 89701 [940] ). Only eight blades 
out of the series are of this shape. A still more 
peculiar shape of blade, of which we saw only 
one specimen, is shown in Fig. 216b (No. 89790 
[913] ). This is made of brass. It was perhaps 
meant for an imitation of the barbed blades used 
at the Mackenzie, of which I have already spoken. 
The blade, when of metal, is generally fastened 
in with a single rivet. One only out of the whole 

number has two rivets, and three are simply wedged into the blade slit. 

The slate blades appear never 

to have been riveted; Nordens- 

kiold, however, figures a walrus 

harpoon from Port Clarence 1 

with a jade blade riveted in. 

The rivet is generally made of 

whalebone, but other materials 

are sometimes used. For in- 
stance, in the series collected 

two have rivets of iron, two of 

wood, and five of rawhide. The 

body is generally made of white 

walrus ivory, (five of those col- 
lected are of hard bone, and one 

already mentioned and figured, 

No. 89750 [1038], Fig. 215a, is 

of reindeer antler), and the 

hexagonal shape, often with 
rounded edges, and the line 
grooves continued to the tip, 
as in Fig. 217a, No. 89757 [917], 
appears to be the commonest. 
Three out of the forty-eight 
have four-sided bodies. It is 
unusual for the body barb to be bifurcated, as is common farther south. 

Fig. 216 

a b 

.—Typical walrus-harpoon heads. 

■Vega, vol.2, p. 229, Fig. 3. 




Only three out of the forty-eight show this peculiarity, of which IsTo. 
56613 [53], Fig. 217&, is an example. 

The specimens figured show the different styles of ornamentation, 
which always consist of incised patterns colored with red ocher or rarely 
with soot. These never rep- 
resent natural objects, but 
are always conventional pat- 
terns, generally a single or 
double border on two or 
more faces with short ob- 
lique cross-lines and branch- 
es. Harpoon heads at Point 
Barrow are probably never 
ornamented Avith the "cir- 
cles and dots," so common 
on other implements and on 
the harpoons of the south- 
ern Eskimo. 

Twenty-eight of the heads 
still have the leaders at- 
tached to them . The obj ect 
of this short line is to ena- 
ble the hunter to readily de- 
tach a broken head and put 
on a fresh one without going 
to the trouble of undoing a 
splice, which must be made 

Strong to keep the head from Fig. 217.— Typical walrus-harpoon heads. 

separating from the line. It is made of a stout piece of rawhide thong, 
the skill of the walrus or bearded seal, about one-third inch in diameter, 

and usually from 2 to 
3 feet long. It is al- 
ways passed through 
the line hole, as in the 
specimen described, 
and the ends are 
made into a becket 
for attaching the line, 
with an end left to 
serve as a handle for 
pulling the two beck- 
ets apart when the 

Fig. 218. — Walrus-harpoon head, with leader. maill line ends ill a 

becket. Occasionally (two are made this way) the longer end is simply 
doubled in a bight, and the three parts are then seized together with 
sinew braid, but it is generally made with a splice, the details of which 
differ slightly on the different leaders. 



end is 

commonest method is that already described. When the longer 
doubled over, a slit is cut through both parts close to the end of 
this through which the shorter end is passed. 
A slit is then cut a few inches from the tip 
of this part, the bight of the becket passed 
through this slit and all drawn taut. This 
makes a very strong splice. Fourteen beck- 
ets are spliced in this way. A variation of 
this splice has a slit only through the end 
part of the longer end, the shorter end be- 
ing passed through and slit as before. In 
one becket the standing part of the longer 
end is passed through the slit of the end 
part before going through the line hole, 
while the rest of the becket is made as be- 
fore. A reversed splice is found on three 
of the leaders, which is made as follows: 
When the long end is doubled over, the 
short end is slit as usual and the longer end 
passed through this and slit close to the 
tip. Through this slit is passed the head 
and all drawn taut. The splice is always 
firmly seized with sinew braid. The main 
line, which serves to attach the head to the 
float, is always made of stout thong, prefer- 
ably the skin of the bearded seal (very fine 

Fig. 219. — Walrus-harpoon head, with 

lines are sometime s 
made of beluga skin), 
about one -third inch 
square, and, when prop- 
erly made, trimmed off 
on the edges so as to 
be almost round. It is 
about 10 yards long. 
It is fastened into the 
becket of the leader 
with a becket hitch tied 

Walrus-harpoon head, with line 

upside down (No. 56771 [585], Fig. 218), or by means of a small becket, 
made either as on the specimen described (No. 50770 [530], Fig. 219), or 
spliced with double slits. The long becket at the other end for attach- 





ing the float is made either by tying a earrick bend with the end stopped 
back to the standing part (Fig. 220, No. 
5G767 [531]), or by splieing (Fig. 221, No. 

The loose shaft varies very little in shape, 
though it is sometimes rounded off at the 
butt without a shoulder, but the line which 
secures this to the foreshaft is put on differ- 
ently on each of the six spears. Five of 
them have the end simply passed through 
the hole in the loose shaft and spliced to 
the standing part, but two (the type figured 
and No. 56768 [532]) have the other end 
carried down and hitched round the tip of 
the shaft; another has it passed through a 
hole in the foreshaft, taken li turns round 
this and knotted (No. 56771 [535]); another 
has a loop as long as the foreshaft with the 
short end passed under the first turn of the 
shaft lashing before it is spliced, and the 
long end secured as on the first mentioned; 
and the fifth has the end passed through a 
hole in the foreshaft and carried down and 
wrapped round the shaft lashing. The 
sixth has one end passed through a hole 
in the smallest part of the foreshaft and 
knotted at the end, the other end carried 
up through the hole in the loose shaft and 
down to a second hole in the foreshaft close 
to the first, then up through the loose shaft, 
and down through the first hole, and tucked 
under the two parts on the other side. 

The foreshaft is made of walrus ivory or 
the hard bone of the walrus jaw and varies 
little in form and dimensions. It is some- 
times ornamented by carving, as in No. 
56772 [536], or by incised patterns, as in 
Fig. 222, No. 56538 [98], and generally has 
one or two deep longitudinal notches in the 
thickest part, in which the lines can be 
drawn snugly down. It usually is joined 
to the shaft by a stout, wedge-shaped tang, 
which fits into a corresponding cleft in the 
shaft, and is secured by wooden treenails 
and a wrapping of seal thong or sinew braid, 
sometimes made more secure by passing 

•i' l- 

Fig. 221.- 

-Walrus-harpoon head, with 



one end through holes in the foreshaft. No. 56768 [532] is peculiar in 
having the tang on the shaft and the corresponding cleft in the fore- 
shaft. The shaft itself varies little in shape and proportions, and at 
the present day is sometimes made of ash or other hard 
wood obtained from the ships. The line catch is gener- 
ally a little hook of ivory or hard bone like the one de- 
scribed, but two specimens have small screws fastened 
into the shaft to serve this purpose. The finger rest is 
ordinarily of the same shape as on the type and fastened 
on in the same way, but No. 56771 [535] has this made of 
a knob of ivory elaborately carved into "a seal's head. 
The eyes are represented by round bits of ivory with 
pupils drilled in them inlaid in the head. This is evi- 
dently the knob of a seal drag (see below) as the longitud- 
inal perforation from chin to nape now serves no purpose. 
It is fastened on by a lashing of whalebone, which runs 
round the shaft and through a transverse hole in the knob. 
Harpoons closely resembling these in type are used by 
the Eskimo of western North America wherever they habit- 
ually hunt the walrus. At many places this heavy spear 
is armed at the butt with a long sharp pick of ivory like 
the smaller seal spear. Two of these large harpoons ap- 
pear to be rigged especially for the pursuit of the bearded 
seal, as they have heads which are of precisely the same 
shape and material as the small seal harpoons in the col- 
lection. Both these heads have lanceolate iron blades, 
conoidal antler bodies with double barbs, and are more 
slender than the walrus harpoon heads. No. 56770 [534], Fig. 219, 
has a head 4 inches long and 0-7 broad at the widest part, and fastened 
to a very long line (12 fathoms long) without a leader, the end 
being simply passed through the line hole and seized clown 
to the standing part with sinew braid. This is the method 
of attaching the head of the small seal harpoons. This line 
is so long that it may have been held in the boat and not 
attached to a float. No. 56768 [532], however, has a leader 
with a becket of the ordinary style. Fig. 223, No. 56611 
[89], is a head similar to those just described, and probably, 
from its size, intended for large seals. It is highly orna- 
mented with the usual reddened incised pattern. 

The throwing harpoon for small seals is an exact copy in 
miniature of the walrus harpoon, with the addition of a long 
bayonet-shaped pick of ivory at the butt. The line, however, 
is upwards of 30 yards long, and the end never leaves the headfor large 
hand. The line is hitched round the shaft back of the line seal s- 
catch, which now only serves to keep the line from slipping forward, as 
the shaft is never detached from the line. This harpoon is used exclu- 

YlG. 222— Fore- 
shaft of walrus 




sively for retrieving seals that have been shot in open 
holes or leads of water within darting distance from the 
edge of the solid ice, and is thrown precisely as the 
walrus harpoon is, except that the end of the line is 
held in the left hand. In traveling over the ice the 
line with the head attached is folded in long hanks 
and slung on the gun case at the back. The rest of 
the weapon is carried in the hand and serves as a staff 
and climbing among the ice, where the 



sharp pick is useful to prevent slipping and to try 
doubtful ice, and also enables the hunter to break 
away thin ice at the edge of the hole, so as to draw 
his game up to the solid floe. It can also serve as a 
bayonet in case of necessity. This peculiar form of 
harpoon is confined to the coast from Point Barrow to 
Bering Strait, the only region where the seal is hunted 
with the rifle in the small open holes of water. 1 

Since my note in the Naturalist was written, I have 
learned from Mr. Henry Balfour, of the museum at Ox- 
ford, that their collection contains two or three speci- 
mens of this very pattern of harpoon, undoubtedly col- 
lected by some of the officers of the Blossom. Conse- 
quently, my theory that the retrieving harpoon was a 
modern invention, due to the introduction of firearms, 
becomes untenable, as the Blossom visited this region 
before firearms were known to the Eskimo. It was' 
probably originally intended for the capture of seals 
"hauled out" on the ice in the early summer. There is 
no doubt, however, that it is at the present day used 
for nothing but retrieving. 

Though this weapon was universally used at Point 
Barrow, we happened to obtain only two specimens, 
possibly because the natives thought them too neces- 
sary an implement to part with lightly. Fo. 89907 
[1695], Figs. 224, 225, has a new shaft, etc., bat was 
used several times by the maker before it was offered 
for sale. Such a retrieving harpoon is called nauligu. 
The shaft (ipua) is of ash, I feet 5 inches long and 1 
inch in diameter, tapering very slightly to each end. 
The ice pick (tuu) of walrus ivory, II inches long and 
1 inch wide, has a round tang fitting into a hole in the 
butt of the shaft. Close to the shaft a small hole is 
drilled in one edge of the pick, and through this is 
passed a bit of seal thong, the ends of which are laid 
along the shaft and neatly whipped down with sinew 
braid, with the end wedged into a slit in the wood. 





Fig. 224.— Retrieving 
seal harpoon. 

1 See the writer's note on this weapon. American Naturalist, vol. 19, p. 423. 




The foreshaft (ukumailuta) is of walrus 
ivory, 4£ inches long and 1£ inches in diam- 
eter at the thickest part, and secured to the 
shaft by a whipping (ni'mxa) of seal thong # 
The loose shaft (igimu) is also of ivory and 2 
inches long and secured by a thong (Ipiuta) 
spliced into a loop through the hole at the 
butt, as previously described. The end is 
hitched round the tip of the shaft with a 
marling hitch, followed by a clove hitch be- 
low the whipping. The ivory fmg'er rest 
(ti'ka) is fastened on with a lashing of whip 
cord (white man's) passing round the shaft. 
The line catch (ki'lerbwm), which was of 
ivory and shaped like those on the walrus 
harpoons, has been lost in transportation. 
The head differs only in size from those just 
described as intended for the bearded seal, 
except in having a hexagonal body. It is 
3-3 inches long and has a blade of iron fas- 
tened into a body of walrus ivory with a 
, single wooden rivet. AVhile there is no 
detachable leader, the head is attached by 
a separate piece of the same material to the 
line (tukaksia), which is 86 feet 10 inches 
long and made of a single piece of fine seal 
thong about one-eighth inch thick. This 
shorter piece is about 27 inches long and 
is passed through the line hole and doubled 
so that one part is a little the longer. It is 
fastened strongly to the end of the line 
by a complicated splice made as follows : 
A slit is cut in the end of the main line 
through which are passed both ends of 
the short line, The longer part is then 
slit about 2 inches from the end and the 
shorter part passed through the slit, and 
a slit cut close to the end of it, through 
which .the longer end is passed. The 
whole is then drawn taut and the longer 
end clove hitched round the main line. 

No. 89908 [1058] is one of these spears 
rigged ready for darting. The line is se- 
cured at about the middle of the shaft 
with a couple of marling hitches. This 
specimen, except the head, is new and was 
rather carelessly made for the market. It 
has neither line catch nor finger rest. The 





Pig. 226.— Jade blade for seal 

foreshaft and ice pick are lashed in with sinew braid, which is 
knotted round the tip of the shaft and then hitched round with 
a series of left-handed soldier's hitches. The end of the thong 
which holds the loose shaft is passed through the hole in it and 
knotted and the other end hitched into the pulley at the smallest 
part of the foreshaft. The head is like that of the preceding, 
but has a conoidal body of reindeer antler, a common material 
for seal-harpoon heads, and the line, which is of stout sinew braid 
43 feet long, is attached to it simply by 
passing the end through the line hole 
and tying it with a clove hitch to the 
standing part 9£ inches from the head. 
This spear is about the same size as the 
preceding. These weapons are all of 
the same general pattern, but vary in 
length according to the height of the 
owner. The heads for these harpoons, 
as well as for the other form of seal har- 
poon, are usually about 3 inches long, S 1 
and, as a rule, have lanceolate blades. ^ 
The body is generally conoidal, often f 
made of reindeer antler, and always, f 
apparently, with a double barb. It is |f 
generally plain, but sometimes orna- 1 
mented like the walrus-harpoon heads. S, 
No. 89784 [1008] was made by IhVbw'ga, the Nunataumeun, 1 
when thinking of coming to winter at Utkiavwin. He had | 
had no experience in sealing, having apparently spent all his 3' 
winters on the rivers inland, and this harpoon head seems to 
have been condemned as unsatisfactory by his new friends at 
Utkiavwin. It looks like a very tolerable naula, but is unu- 
sually small, being only 2£ inches long. 

We saw only one stone blade for a seal harpoon, jSTo. 89623 
[1418], Fig. 226. This is of light olive green jade, and trian- 
gular, with peculiarly dull edges aud point. Each face is con- 
caved, and there is a hole for a rivet. (Compare the jade- 
bladed harpoon figured by jSTordenskiold and referred to above.) 
It is 2 inches long and 0-7 inch wide at the base. It appears 
to have been kept as an amulet. The other form of seal har- 
poon comes properly under the next head. 


Harpoons. — For the capture of seals as they come up for air 
to their breathing holes or cracks in the ice a harpoon is used 
which has a short wooden shaft, armed, as before, with an ice 
pick and a long, slender, loose shaft suited for thrusting down through 


the small breathing hole. It a nualn like the other harpoon, but 
has only a short line, the end of r/hich is made fast permanently to the 
shaft. Such harpoons are used by all Eskimo wherever they are in the 
habit of watching for seals at their breathing holes. The slender part 
of the shaft, however, is not always loose. 1 The foreshaft is simply a 
stout ferrule for the end of the shaft. These weapons are in general use 
at Point Barrow and are very neatly made. 

We obtained two specimens, of which No. 89910 [1094], Fig. 227, will 
serve as the type. The total length of this spear when rigged for use 
is 5 feet 3 inches. The shaft is of spruce, 20i inches long and 14 inches 
in the middle, tapering to 0-9 at the ends. At the butt is inserted, as 
before, an ivory ice pick (tuu) of the form akeady described, 13f inches 
long and lashed in with sinew braid. The foreshaft (katfi) is of walrus 
ivory, nearly cylindrical, 5f inches long and 0-9 inch in diameter, 
shouldered at the butt and lifted into the tip of the shaft with a round 
tang. The latter is very neatly whipped with a narrow strip of white 
whalebone, which makes eleven turns and has the end of the last turn 
forced into a slit in the wood and wedged with a round wooden peg. 
Under this whipping is the bill of a tern as a charm for good luck. (As 
the boy who pointed this out to me said, "Lots of seals.") 

The loose shaft (igimu) is of bone, whale's rib or jaw, and has two 
transverse holes above the shoulder to receive the end of the assembling 
line (sabromia), which not only holds the loose shaft in 
place, but also connects the other parts of the shaft so 
that in case the wood breaks the pieces will not be 
dropped. It is a long piece of seal thong, of which one 
end makes a turn round the loose shaft between the 
holes : the other end is passed through the lower hole, 

Fig. 228. -Diagram ' x . ° ' 

of lashing on shaft, then through the upper and carried down to the tip of 
the shaft, where it is hitched just below the whalebone whipping, as fol- 
lows : three turns are made round the shaft, the first over the standing 
part, the second under, and the third over it ; the end then is passed 
under 3, over 2, and under 1 (Fig. 228), and all drawn taut; it then runs 
down the shaft almost to the butt-lashing and is secured with the same 
hitch, and the end is whipped around the butt of the ice pick with five 
turns. The head (nauli?) is of the ordinary pattern, 2-8 inches long, with 
a copper blade and antler body. The line (Mkaktin) is a single piece of 
seal thong 9 feet long, and is fastened to the head without a leader, by 
simply passing the end through,, the line-hole, doubling it over and 
stopping it to the standing part so as to make a becket 21 inches long. 
The other end is made fast round the shaft and assembling line just 
back of the middle, as follows: An eye is made at the end of the line, 
by cutting a slit close to the tip and pushing a bight of the line through 
this. The end then makes a turn round the shaft, and the other end, 
with the head, is passed through this eye and drawn taut. When 
mounted for use, the head is fitted on the tip of the loose shaft' as usual 

1 Parry, Second Voyage, p. 507, Iglulik. 




and the line brought down to the tip of the shaft and made fast by two 
or three round turns with a bight tucked under, so that 
it can be easily slipped. It is also confined to the loose 
shaft by the end of tbe assembling line, which makes one 
or two loose turns round it. The slack of the line is 
A doubled into "fakes" and tucked between the 
] shaft and assembling line. 
1 1 The other specimen is of the same pattern, but 

slightly different proportions, having a shaft 18£ 
inches long and a pick 19 inches long. Tbe loose 
shaft is of ivory, and there are lashings of white 
whalebone at each end of the shaft. The assem- 
bling line is hitched round the foreshaft as well 
as round the two ends of the shaft, and simply 
knotted round the pick. The line is of very stout 
sinew bra-id, and has an eye neatly spliced in the 
end for looping it round the shaft. Fig. 229, No. 
89551 [1082], is a model of one of these harpoons, 
made for sale. It is 16 J inches long, and correct 
in all its parts, except that the whole head is 
of ivory, even to having the ends of the shaft 
whipped with light-colored whalebone. The shaft 
is of pine and the rest of walrus ivory, with lines 
of sinew braid. We also collected four loose 
I'iiZ) sna, ft' s f° r such harpoons. One of these, No. 
89489 [802], is of whale's bone and unusually 
short, only 14 inches long. It perhaps belonged 
/^ to a lad's spear. The other three are long, 20 to 
25 inches, and are made of narwhal ivory, as is 
shown by the spiral twist in the grain. 

The harpoon used for the whale fishery is a 
heavy, bulky weapon, which is never thrown, but 
thrust with both hands as the Avhale rises under 
the bows of the umiak. When not in use it rests 
in a large ivory crotch, shaped like a rowlock, in 
the bow. The shaft is of wood and 8 or 9 feet 
long, and there is no loose shaft, the bone or 
ivory foreshaft being tapered off to a slender 
point of such a shape that the head easily mi- 
fig. 229.— ships. This foreshaft is not weighted, as in the 

Model of a i i , i • ■ , 

seal har- wa ' nis harpoon, since this is not necessary m a 
poon. weapon which does not leave the hand. The 
harpoon line is fitted with two inflated sealskin floats. 
No complete, genuine whaling harpoons were ever of- 
fered for sale, but a man at Nuwuk made a very excel 
lent reduced model about two-thirds the usual size (No. pooh. 
89909 [1023], Fig. 230), which will serve as the type of this weapon 


Fig. 230.— Large 
model of a whale liar- 



(a'jyufi). This is C feet 11 inches in length when rigged for use. The 

shaft is of pine, 5 feet 8£ inches long, 
with its greatest diameter (1 J inches) 
well forward of the middle and ta- 
pered more toward the butt than 
toward the tip, which is chamfered 
off on one side to fit the butt of the 
foreshaft (igimu), and shouldered to 
keep the lashing in place. The fore- 
shaft is of whale's bone, Hi inches 
long, three -sided with one edge 
rounded off, and tapers from a diam- 
eter of 1 inch to a tapering rounded 
point 1£ inches long, and slightly 
curved away from the flat face of the 
foreshaft. It will ea sily be seen that 
the shape of this tip facilitates the 
unshipping of the head. The butt is 
chamfered off on the flat face to fit 
the chamfer of the shaft, and the 
whole foreshaft is slightly curved in 
the same direction as the tip. It is 
secured to the shaft by a stout whip- 
ping of seal thong. The head is 7 
inches long, and has a body of wal- 
rus ivory, which is ornamented with 
incised patterns colored red with 
ocher, and a blade of dark reddish 
brown jasper, neatly flaked. This 
blade is not unlike a large arrow 
head, being triangular, with curved 
edges, and a short, broad tang im- 
bedded in the tip of the body, which 
is seized round with sinew braid. 
The body is unusually long and slen- 
der and is four sided, with a single 
long, sharp barb, keeled on the outer 
face. The line hole and line grooves 
are in the usual position, but the 
peculiarity of the head is that the 
blade is inserted with its breadth in 
the plane of the body barb. In other 
words, this head has not reached the 
last stage in the development of the 

Fig. 231.— Model of whale harpoun with floats, tortile head. The line is Of Stout 

thong (the skin of the bearded seal) and about 84 feet long. It is passed 




Flint blade for whale 

through the line hole, doubled in the middle, the two parts are lirraly 
stopped together with sinew in four places, and in the ends are cut long 
slits for looping on the floats. When the head is fitted on the foreshaft 
the line is secured to the flat face of the foreshaft by a little stop made 
of a single strand of sinew, easily broken. About 28 inches from the 
tip of the shaft the line is doubled forward and the bight stopped to 
the shaft with six turns of seal thong, so that 
the line is held in place and yet can be easily de- 
tached by a straight pull. The ends are then 
doubled back over the lashing and stopped to 
the shaft with a single thread of sinew. 

Fig. 231 is a toy model of the whale harpoon, 
No. 5(3562 [233], 18J inches long, made of pine 
and ivory, and shows the manner of attaching 
the floats, which are little blocks of spruce > 
roughly whittled into the shape of inflated seal- 
skins. A piece of seal thong 13£ inches long 
has its ends looped round the neck of the floats 
and the harpoon-line is looped into a slit in the 
middle of this line. FlG 232 

We collected thirteen heads for such harpoons, 
which have been in actual use, of which two have flint blades like the 
one described, two have brass blades, and the rest either blades of slate 
or else no blades. The flint blades are either triangular like the one 
described or lanceolate and are about 3 inches long exclusive of the tang. 
The three separate flint blades which we obtained (Fig. 232, No. 56708 
[114], from Ftkiavwifi, is one of these, made of black flint) are about 1 
inch shorter and were perhaps intended for walrus har- 
poons, though we saw none of these with flint blades. 
They are all newly made for the market. 

The slate blades of which we collected eleven, some 
old and some new, besides those in the heads, are all 
triangular, with curved edges, as in Fig. 233 (No. 56709 
[139] from Utkiavwih, made of soft purple slate), except 
one new one, No. 56697« [188a], which has the corners 
cut off so as to give it a rhomboidal shape. The cor- 
ners are sometimes rounded off so that they are nearly 
heart-shaped. These blades are usually about 2| inches 
two unusually large ones are 3 inches long and nearly 
2J broad, and one small one 24 by 1-6 inches, and are simply wedged into 
the blade slit without a rivet. The brass blades are of the same shape. 
The common material for the body seems to have been rather coarse 
whale's bone, from the rib or jaw. Only two out of the thirteen have 
ivory bodies, and these are both of the newer brass-bladed pattern. The 
body is very long and slender, being usually about 8 or 8£ inches long 
(one is 9J inches long) and not over 1J inches broad at the widest part. 

Fig. 233.— Slate blade 
for whale harpoon. 

lone' and 2 broad 



It is always cut off very obliquely at the base, and the part in front of 
the line hole is contracted to a sort of shank, as in Fig. 234 (No. 
89747 [1044]), a head with slate blade (broken) and 
bone body. This represents a very common form 
in which the shank is four-sided, while back of the 
middle the outer face of the barb rises into a ridge, 
making this part of the body five-sided. The edges 
of the shank are sometimes rounded off so as to 
make this part elliptical in section, and all the 
edges of the body except the keel, on the outer 
face of the barb, are frequently rounded off as in 
Fig. 235a, No. 89745 [1044], which has a slate blade 
wedged into the bone body with a bit of old cloth 
and a wooden wedge, Fig. 235&, No. 56(302 [157], 
from Utkiavwin, is a head of the same shape, but 
has a brass blade and a body of ivory. This blade 
is wedged in with deer hair, but the other brass- 
bladed harpoon, No. 56601 [137], has a single rivet 
of whalebone. 

The blade slit, and consequently the blade, is 
always in the plane of 
the barb, which position, 


as I have said before, cor- 

Fig. 234.— Body of whale 
harpoon head. 

responds to the last step 
but one in the develop- 
ment of the harpoon-head. When the blade is 
of flint and inserted with a tang, the tip of the 
body is always whipped with sinew braid, as in 
Fig. 212, No. 8974S [928], from Nuwtik. This 
specimen is remarkable as being the only one 
in the series with a double point to the barb. 
These bodies are sometimes ornamented with 
incised lines, in conventional patterns, as shown 
in the different figures. A short incised mark 
somewhat resembling an arrow (see above, Fig. 
234, No. 89747 [1044J ) may have some signifi- 
cance as it is repeated on several of the heads. 
Harpoon-heads of this peculiar pattern are to 
be found in the Museum collection from other 
localities. As we should naturally expect, they 
have been found at the Diomede Islands, St. 
Lawrence Island, and Plover Bay. It is very 
interesting, however, to find a specimen of pre- 
cisely the same type from Greenland, where the 
modern harpoons are so different from those 
used in the west. 

That the line connecting the head with the float line is not always so 

Fig. 235. — Whale harpoon heads 




long in proportion as represented on the two models is shown by Fig. 

236, No. 89744 [969], the only specimen obtained with any part of the 

line attached. A piece of stout wal- 

rus-hide thong 2 feet long is passed 

through the line-hole and doubled 

in two equal parts, which are firmly 

stopped together with sinew about 

2 inches from the head. Another 

piece of similar thong 4 feet 2 inches 

long is also doubled into two equal 

parts and the ends firmly spliced to 

those of the short piece thus : The 

two ends of the long piece are slit 

and one end of the short piece passed 

through each sli t. One of these ends 

is then slit and through it are passed 

the other end of the short piece and 

the bight of the 


is drawn taut and 

securely seized 

with sinew. The 

b e C k e t thus - FlG- 236.— Whale harpoon head -with "leader." 

formed was probably looped directly into the bight of 
the float line. 

The foreshaft is much larger than that of the model, 
though of the same shape. No. 56537 [97], Fig. 237, 
from Utkiavwiii, is of walrus-ivory and 15.8 inches 
long with a diameter of 1£ inches at the butt. The 
oblong slot at the beginning of the chamfer is to 
receive the end of the lashing which secured this to 
the shaft. This form of foreshaft is very well adapted 
to insure the unshipping of the toggle-head, but lacks 
the special advantage of the loose-shaft, namely, that 
under a violent lateral strain it unships without break- 
ing. The question at once suggests itself, why was 
not the improvement that is used on all the other 
harpoons applied to this one? In my opinion, the 
reason for this is the same as for retaining the form 
of toggle-head, which, as I have shown, is of an an- 
i cient pattern. 

That is to say, the modern whale harpoon is the 
same pattern that was once used for all harpoons, 
preserved for superstitious reasons. It is a well 
known fact, that among many peoples implements, 
ideas, and language have been preserved in connection with religious 

Fig. 237.— Foreshaft of 
whale harpoon. 


ceremonies long after they have gone out of use in everyday 
life. Now, the whale fishing at Port Barrow, in many respects 
the most important undertaking in the life of the natives, is so 
surrounded by superstitious observances, ceremonies to be per- 
formed, and other things of the same nature as really to assume 
a distinctly religious character. Hence, we should naturally 
expect to find the implements used in it more or less archaic in 
form. That this is the case in regard to the toggle-head I think 
I have already shown. It seems to me equally evident that this 
foreshaft, which contains the loose shaft and foreshaft, undiffer- 
entiated, is also the older form. 

Why the development of the harpoon was arrested at this par- 
ticular .stage is not so easily determined. A natural supposition 
would be that this was the form of harpoou used by their an- 
cestors when they first began to be successful whalemen. 

That they connect the idea of good luck with these ancient 
stone harpoons is shown by what occurred at Point Barrow in 
1883. Of late years they have obtained from the ships many 
ordinary " whale-irons," and some people at least had got into 
the habit of using them. 
Now, the bad luck of the season of 1882, when the boats of 
J both villages together caught only one small whale, was attrib- 
| uted to the use of these "irons, " aud it was decided by the elders 
=: that the first harpoon struck iuto the whale must be a stone- 
's bladed one such as their forefathers used when they killed many 
a ay hales. 

^ In this connection, it is interesting to note a parallel custom 
observed at Point Hope. Hooper 1 says that at this place the 
beluga must always be struck with & flint spear, even if it has 
been killed by a rifle shot. 

Lances. — As I have said on a preceding page, some of the na- 
tives now use bomb-guns for dispatching the harpooned whale, 
and all the whaleboats are provided with steel whale lances 
obtained from the ships. In former times they used a large and 
powerful lance with a broad flint head. They seem to have con- 
tinued the use of this weapon, probably for the same reasons 
that led them to retain the ancient harpoon for whaling until 
they obtained their present supply of steel lances, as we found 
no signs of iron whale lances of native manufacture, such as 
are found in Greenland and elsewhere. We obtained nine 
heads for stone lances (kaluwiu) and one complete lance, a very 
fine specimen (No. 56765 [5371, Fig. 238), which was brought 
down as a present from Nuwiik. The broad, sharp head is of 
light gray flint, mounted on a shaft of spruce 12 feet 6 inches 
long. It has a broad, stout tang inserted in the cleft end of the 

1 Corwiu Report, p. 41. 




shaft. The shaft is rhomboidal in section with rounded edges, and 

tapers from a breadth of 2 inches and a 

thickness of 1 at the tip to a butt of 0-7 inch 

broad and 1 thick. The tip of the shaft has 

a whipping of sinew-braid If inches deep, 

"kackled" down on both edges, one end of 

the twine on each edge, so that the hitch 

made by one end crosses the round turn of 

the other, making in all twenty-six turns. 

The shaft has been painted red for 1 J inches 

below the whipping. 

No. 89596 [1032] is the head and 5 inches 
of the shaft of a similar lance. The head is 
of black liint, and the sinew-braid forms a 
simple whipping. The remaining heads are 
all unmounted. I have figured several of 
them to show the variations of this now 
obsolete weapon. Fig. 239, No. 56677 [49], 
from Utkiavwin, is of gray flint chipped in 
large flakes. The total length is 6-9 inches. 
The small lugs on the edges of the tang are 
to keep it from slipping out of the whipping. 
No. 5G679 [239], also from Utkiavwin, is of 
black flint and broader than the preceding. 
Its length is 6-3 inches. No. 56680 [394], fig. 239,-Fiint head of whale lanco. 
from the same village, is of light bluish gray flint and very broad. It 

Fig. 240.— Flint heads for whale lances. 

is 5-4 inches long. No. 56681 [5], from Utkiavwin, is another broad 

9 ETH 16 



head of black flint, 6 inches long. Fig. 240a, No. 89597 [1034], from 
Nuwiik, is of black flint, and unusually long in proportion, running into 
A the taug with less shoulder than usual. Much of the original 
surface is left untouched on one face. This is probably very old. 
No. 89598 [1361 J is a head of similar shape of dark gray flint from 
Sidaru. It is 6 inches long. Fig. 240Z>, No. 89599 [1373], from 
the same place and of similar material, is shaped very like the 
head of a steel lance. It is 5 inches long. Fig. 240c, No. 89000 
[1009], from Utkiavwm, is still broader in proportion and almost 
heart-shaped. It is of bluish gray flint and 4-8 inches long. 
These heads probably represent most of the different forms in 
use. Only two types are to be recognized among them, the long- 
pointed oval with a short tang, and the broad leaf-shaped head 
with a rather long tang, which appears to be the commoner form. 
We obtained one newly made lance of a pattern similar to the 
above, but smaller, which was said to be a model 
of the weapon used in attacking the polar bear 
before the introduction of firearms. The name, 
pii'nnu, is curiously like the name panna given 
by Dr. Simpson and Capt. Parry to the large & 
double-edged knife. The specimen, No. 89895 
[1230], Fig. 241, came from Utkiavwin. It has a 
head of gray flint 3£ inches long, exclusive of the 
tang, roughly convex on one face, but flat and 
merely beveled at the edges on the other. The 
edges are finely serrate. The shaft is of spruce, 
feet 8 inches long, rounded and somewhat flat- 
tened at the tip, which is 1 inch wide and taper- 
ing to a diameter of 0-7 at the butt, and is painted hea(1 for bear lance. 
red with ocher. The tip has a slight shoulder to keep the whip- 
ping in place. The tang is wedged in with bits of leather and 
secured by a close whipping of sinew braid 1 J inches deep. Fig. 
242, No. 89G11 [1034], from Nuwiik, was probably the head of such 
a lance, although it is somewhat narrower and slightly shorter. 
Its total length is 3-4 inches. The other two large lance-heads. 
No. 56708ft [114a] and No. 50708& [1146], are both new, but were 
probably meant for the bear lance. They are of gray flint, 3£ 
inches long, and have the edges regularly serrate. 

One form of lance is still in general use. It has a sharp metal 
head, and a light wooden shaft about 6 feet long. It is used in 
the kaiak for stabbing deer swimming in the water, after the 
manner frequently noticed among other Fskimo. 1 A pair of 
these spears is carried in beckets on the forward deck of the 
kaiak. On approaching a deer one of them is slipped out of the 
becket and laid on the deck, with the butt resting on the combing of 

■Parry, 2d Voy., p. 512 (Iglulik); Kumlicn, Contributions, p. 54 (Cumberland Gulf); Schwatka, 
Science, vol, 4, Kb. 98, p. 544 (King Williams Land), 

Fig. 242.— Flint 

Fig. 241 




the cockpit. 



The hunter then paddles rapidly up alongside of the deer, 

grasps the lauce near the butt, as he would a dagger, 

and stabs the animal with a quick downward thrust. 

I This spear is called ka'pun, which in the Point Barrow 

1 dialect exactly corresponds to the Greenlandic word 

H kaput, which is applied to the long-bladed spear or long 

| knife used for dispatching a harpooned seal. 1 The word 

)■■■" ka'pun means simply "an instrument for stabbing." 
No. 73183 [524], Figs. 243«, 243fc (head enlarged), will 
serve as a type of this weapon, of which we have two 
/specimens. All that we saw were essentially like this. 
The head is iron, 4£ inches long exclusive of the tang, 
and 1J inches broad. The edges are narrowly beveled 
on both faces. The shaft is 6 feet 2 inches 
long, and tapers from a diameter of 0-8 inch 
about the middle to about one-half inch at 
each end. The tip is cleft to receive the tang 
of the head, and shouldered to keep the whip- 
ping from slipping off. The latter was of 
sinew braid and 2 inches deep. The shaft is 
painted with red ocher. 

The other has a shaft 6 feet 4 inches long, 

but otherwise resembles the preceding. The 

heads for these lances are not always made of 

iron. Copper, brass, etc., are sometimes used. 

No. 5G699 [160] is one of a pair of neatly made 

copper lance heads. It is 5-9 inches long and 

1£ wide, and ground down on each face to a 

sharp edge without a bevel, except just at the 

point. Before the introduction of iron these 

lances had stone heads, but were otherwise 

of the same shape. Fig. 244 represents the 

head and 6 inches of the shaft of one of these flint head - 

(No. 89900 [1157] from Nuwtik). The shaft is new and 

rather carelessly made of a rough, knotty piece of 

spruce, and is 5 feet 5f inches long. The head is of 

black flint and 2 inches long, exclusive of the tang, and 

i the tip of the shaft is whipped with a narrow strip of 

light-colored whalebone, the end of which is secured by 

passing it through a slit in the side of the shaft and 

wedging it into a crack on the opposite side. This 

13 is an old head newly mounted for the market, and 

fig. 243.— Deer lance, the head is wedged in with a bit of blue flannel. 

No. 89897 [1324], Fig. 245, from Utkiavwin, on the other hand, is an 

old shaft 5 feet 7£ inches long, fitted with a new head, which is very 

broad, and shaped like the head of a bear lance. It is of variegated 

i Crantz, vol. 1, p. 147, PI. v, Kg. 5; and Kane, 1st Grinnell Exp., p. 479 (tig. at bottom). 




jasper, brown and gray, and has a piece of white sealskin lapped over 
the cleft of the shaft at each side of the tang so that the edges 
of the two pieces almost meet in the middle. They are secured 
by a spaced whipping of sinew braid. This shaft, which is 
painted red, evidently had a broad head formerly, as it is 
expanded at the tip. No. 89890 [1321] is the mate to this, evi- 
dently made to match it. We also obtained one other flint- 
headed lance, The mate to No. 89900 [1157], No. 89898 [1157], 
has a head of dark gray slate 2-3 inches long. This spear ap- 
pears to be wholly old, except the whipping of sinew braid. 
The shaft is of spruce, 5 feet 4f inches long, and painted red 
with oeher. We also collected three stone heads for such lances. 
Fig. 210, No. 38711 [118], from Utkiavwiu, shows the shape of 
the tang. It is of gray flint, and 3-7 inches long. No. 89010 
[1151] is a beautiful lance head of polished olive green jade, 4-3 
inches long. The hole in the tang is probably not intended 
for a rivet, as none of the lance heads which we 
saw were fastened in this way. It is more likely 
that it was perforated for attaching it to the belt 
d as an amulet. We were told that this lance head 
.3 was brought from the west. A large slate lance 
| head found by Nordenskiold 1 in the old "Onkilon" 
§ house at North Cape is of precisely the same shape 
" as these deer-lance heads, but from its size was 
|j probably intended for a whale lance. 


Fig. 246. — Flint 
head for deer 



The only throwing weapon ■which these people 
use is a small bolas, designed for catching birds 
on the wing. This consists of six or seven small 
ivory balls, each attached to a string about 30 inches long, the 
ends of which are fastened together to a tuft of feathers, which 
serves as a handle and perhaps directs the flight of the missile. 
When not in use the strings are shortened up, as in Fig. 217, 
No. 75909 [1793], for convenience in carrying and to keep them 
from tangling, by tying them into slip knots, as follows: All 
the strings being straightened out and laid parallel to each 
other, they are doubled in a bight, with the end under the 
standing part, the bight of the end passed through the preced- 
ing bight, which is drawn up close, and so on, usually five or 
six times, till the strings are sufficiently shortened. A pull 
on the two ends slips all these knots and the strings come out 
straight and untangled. 

The bolas is carried knotted up in a pouch slung round the 
neck, a native frequently carrying several sets. When a flock 
of ducks is seeu approaching, the handle is grasped in the right 

■Vega, vol. 1, l>. -144, Fig. 7. 




hand, the balls in the left, and the strings are straightened ont with a 
quick pull. Letting go with the left hand the balls are whirled round 
the head and let fly at the passing flock. The 
balls spread apart in flying through the air, 
so as to cover considerable space, 
like a charge of shot, and if they 
are stopped by striking a duck, the 
strings immediately wrap around 
him and hamper his flight so that 
he comes to the ground. The na- 
tives said that the balls flew with 
sufficient force to stun a duck or 
break his wing, but we never hap- 
pened to see any taken except in 
the way just described. A duck 
is occasionally left with sufficient 
freedom of motion to escape with 
the bolas hanging to him. The 
weapon is effective up to 30 or 40 
yards, but the natives often throw 
it to a longer distance, frequently 
missing their aim. It is univer- 
sally employed, especially by those FlQ . 247 ._Bird boias, looped up 
who have no guns, and a good tor carrying. 

many ducks are captured with it. In the spring, when the 
ducks are flying, the women and children hardly ever stir 
out of the house without one or more of these. 

We brought home one specimen of this implement (kelaui- 

tau'tm), No. 75969 [1793], Fig. 248, which is new and has the 

balls rather carelessly made. The balls, which are six in 

number, are of walrus ivory, 1-0 to 1*8 inches long and 1 inch 

in diameter (except one which is flattened, 2 inches long and 

1*3 wide; they are usually all of the same shape). Through 

the larger end is drilled a small hole, the ends of which are 

joined by a shallow groove running over the end, iuto which 

the ends of the strings are fastened by three half-hitches 

each. There is one string of sinew braid to each set of two 

balls, doubled in the middle so that all six parts are equal and 

about 28 inches long. They are fastened to the feather handle 

as follows: Nine wing feathers of the eider duck are laid side 

by side, butt to point, and doubled in the middle so that the 

boias, ready' quills and vanes stand up on all sides. The middle of each 

for use. string is laid across the bight of the feathers, so that the six 

parts come out on all sides between the feathers. The latter are then 

lashed tightly together with a bit of sinew braid, by passing the end 

over the bend of the feathers and tying with the rest of the string round 

the feathers. 


These weapons are generally very much like the specimen described, 
but vary somewhat in the shape and material of the balls, which are 
sometimes simply ovoid or spherical, and often made of single teeth of 
the walrus, instead of tusk ivory. Bone is also sometimes used. In 
former times, the astragalus bones of the reindeer, perforated through 
the ridge on one end were used for balls. No. 80490 [1342], is a pair of 
such bones tied together with a bit of thong, which appear to have been 
actually used. No. 89537 [1251] from Utkiavwift is a very old ball, 
which is small (1-1 inches long) and unusually flat. It appears to have 
been kept as a relic. 

There is very little information to be found concerning the extent of 
the region in which this implement is used, either in the Museum col- 
lections or in the writings of authors. A few points, however, have 
been made out with certainty. The bolas are unknown amoug all the 
Eskimo east of the Anderson Elver, and the only evidence that we 
have of their use at this point is an entry in the Museum catalogue, to 
which I have been unable to find a corresponding specimen. Dease and 
Simpson, in 1837, did not observe them till they reached Foint Barrow. 1 
They were first noticed by Beechey at Kotzebue Sound in 1826. 2 Mr. 
Nelson's collections show that they are used from Point Barrow along 
the Alaskan coast, at least as far south as the Yukon delta, and on St. 
Lawrence Island, while for their use on the coast of Siberia as far as 
Cape North, we have the authority of Nordenskidld, 3 and the Krause 
Brothers. 4 


Floats. — I have already spoken of the floats (apotu'kpun) of inflated 
sealskin used in capturing the whale and walrus. We obtained one 
specimen, No. 73578 [538] Fig. 240. This is the whole skin, except the 

Fig. 249.— Seal skin float. 

head, of a male rough seal (Phoca fetida), with the hair out. The car- 
cass was carefully removed without making any incision except round 
the neck and a few inches down the throat, and skinned to the very 

1 T. Simpson's Narrative, p. 156. 

2 Voyage, p. 574. 

3 Vega, vol. 2, p. 109, and Fig. 3, p. 105. 

* Geographischo Blatter, vol. 5, pt. 1, p. 32. See also Rosso, Aretie Cruise of the Corwin, p. 34. 

Murdoch.] FLOATS TOGGLES. 247 

toes, leaving the claws on. All natural or accidental apertures are care 
fully sewed up, except the genital opening, into which is inserted a ring 
of ivory, which serves as a mouthpiece for inflating the skin and is 
corked with a plug of wood. The cut in the throat is carefully sewed 
up, and the neck puckered together, and wrapped with seal thong into 
a slender shank about 1 inch long, leaving a flap of skin which is wrapped 
round a rod of bone 4 inches long and 1 in diameter, set across the 
shank, and wound with thong. This makes a handle for looping on the 
harpoon line. 

All the floats used at Point Barrow are of the same general pattern 
as this, and are generally made of the skin of the rough seal, 
though skins of the harbor seal (P. vitulina) are sometimes used. 
One of these floats is attached to the walrus harpoon, but two are used 
in whaling. 1 Five or six floats are carried in each boat, and are inflated 
before starting out. I have seen them used for seats during a halt on 
the ice, when the boat was being taken out to the "lead." The use of 
these large floats is not peculiar to Point Barrow. They are employed 
by all Eskimo who pursue the larger marine mammals. 

Flipper toggles. — We collected two pairs of peculiar implements, in 
the shape of ivory whales about 5 inches long, with a perforation in the 
belly through which a large thong could be attached. We understood 
that they were to be fastened to the ends of a stout thong and used 
when a whale was killed to toggle his flippers together so as to keep 
them in place while towing him to the ice, by cutting holes in the flip- 
pers and passing the ivory through. We unfortunately never had an 
opportunity of verifying this story. Neither pair is new. Fig. 250a 
represents a pair of these implements (ka'gotih) (No. 56580 [227]). 
They are of white walrus ivory. In the middle of each belly is exca- 
vated a deep, oblong cavity about three-fourths of an inch long and one- 
half wide, across the middle of which is a stout transverse bar for the 
attachment of the line. One is a "bow-head" whale (Balaena mys- 
ticetus), 4£ inches long, and the other evidently intended for a "Cali- 
fornia gray" (Rhachinectes glaucus). It has light blue glass beads 
inserted for eyes and is the same length as the other. 

Fig.250 (No. 56598 [407]) is a similar pair, which are both "bowheads" 
nearly 5 inches long. Both have cylindrical plugs of ivory inserted for 
eyes, and are made of a piece of ivory so old that the surface is a light 
chocolate color. The name, kagotiii, means literally " a pair of toggles." 

Harpoon boxes (u'dlun or u'blun, literally " a nest.'''') — The slate harpoon 
blades already described were very apt to be lost or broken, so they 
always carried in the boat a supply of spare blades. These were kept 
in a small box carved out of a block of soft wood, in the shape of the 
animal to be pursued. 

1 1 learn from our old interpreter, Capt. E. P. Herendeen, who lias spent three years in whaling at 
Point Barrow since the return of the expedition, that a third float is also used. It is attached by a 
longer line than the others, and serves as a sort of "telltale," coming to the surface some time ahead 
of the whale. 



Fig. 25la represents one of these boxes (STo. 56505 [138] ) intended 
for spare blades for the whale harpoon. This is rather neatly carved 
from a single block of soft wood, apparently spruce, though it is very 
old and much weathered, in the shape of a "bowhead" whale, 9£ inches 
long. The ends of the flukes are broken short off, and show traces of 
having been mended with wooden pegs or dowels. The right eye is 
indicated by a simple incision, but a tiny bit of crystal is inlaid for the 
left. Two little bits of crystal are also inlaid in the middle of the back. 
The belly is flat and excavated into a deep triangular cavity, with its 
base just forward of the angle of the mouth and the apex at the 

Fig. 250.— Flipper toggles. 

" small." It is beveled round the edge, with a shoulder at the base and 
apex, and is covered with a flat triangular piece of wood beveled on 
the under face to fit the edge of the cavity. About half of one side 
of the cover has been split off and mended on with two "stitches" of 
whalebone fiber. The cover is held on by three strings of seal thong 
passing through holes in each corner of the cover and secured by a 




knot in the end of each string. They then pass through three corre- 
sponding holes in the bottom of the cavity, leaving outside of the back 
two ends 7 inches and one 15 long, which are tied together. The cover 
can be lifted wholly off and then drawn back into its place by pulling 
the string. 

Fig. 251. — Boxes for harpoon heads. 

We collected seven such whale-harpoon boxes, usually about 9 to 9f 
inches long. Nearly all have bits of crystal, amber, or pyrite, inlaid 
for the eyes and in the middle of the back, and the cover is generally 
rigged in the way described. No. 56502 [198], from Utkiavwm, is a 


large whale, a foot long, and has the tail bent up, while the animal is 
usually represented as if lying still. It has good-sized sky-blue beads 
inlaid for the eyes. 

Fig. 2516 (No. 89733 [1161], from Nuwtik) represents a small box 4£ 
inches long, probably older than the others, and the only one not carved 
into the shape of a whale. It is roughly egg-shaped and has no wooden 
cover to the cavity, which is covered with a piece of deerskin, held on 
by a string of seal thong wrapped three times around the body in a 
rough, deep groove, with the end tucked under. In this box are five 
slate blades for the whale harpoon. 

We also collected two boxes for walrus harpoons made in the shape 
of the walrus, with ivory or bone tusks. No. 89732 [800], Fig. 251c, from 
Nuwtik, is old, and 7 inches long, and has two oval bits of ivory, with 
holes bored to represent the pupils, inlaid for the eyes. There is no 
cover, but the cavity is tilled with a number of slate blades, carefully 
packed in whalebone shavings. There is a little eyebolt of ivory at 
each end of the cavity. One end of a bit of sinew braid is tied to the 
anterior of these, and the other carried down through the hinder one, 
and then brought up and fastened round the body with a marling hitch. 
The other (No. 56489 [127], is new and rather rougldy made, 5 inches 
long and painted all over with red ocher. It has a cover, but no strings. 

No. 56501 [112], Fig. 25ld, from Utkiavwni, is for carrying harpoon 
blades for the chase of the bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus), and is 
neatly carved into the shape of that animal. It is 7-4 inches long and 
has ivory eyes like the walrus box, No. 89732 [860]. The cover is fitted 
to the cavity like those of the whale boxes, but is held on by one string 
only, a piece of seal thong about 3 feet long passing through the mid- 
dle of the cover and out at a hole on the left side, about one-fourth inch 
from the cavity. The box is tilled with raveled rope-yarns. Fig. 251e 
(No. 89730 [981], from Utkiavwin) is like this, but very large, 9-3 inches 
long. The cover is thick and a little larger than the cavity, beveled 
on the upper face and notched on each side to receive the string, which 
is a bit of sinew braid fastened to two little ivory hooks, one on each 
side of the body. It is fastened to the right hook, carried across and 
hooked around the left hand one, then carried over and hooked round 
the other, and secured by tucking a bight of the end under the last 
part. The box contains several slate blades. We also collected one 
other large seal box (No. 89731 [859], from Nuwiik), very roughly 
carved, and 9-8 inches long. The Cover is fitted into the cavity and held 
on by a narrow strip of whalebone, running across in a transverse groove 
in the cover and through a hole in each side of the box. 

Wets (ku' bra). — The smaller seals are captured in large-meshed nets of 
rawhide. We brought home one of these, No. 56756 [109], Figs 252a- 
2526 (detail of mesh). This is a rectangular net, eighteen meshes long 
and twelve deep, netted of fine seal thong with the ordinary netting knot. 
The length of the mesh is 14 inches. 




Such nets are set under the ice in winter, or in shoal "water along the 
shore by means of stakes in summer. In the ordinary method of setting 
the net under the ice two small holes are cut through the ice the length 
of the net apart, and between them in the same straight line is cut a third 

Fig. 252.— Seal net. 

large enough to permit a seal to be drawn up through it. A line with a 
plummet on the end is let down through one of the small holes, and is 
hooked through the middle hole, with a long slender pole of willow, often 
made of several pieces spliced together, with a small wooden hook on the 


end. The line is then detached from the plummet and fastened to one 
upper corner of the net, and a second line is let down through the other 
small hole and made fast in the same way to the other upper corner. 
By pulling on these lines the net is drawn down through the middle and 
stretched like a curtain under the ice, while a line at the middle serves 
to haul it up again. The end lines are but loosely made fast to lumps 
of ice, so that when a seal strikes the net nothing hinders his wrapping 
it completely around him in his struggles to escape. When the hunter, 
who is usually watching his net, thinks the seal is sufficiently entangled 
he hauls him up through the large hole and sets the net again. 

I had no opportunity of observing whether any weights or plummets 
were used to keep down the lower edge of the net. These nets are now 
universally employed, but one native spoke of a time "long ago" when 
there were no nets and they captured seals with the spear (u'iib) alone. 
The net was used in seal catching in Dr. Simpson's time, though he 
makes but a casual reference to it, 1 and Beechey found seal nets at 
Kotzebue Sound in 1S2G. 2 The net is very generally used for sealing 
among the Eskimo of western America and in Siberia. We observed 
seal nets set with stakes along the shore of the sandspit at Plover Bay, 
and Nordenskiold speaks of seal nets " set in summer among the ground 
ices along the shore," 3 and at open leads in the winter, but gives no 
description of the method of setting these nets beyond mentioning the 
"long pole which was used in setting the net," 4 as none of his party 
ever witnessed the seal fishery. 5 I am informed by Mr. W. H. Dall that 
the winter nets in Norton Sound are not set under the ice as at Point 
Barrow, but with stakes in shoal water wherever there are open holes 
in the ice. " Ice nets" are spoken of as in use for sealing in Greenland, 
but I have been able to find no description of them. As they are not 
spoken of by either Egede or Orantz I am inclined to believe that they 
were introduced by the Europeans. 6 Mr. L. M. Turner informs me that 
such is the case at Ungava Bay on the southern shore of Hudson 
Strait, where they use a very long net set under the ice very much as 
at Point Barrow. I can find no mention of the use of seal nets among 
any other of the eastern Eskimo. 

It is well known that seals have a great deal of curiosity, and are 
easily attracted by any unusual sounds, especially if they are gentle 
and long-continued. It is therefore easy to entice them into the nets 
by making such noises, for instance, gentle whistling, rattling on the 
ice with the pick, and so forth. Two special implements are also used 
for this purpose. The first kind I have called : 

1 Op. cit., p. 262. 

8 Voyage, pp. 295, 574. 

3 Vega, vol. 2, p. 108. 

* Ibid., p. 98. 

6 See also the reference to Hooper's Corwin Report, quoted below under Hunting. 

• Seo, however, the writer's paper in the American Anthropologist, vol. 1, p. 333. 




Seal calls (adrigautin). — This implement consists of three or four claws 
mounted on the end of a short wooden handle, and is used to make a 
gentle noise by scratching on the ice. It is a common implement, 
though I never happened to see it in use. We obtained six specimens, 
of which No. 56555 [90] Fig. 253a, is the type. It is 11£ inches long. 
The round handle is of ash, the claws are those of the bearded seal, 
secured by a lashing of sinew braid, with the end brought down on the 
under side to a little blunt, backward-pointing hook of ivory, set into 
the wood about 1 inch from the base of the arms. 

Fig. 253b (No. 56557 [93] from Utkiavwin) -is 9£ inches long and has 
four prongs. The haft is of spruce, and instead of an ivory hook there 
is a round-headed stud of the same material, which is driven wholly 
through the wood, having the point cut off flush with the upper sur- 

Fig. 253. — Scratches for decoying seals. 

face. It has a lanyard of seal twine knotted into the hole in the haft. 
The other two specimens of this pattern, Nos. 56556 [100] and 56558 
[51] have each three claws, and hafts of soft wood, painted with red 
ocher, with lanyards, and are respectively 10-4 and 10-7 inches long. 
One has an ivory hook, but the other in place of this has a small iron 
nail, and is ornamented with a medium-sized sky-blue glass bead inlaid 
in the back. The other two are both new and small, being respectively 
7-5 and 7-6 inches long. The hafts are made of reindeer antler and 
have only two prongs. No. 89467 [1312] from Utkiavwin, has the haft 
notched on each side, and has an irregular stud of bone for securing 
the lashing. 

No. 89468 [1354], Fig. 253c, from Utkiavwin, has no stud and the claws 
are simply held on by a slight lashing of twisted sinew. Both of these 
were made for the market, but may be models of a form once used. 
There are two old seal calls in the Museum from near St. Michaels, 
made of a piece of reindeer antler, apparently the spreading brow 
antler, in which the sharp rjoints of the antler take the place of claws. 



The use of this implement, as shown by Mr. Nelson's collection, extends 
or extended from Point Barrow to Norton Sound. He collected speci- 
mens from St. Lawrence Island and Cape Wankarem in Siberia. Nor- 
denskiold speaks of the use of this implement at Pitlekaj and figures 
a specimen. 1 The other instrument appears to be less common. I have 
called it a seal rattle. 

Seal rattle. — We obtained only two specimens, No. 56533 [409], which 
seem to be a pair. Fig. 254 is one of these. It is of cottonwood and 4 
inches long, roughly carved into the shape of a seal's head and painted 
red, with two small transparent blue glass beads inlaid for the eyes. 
The neat becket of seal thong consists of three or four turns with the 
end wrapped spirally around them. The staple on which the ivory 

pendants hang is of iron. This is believed to 
be a rattle to be shaken on the ice by a string 
tied to the becket for the purpose of attracting 
seals to the ice net. It was brought in for sale 
at a time during our first year when we were 
very busy with zoological work, and as some- 
thing was said about "netyi" and "kubra" 
("seal" and "net") the collector concluded 
that they must be floats for seal nets, and they 
were accordingly catalogued as such and laid 
away. We never happened to see another 
specimen, and as these were sent home in 1882 
we learned no more of their history. The late 
Dr. Emil Bessels, however, on my return called 
my attention to the fact that in the museum at 
Copenhagen there is a single specimen very 
similar to these, which was said to have been 
used in the manner described above. It came 
from somewhere in eastern America. There is 
one, he told me, in the British Museum from 
Bering Strait. The National Museum contains several specimens col- 
lected by Mr. Nelson at Point Hope. It is very probable that this is 
the correct explanation of the use of these objects, as it assigns a func- 
tion to the ivory pendants which would otherwise be useless. They 
have been called " dog bells," but the Eskimo, at Point Barrow, at least, 
are not in the habit of marking their dogs in any way. 

Seal indicators. — When watching for a seal at his breathing hole a 
native inserts in the hole a slender rod of ivory, which is held loosely in 
place by a cross piece or a bunch of feathers on the end. When the 
seal rises he pushes up this rod, which is so light that he does not no- 
tice it, and thus warns the hunter when to shoot or strike with his 
spear. Most of the seal hunting was done at such a distance from the 
station that I remember only one occasion when this implement was 

Fig. 254.— Seal rattle. 

1 Vega, vol. 2, p, 117, Fig. 3. 




seen in use. We collected two specimens, of which No. 56507 [104], 
Fig. 255a, will serve as the type. It is of walrus ivory, 14£ inches long 
and 0-3 in diameter, with a small lanyard of sinew. The curved cross 
piece of ivory, 1^ inches long, is inserted into a slot one-fourth of an 
inch from the end and secured by a little treenail of wood. 

Fig. 2556 (No. 89454 [1114], from Nuwtik) is a similar indicator, 13£ 
inches long and flat (0-3 inch wide and 04 thick). The upper end 
is carved into scallops for ornament and has a small eye into which 

Fig. 255.— Seal indicators. 

was knotted a hit of whalebone fiber. The tip is beveled off with a 
concave bevel on both faces to a sharp edge, so that it can be used for 
a u feather setter" (igugwau) in feathering arrows. Such implements 
are mentioned in most popular accounts of the Eskimo of the east, 
and Oapt. Parry describes it from personal observation at Iglulik. 1 I 
have been unable to find any mention of its use in western America, 
and have seen no specimens in the National Museum. 

Sealing stools. — When a native is watching a seal-hole he frequently 
has to stand for hours mo- 
tionless on the ice. His feet 
would become exceedingly 
cold, in spite of the excel- 
lence of his foot covering, 
were it not for a little three- 
legged stool about 10 inches 
high upon which lie stands. 
This stool is made of wood, 
with a triangular top just 
large enough to accommo- 
date a man's feet, with the 
heels together over one leg 
of the stool, and the other 
two legs supporting the toes 
of each foot, respectively. 
The stool is neatly made, and is as light as is consistent with strength. 
It is universally employed and carried by the hunter, slung on the gun 
cover with the legs projecting behind. 

When the hunter has a long time to wait he generally squats down 
so as almost to sit on his heels, holding his gun and spear in readiness, 
and wholly covered with one of the deerskin cloaks already described. 
They sometimes use this stool to sit on when waiting for ducks to fly 
over the ice in the spring. 

1 Second Voyage, p. 510 ; also pi. opposite p. 550, Fig. 17. 

Fig. 256.— Sealing stool. 


We brought home two specimens of this common object (nigawau- 
otm). No. S9SS7 [1411], Fig. 250, will serve as the type. The top 
is of spruce, 8| inches long and 10'f wide. The upper surface is flat 
and smooth, the lower broadly beveled off on the edges and deeply 
excavated in the middle, so that there are three straight ridges join- 
ing the three legs, each of which stands in the middle of a slight 
prominence. The object of cutting away the wood in this way is to 
make the stool lighter, leaving it thick only at the points where the 
pressure comes. The large round hole in the middle, near the front, is 
for convenience in picking it up and hanging it on the cache frame, 
where it is generally kept. The three legs are set into holes at each 
corner, spreading out so as to stand on a base larger than the top of 
the stool. Where they fit into the holes they are 0-7 inch in diameter, 
tapered slightly to fit the hole, and then tapering down to a diameter 
of one-third inch at the tip. On the under side of the top they are 
braced with a lashing of stout seal thong. A split on the right-hand 
edge of the top has been mended, as usual, with a stitch of whalebone. 
This stool is quite old and has been actually used. 

No. 89888 [1412], from the same village, is new and a little larger, 
but differs from the type only in having a triangular instead of a round 
hole in the top and no lashing. Those of our party who landed at 
Sidaru September 7, 1881, saw one of these stools hanging up in the 
then vacant village, and there is a precisely similar stool in the Mu- 
seum from the Anderson region. 

MacFarlane, in his manuscript notes, describes the use of these stools 
as follows: "Both tribes kill seals under ice; that is, they watch for 
them at their holes (breathing) or wherever open water appears. At 
the former they generally build a small snow house somewhat like a 
sentinel's box, on the bottom of which they fix a portable three-cornered 
stool, made of wood. They stand on this and thereby escape getting 
cold feet, as would be the case were they to remain for any time on ice 
or snow in the same immovable position." Beyond this I find no men- 
tion of the use of any such a utensil, east or west, except in Greenland, 
where, however, they used a sort of one-legged chair to sit on, as well 
as a footstool, which Egede pictures (PI. 9) as oval, with very short legs. 1 

Seal draffs (uJcsiu'tin.) — Every seal hunter carries with him a line for 
dragging home his game, consisting of a stout thong doubled in a bight 
about 18 inches long, with an ivory handle or knob at the other end. 
The bight is looped into an incision in the seal's lower jaw, while the 
knob serves for attaching a longer line or the end of a dog's harness. 
The seal is dragged on his back and runs as smoothly as a sled. We 

'"They first look out for Holes, which the Seals themselves make with their Claws about the Big- 
ness of a Halfpenny ; after they have found any Hole, they seat themselves near it upon a Chair, made 
for the Purpose; and as soon as they perceive the Seal coming up to the Hole and put his snout into it 
for some Air, they immediately strike him with a small Harpoon." Egede, Greenland, p. 104. 

"The seals themselves make sometimes holes in the Ice, where they come and draw breath; near 
such a hole a Greenlander seats himself on a stool, putting his feet on a lower one to keep them from 
the cold. Now when the seal comes and puts its nose to the hole, he pierces it instantly with his har- 
poon." Crantz, History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 156. 



collected eight of these drag lines, from which I have selected No. 56624 
[44], Fig. 257a, as the type. 
This consists of a stout thong of rawhide (the skin of the bearded 

c d/ 

Fig. 257.— Seal drags and handles. 

seal) 0-3 inch wide and 37 inches long, and doubled in a bight so that 
one end is about 2£ inches the longer. These ends are fastened into a 
handle of wafrus ivory, consisting of three pieces, namely : a pair of 
9 eth 17 


neatly carved mittens, respectively 1 -9 and 1-8 inches long, put together 
wrist to wrist with the palms up; and lying across the joint above, a 
little seal 1£ inches long, belly down. A hole runs through each wrist 
and through the belly of the seal. The mittens are ornamented on the 
back with a blackened incised pattern, and the seal has blue glass beads 
for eyes and blackened incised spots on the back. The longer end of 
the thong runs up through the right mitten, across through the seal, 
and down through the left mitten. It is then passed through a slit 1 
inch from the end of the shorter part and slit itself. Through this slit 
is passed the bight of the thong, all drawn up taut and seized with 
sinew braid. 

No. 89467 [755], from Utkiavwifi, is a similar drag, put together in 
much the same way, but it has the mittens doweled together with two 
wooden pins, and a seal's head with round bits of wood inlaid for eyes, 
ears, and nostrils, in place of the seal. The longitudinal perforation in 
this head shows that it was originally strung lengthwise on one of these 
lines. The "double slit splice" of the two ends of the thong is worked 
into a compbcated round knot, between which and the handle the two 
parts of the line are confined by a tube of ivory 1 inch long, ornamented 
with deeply incised patterns. Fig. 257b is the upper part of a line (No. 
56622 [36], from Utkiavwifi), with a similar tube If inches long, and a 
handle carved from a single piece into a pair of mittens like the others. 

No. 56625 [81], also from Utkiavwifi, is almost exactly similar to the 
one first described, but has the seal belly up. Fig. 257c (No. 89470 
[1337 1, from the same village) has a seal 2-3 inches long for the handle, 
and No. 56626 [212], from Utkiavwifi, is like it. No. 89469a [755a] Fig. 
257tf, from Utkiavwiii, has for a handle the head of a bearded seal 1-6 
inches long, neatly carved from walrus ivory, with round bits of wood 
inlaid for the eyes and ears. It is perforated longitudinally from the 
chin to the back of the head, and a large hole at the throat opens into 
this. The longer end of the thong is passed in at the chin and out at 
the back of the head ; the shorter, in at the back of the head and out at 
the throat; the two ends brought together between the standing parts 
and all stopped together with sinew braid. 

No. 56627 [45], Fig. 257e, has a handle made of two ivory bears' heads, 
very neatly carved, with circular bits of wood inlaid for eyes, and per- 
forated like the seal's head just described. The thong is doubled in the 
middle and each end passed through one of the heads lengthwise, so as 
to protrude about 7 inches. About 4 inches of end is then doubled 
over, thrust through the throat hole of the opposite head, and brought 
down along the standing parts. All the parts are stopped together 
witli sinew braid. This makes a small becket above the handle. 

We collected seven knobs for these drag lines, of which six are seals' 
heads and one a bear's. They are all made of walrus ivory, apparently 
each a single tooth, and not a piece of tusk, and are about 1 i inches to 
2 inches long. They are generally carved with considerable skill, and 




often have the ears, roots of the whiskers, nostrils, and outline of the 
mouth incised and blackened, while small blue beads, bits of ivory, or 
wood are inlaid for the eyes. Implements of this sort are in common 
use among Eskimo generally wherever they are so situated as to be 
able to engage in seal-hunting. Mr. Nelson's collection contains speci- 
mens from as far south as Cape Darby. 

Whalebone wolf-killers (inbru). — Before the introduction of the steel 
traps, which they now obtain by trade, these people used a peculiar con- 
trivance for catching the wolf. This consists of a stout rod of whale- 
bone about 1 foot long and one-half inch broad, with a sharp point at 
each end. One of these was folded lengthwise in the form of a Z, 1 
wrapped in blubber (whale's blubber was used, according to our inform- 
ant, Nlkawaalu), and frozen solid. It was then thrown out on the snow 
where the wolf could find and swallow it. The heat of the animal's body 
would thaw out the blubber, releasing the whalebone, which would 
straighten out and pierce the walls of the stomach, thus causing the 

Fig. 258. — Whalebone wolf-killers. 

animal's death. Nikawaalu says that a wolf would not go far after 
swallowing one of these blubber balls. 

We collected four sets of these contrivances, one set containing seven 
rods and the others four each. Fig. 258a gives a good idea of the shape 
of one of these. It belongs to a set of seven, No. 89538 [1229], Fig. 258&, 
from Utkiavwln, which are old and show the marks of having been 
doubled up. It is 12J inches long, 0.4 broad, and 0.2 thick. The 
little notches on the opposite edges of each end were probably to 
hold a lashing of sinew which kept the folded rod in shape while the 
blubber was freezing, being cut by thrusting a knife through the par- 
tially frozen blubber, as is stated by Schwatka. 2 Two of the sets are 
new, but made like the others. 

This contrivance is also used by the Eskimo of Hudson Bay 3 and at 
Norton Sound, where, according to Petroff, 4 the rods are 2 feet long and 
wrapped in seal blubber. The name Tsi'bru appears to be the same as 
the Greenlandic (isavssok), found only in the diminutive isavssoraK, a 
provincial name for the somewhat similar sharp-pointed stick baited 
with blubber and used for catching gulls. The diminutive form of this 

'It is twisted into "a compact helical mass like a watch-spring " in the Hudson Bay region. 
Schwatka, "Nimrod in the North," p. 133. See also Klutschak, "Als Eskimo," pp. 194, 195. 

2 "Nimrod in the North," p. 133. 

3 See Gilder, Schwatka's Search, p. 225; see also, Klutschak, "Als Eskimo," etc., pp. 194-5, where the 
whalebones are said to have little knives on the ends. 

"Report, etc., p. 127. 


word in G-reenlandic may indicate that their ancestors once used the 
large wolf-killer, when they lived where wolves were found. The defi- 
nition of uju'kuaK, the ordinary word for the gull-catcher (see below) — in 
the Gr^nlandske Ordbog — is the only evidence we have of the use of this 
contrivance in Greenland. This is one of the several cases in which we 
only learn of the occurrence of customs, etc., noted at Point Barrow, in 
Greenland, by finding the name of the thing in question defined in the 

Traps. — Foxes are caught in the winter by deadfalls or steel traps 
(nanori'a), set generally along the beach, where the foxes are wander- 
ing about iu search of carrion thrown up by the sea. In setting the 
deadfalls a little house about 2 feet high is built, in which is placed 
the bait of meat or blubber. A heavy log of driftwood is placed across 
the entrance, with one end raised high enough to allow a fox to pass 
under it, and supported by a regular "figure of four" of sticks. The 
fox can not get at the bait without passing under the log, and in doing 
so he must touch the trigger of the "figure of four" (4) 5 which brings 
down the log across his back. When a steel trap is used it is not 
baited itself, but buried in the snow at the entrance of a similar little 
house, so that the fox can not reach the bait without stepping on the 
plate of the trap and thus springing it. Many foxes are taken with 
such traps in the course of the winter. 

The boys use a sort of snare for catching setting birds. This is 
simply a strip of whalebone made into a slip-noose, which is set over 
the eggs, with the end fastened to the ground, so that the bird is caught 
by the leg. Once or twice, when there was a light snow on the beach, 
we saw a native catching the large gulls as follows : He had a stick of 
hard wood, pointed at each end, to the middle of which was fastened 
one end of a stout string about 6 feet long. The other end was secured 
to a stake driven into the frozen gravel, and the stick wrapped with 
blubber and laid on the beach, with the string carefully hidden in the 
snow. The gull came along, swallowed the lump of blubber, and as 
soon as he tried to fly away the string made the sharp stick turn like a 
toggle across his gullet, the points forcing their way through, so that 
he was held fast. A similar contrivance, but somewhat smaller and 
made of bone, is used at Norton Sound for catching gulls and murres, 
a number of them being attached to a trawl line and baited with fish. 
Mr. Nelson collected a large number of these. 1 In regard to the use of 
this contrivance in Greenland, See above under " wolf-killers." 

Snow-goggles. — The wooden goggles worn to protect the eyes from 
snow-blindness may be considered as accessories to hunting, as they are 
worn chiefly by those engaged in hunting or fishing, especially when 
deer-hunting in the spring on the snow-covered tundra or when in the 
whaleboats among the ice. They are simply a wooden cover for the 

1 See Dr. Rau's Prehistoric Fishing, p. 12. Fig. 2, p. 13, represents one of these from Xorton Sound, 
and Figs. 3-8, a series of similar implements from the bone caves of France. 




eyes, admitting the light by a narrow horizontal slit, which allows, 
only a small amount of light to reach the eye and at the same time 
gives sufficient range of vision. Such goggles are universally employed 
by the Eskimos everywhere l except in Siberia, where they use a simple 
shade for the eyes. 2 

We brought home four pairs of these goggles (i'dyigun), of which No 
89894 [1708], Fig. 259, represents the common form. These are of pine 
wood, 5*8 inches long and 1-1 inches broad, and deeply excavated on the 
inside, with a narrow horizontal slit with thin edges on each side of the 
middle. In the middle are two notches to fit the nose, the one in the 
lower edge deep and rounded, the upper very shallow. The two holes 
in each end are for strings of sinew braid to pass round the head. They 
are neatly made and the outside is scraped smooth and shows traces of 
a coat of red ocher. 

The history of this particular pair of goggles is peculiarly interesting. 
Though differing in no important respect from those used at the present 
day, they were found on the site 
of the ancient village of Isu'tkwa, 
where our station stood, buried 
at a depth of 27 feet in undis- 
turbed frozen ground, and were 
uncovered in digging the shaft 
sunk by Lieut. Ray for obtaining 
earth temperatures. 3 The layer 
in which they were found was . 
evidently an old sea beach, con- ■ • a& 

sisting of sand and gravel mixed fig- 259.— Wooden snow goggles. 

with broken shells, among which Mya truncata was recognized. The 
amount of the superincumbent gravel and similar material above this 
object does not necessarily indicate any very great length of time since 
they were first buried, as will be readily understood from what I have 
said above (p. 28) about the rapidity with which high hummocks of 
gravel are pushed up by the ice. The unbroken layer of turf, however, 
nearly a foot thick, with which the ground was covered at this point, 
shows that a considerable period must have elapsed since the gravel had 
reached nearly to its present level. 

The pattern of these goggles is to my mind a very decided proof that 
at that early date this region was inhabited by Eskimo not essentially 
different from its present inhabitants. Goggles worn at the present day 
are almost always of the shape of these, though I remember seeing one 
pair made in two pieces joined by short strings of beads across the nose. 
They are, I think, universally painted with red ocher on the outside and 

1 See Parry, 2d Voyage, p. 547, Iglulik and Hudson Strait, pi. opposite p. 548, Fig. 4, and pi. 
opposite p. 14; Crantz, History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 234; Dall. Alaska, p. 195, figure (Norton Sound) ; 
also MacFarlane, MS., No. 2929 (Anderson River). 

'Xordenskiold. Vega, vol. 2, p. 99. 

3 Rcport I". S. International Polar Expedition to Point Barrow, p. 37. 



blackened inside. They were not always made of wood, as there are 
two specimens in the collection made of a piece of antler, following the 

natural curve of the beam, 
divided longitudinally, with 
the softer inside tissue hol- 
owed out. 

Fig. 200 (No. 89701 [763], 
from Utkiavwin) represents 

IflG. 260.— Bone snow goggles. n , , . T 

one of these specimens. I 
do not recollect ever seeing goggles of this material in actual use. No. 
8970.3 [754], Fig. 261, is an unusual pattern, having along the top a hori- 
zontal brim about one half 

inch high, which serves for 
an additional shade to the 
eyes. Above this are two 
oblique holes opening into 
the cavity inside, which are 
probably for the purpose of 
ventilation, to prevent the 
moisture from the skin from 
being deposited as frost on 
the inside of the goggles or 
on the eyelashes. I do not 
remember having seen such 

p-Qoro'lgs worn. Dall figures -^ IG - 261. — Wooden snow goggles, unusual form. 

a similar pair from Norton Sound, and those brought by Mr. Turner from 
TJngava have a similar brim and ventilating holes. The snow goggles 

mentioned in Parry's Second 
Voyage (p. 547) as occasion- 
ally seen at Iglulik, but more 
common in Hudson's Strait, 
appear to have resembled 
these, but had a brim 3 or 4 
inches deep. 

Meat- cache markers. — We 
purchased a couple of little 
ivory rods, each with a little 
bunch of feathers tied to oue 
end, which we were told were 
used by the deer hunters to 
mark the place where they 
had buried the flesh of a deer 
in the snow. This implement 
is called tu'kusia. 

FIG. 262.-Marker for meat cache. Mg> ggg^ represents 0]10 () f 

these (No. 89531 [978] from Nuwiik). It is a flat, slender rod of white 
walrus ivory, Hi inches long, and evidently broken off at the tip. The 

Murdoch.] HUNTING. 263 

other end is cut into ornamental notches, and ornamented with an incised 
pattern colored with red ocher, consisting of conventional hues and the 
figure of a reindeer on each face, a buck on one face and a doe on the 
other. Tied by a bit of sinew to the uppermost notch are four legs and 
three wing tips (three or four primaries, with the skin at the base) of the 
butt-breasted sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis). This was evidently 

Fig. 263. — Marker for meat cache. 

longer when new and perhaps was originally used for a seal indicator 
(which see above). Fig. 263 (No. 89453 [1581] from Utkiavwiii) is a 
similar rod, the tip of which has been brought to an edge so that it can 
be used as a " feather-setter" in feathering arrows. The remains of two 
wing tips of some small bird are tied to one of the notches at the upper 


Having now described in detail all the weapons and other implements 
used in hunting, I am prepared to give an account of the time and 
methods of pursuing the different kinds of game. 

The polar bear. — Bears are occasionally met with in the winter by 
the seal hunters, roaming about the ice fields at some distance from the 
shore. They usually run from a man and often do not make a stand 
even when wounded. Occasionally, however, a bear rendered bold by 
hunger comes in from the sea and makes an attack on some native's 
storehouse of seal meat even in the midst of the village. Of course, in 
such a case he has very little chance of escape, as the natives all turn 
out with their rifles and cut off his retreat. Two bears were killed in 
this way at Utkiavwm in the winter of 1882-'83. The bear is always 
attacked with the rifle, often with the help of dogs to bring him to bay. 
The umiaks when walrus hunting sometimes meet with bears among 
the loose ice. If the bear is caught in the water, there is very little 
difficulty in paddling up close enough to him to shoot him. 

The tcolf. — The wolf can hardly be considered a regular object of 
pursuit. Wolves are often seen and occasionally shot by deer hunters 
in the winter, and one family in the summer of 1883 managed to catch 
a couple of young wolf cubs alive, somewhere between Point Barrow 
and the Colville. These they brought home with them and kept them 
picketed on the tundra just outside of the village, with a little kennel 
of snow to shelter them, carefully feeding them till winter, when their 
fur had grown long enough for use in trimming hoods. They were then 


killed with a stone-headed arrow, which we were told was necessary 
for the purpose, and their skins dressed and cut into strips which were 
sold around the village. Superstition required that the man who killed 
these wolves should sleep outside of the house in a tent or snow hut for 
"one moon" after killing them. We did not learn the reason for this 
practice beyond that it would be "bad" to do otherwise. 

The fox. — Foxes are sometimes shot, but are generally taken in the 
traps described above, which are usually set some distance from the 
village so as to avoid catching prowling dogs. Though generally ex- 
ceedingly shy, the fox is sometimes rendered careless by hunger. One 
of the women at the deer-hunters' camp in the spring of 1882 caught 
one in the little snow house built to store the meat and killed him with 
a stick. 

The reindeer. — Eeindeer are comparatively scarce within the radius 
of a day's march from Point Barrow, though solitary animals and small 
parties are to be seen almost any day in the winter a few miles inland 
from the seacoast. In the autumn, which is the rutting season, they 
occasionally wander down to the lagoons back of the beach. Nearly 
every day in the autumn and winter, when the weather is not stormy, 
one or more natives are out looking for reindeer, usually traveling on 
snowshoes and carrying their rifles slung on their backs. The deer are 
generally very wild and often perceive a man and begin to run at a dis- 
tance of a mile or two, though a rutting buck will sometimes fancy that 
a skin-clad Eskimo is a rival buck, and come toward him, especially 
if the hunter crouches down and keeps perfectly still. 

The usual method of hunting is to walk off inland until a deer is 
sighted, when the hunter moves directly toward him at a rapid pace, 
without regard to the wind or attempting to conceal himself, which 
would be almost hopeless in such open country. As soon as the deer 
starts to run, the hunter quickens his pace — to a run, if he has " wind" 
enough — and follows the game as long as he can keep it in sight, trust- 
ing that the well known curiosity of the deer will induce it to " circle" 
round, in order to see what it is that is following him with such perti- 
nacity. Should the deer turn, as often happens, especially if there is 
more than one of them, the hunter alters his course so as to head him 
off, and as soon as he gets within long rifle range opens fire, and keeps 
it up till the animal is hit or escapes out of range. Strange as it may 
seem, a number of deer are killed every winter in this way. 

If a deer be killed, the hunter usually " butchers" him on the spot, 
and brings in as much of the meat as he can carry on his back, leaving 
the rest, carefully covered with slabs of snow to protect it from the foxes, 
to be brought in as soon as convenient by a dog sled, which follows the 
hunter's tracks to the place. 

During the spring the deer retire some distance from the Point, and 
the does then drop their fawns. At this season nearly all the natives 
are busily engaged in the whale fishery, and pay little attention to the 


reindeer, so that we did not learn where they went to. When the fawns 
are perhaps a month old a small party, say a young man and his wife, 
sometimes makes a short journey to the eastward to procure fawn skins 
for clothing. They say that the fawns at this age can be caught by 
running them down. During the summer again the deer come down 
to the coast in small numbers, taking to the water in the lagoons, or 
even in the sea, when the flies become troublesome. 

Sometimes in warm, calm weather the flies are so numerous that 
the deer is driven perfectly frantic, and runs along without looking 
where he is going, so that, as the natives say, a hunter who places 
himself in the deer's path has no difficulty in shooting him. Flies 
were unusually scarce both summers that we were at the station, so 
that we never had an opportunity of seeing this done. When a deer 
is seen swimming he is pursued with the kaiak and lanced in the man- 
ner already described. In July, 1883, one man from Utkiavwm made 
a short journey inland, "carrying" his kaiak from lake to lake, and 
killed two deer in this way without firing a shot. I believe this method 
of hunting is frequently practiced by the parties who go east for trading 
in the summer, and those who visit the rivers for the purpose of hunting. 

The natives seemed to expect deer in summer at the lagoons, as 
along the isthmus between Ime'kpuh and Imekpuniglu they had set up 
a range of stakes, evidently intended to turn the deer up the beach 
where he would be seen from the camp at Perniju. Only one deer, 
however, came down either summer, and he escaped without being seen. 
This contrivance of setting up stakes to guide the deer in a certain 
direction is very commonly used by the Eskimo. Egede gives a 
curious description of the practice in Greenland in his day : They 
u chase them [i. e., the reindeer] by Clap-hunting, setting upon them on 
all sides and surrounding them with all their Women and Children to 
force them into Defiles and Narrow Passages, where the Men armed lay 
in wait for them and kill them. And when they have not People 
enough to surround them, then they put up white Poles (to make up 
the Number that is wanted) with Pieces of Turf to head them, which 
frightens the Deer and hinders it from escaping." 1 PL 4, of the same 
work, is a very curious illustration of this style of hunting. 

A similar method is practiced at the Coppermine River, where the 
deer are led by ranges of turf toward the spot where the archer 
is hidden. 2 Franklin also noticed between the Mackenzie and the 
Colville similar ranges of driftwood stumps leading across the plain 
to two cairns on a hill, 3 and Thomas Simpson mentions a similar 
range near Herschel Island, 4 and double rows of turf to represent men 
leading down to a small lake near Point Pitt, for the purpose of 
driving the deer into the water where they could be speared. 5 This is 

1 Greenland, p. 62. 

2 Pranklin, 1st Expert., vol. 2, p. 181. 

3 2dExped., p. 137. 

4 Narrative, p, 114. 

5 Ibid., p. 138. 


similar to the practice described by Schwatka 1 among the "Netschilluk" 
of King William's Land, where a line of cairns as high as a man and 
50 to 100 yards apart is built along a ridge running obliquely to the 
water. When deer are seen feeding near the water the men form a 
skirmish line from the last cairn to the water and advance slowly. 
The deer mistake the cairns for men and take to the water, where they 
are easily speared. 

The most important deer hunt takes place in the late fall and early 
spring, when the natives go inland 50 or 75 miles to the upper waters of 
Kuaru and Kulugrna, where the deer are exceedingly plentiful at this 
season. Oapt. Herendeen, who went inland with the deer hunters in the 
autumn of 1882, reports that the bottom lands of Kulugrua " looked like 
a cattle yard," from the tracks of the reindeer. They start as soon as 
it is possible to travel across the country with sledges, usually about the 
first of October, taking guns, ammunition, fishing tackle, and the nec- 
essary household utensils for themselves and their families, and stay till 
the daylight gets too short for hunting. In 1882, many parties got home 
about October 27 or 28. At this season there is seldom snow enough 
to build snow huts, so they generally live in tents, always close to the 
rivers from which they procure water for household use. The men 
spend their time hunting the deer, while the women bring in the game, 
attend to drying the skins and the household work, and catch whitefish 
and burbot through the ice of the rivers, which are now frozen hard 
enough for this purpose. Seine of the old men and those who have not 
a supply of ammunition engage in the same pursuit. 

A comparatively small number of the people go out to this fall deer 
hunt, which appears to be a new custom, adopted since Dr. Simpson's 
time. It was probably not worth while to go out after deer at seasons 
when there was not enough snow for digging pitfalls, since they depended 
chiefly on these for the capture of the reindeer before the introduction 
of firearms. Fully half of each village go out on the spring deer hunt, 
as they did in Maguire's time, the first parties starting out with the 
return of the sun, about January 23, and the others following in the 
course of two or three weeks, and remain out till about the middle of 
April, when it is time to come back for the whale fishery. The people 
of Utkiavwih always travel to the hunting grounds by a regular road, 
which is the same as that followed by Lieut. Ray in his exploring trips. 
They travel along the coast on the ice wherever it is smooth enough till 
they reach Si'naru, and then strike.' across country, crossing Kuaru and 
reaching Kulugrua near the hill Nuasu'knan. (See map, PI. n.) 

The people from Nuwuk travel straight across Elsou Bay to the south 
till they reach nearly the same region. Some parties from Nuwttk also 
hunt in the rough country between Kulugrua and Ikpikpufi. As the 
sledges are heavily laden with camp equipage, provisions and oil for 
the lamps, they travel slowly, taking four or five days for the journey, 

1 Science, vol. 4. 9, pp. 5W-544. 

Murdoch.] HUNTING EEINDEER. 267 

stopping for the night with tolerable regularity at certain stations where 
the first party that travels over the trail build snow huts, which are 
used by those who follow them. At the rivers they are scattered in 
small camps of four or five families, about a day's journey apart. As 
well as we could learn these camps are in regularly established places, 
where the same people return every year, if they hunt at all. It even 
seemed as if these localities were considered the property of certain 
influential families, who could allow any others they pleased to join 
their parties. 1 It is certain, at all events, that the people of Utkiavwin 
did not hunt on the Ikpikpuii with the men of Nuwuk. At this season 
they live entirely in snow huts, often excavated in the deep drifts under 
the river bluffs, and the men hunt deer while the women, as before, 
catch fish in Kuaru and Kulugrua. None are taken in Ikpikpuii. (See 
above, p. 58.) 

Deer are generally very plentiful at this season, though sometimes, as 
happened in February, 1883, there comes a warm southerly wind which 
makes them all retreat farther inland for a few days. They are gener- 
ally hunted by chasing them on snowshoes, in the manner already de- 
scribed, but with much better chances of success, since when a number 
of hunters are out in the same region the deer are kept moving, so that 
a herd started by one hunter is very apt to run within gunshot of an- 
other. The natives have generally very good success in this spring 
hunt. Two men who were hunting on shares for the station killed up- 
ward of ninety reindeer in the season of 1883. A great deal of the meat 
is, of course, consumed on the spot, but a good many deer are brought 
home frozen. They are skinned and brought home whole, only the 
heads and legs being cut off. The latter are disjointed at the knee and 
elbow. These frozen carcasses are usually cut up with a saw for cooking. 
At this season the does are pregnant, and many good-sized fetuses are 
brought home frozen. We were told that these were excellent food, 
though we never saw them eaten. For the first two or three days after 
the return of the deer hunters to the village all the little boys are play- 
ing with these fetuses, which they set up as targets for their blunt 

Before starting for the deer hunt the hunters generally take the mov- 
able property which they do not mean to carry with them out of the 
house and bury it in the snow for safe keeping, apparently thinking that 
while a dishonest person might help himself to small articles left around 
the house, he could hardly go to work and dig up a cache without at- 
tracting the attention of the neighbors. If both families from a house 
go deer hunting, they either close it up entirely or else get some family 
who have no house of their own to take care of it during their absence. 
During the season, small parties, traveling light, with very little bag- 
gage, make flying trips to the village, usually to get a fresh supply of 

'Dr. Richardson believes that the hunting grounds of families are kept sacred among the Eskimo. 
Searching Expedition, vol. 1, pp. 244, 351. See, also, the same author's paper, New Philosophical Jour- 
nal, vol. 52, p. 323. 


ammunition or oil, and at the end of the season a lucky hunter ahnost 
always sends in to borrow extra dogs and hire women and children to 
help bring in his game. The skins, which at this season are very thick 
and heavy, suitable only for blankets, heavy stockings, etc., are simply 
rough dried in the open air, and brought in stacked up on a flat sled. 
Lieut. Ray met a Nuwiik party returning in 1882 with a pile of these 
skins that looked like a load of hay. With such heavy loads they, of 
course, travel very slowly. A few natives, especially when short of 
ammunition, still use at this season the snow pitfalls mentioned by 
Capt. Maguire. 1 

The following is the description of those seen by Lieut. Ray in 1883: 
A round hole is dug in the drifted snow, along the bank of a stream or 
lake. This is about 5 feet in diameter and 5 or G feet deep, and is brought 
up to within 2 or 3 inches of the surface, where there is only a small 
hole, through which the snow was removed. This is carefully closed 
with a thin slab of snow and baited by strewing reindeer moss and 
bunches of grass over the thin surface, through which the deer breaks 
as soon as he steps on it. The natives say that they sometimes get two 
deer at once. 

This method of hunting the reindeer appears uncommon among the 
Eskimo. I And no mention of it except at Repulse Bay. 2 and among 
the Netsillingmiut, where dogs' urine is said to be sprinkled on the 
snow as a bait to attract the deer by its " Salzgehalt." 3 Lieut. Ray 
was informed by the natives that the " Nunatanrniun " also captured 
deer by means of a rawhide noose set across a regular deer path, when 
they discovered such. The noose is held up and spread by a couple of 
sticks, and the end staked to the ground with a piece of antler. A sim- 
ilar method was practiced by the natives of Norton Sound. 4 A few 
parties visit the rivers in summer for the purpose of hunting reindeer, 
but most of the natives are either off on the trading expeditions pre- 
viously mentioned or else settled in the small camps along the coast, 
3 or 4 miles apart, whence they occasionally go a short distance inland 
in search of reindeer. 

The seal. — The flesh of the smaller seals forms such a staple of food, and 
their blubber and skin serve so many important purposes, that their cap- 
ture is one of the most necessary pursuits at Point Barrow, and is car- 
ried on at all seasons of the year and in many different methods. During 
the season of open water many seals are shot from the umiaks engaged 
in whaling and walrus hunting or caught in nets set along the shore at 
Elson Bay. This is also the only season when seals can be captured 
with the small kaiak darts. 

The principal seal fishery, however, begins with the closing of the sea, 
usually about the middle of October. When the pack ice comes in 
there are usually many small open pools, to which the seals resort for 
air. Most of the able-bodied men in the village are out every day armed 

1 Northwest Passage, Appendix, p. 387. 3 Klutsehak, "Als Eskimo," etc., p. 131. 

2 Rae, Narratives, etc., p. 135. 4 Dall, Alaska, p. 147. 

Murdoch.] SEAL HUNTING. 269 

with the rifle and retrieving harpoon, traveling many miles among the 
ice hummocks in search of such holes. When a seal shows his head he 
is shot at with the rifle, and the hunter, if successful, secures his game 
with the harpoon. This method of hunting is practiced throughout the 
winter wherever open holes form in the ice. A native going to visit his 
nets or 'to examine the condition of the ice always carries his rifle and 
retrieving harpoon, in case he should come across an open hole where 
seals might be found. The hunt at this season is accompanied with 
considerable danger, as the ice pack is not yet firmly consolidated and 
portions of it frequently move offshore with a shift of the wind, so that the 
hunter runs the risk of being carried out to sea. The natives exercise 
considerable care, and generally avoid crossing a crack if the wind, 
however light, is blowing offshore; but in spite of their precautions 
men are every now and then carried off to sea and never return. 

The hunters meet with many exciting adventures. On the morning 
of November 24, 1882, all the heavy ice outside of the bar broke away 
from the shore, leaving a wide lead, and began to move rapidly to the 
northeast, carrying with it three seal hunters. They were fortunately 
near enough to the village to be seen by the loungers on the village 
hill, who gave the alarm. An umiak was immediately mounted on a 
flat sled'and carried out over the shore ice with great rapidity, so that 
the men were easily rescued. The promptness and energy with which 
the people at the village acted showed how well the danger was appre- 

At this season of the year a single calm night is sufficient to cover all 
the holes and leads with young ice strong enough to support a man, 
and occasionally before the pack comes in the open sea freezes over. 
In this young ice the seals make their breathing holes (adlu), " about 
the Bigness of a Halfpenny," as Egede says, and the natives employ the 
stabbing harpoon for their capture. At the present day this is seldom 
used alone, but the seal is shot through the head as he comes to the 
surface, and the spear only used to secure him. Seals which have been 
shot in this way are sometimes carried off by the current before they 
can be harpooned. As far as I can learn, this practice of shooting seals 
at the adlu is peculiar to Point Barrow (including probably the rest of 
the Arctic coast as far as Kotzebue Sound), though the use of the ima, 
as already stated, is very general. 

This method of hunting can generally be prosecuted only a few days 
at a time, as the movements of the pack soon break up the fields of 
young ice, though new fields frequently form in the course of the season. 
After the January gales the pack is so firmly consolidated that there 
are no longer any open holes or leads, and when the spring leads open 
young ice seldom forms, so that this method of hunting is as a rule con- 
fined to the period between the middle of October and the early part of 

With the departure of the sun, about the middle of November, begins 


the netting, which is the most important fishery of the year, but which 
can be prosecuted with success only in the darkest nights. The natives 
say that even a bright aurora interferes with the netting. At this sea- 
son narrow leads of open water are often formed parallel to the shore, and 
frequently remain open for several days. The natives are constantly 
reconnoitering the ice in search of such leads, and when one is found 
nearly all the men in the village go out to it with their nets. A place 
is sought where the ice is tolerably level and not too thick for about a 
hundred yards back from the lead, at which distance the nets are set, 
often a number of them close together, in the manner already described, 
so that they hang like curtains under the ice, parallel to the edge of the 
open water. When darkness comes on the hunters begin to rattle on 
the ice with their ice picks, scratch with the seal call, or make some 
other gentle and continuous noise, which soon excites the curiosity of 
the seals that are swimming about in the open lead. One at length 
dives under the ice and swims in the direction of the sound, which of 
course leads him directly into the net, where he is entangled. 

On favorable nights a great many seals are captured in this way. 
For instance, on the night of December 2, 1882, the netters from Utkiav- 
wifi alone took at least one hundred seals. Such lucky hauls are not 
common, however. As the weather at this season is often excessively 
cold, the seals freeze stiff soon after they are taken from the net, and if 
sufficient snow has fallen they are stacked up by sticking their hind 
flippers in the snow. This keeps them from being covered up and lost 
if the snow begins to drift. I have counted thirty seals, the property 
of one native, piled up in this way into a single stack. The women and 
children go out at their convenience with dog sleds and bring in the 
seals. A woman, however, who is at work on deerskin clothing must 
not touch a hand to the seals or the sled on which they are loaded, but 
may lend a hand at hauling on the drag line. When the seals are 
brought to the edge of the beach they must not be taken on land till 
each has been given a mouthful of fresh water. We did not learn the 
object of this practice, but Xordenskiold, who observed a similar custom 
at Pitlekaj, was informed that it was to keep the leads from closing. 1 

When the lead keeps open for several days, or there is a prospect of 
its opening again, the hunter leaves his gear out on the ice, sometimes 
bringing his ice pick, scoop, and setting pole part way home and sticking 
them up in the snow alongside of the path. In 1884 a lead remained 
open for several days about 3 or 4 miles from the village, and the 
natives made a regular beaten trail out to it. When we visited the net- 
ting ground the lead had closed, but nearly all the men had left their 
gear sticking up near it, with the nets tied up and hung upon the ice 
picks. They had built little walls of snow slabs as a protection against 
the wind. The season for this netting ends with the January gales, 
which close the leads permanently. 

'Vega, vol. 2, p. 130. Compare the custom observed in Baffin Land, of sprinkling a lew drops of 
water on the head of the seal before it is out up. mentioned by Hall. Arctic Researches, p. 573. 

Murdoch.] SEAL HUNTING. 271 

Later in the winter the seals resort to very inconsiderable cracks 
among the hummocks for air, and nets are set hanging around these 
cracks, so that a seal can aot approach the crack without being caught. 
There was such a crack just in the edge of the rough land floe, not half 
a mile from Utkiavwm, in February, 1883, from which two men took 
several seals, visiting the nets every day or two. Those men who do 
not go off on the deer hunt keep one or more seal nets set all winter, 
either in this way or in the third method, which can be practiced only 
after the daylight has come back, when the ice is thick. At this sea- 
son there are frequently to be found among the hummocks what the 
natives call i'glus, dome-shaped snow houses about 6 feet in diameter 
and 2 or 3 feet high, with a smooth round hole in the top, and commu- 
nicating with the water. These are undoubtedly the same as the snow 
burrows described by Kumlien, 1 which the female seal builds to bring 
forth her young in. 2 They are curious constructions, looking astonish- 
ingly like a man's work. The natives told me that nets set at these 
places were for the capture of young seals (netyiaru). It appears that 
these houses are the property of a single female only until her young 
one is able to take to the water, as a net is kept set at one of these 
holes, as well as I could understand, som'etimes capturing several seals. 
The net is set flat under the hole, the corners being drawn out by cords 
let down through small holes in a circle round the main opening, through 
which the net is drawn. A seal rising to the surface runs his head 
through the meshes of the net. The small holes and sometimes the 
middle one are carefully covered with slabs of snow. 

The officers of the revenue steamer Corwin, who made the sledge 
journey along the northeast coast of Siberia in the early summer of 
1881, saw seal nets set in this way, flat, under air holes in the ice, with 
a hole for each corner of the net. When a seal was caught the net was 
drawn up through the middle hole with a hooked pole. 3 In 1883 they 
began setting these nets at Point Barrow about March 4, and probably 
about the same date the year before, though we did not happen to ob- 
serve this method of netting until considerably later. 

In June and July, when the ice becomes rotten and worn into holes, 
the seals " haul out" to bask in the sun, and are then stalked and shot. 
They are exceedingly wary at this season. The seal usually taken in 
the methods above described is the rough or ringed seal (Phoca foetida), 
but in 1881 a single male ribbon seal (Histriophoca fasciata) was netted, 
and in 1882 a native shot one at the breathing hole, but it was carried 
away by the current before he could secure it. The natives said that 
they sometimes caught the harbor seal (P. vitulina) in the shore nets in 
Elson Bay. The bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus), whose skin is 
especially prized for making harpoon lines, boot soles, umiak covers, 

1 Contributions, p. 57. 

2 Hall, Arctic Researches, pp. 507 and 578, with diagrams. 

3 Hooper, Corwin Beport, p. 25. 


etc., is never very abundant, and occurs chiefly in the season of open 
water, when it is captured from the umiak with harpoon and rifle, but 
they are sometimes found in the winter, as two were killed at breathing 
holes in the rough ice January 8, 1883. 

The walrus. — The walrus occurs only during the season of open water, 
and is almost always captured from the umiak with the large harpoon 
and rifle. The whaling boats usually find a few, especially late in the 
season, and after the trading parties have gone in tbe summer the 
natives who remain are generally out in the boats a good deal of the 
time looking for walrus and seals. As a general thing walrus are espe- 
cially plenty in September, when much loose ice is moving backwards 
and forwards with the current, frequently sleeping in large herds upon 
cakes of ice. The boats, which are out nearly every day at this season 
with volunteer crews, not regularly organized as for whaling, paddle 
as near as they can to these sleeping herds and try to shoot them in 
the head, aiming also to " fasten " to as many as they can with the har- 
poon and float as they hurry into the water. A harpooned walrus is 
followed up with the boat and shot with the rifle when a chance is 
offered. Swimming walruses are chased with the boat and " fastened 
to" by darting the harpoon. When a walrus is killed it is towed up to 
the nearest cake of ice and cut up on the spot. We never knew of the 
kaiak being used in walrus-hunting, as is the custom among the eastern 

The whale. — The pursuit of the" bowhead" whale (Balaeua mysticetus), 
so valuable not only for the food furnished by its flesh and " blackskin " 
and the oil from its blubber, but for the whalebone, which serves so 
many useful purposes in the arts of the Eskimo and is besides the 
chief article of trade with the ships, is carried on with great regularity 
and formality. In the first place all the umialiks (boat-owners) or those 
who are to be the captains of whaling umiaks, before the deer hunters 
start out in January, bring all the gear to be used in the whale fishery 
to the ku'dyigi, where it is consecrated by a ceremony consisting of 
drumming and singing, perhaps partaking of the nature of an incan- 

Capt. Herendeen was the only one of our party who witnessed this 
ceremony, which took place at Utkiavwui on January 9, 1883, and he 
did not bring back a detailed account of the proceedings. During 
part of the ceremony all the umialiks were seated in a row upon the 
floor, and a woman passed down the line marking each across the face 
with an oblique streak of blacklead. As soon as the deer hunters re- 
turn in the spring they begin getting ready for the whales, covering 
the boats, fitting lines to harpoons, and putting gear of all sorts in per- 
fect order. Every article to be used in whaling — harpoons, lances, pad- 
dles, and even the timbers of the boats — must be scraped perfectly 
clean. 1 This work is generally done by the umialik himself and his 

1 Compare Egede, Greenland, p. 102. The whale "can't bear sloven and dirty habits." 


family, as the crews do not enter on their duties till the whaling actually 
commences. The crews are regularly organized for the season, and are 
made up during the winter and early spring. They consist of eight or 
ten persons to each boat, including the captain, who is always the 
owner of the boat, and sits in the stern and steers, using a larger pad- 
dle than the rest, and the harpooner, who occupies the bow. When a 
bombgun is carried it is intrusted to a third man, who sits in the 
waist of the boat, and whose duty it is to shoot the whale whenever he 
sees a favorable opportunity, whether it has been harpooned or not. 
The rest are simply paddlers. ■ 

When used for whaling, the umiak is propelled by paddles alone, 
sails and oars never being even taken on board. Men are preferred for 
the whaling crews when enough can be secured, otherwise the vacancies 
are filled by women, who make efficient paddlers. Some umialiks hire 
their crews, paying them a stipulated price in tobacco and other arti- 
cles, and providing them with food during the season. Others ship 
men on shares. We did not learn the exact proportions of these shares 
in any case. They appear to concern the whalebone alone, as all seem 
to be entitled to as much of the flesh and blubber as they can cut off 
in the general scramble. At this season exploring parties are out every 
day examining the state of the ice to ascertain when the pack is likely 
to break away from the landfloe, and also to find the best path for the 
umiaks through the hummocks. 

In 1882 the condition of the ice was such that the boats could be 
taken out directly from Utkiavwin, by a somewhat winding path, to the 
edge of the land floe about five or six miles from the shore. This path 
was marked out by the seal-hunters during the winter, and some of the 
natives spent their leisure time widening and improving it, knocking 
off projecting points of ice with picks and whale spades, and filling up 
the worst of the inequalities. Much of the path, however, was exceed- 
inglv rough and difficult when it was considered finished. In 1883 
the land floe was so rough and wide abreast of the village that no 
practicable path could be made, so all the whalemen with their families 
moved up to Ime'kpufi and encamped in tents as already described 
(see p. 84) for the season. From this point a tolerably straight and 
easy path was made out to the edge of the land floe. The natives in- 
formed me as early as April 1 that it would be necessary for them to 
move up to Ime'kpufi, adding that the ice abreast of the village was 
very heavy and would move only when warm weather came. This pre- 
diction was correct, as the season of 1883 was so late that no ships 
reached the station until August 1. 

About the middle of April the natives begin anxiously to expect an 
east or southeast wind (nigya) to drive off the pack and open the leads, 
and should it not speedily blow from that quarter recourse is had to 
supernatural means to bring it. A party of men go out and sit in a 
semicircle facing the sea on the village cliff, while one man in the mid- 
9 eth 18 


die beats a drum and sink's a monotonous chant, interrupted by curious 
vibrating cries, accompanied with a violent shaking of the head from 
side to side. This ceremony is conducted with great solemnity, and 
the natives seemed disinclined to have us witness it, so that we learned 
very little about it. They, however, told us that the chant was ad- 
dressed to a, tuafia or spirit, requesting him to make the desired wind 
blow. 1 It does not appear to be necessary that the man who delivers 
the invocation should be a regular magician or " doctor." A succes- 
sion of unsuccessful attempts were made in 1882, some of them by men 
who never to our knowledge practiced incantations on other occasions. 
Dining this period, and while the whaling is going on, no pounding 
must be done in the village, and it is not allowable even to rap with 
the knuckles on wood for fear of frightening away the whales. 2 It is 
interesting to find that at Norton Sound, where the whale is not pur- 
sued, this superstition has been transferred to the salmon fishery, 
one of the most important industries of the year. Mr. Dall 3 says: 
"While the fishery lasts no wood must be cut with an axe, or the sal- 
mon will disappear." ' 

As soon as the lead opens, and sometimes before when the prospect 
looks promising, the boats are taken out to the edge of the land floe 
and kept out there during the season, which lasts till about the last 
week in June, when they are brought in and got ready for the summer 
expeditions. When the lead closes, as often happens, the boats are 
hauled up on the ice and many or all of the crews come home until 
there are prospects of open water. When there is open water, the 
boats are always on the lookout for whales, either cruising about in 
the lead or lying up at the edge of the floe, the crews eating and sleep- 
ing when they can get a chance and shooting seals and ducks when 
there are no whales in sight. The women and children travel back 
and forth between the village and the boats, carrying supplies of food 
for the whalemen. 

In 1883, there was a regular beaten trail along the smooth shore ice 
between Ime'kpufi and Utkiavwiii, where people were constantly trav- 
eling back and forth. When the boats are out no woman is allowed to 
sew, as was noticed by Dr. Simpson. 4 To carry the umiak out over 
the ice it is lashed on a flat sled and drawn by dogs and men. A de- 
scription of one of these boats which I accompanied for part of its jour- 
ney out to the open water, will show how a whaleboat is fitted out. The 
rifles, harpoons, lances, and other gear of the party were sent on ahead 
on a sled drawn by half a dozen dogs, with a woman to lead them. 
After these had made a short stage, they were unfastened from this 

1 Hall speaks of seeing the angeko " very busy ankooting on the hills"— "To try and get the pack 
ice out of the bay."— Arctic Res., p. 573. 

'Compare Rink, Tales, etc., p. 55: "To the customs just enumerated may be added various regula- 
tions regarding the chase, especially that of the whale, this animal being easily scared away by vari- 
ous kinds of impurity or disorder." 

3 Alaska, p. 117. 

4 Loc. cit., p. 261. 


sled and brought back and harnessed to the flat sled on which the 
umiak was lashed. The party, which consisted of live men and two 
women, one of when* remained with the sled load of gear, then started 
ahead, the women running in front of the dogs and the men pushing at 
the sides of the boat. The boat travels very easily and rapidly on 
smooth ice, but among the hummocks the men have hard work pushing 
and scrambling, and occasional stops have to be made to widen narrow 
places in the path and to chisel oft' projecting points of ice which might 
pierce the skin cover of the boat. When they came up to the first 
sled the women were again sent on with this while the men rested. 
The inflated sealskin floats, rive or six in number, the whale harpoon, 
and whale spades, and ice picks were carried in the boats. 

A whaling umiak always carries a number of amulets to insure suc- 
cess. These consisted in this case of two wolf skulls, a dried raven, 
the axis vertebra of a seal, and numerous feathers. The skin "of a 
golden eagle is considered an excellent charm for whaling, and Mka- 
waalu was particularly desirous to secure the tip of a red fox's tail, 
which he said was a powerful amulet. The captain and harpooner 
wore fillets of mountain sheepskin, with a little crystal or stone image 
of a whale dangling at each side of the face, and the captain's fillet was 
also fringed with the incisor teeth of the mountain sheep. Both wore 
little stone whales attached to the breast of the jacket, and one woman 
and one or two of the men had streaks of black lead on their faces. 1 

When they are on the watch for whales the great harpoon is kept 
always rigged and resting in a crotch of ivory in the bow of the boat. 
When a whale is sighted they paddle up as close as possible and the 
harpooner thrusts the harpoon into him. The whale dives, with the 
floats attached to him, and the shaft, which is retained, is rigged for 
striking him when he rises again. The other boats, if any are near, 
join in the chase until the whale is so wearied that he can be lanced 
or a favorable opportunity occurs for shooting him. All boats in sight 
at the time the whale is struck, as I understood, are entitled to an 
equal share of the whalebone. 

As soon as the whale is killed he is towed up to the edge of the land 
floe and everybody standing on the edge of the ice and in the boats 
begins hacking away, at random, at the flesh and blubber, some of 
them going to work more carefully to cut out the whalebone. The 
"cutting in" is managed without order or control, everybody who can 
be on the spot being apparently entitled to all the meat, blubber, and 
black-skin he or she can cut off. The same custom was practiced in 
Greenland, and is to this day in eastern Siberia. 

'Compare Egede, Greenland, p. 102. "When they go a Whale-catching they put on their best Gear 
or Apparel, as if they were going to a Wedding Feast, fancying that if they did not come cleanly and 
neatly dressed the Whale, who can't bear sloven and dirty Habits, would shun them and fly from them." 

See also Crantz, History of Greenland, Vol. I, p. 121. "They dress themselves in the best manner 
for it, because, according to the portentous sayings of their sorcerers, if any one was to wear dirty 
cloaths, especially such in which he had touched a dead corpse, the whale would escape, or, even if it 
was already dead, would at least sink." 


While they are very particular in all superstitious observances re- 
garding the whales, they are less careful about certain things, such as 
loud talking and firing guns at seals and fowl when they are wait- 
ing for whales, which really hurt their chances with the timid animals. 
They are less energetic than one would suppose in pursuit of the whale, 
according to Gapt. Herendeen, who spent several days each season with 
the whaleboats. Instead of cruising about the lead in search of whales 
they are rather inclined to lie in wait for them at the edge of the floe, 
so that when the open water is wide many whales escape. 

When the leads are very narrow the whales are sometimes shot with 
the bombgun from the edge of the ice. Success in this appears to be 
variable. In 1882 only one small whale was secured, and in 1883 one 
full-grown one, though several were struck and lost each season. The 
veteran whaling-master, Capt. L. 0. Owen, informs me that one season 
the boats of these two villages captured ten. The season of 1885 was 
very successful. The natives of the two villages are reported to have 
taken twenty-eight whales. Capt. E. E. Smith, however, informs me 
that only seven of these were full-grown. 

When actually engaged in whaling the umialik exercises a very fair 
degree of discipline, but at other times he seems hardly able to keep 
his men from straggling off to go home or to visit their seal nets, etc., 
so that he sometimes has to chase a whale "short-handed." 

Nowhere else among the Eskimo does the whale fishery appear to be 
conducted in such regular manner with formally organized crews as 
upon this northwest coast. From all accounts the animal is only cas- 
ually pursued elsewhere with fleets of kaiaks or umiaks manned by 
volunteer crews. 1 

The beluga or white whale is only casually pursued, and as far as I 
could learn is always shot with the rifle. It is not abundant. 

Fowl. — During the winter months a few ptarmigan are occasionally 
shot, but the natives pay no special attention to birds until the spring 
migrations. The first ducks appear a little later than the whales, about 
the end of April or the first week of May, and from that time till the 
middle of June scarcely a day passes when they are not more or less 
plenty. The king ducks (Somateria spectabilis) are the first to appear, 
while the Pacific eiders (S. v-nigra) arrive somewhat later, and are 
more abundant towards the end of the migrations. At this season all 
women and children, and many men, go armed with the bolas, and 
•everybody is always on the lookout for flocks of ducks. On four or five 
favorable days each season, at intervals of a week or ten days, there 
are great flights of eiders coming up in huge flocks of two or three hun- 
dred, stretched out in long diagonal lines. These flocks follow one 
another in rapid succession and keep the line of the coast, apparently 
striking straight across Peard Bay from the Seahorse Islands to a point 

• See Egede, GrQeulaud, i>. 102; Crantz, History of Greenland, Vol. i, p. 121; Parry, 2d. Voy., p. 509 
(Iglulik) j McClure, Northwest Passage, p. 92 (Cape Bathurst). 

mtjbdoch.] FOWLING. 277 

four or five miles below TTtkiavwiii, and most of them fly up along the 
smooth shore-ice to Pernyu or Poiut Barrow. Some flocks always fly 
up among the hummocks of the land floe, and a few others turn east- 
ward below the village and continue their course to the northeast across 
the land. 

On the days between the great flights there are always a few flocks 
passing, and some days when there is no flight along shore they are 
very abundant out at the open water, where the whalemen shoot them 
in the intervals of whaling. When a great flight begins the people at 
the village hasten out and form a sort of skirmish line across the shore 
ice from the shore to the hummocks, a few sometimes stationing them- 
selves among the latter. They take but little pains to conceal them- 
selves, frequently sitting out on the open ice-field on sealing stools or 
squares of bearskins. The ducks generally keep on their course with- 
out paying much attention to the men, and in fact one may often get a 
shot by running so as to head off an approaching flock. Firing, how- 
ever, frightens them and makes them rise to a considerable height, 
often out of gunshot. Many ducks are taken with guns and bolas in 
these flights. 

Eather late in the season the old squaws (Clangula hyemalis) pass 
to the northeast in large flocks, but usually go so high than none are 
taken. A good many of these, however, with a few eiders, geese, brant, 
and loons, remain and breed on the tundra, and are occasionally shot 
by the natives, though most of them are too busy with whaling and seal 
and walrus hunting to pay much attention to birds. Small parties of 
two or three lads or young men, sometimes with their wives, make short 
excursions inland to the small streams and sand islands east of Point 
Barrow, after birds and eggs, and the boys from the small camps along 
the coast towards Woody Inlet are always on the lookout for eggs and 
small birds, such as they can kill with their bows and arrows or catch 
in snares. They say that the parties which go east, and those which 
visit the rivers in summer, get many eggs and find plenty of ducks, 
geese, and swans, which have molted their flight feathers so that they 
are unable fly. 

About the end of July the return migration of the ducks begins. At 
this season the flocks, which are generally smaller and more compact 
than in the spring, come from the east along the northern shore, and 
cross out to sea at the isthmus of Pernyu, where the natives assem- 
ble in large numbers to shoot them as well as to meet Avith the Nuna- 
tanmiun. All the people who have been scattered ' along the coast in 
small camps gradually collect at this season at Pernyu, and the return- 
ing eastern parties generally stop there two or three days; while, after 
they have brought their families back to the village, the men frequently 
walk up to Pernyu for a day or two of duck shooting. The tents are 
pitched just in the bend of Elson Bay, and north of them is a narrow 
place in the sandspit over which the ducks often pass. , Here the na- 


tives dig shallow pits in the gravel, in which they post themselves with 
guns and bolas. A line of posts is set up along the bend of the beach 
from the tents almost to the outlet of Imekpiuiiglu. 

When a light breeze is blowing from the northeast the ducks, no 
matter how far off shore they are when first seen, always head for the 
point of land on the other side of this outlet, probably with the inten- 
tion of following the line of lagoons and going out to sea farther down 
the coast, as they sometimes do. When, however, they reach this critical 
point they catch sight of the posts, and the natives who are watching 
them sharply set up a shrill yell. Frightened by this and by the line 
of posts, nine times out of ten, if the cry is given at the right moment, 
the ducks will falter, become confused, and, finally, collecting into a 
compact body will whirl along the line of posts, past the tents, flying 
close to the water, and turn out to sea at the first open space, which is 
just where the gunners are posted. This habit of yelling to frighten 
the ducks and bring them within gunshot has been observed on the 
Siberian cost in places where the ducks are in the habit of flying in 
and out from lagoons over low bars. 1 Should the wind blow hard from 
the east, however, or blow from any other quarter, the ducks do not 
fly in such abundance, nor do they pay much attention to the posts or 
the yelling, but often keep on their course down the lagoons, or head 
straight for the beach and cross wherever they strike it. The latter is 
generally the habit with the old squaws, who come rather late in the 
migrations, while the black brant (Branta nigricans) are more apt to go 
down the lagoons. A few pintail ducks ( Dafila acuta), are occasionally 
shot at this season, aud are sometimes found in the two little village 
ponds (Tuseraru). The shooting at Pernyu usually lasts till the mid- 
dle or end of September, during which mouth the natives also shoot a 
good many gulls (Larus barrovianus and Rhodostethia rosea) as they 
fly along the shore. 


Hooks and lines. — The streams and lakes in the immediate neighbor- 
hood of Point Barrow contain no fish, and there is comparatively little 
fishing in the sea. When the water first closes in the autumn narrow 
tide cracks often form at the very edge of the beach. At these cracks 
the natives frequently catch considerable numbers of Polar cod (Bore- 
ogadus saida) and small sculpins (Cottus quadricornis and C. decas- 
trensis), with the hook and line. The tackle for this fishing consists of 

1 Von der Lagune aus pflegten jeden Morgen und Abend grosse Enteuschaaren iiher den Ort hin- 
weg liach deni Meere zu fliegen. Dann warden durcl) Pfeifen uud Sclircien die Xhiere so geangstagt, 
dass sie ihren Plug abwiirts richteten uud nun durcli die mit grosser Sicherheit geworfeue Schleuder 
Oder durch Flintenschiisse erreiebt werden konntcn. (East, Cape), Krause Brothers, Gcograpliisehe 
Blatter, Vol. 5, pt. 1, p. 32. 

"The birds were easily called from their course of flight, as we repeatedly observed. If a flock 
should be passing a hundred yards or more to one side, t lie natives would utter a long, peculiar cry, 
and the Sock would turn instantly to one side and sweep by in a circuit, thus affording the coveted 
opportunity for bringing down soiao of their number." (Cape Waukarem), Nelson, Cruise of the. 
Corwin. p. 100. 

Murdoch.] FISHING-TACKLE. 279 

a short line of whalebone, provided with a little "squid" or artificial 

bait of ivory, and fastened to a wooden rod about IS inches or 2 feet- 
long'. The lure, which is apparently meant to represent a small shrimp, 
is kept moving, and the fish bite at it. We brought home two com- 
plete sets of tackle for this kind of fishing, two lines without rods and 
twelve lures or hooks. No. 89548 [1733] Fig. 264, has been selected 
for description. 

The line is 40 inches long and made of four strips of whalebone 04 
inch wide, fastened together with what appear to be " waterknots." 
Two of these strips are of black whalebone, respectively 4£ and 9 inches 
long; the other two are of light colored whalebone and 15A and 11 inches 
long. The light colored end is made fast to the eye in the small end of 
the hook as follows : The end is passed through the eye, doubled back 

Fig. 264.— Tackle-for shore fishing. 

and passed through a single knot in the standing part, and knotted 
round the latter with a similar knot (Fig. 265). This knot is the one 
generally used in fastening a fishing line to the hook. The other end 
is doubled in a short bight into, which is becket-hitched one end of a bit 
of sinew thread about 3 inches long, and the other end is knotted 
into a notch at one end of the rod, as the whalebone would be too stiff 
to tie securely to the stick. The rod is a roughly whittled splinter of 
California redwood, 14£ inches long. The body of the lure is a piece 
of walrus ivory 1£ inches long. Through a hole in the large end of this 
is driven the barbless brass hook, with a broad thin plate at one end 
bent up, flush with the convex side. When not in use the line is reeled 
lengthwise on the rod, secured by a notch at each end of the latter, and 
the hook stuck into the wood on one side of 
the rod/ The hook is wedged into the body 
of the lure with a bit of whalebone. The 
other specimen, No. 89547, [1733] from the 
same village, is almost exactly like this, but FlG " 2e5 - K]10t of toe int ° h "° k - 
has a slightly shorter line, made of three strips of bone, of which the 
lower two, as before, are of light colored whalebone. The object of 
using this material is probably to render the part of the line which is 
under water less conspicuous, as we use leaders and casting lines of 
transparent silkworm gut. The body of the hire is made of old brown 
walrus ivory- These lures are 1 inch to 1| inches long, and vary little 
in the shape of the body which is usually made of walrus ivory, in 
most cases darkened on the surface by age or charring, so that when 
carved into shape it is parti-colored, black and white. The body is often 
ornamented with small colored beads inlaid for eyes and along the back 
(Fig. 266a, No. 56609 [153], from Utkiavwm). 

The hook is usually of the shape described but is sometimes simply a 
slightly recurved spur about £-inch long as in Fig. 266& (No. 56610 [160], 



Fig. 2C6.— Small fishhooks. 

also from Ctkiavwin). It is usually of brass or copper, rarely of iron. 

Two peculiar lures from Utkiawvin, are No. 50705 [150a and 150b]. 

The first, a, has a body of 
brass of the usual shape, 
and a copper hook, and the 
other, b, has the body made 
of a strip of thin brass to the 
back of which is fastened a 
lump of lead or pewter. The 
hook appears to be made of 
a common copper tack. We 
were informed that these 
lures were also used for 
catching small fish, trout, 
smelts, and perhaps gray- . 
ling in the rivers iu sum- 
mer. No. 89554 [950], Fig. 
267 a , from Utkiavwlh, is per- 
haps intended exclusively for this purpose, as it is larger than the others, 

(1.9 inch long) and highly ornamented with beads. Fig. 207ft, No. 89783 

[1007], is one of these beaded lures (2i inches long), with an iron hook, 

undoubtedly for river Ashing, as it belonged to the 

"inland" native, Ilu'bw'ga. It differs slightly in 

shape from the others, having two eyes at the small 

end into which is fastened a leader of sinew braid 3 

inches long. On this are strung four blue glass beads 

aud one red one. 

No. ' [151] Fig. 268, from Utkiavwin, is a rod 

rigged for fishing in the rivers. The rod is a roughly 

whittled stick of spruce or pine, 27 inches long. One 

line is 43 and the other 36 inches long and each is 

made of two strips of whalebone of which the lower 

is light colored as usual. The shorter line carries a fig. 207.— Hooks for river 

small plain ivory lure of the common pattern, and the fishing. 

longer one a little flat barbless hook of copper with a broad flat shank. 

This was probably scraped bright and used without bait. The lines are 

Fig. 268.— Tackle for river Ashing. 

reeled in the usual manner on the rod, and the hooks caught into notches 
on the sides of it. The small lures are called ni'ksiu. 

1 Museum number effaced. 



When at the rivers in the autumn and early spring, they fish for burbot 
with a line carrying a peculiar large hook called i«kqlun, which is baited 
with a piece of whitefish. There are two forms of this hook, 
which is from 3 to 5£ inches long. One form differs in size only 
from the small ni'ksin, but is always of white ivory and not 
beaded (Fig. 269, No. 89550 [780J from Utkiavwin, which is 4i 
inches long and has a copper hook). The hook is of copper, 
brass or iron. The other form, which is perhaps the commoner, 
has a narrow flat body, slightly bent, and serrated on the edges 
to give a firm attachment to the bait. This body is usually of 
antler, and has a copper or iron hook either spur- 
shaped or of the common form as in Fig. 270, No. fig. 270.— 
89553 [764] from Utkiavwin, which has a body of £oJk 
walrus ivory 4 inches long and a copper hook. Of 2tl pattern. 
late years, small cod hooks obtained from the ships have 
been adapted to these bodies, as is seen in Fig. 271, No. 89552 
[841] from Utkiavwin. The shank of the hook 
has been half imbedded in a longitudinal groove 
on the flatter side of the body, with the bend of 
the hook projecting about J inch beyond the tip 
of the latter. The ring of the hook has been 
bent open and the end sunk into the body. Tlie 
hook is held on by two lashings of sinew, one at 
each end of the shank. 

No. 56594 [32] from Utkiavwin is like the pre- 
ceding, but has a larger hook, which from the 
bend to the point is wrapped in a piece of deer 
skin with the flesh side out, and wound with 
sinew having a tuft of hair at the point of the 
bothook, ist hook. This is probably to hide the point when 
pattern. tne }look is Waited. No. 56594 [167] from Utki- 
avwin, has the hook fastened to the back of the body in- 
stead of the flat,side. The manner in which these hooks 
are baited is shown in Fig. 272, which represents a complete ^0" Truk^oi- 
set of burbot tackle (No. 89546 [946]) brought in and sold by cod hook. 
some Utkiavwin natives, just as they had been using it in the autumn 
of 1882 at Knaru or Kulugrua. A piece of whitefish, flesh and skin, 

Fig. 272.— Burbot tackle, baited. 

with the scales removed is wrapped round the hook so as to make a club- 
shaped body 4£ inches long and is sewed up along one side with cotton 
twine. The copper spur projects through the .skin on the other side. 



This Look would not hold the fish unless it were "gorged," but the vora- 
cious burbot always swallows its prey. In dressing these fish for the 
table, whitefish of considerable size were frequently found in them. 
The line is of whalebone like those already described but a little stouter, 
78 inches long, and made of seven pieces, all black. The end of the line 
is fastened into an eye in the small end of a rough club-shaped sinker of 
walrus ivory, 4f inches long. There is another eye at the large end of 
the sinker, for the attachment of a leader of double sinew braid 54 inches 
long connecting the hook with the sinker. 

The reel, which serves also as a short rod, is of yellow pine 19£ inches 
long. When the line is reeled up, the hook is caught into the wood on 
one side of the reel. No. 89r>4r> [946] is a similar set of baited tackle, 
bought from the same natives, differing from the preceding only in pro- 
portions, having a longer line — feet and 6 inches — and a somewhat 
larger bait. We also procured two sets of burbot tackle unbaited. 

One of these (No. 56543 [33] from TJtkiavwiii) has a whale- 
bone line 14 feet long, and a roughly octahedral sinker of 
walrus ivory 3 inches long and 14 in diameter. The hook, 
which is joined to the sinker as before by a leader of stout 
sinew braid, is of the second pattern, with serrated edges, 
and a copper hook. The leader is neatly spliced into this. 
The other, No. 56544 [187], also from Utkiavwin, has no sinker 
and a hook with a club-shaped body and iron spur. It was 
probably put together for sale, as it is new. The sinkers, of 
which we collected five, besides those already mentioned, are 
always about the same weight and either club-shaped or 
roughly octahedral. They are always of walrus ivory and 
usually carelessly made. Fig. 273 (No. 56577 [260]) repre- 
sents one of these sinkers (kibica), on which there is some 
attempt at ornamentation. On the larger are two eyes 
and the outline of a mouth like a shark's, incised and tilled 
black refuse oil. 
A similar line and reel are used for catching polar cod in 
the spring and late winter through the ice at some distance 
from the shore. These lines are 10 or 15 fathoms long, "and 
provided with a heavy sinker of ivory, copper, or rarely 
lead, to which are attached by whalebone leaders of unequal 
length, two little jiggers like Fig. 274 (the property of the 
writer, from Utkiavwin). This is of white walrus ivory, 24, 
inches long and f in diameter at the largest part. The 
two slender hooks are of copper and are secured by 
wedges of whalebone. This makes a contrivance re- 
sembling the squid jigs used by our fishermen. These 
jiggers are sometimes made wholly of copper, which is 
scraped bright. 

This fishery begins with the return of the sun, about the 

Fig. 273. 
Ivory sinker. 

Ill Wltl 

mubdoch.] ICE FISHING. 283 

1st of February, and continues when the ice is favorable until the season 
is so far advanced that the ice has begun to melt and become rotten. The 
fish are especially to be found in places where there is a good-sized 
held of the season's ice, 3 or 4 feet thick, inclosed by hummocks, and 
they sometimes occur in very great numbers. In 1S82 there was a large 
held of this kind about 2 miles from the village and the fishing was 
carried on with great success, but in 1883 the ice was so much broken 
that the fish were very scarce. Some lads caught a few early in the 
season, but the fishery was soon abandoned. 

A hole about a foot in diameter is made through the ice with an ice 
pick, and the fragments dipped out either with the long-handled whale- 
bone scoop, or the little dipper made of two pieces of antler mounted 
on a handle about 2 feet long, which everybody carries in the winter. 
The line is unreeled and let down through the hole till the jigs hang 
about a foot from the bottom. The fisherman holds in his left hand the 
dipper above mentioned, with which he keeps the hole clear of the ice 
crystals, which form very quickly, and in his right the reel which he 
jerks continually up and down. The fish, attracted by the white "jiggers,'' 
begin nosing around them, when the upward jerk of the line hooks one 
of them in the under jaw or the belly. As soon as the fisherman feels 
the fish, he catches a bight of the line with the scoop in his left hand 
and draws it over to the left; then catches the line below this with the 
reel and draws it over to the right, and so on, thus reeling the line up 
in long hanks on these two sticks, without touching the wet line with 
his fingers. 

When the fish is brought to the surface of the ice, he is detached from 
thebarbless hook with a dextrous jerk, and almost instantly freezes solid. 
The elastic whalebone line is thrown off the stick without kinking and 
let down again through the hole. When fish are plentiful, they are caught 
as fast as they can be hauled up, sometimes one on each "jigger." If 
the fisherman finds no fish at the first hole he moves to another part of 
the field and tries again until he succeeds in "striking a school." The 
fish vary in abuudauce on different days, being sometimes .so plentiful 
that I have known two or three children to catch a bushel in a few hours, 
while some days very few are to be taken. In addition to the polar 
cod, a few sculpins are also caught, and occasionally the two species of 
Lycodes (L. turnerii and coccineus) which voracious fish sometimes seize 
the little polar cod struggling on the "jigger" and are thus caught 
themselves. This fishery is chiefly carried on by the women, children, 
and old men, who go out in parties of five or six, though the hunters 
sometimes go fishing when they have nothing else to do. There were 
generally thirty or forty people out at the fishing-ground every day in 

Jiggers of this pattern appear to be used at Pitlekaj, from Nordends- 
kiold's description, 1 but I have seen no account either there or elsewhere 

1 Vega, vol. 2, p. 110. 



of the peculiar method of reeling up the line such as we saw at Point 
Barrow. .Lines of whalebone are very common among the Eskimo 
generally, ' and perhaps this material is preferable to any other for 
fishing in this cold region, for not only does the elastic whalebone 
prevent kinking, but the ice which forms instantly on the wet line 
in winter does not adhere to it, but can easily be shaken off. No. 56545 
[410] is a line 51 feet and 10 inches long and 0-05 inch in diameter, made 
of human hair, neatly braided in a round braid with four strands. This 
was called a fishing line, but was the only one of the kind seen. 
Fishhooks of the kind described, with a body of bone or ivory, which 
serves for a lure, armed with a spur or bent hook of metal, without a 
barb, seem to be the prevailing type amongst the Eskimo. In the 
region about Norton Sound (as shown by the extensive collections of 
Mr. Nelson and others) this is often converted into an elaborate lure by 
attaching pendants of beads, bits of the red beak of the puffin, etc. 
Crantz mentions a similar custom in Greenland of baiting a hook with 
beads. 2 

Nets (Rubra). — The most important fishery at the rivers is carried on 
by means of gill-nets, set under the ice, and visited every few days. In 
these are taken large numbers of all three species of whitefish (Core- 
gonus kenicotti, C. nelsoni, and C. laurettse.) The collection contains 
three specimens of these nets, two of whaleboue and one of sinew. No. 
56754 [147], Fig. 275, is a typical whalebone net. It is long and shal- 
low, 79 meshes long and 
21 deep, made of fine 
strips of whalebone fast- 
ened together as in the 
whalebone fishing lines. 
Most of the whalebone is 
black, but a few light col- 
ored strips are intermixed 
at random. The length 
of the mesh is 34. inches, 
and the knot used in mak- 
ing them is the ordinary 
netting-knot. When not 
in use the net is rolled up into a compact ball and tied up with a bit 
of string. When set, this net is 21 feet 7 inches long and 3 feet 4 
inches deep. The other whalebone net (No. 56753 [172], also from 
Utkiavwm), is similar to this, but slightly larger, being 87 meshes (25 
feet) long and 22 (3 feet 9 inches) deep. The length of mesh is 3 J inches. 

Fig. 275.— Section of whalebon 

1 "Their Lines are made of Whalebones, cut very small and thin, and at the End tacked together." 
Egede, Greenland, p. 107. See also. Crantz, vol. 1, p. 95; Dall, Alaska, p. 148; and the Museum Collec- 
tions -which contain many whalebone lines from the Mackenzie and Anderson rivers, collected by 
MacFarlane, and from the whole western region, collected by Nelson. 

2 " Instead of a bait, they put on tho hook a white bone, a glass bead, or a bit of red cloth" (when 
fishing for senlpins). History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. fir>. 




Fig. 276.— Mesh of sinew net. 

Fig. 270 (ujuit of web) is ;i net (No. 56752 [171] from the same village) 
of the same mesh and depth, but 284 meshes 
(GO feet) long and made of twisted sinew 

I had no opportunity of seeing the method of 
setting these nets under the ice, but it is proba- 
bly the same as that used in setting the seal nets. 
When in camp at Pernyu in the summer, the 
natives set these nets in the shoal water of Elson Bay, at right angles 
to the beach, with a stake at each end of the net. They are set by a 
man in a kayak, and in them are gilled considerable numbers of white- 
flsli, two species of salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha and O. nerka) 
and an occasional trout (Salvelinus malma). They take these nets east 
with them on their summer expeditious, but we did not learn the method 
of using them at this season. Perhaps they are sometimes used for 
seining on the beach, as Thomas Simpson says that the Eskimo at 
Herschel Island (probably Kunniud'lin) sold his party "some fine sal- 
mon trout, taken in a seine of whalebone, which they dragged ashore 
by means of several slender poles spliced together to a great length." 1 

An Utkiavwih native told 
us that he found trout (Sal- 
velinus malma) so plentiful 
at or near the mouth of the 
Colville, in 1882, that he fed 
his dogs with them. 

Fig. 277 is a peculiar net 
or fish-trap (No. 56755 [190]) 
from ITtkiavwin, the only 
specimen of the kind seen. 
It is a conical, wide-mouthed 
bag, 8 feet 4 inches long and 
5i feet wide at the mouth, 
netted all in one piece of 
twisted sinew, with a 2^-inch 
mesh. Tins was brought 
over for sale at an early date, 
before we were well ac- 
quainted with the natives, 
and we only learned that it 
was set permanently for 
catching fish. Unfortunate- 
ly, we never saw another 
specimen, and through the 
.press of other duties never 
happened to make further 

Fig. 277.— Fish trap. 

1 Narrative, p. 115 


inquiries about it. From its shape it would appear as if it were meant 
to be set in a stream with the mouth towards the current. This con- 
trivance is called sapotin, which corresponds to the G-reenlandic saputit, 
a dam for catching fish. 

From all accounts, the natives east of the Anderson Biver region were 
ignorant of the use of the net before they made the acquaintance of the 
whites, 1 though they now use it in several places, as in Greenland and 
Labrador. Tlieearliest explorerson the northwest coast, however, found 
both fish and seal nets in use, though, as I have already mentioned, the 
seal net was spoken of at Point Barrow as a comparatively recent in- 
vention. At the present day, nets are used all along the coast 
from the Mackenzie and Anderson rivers (see MacFarlane's Col- 
lection) as far south at least as the Yukon delta. 2 1 have not 
been able to learn whether gill nets are used in the delta of the 
Kuskoquim. Petroff 3 mentions fish traps and dip nets merely. 
That the natives of Kadiak formerly had no nets I infer from 
Petroff 's statement 4 that " of late they have begun to use seines 
of whale sinew." Nets are generally used on the Siberian 
coast. We observed them ourselves at Plover Bay, and Nor- 
denskioid 5 describes the nets used at Pitlekaj, which are made 
of sinew thread. It is almost certain that the American Eskimo 
learned the use of the net from the Siberians, as they did the 
habit of smoking, since the use of the gill net appears to have 
been limited to precisely the same region as the Siberian form 
of tobacco pipe. 6 

tipears. — The only evidence which we have of the use of spears 
for catching fish in this region is a single specimen, No. 89901 
, [1227], Fig. 278, from Utkiavwin, which was newly and rather 
carelessly made for sale, but intended, as we were told, for spear- 
ing fish. This has a roughly whittled shaft, of spruce, 21}- 
inches long, armed at one end with three prongs. The middle 
prong is of whalebone, 4£ inches long, inserted into the tip of 
the shaft, which is cut into a short neck and whipped with sinew. 
fig. 2-8- The side prongs are also of bone, 9 inches long. Through the tip 
Fistspear. f each is driven a sharp, slender slightly recurved spur of bone, 
about 1£ inches long. Each prong is fastened to the shaft with two small 
wooden treenails, and they are braced with a figure-of-eight lashing of 
sinew through holes in the side prongs and around the middle one. The 
side prongs are somewhat elastic, So that when the spear is struck down 

1 The Greenlanders used a sort of sieve or scoop net, not seen at Point Barrow, for catching eaplin 
(Mallotus villosus). Egede, Greenland, p. 108; and Crantz, vol. 1, p. 9.">. John Davis, however, says 
of the Greenlauders in 1586, "They make nets to take their fish of the tinne of a whale." Haklnyt's 
Voyages, etc. (1589), p. 782. 

2 I)all, Alaska, p. 147; anil Petroff. Report, etc., p. 127. 

*Op <it„ p. 711. 

4 Op cit., p. 142. 

6 Vega, vol. 2, p. 109. 

6 See the writer's paper in the American Anthropologist, vol. 1, pp. 325-336. 

Murdoch.] FLINT WORKING. 287 

on the back of a fish they spring' apart and allow the middle prong to 
pierce him, and then spring back so that the spurs either catch in his 
sides or meet below his belly, precisely on the principle of the " patent 
eel spear." This implement is almost identical with one in the National 
Museum from Hudson Bay, which appears to be in general use among 
the eastern Eskimo. 1 The name, kaki'btia, is very nearly the same as 
that used by the eastern natives (kakkie-wei, Parry, and kakivak, 
Kumlien). This spear is admirably adapted for catching large fish in 
shallow rocky streams where a net can not be used, or where they are 
caught by dams in tidal streams in the manner described by Egede and 
Crantz. There is so little tide, however, on the northwest coast, that 
this method of fishing can not be practiced, and, as far as I know, there 
is no locality in the range of the Point Barrow natives, a region of open 
shoal beaches, and rivers free of rocks, where this spear could be used 
in which a net would not serve the purpose much better. Taking into 
consideration the scarcity of these spears and the general use of nets, I 
am inclined to believe that this spear is an ancient weapon, formerly in 
general use, but driven out of fashion by the introduction of nets. 


These people still retain the art of making flint arrow and spear- 
heads, and other implements such as the blades for the skin scrapers to be 
hereafter described. Many of the flint arrowheads and spear points al- 
ready described were made at ISTuwiik or Utkiavwin especially for sale 
to us and are as finely formed and neatly finished as any of the ancient 
ones. The flints, in many cases water-worn pebbles, appear to have 
been splintered by percussion into fragments of suitable sizes, and these 
sharp-edged spalls are flaked into shape by means of a little instru- 
ment consisting of a short, straight rod of some hard material mounted 
in a short curved haft. We collected nine of these tools (ki'gli) of 
which two have no blades. No. 89262 [1223] figured in Point Barrow 
Report, Ethnology, PI. in, Fig. 7, has been selected as the type. The 
handle is of walrus ivory, 7-8 inches long, straight and nearly cylin- 
drical for about 4£ inches, then bending down like a saw handle and 
spread out into a spatulate butt. Fitted into a deep groove on the top 
of the handle so that its tip projects 1*8 inches beyond the tip of the 
latter is a slender four-sided rod of whale's bone, 4-7 inches long. This 
is held in place by two simple lashings, one of cotton twine and the 
other of seal thong. The flint to be flaked is held in the left hand and 

1 Kumlien's description (Contributions, p. 37, Cumberland Gulf) would apply almost word for word 
to this spear, and Captain Parry, (Second Voyage, p. 501)) describes a very similar one in use at Iglulik. 
The "Perch, headed with two sharp-hooked Bones," for spearing salmon — called in the Grenlandsk 
Ordbog, kakiak, "en Lyster (med to eller tre Pigge")— mentioned by Egede (Greenland, p. 108) is prob- 
ably the same thing, and a similar spear is spoken of by Rae (Narrative, p. 172) as in use at Repulse- 
Bay. A similar weapon, described by Br. Rink as "Mit einem in brittischen Columbien vorkommenden 
identisch," was found in east Greenland (Deutsche Geographische Blatter, vol. 9, p. 234). Seethe 
description of the spear found by Schwatkaat Back's Great Fish River (Nimrod in the North, p. 139), 
also described by Klutschak (Als Eskimo, etc., p. 120). 



pressed against the fleshy part of the palm which serves as a cushion 
and is protected by wearing a thick deer-skin mitten. The tool is firmly 
grasped well forward in the right hand with the thumb on top of the 
blade and by pressing the point steadily on the edge of the flint, flakes 
of- the desired size are made to fly off from the under surface. 

These tools vary little in pattern, but are made of different materials. 

Fig. 27!).— Flint tinkers 

Hard bone appears to have been the commonest material for the blade, 
as three out of the seven blades are of this substance. One specimen 
(No. 89263 [796] from Utkiavwin) has a blade of iron of the same shape 
but only 2 inches long. No. 89264 [1001] also from Utkiavwin, Fig. 
219a, has a short blade of black flint flaked into a four-sided rod li 
inches long. This is held in place by a whipping of stout seal thong 
tightened by thrusting a splinter of wood in at the back of the groove. 
Two specimens (Nos. 89260 [794] Fig.279& and 89201 [1216] 
both from Utkiavwin) have blades of the peculiar Nutisuknan 
concretions previously described. Each is an oblong pebble 
wedged into the groove and secured by a lashing as usual. 
No. 89260 [791] has a haft cf antler. This is rather the com- 
monest material for the haft. Two specimens have hafts of 
walrus ivory and three of fossil ivory. The length of the haft 
is from 6 to 8 inches, of the blade 1-5 to 4-7 inches. Fig. 280 
(No. 89265 [979] from Nuwuk) is the haft of one of these tools, 
made of fossil ivory, yellow from age and stained brown in 
blotches, which shows the way in which the groove for the 
blade was excavated, namely, by boring a series of large round 
holes and cutting away the material between them. The re- 
mains of the holes are still to be seen in the bottom of the 
groove. The tip of this haft has been roughly carved into a 
bear's head with the eyes and nostrils incised and filled with 
black dirt, and the eyes, nostrils, and mouth of a human 
ot Hint aaker. face have been rudely incised on the under side of the butt 
and also blackened. All this carving is new and was done with the 
view of increasing the market value of the object. The original orna- 
mentation consists of an incised pattern on the upper surface of the 
butt, colored with red ocher which has turned black from age and dirt. 

280.— Haft 




Fig. 281 (No. 89782 f 1004c]) is one of these tools, very neatly made, 
with a haft of reindeer antler and a bone blade, se- 
cured by a whipping of seal thong which belongs 
with the "kit" of tools owned by the "inland" na- 
tive, Ilu'bw'ga. Mr. Nelson collected a number of 
specimens of this tool at various points on the north- 
west coast from Point Hope as far south as Norton 
Bay, but I can find no evidence of its use elsewhere. 


Drills. — In former times fire was obtained in the 
method common to so many savages, from the heat 
developed by the friction of the end of a stick worked 
like a drill against a piece of soft wood. This in- 
strument was still in use at least as late as 1837, ' but 
appears to have been wholly abandoned at Point 
Barrow at the time of the Plover's visit, though still 
in use at Kotzebue Sound. 2 

A native of Nuwuk one day brought down for sale 
what he said was an exact model of the ancient fire drill, niootin. This is 
No. 89822 [1080], Fig. 282. The drill is a stick of pine 12 inches long, shaped 
like the shaft of a common perforating drill, brought to a blunt but rounded 

Fig. 281.— Flint flakor 
with bone blade. 

Fig. 282. — Fire drill with mouthpiece and stock. 

point. This is worked by a string, without bow or handles, consisting 
of a strip of the skin of the bearded seal, 40 inches long, and has for a 
mouthpiece the astragalus bone of a reindeer, the natural hollow on one 
side serving as a socket for the butt of the drill. 3 The point of the drill 

i" Their own clumsy method of producing fire is by friction with two pieces of dry wood in the 
manner of a drill." — (T. Simpson, Narrative, p. 162.) 

2 Dr. Simpson, op. cit., p. 242. 

3 Compare Nordenskiold's figure of the fire, drill in use at Pitlekaj (Vega, vol. 2, p. 121), which has a 
similar bone for a socket, held not in the month but in the left hand. 

9 ETH 19 


is made to work against the split surface of a stick of spruce 18 inches 
long, along the middle of which is cut a gash, to give the drill a start. 
Three equidistant circular pits, charred and blackened, were bored out 
by the tip of the drill, which developed heat enough to set fire to the 
sawdust produced. Tinder was probably used to catch and hold the 

Most authors who have treated of the Eskimo have described an 
instrument of this sort in use either in former times or at the present 
day. 1 

Among most Eskimo, however, a bow is used to work the drill. The 
only exceptions to this rule appears to have been the ancient Greenland- 
ers and the people of Hudson Bay (see the passages from Hakluyt, 
Orantz, and Ellis, just quoted.) Chamisso, however, 2 speaks of seeing 
the Aleutians at Unalaska produce fire by means of a stick worked by 
a string making two turns about the stick and held and drawn with 
both hands, with the upper end of the stick turning in a piece of wood 
held in the mouth. When a piece of fir was turned against another piece 
of the same wood fire was often produced in a few seconds. This passage 
appears to have escaped the usually keen observation of Mr. W. H. 
Dall, who, speaking of the ancient Aleutians, says : " The 'fiddle-bow 
drill' was an instrument largely used in their carving and working bone 
and ivory; but for obtaining fire but two pieces of quarz were struck 
together, " etc. 3 

1 Bessels, Naturalist, vol. 18, pt. 9, p. 8G7, speaks of a fire drill used at Smith Sound with a bow and 
a mouthpiece of ivory. 

A Greenlander; seen by John Davis, in 1586, "beganne to kindle a fire, in his maimer: hetookapiece 
of a boord, wherein was a hole halfe thorow: into that he puts the end of a roud stieke like unto a 
bedstaffe, wetting the end thereof in traine, and in fashion of a turner, with a piece of lether, by his 
violent motion doth very speedily produce, fire."— Hakluyt's Voyages, etc. (1589), p. 782. 

"They take a short Block of dry Fir Tree, upon which they rub another Piece of hard Wood, till by the 
continued Motion the Fir catches Fire." — Egede, Greenland, p. 137. 

"If their tire goes out, they can kindle it again by turning round a stick very quick with a string 
through a hole in a piece of wood." — Crantz, History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 145. 

Lyon (Journal, p. 210) says that at Iglnlik they were able to procure "fire by the friction of a pin of 
wood in the hole of another piece and pressed down like a drill from above." This was worked with a 
bow and willow catkins were used for tinder. A man informed them that "he had learned it from his 
father rather for amusement than for utility; the two lumps of iron pyrites certainly answering the 
purpose a great deal better." 

"They have a very dextrous Methodof kindling Fire; in order to which, they prepare two small 
Pieces of dry Wood, which having made flat, they next make a small Hole in each, and having fitted into 
these Holes a little cylindrical Piece of Wood, to which a Thong is fastened, they whirl it about thereby 
with such a Velocity, that by rubbing the Pieee.s of Wood one against the other, this Motion soon sets 
them on fire."— EUis, Voyage to Hudsons Bay, p. 234. 

A picture of the process is given opposite page 132, in which a man holds the socket, while a woman 
works the thong (western shore of Hudson Bay, near Chesterfield Inlet). 

Kae also mentions a similar drill used in the same region in 1847 (Narrative, p. 187) ; and there is a 
specimen in the National Museum, collected by MacFarlane, and said to be the kind "in use until 
lately" in the Mackenzie and Anderson region. 

Dall figures a fire drill with bow and mouthpiece formerly in use at Norton Sound (Alaska, p. 142) ; 
and Hooper (Tents, etc., p. 187) describes a similar drill at Plover Bay. 

From Nordenskiold's account (Vega, vol. 2, p. 121) the firodrill seems to bo still generally used by the 
natives at the Vega's winter quarters. He says that the women appeared more accustomed to the use 
of the drill than the men, and that a little oil was put on the end of the drill. 

2 Kotzebue's Voyage, vol. 3, p. 260. 
'Contribution to N. A. Ethnology, vol. 1, p. 82. 




I had no opportunity of seeing this drill manipulated, but I have con- 
vinced myself by experiment that the stick or " light-stock," to use Nor- 
denskiold's expression, must be held down by one foot, the workman 
kneeling on the other knee. 

Flint and steel. — Fire is usually obtained nowadays by striking a 
spark in the ordinary method from a bit of flint with a steel, usually a 
bit of some white man's tool. Both are carried, as in Dr. Simpson's time, 
in a little bag slung around the neck, along with some tinder made of 
the down of willow catkins mixed with charcoal or jjerhaps gunpowder. 
The flints usually carried for lighting the pipe, the only ones I have seen, 
are very small, and only a tiny fragment of tinder is lighted which is 
placed on the tobacco. Lucifer matches (kiliaksagau) were eagerly 
begged, but they did not appear to care enough for them to purchase 
them. Our friend Nikawaalu, from whom we obtained much information 
about the ancient customs of these people, told us that long ago, "when 
there was no iron and no flint" — " savik pifimut, annia pinmut" 1 — they 
used to get "great fire" by striking together two pieces of iron pyrites. 
Dr. Simpson speaks 2 of two lumps of iron pyrites being used for striking 
fire, but he does not make it clear whether he saw this at Point Barrow 
or oidy at Kotzebue Sound. Iron pyrites appears to have been used 
quite generally among the Eskimo. Bessels saw it used with quartz 
at Smith Sound, with willow catkins for tinder 3 and Lyon mentions the 
use of two pieces of the same material, with the same 
kind of tinder, at Iglulik. 4 Willow catkins are also 
used for tinder at the Coppermine River. 5 

No. 89825 [1133 and 1722] are some of the catkins 
used for making the tinder, which were gathered in 
considerable quantities at the rivers. They are called 
kimmiuru, which perhaps means "little dogs," as we 
say "catkins" or "pussy willows." 

Kindlings. — From the same place they also brought 
home willow twigs, 9 inches long, and tied with sinews 
into bunches or fagots of about a dozen or a dozen 
and a half each, which they said were used for kindling 
fires. (No. 89824 [1725].) 

Bow-and-arroic making. — A complete set of bow- 
and-arrow tools consists of 4 pieces, viz: a marline 
spike, two twisters, and a feather setter, as shown in fi G . 283.— Set of bow- 
Fig. 283, No. 89405 [902], from Utkiavwiil. The and-arrow tools, 
pieces of this set are perforated and strung on a piece of sinew braid, 
4 inches long, with a knot at each end. 

The Marline spike. — This is a flat, four-sided rod of walrus ivory, 5-6 

1 Compare this with Dr. Simpson's statement, quoted above, that stones for arrowheads were brought 
by the Nunatafimiuu from the Ku'wfik Eiver. 

2 Op. cit., p. 243. 

3 Naturalist, vol. 18, pt. 9, p. 807. 
1 Journal, pp. 210 and 231. 

' Franklin, First Exped., vol. 2, p. 188. 



inches long, tapering to a sharp rounded point at one end, and tapered 
slightly to the other, which terminates in a small rounded knob. It is 
very neatly made from, rather old yellow ivory, and ornamented on all 
four faces with conventional incised patterns colored with red ochre. 

This implement is used in putting on the backing of a bow to raise, 
parts of the cord when an end is to be passed under and in tucking in the 
ends in finishing off a whipping. It was probably also used in putting 
whippings or seizings onany other implements. We collected 10 of these 
tools, all quite similar, and made of walrus ivory, yellow from age and 
handling. They vary in length from 4£ to 6 inches, and are always 
contracted at the upper end into a sort of neck or handle, surmounted 
by a knob or crossbar. No. 89403 [830] Fig. 284, from Utkiavwin has 

Fig. 284. — Atarline spike. 

the crossbar carved very neatly iuto the figure of an Ainphipod crus- 
tacean without the legs. The eyes, mouth, and vent are indicated 
by small round holes filled with some black substance, and there is a 
row of eight similar holes down the middle of the back. The tip of this 
tool, which is 5-9 inches long, has been concaved to an edge so as to 
make a feather-setter of it. Through the knob at the butt there is soine- 

FlG. 285.— Marline spike. 

times a large round eye, as in Fig. 285 (No. 89404 [842] from Utkiavwin, 
4-7 inches long). These tools are sometimes plain, like the specimens 
last figured, and sometimes ornamented with conventional patterns of 
incised lines, colored with red ocher, like the others. 

The twisters (No. 89405 [902]) are flat four-sided rods of walrus ivory, 
respectively 4-4 and 4-7 inches long. At each end one broad face is 
raised into a low transverse ridge about 0-1 inch high and the other 
rounded off, with the ridge on opposite faces at the two ends. They 
are ornamented on all four faces with longitudinal incised lines, colored 
with red ocher. 

The use of these tools, which was discovered by actual experiment 
after our return to this country 1 is for twisting the strands of the sinew 
backing after it has been put on the bow into the cables already de- 

1 See the writor's paper on Eskimo bows, Smithsonian Report for 1884, pt. 2, p. 315. 



scribed. The manner in which this tool is used is as follows : The end 
is inserted between the strands at the middle of the bow, so that the 
ridge or hook catches the lower strands, and the end is carried over 
through an arc of 180°, which gives the cable a half turn of 
twist. This brings the twister against the bow, so that the twisting can 
be carried no further in this direction, and if the tool were to be removed 
for a fresh start the strands would have to be held or fastened in some 
way, making the process a slow one. Instead, the tool is slid back be- 
tween the strands till the other end comes where the first was, so that 
the hook at this end catches the strand, and the workman can give to 
the cable another half turn of twist. This is continued until the cable 
is sufficiently twisted, the tool sliding back and forth like the handle of 
a vise. The tools are used in pairs, one being inserted in each cable 
and manipulated with each hand, so as to give the same amount of twist 
to each cable. At the present day, these tools are seldom used for bow 
making, since the sinew-backed bow is so nearly obsolete, but are em- 
ployed in playing a game of the nature of pitch-penny. (See below, 
under games and pastimes.) 

These tools, of which we collected twenty- six specimens, are all of 
walrus ivory, and of almost exactly the same shape, varying a little in 
size and ornamentation. They vary in length from 3 to 5-7 inches, but 
are usually about 4£ inches long. The commonest width is 0-4 inches, 
the narrowest being 0-3 and the width 0-7 broad, while the thickness is 
almost always 0-3, varying hardly 0-1 inch. Most of them are plain, but 
a few are ornamented with incised lines, and two are marked with 
"circles and dots" as in Fig. 286, one of a rather large pair (No. 56521 

Fig. 286. — Twister for working siuew backing of l)ow. 

[249] from Utkiavwln). These are 5-4 inches long, neatly made and 
quite clean. All the others show signs of age and use. 

There are large numbers of these tools in the National Museum from 
various points in the region where bows of the Arctic type are used, 
namely, from the Anderson River to Norton Sound, and one from St. 
Lawrence Island, whence we have received no twisted bows. Their use 
was, however, not definitely understood, as they are described simply 
as "bow tools," "bowstring twisters" or even "arrow polishers." Mr. 
Nelson informs me that the tool is now not used in Norton Sound, except 
for playing a game, as at Point Barrow, but that the natives told him 
that they were formerly used for tightening the backing on a bow and 
also for twisting the hard-laid sinew cord, which is quite as much, if not 
more, used at Norton Sound as the braid so common at Point Barrow. 
I find no mention of the use of this tool in any of the authors who have 


treated of the Eskimo, except the following in Capt. Beechey's vocab- 
ulary, collected at Kotzebue Sound: "Marline spike, small of ivory, for 
lacing - bows — ke-poot-tak." The specimens from the Mackenzie and 
Anderson rivers are almost without exception made of hard bone, while 
walrus ivory is the common material elsewhere. The name ( kaput e) 
means simply a "twister." 

The feather -setter (%'gugwau) (No. 89465 [962]) is aflat, slender, rounded 
rod of walrus ivory, 7 inches long, with the tip abruptly concaved to a 
thin rounded edge. The faces are ornamented with a pattern of straight 
incised lines, colored with red ocher. This tool is used for squeezing 
the small ends of the feathering into the wood of the arrow .shaft close 

«^„e— ~JL ...,_. — ^- 

Fig. 287. — "Feather-setter." 

to the nock. Fig. 287 is a similar tool (No. 89480 [1285] from Utkiavwifi) 
also of walrus ivory, G inches long, with the upper end roughly whittled 
to a sharp point. It is probably made of a broken seal indicator or 
meat-cache marker. Several other ivory tools previously mentioned 
have been concaved to an edge at the tip so that they can be used as 
feather- setters. I do not And this tool mentioned by previous observers, 
nor have I seen any specimens in the National Museum. 

Fig. 288 (No. 89459 [1282] from Utkiavwifi) represents an unusual 


Fig. L'88. — Tool of antler. 

tool, the use of which was not ascertained in the hurry of trade. It 
has a point like that of a graver, and is made of reindeer antler, orna- 
mented with a pattern of incised lines and bands, colored with red 
ocher, and was perhaps a marline spike for working with sinew cord. 


Scrapers (ilcwi). — For removing bits of flesh, fat, etc., from a "green" 
skin, and for "breaking the grain" and removing the subcutaneous tis- 
sue from a dried skin, the women, who appear to do most if not all 
of this work, use a tool consisting of a blunt stone blade, mounted in 
a short, thick haft of wood or ivory, fitting exactly to the inside of the 
hand and having holes or hollows to receive the tips of the fingers and 
thumb. The skin is laid upon the thigh and thoroughly scraped with 




PIG. 289.— Skin scraper. 

this tool, which, is grasped firmly in the right hand and pushed from 
the worker. This tool is also used for softening up skins which have 
become stiffened from being wet and then dried. The teeth appear to 
be less often used for such purposes than among the eastern Eskimo. 
We obtained eighteen such scrapers, some without blades, and two 
unmounted blades. Every woman owns one of these tools. While 
they are all of the same general model, they vary a good deal in de- 
tails. Four different forms or subtypes have been recognized in the 
series collected, all modifications of the form seen in Fig. 289, No. 
89313 [955], which may be called the 
type. The blade is of brown jasper, 
rather coarsely flaked, 14 inches long. 
It is wedged with pieces of skin, into 
a deep slot in the tip of the handle, 
which is of fossil ivory, slightly yellowed 
from handling. The left side against 
which the thumb rests is slightly flattened, and the right slightly ex- 
cavated to receive the third and fourth fingers, which are bent round 
under the lobe, their tips pressing against the concave under surface 
of the latter. The fore and middle Augers rest upon the upper surface. 
No. 89320 [1171] from Utkiavwin, without a blade, is of the same 
general pattern, but is slightly excavated on the left as well as the 
right side so as to make a sort of shank. It is of fossil ivory, stained 
a dingy orange from age and grease. The two incised circles and dots 
on the upper surface close to the slot make the end of the handle look 
like the head of a Lophius, which it is perhaps meant to represent. 
No. 89321 (858), an old fossil ivory handle, has the left side slightly hol- 
lowed to receive the tip of the thumb, and a median keel on the upper 
surface with a barely perceptible hollow on each side of it for the tips 
of the fingers. This is a step toward the second subtype as shown in 
Fig. 290 (No. 89317 [748] from Utkiavwin, which has no blade). This 

is of fossil ivory, 
thicker and more 
strongly arched 
than the type de- 
scribed, deeply ex- 
cavated below so as 
to form a broad lobe 
at the butt, with 
the upper surface 
deeply grooved to 
receive the tips of 
the fore and middle fingers, and a slight hollow on the left side for the 
thumb. This specimenis very neatly made and polished, and alltheedges 
are rounded off. One-half of the handle (lengthwise) and the outer quar- 
ter of the other half are stained with age and grease a beautiful amber 

Fig. 290. — Skin scrapers — handles only. 



brown. This specimen was said to be as old as the time when men 

wore bnt one labret. 
The only essential difference between this subtype and the preced- 
ing is that the former 
has deep grooves or hol- 
lows for the thumb and 
two Augers. We col- 
lected live specimens of 
this pattern, all but one 
with handles of fossil 
ivory. The single ex- 
ception , Avhi c h came 
from Sidaru, has a han- 
dle of walrus ivory, 
yellowed with age and 
grease. This specimen 

FlO. 291—Skin scrapers. (J^g. 291fl., No. 89322 

[1426]) lias an unusually short blade (only 0-4 inch long), and is much 

cut out on the right side so as to make a sort of nick. Fig. 291b (No. 

89314 [1780] ) is a nearly new handle of this pattern, which was bought 

of the "Nunatafimiun," who came to Pernyu 

in 1883. It is very highly ornamented, both 

with incised patterns, colored black, and by 

carving the space between the unusually 

deep thumb hollow and those for the fingers 

into what seems to be meant for an ear, in 

high relief, colored red inside. 
The third- subtype has the lobe separated 

from the body on the right side only, leaving the left sideunexcavated, 

except by the thumb-hollow, as is shown in Fig. 292 (No. 89310 [1177] 

from Utkiavwin) which has a handle of yellowed fossil ivory and a black 

Hint blade. No. 89310 [1071] 
Fig. 293, from Utkiavwin, is 
a rather unusual modifica- 
tion of this pattern, with a 
wooden handle, in which 
the bottom is not cut out. 
The thumb groove is deep- 
ened into a large hole which 
opens into the excavation 
on the right side, while a 
large oblong slot on top, 
fig. 293.— Peculiar modification of scraper. opening into these cavities, 

takes the place of the two finger hollows. The blade was cf gray flint 

and rather longer than usual. 

The last subtype which, according to my recollection, is the one most 

Fig. 292. — Skin scraper. 




frequently seen in nse at the present day, lias the butt produced horizon- 
tally into a broad, flat lobe. The excavation of the right side may be 
continued through to the left in the form of a notch, as shown in Fig. 

294 (No. 89315 [1365] from Sidaru) which has a blade of black flint and 
a handle of fossil ivory, with 
hollows for the thumb and 
fingers; or the left side may 
be unexcavated except for 
the thumb groove as in Fig. 

295 (No. 89309 [1135] from 
Utkiavwiii). This specimen 
has a rather large wooden Fra.294.-Skm scraper. 

handle, with the grooves as before. It appears, however, to have been 
remodeled to fit a smaller hand than that of the original owner, as the 
thumb groove has been deepened for about two-thirds of its original 
length, and there is a deep, round hole in the middle of the groove for 

Fig. 295.— Skin scraper. 

the second finger. The peculiarity of this specimen, however, is that it 
has a blade of sandstone, flat and rather thin, with a smooth, rounded 
edge. The natives told us that scraper blades of sandstone were the 
prevailing form in old times. 

Fig. 290 (No. 89312 [1330] from Utkiavwiii) is another wooden handle, 

in which the excavation for the third and 
fourth fingers is merely a large round hole 
on the right side, while in front the han- 
dle is cut into two short lobes, between 
which in a deep groove the forefinger 
fits. There is a hollow for the thumb 
under the left lobe and one on the right 
for the middle finger. No. 89311 [1079] 
fig. 296.-Skin scraper. from tlie same village is almost exactly 

similar. These are the only two specimens of the kind which I recol- 
lect seeing. A rather large flint-bladed scraper with a wooden handle 
very much the shape of that of No. 89309 [1135] is the tool most gener- 
ally used at the present day. The blades are all of the same general 
shape and vary in size from the little one above mentioned (No. 89322 



[1420], Fig. 291«), only 0-4 inch long, to blades like No. 89G12 [820], Fig. 
297, from Utkiavwin. This is newly made from light gray translucent 
flint and is 5 inches long. The name kibiigu, applied to this specimen 
by the native from whom it was purchased, appears to refer either to 
the material or the unusual size. The blade is ordinarily called kuki, 
"a claw." With the ivory handles a blade about 1 or 1J inches is com- 
monly used and with the wooden ones a considerably 

larger one, 2 to 3 inches in length, 
size to fit the hands of the owners, 

The handles vary in 
but are all too small 


for an average white man's hand 
that we collected are for the right hand. 
This pattern of skin scraper which ap- 
pears from the Museum collections to be 
the prevailing one from Point Barrow to 
Norton Sound, is evidently the direct de- 
scendant of the form used still farther 
south, which consists of a stone or bone 
Fio. 297.— riint made blade of the same shape, mounted on a 
for skin sender. W ooden handle often a foot or 18 inches 
long, which has the other end bent down into a handle 
like the butt of a pistol. Shortening this handle (aproc- 
ess shown by specimens in the Museum) would bring 
the worker's hand nearer to the blade, thus enabling him 
to guide it better. Let this process be continued till the 
whole handle is short enough to be grasped in the hand 
and we have the first subtype described, of which the 
others are clearly improvements. 

A still more primitive type of scraper is shown by Fig. 
298, No. 89051 [1295] from Utkiavwin, the only specimen 
of the kind seen. This has a flint blade, like those of 
the modern scrapers, inserted in the larger end of a 
straight haft of reindeer antler, 5£ inches long. We did 
not learn the history of this tool in the hurry of trade, 
but from the shape of the blade it is evidently a scraper. 
Its use as a .skin scraper is rendered still more probable 
by the fact that the scrapers used by some of the eastern fig. 298.-straight- 
Eskimo (there are specimens in the Museum from Cum- barter scraper, 
berland Gulf and Felly Bay) have straight handles, though shorter 
than this. 

The Siberian natives use an entirely different form of scraper which 
has a long handle like that of a spoke-shave with a- small blade of stone 
or iron in the middle and is worked with both hands. 1 Fig. 299 (No. 
89488 [1578] from Utkiavwin) is a tool which we never saw in use 
but which we were told was intended for scraping skins. It is prob- 
ably an obsolete tool, as a knife would better serve the purpose of re- 

1 Nordenskiold, Vega, vol. 2, pp. 122, and Fig. 1, p. 117. 

■ €• 






moving the subcutaneous tissue, etc., while the stone scrapers just de- 
scribed are better for softening the skin. 

It is the distal end of the " cannon" bone or metacarpal, of a reindeer, 
G-2 inches long, with the two condyles forming the handle. At the other 
end the posterior lace of the shaft is chamfered off so as to expose the 
medullary cavity for about 2£ inches, leaving a sharp edge on each 
side. The tip is roughly broken off. The tool appears 
to be old but the two condyles have been recently carved 
rudely into two human faces, one male (with marks for 
labrets) and the other female. There is a somewhat 
similar tool in the Museum brought by Mr. Nelson from 
Norton Sound. 

Scraper cups (ohoinvvn). — In removing the last of the 
blubber from the skins of seals or walruses when they 
wish to save the oil, they scrape it off with a little oblong 
cup of walrus ivory with a sharp edge at one or both 
ends. The cup, of course, catches the oil which is trans- 
ferred to a dish. These cups are sometimes, I believe, 
also used for dipping oil. We collected ten of these cups, 
of which No. 89251 [1287], Fig. 300a, will serve as the 
type. This is 3-7 inches long, carved out of a single 
piece of walrus ivory, and worked down from the inside 
to a sharp edge on each end. The carving is smoothly 
done on the outside, but more ronghly within, where it 
is somewhat hacked. It is stained a dark yellow with oil 
and polished on the outside, probably by much handling. 
Fig.300& (No. 89258 [1090] also from TJtkiavwiil) is a sim- 
ilar cup, but has a sharp edge only at one end which is cut out in a 
concave curve. 

The ten cups in the collection are all about the same shape and size 
and all of walrus ivory, stained yellow with oil. The largest is 4 inches 
long and 2| wide, and the smallest, 3 by 2-1 inches. The majority are 


Fig. 299.— Bono 

a b 

Fig. 300.— Scraper cups. 

about 3£ by 2£ inches. Five of the ten have sharp edges at both ends, 
the rest at one only. Mr. Nelson brought home specimens of this im- 
plement from Point Hope and St. Lawrence Island, but I do not find 
it mentioned elsewhere. 

With these tools and their knives, they do all the work of preparing 
skins for clothing, boat covers, etc. I had no opportunity of seeing the 


process in all its stages, and can therefore give only a general account 
of it. Deerskins are always dressed as furs, with, the hair on. The 
skin is rough-dried in the open air, with considerable subcutaneous tissue 
adhering to it, and laid aside until needed. When wanted for use, a 
woman takes the skin and works it over carefully with a stone scraper 
on the flesh side, removing every scrap of subcutaneous tissue and 
"breaking the grain " of the skin, which leaves a surface resembling 
white chamois leather and very soft. This is then rubbed down with a 
flat piece of sandstone or gypsum, and finally with chalk, so that when 
finished it seems like pipeclayed leather. All furs are prepared in the 
same way. Small seal skins to be worn with the hair on are scraped 
very clean and, I think, soaked in urine, before they are spread out to 
dry. The black waterproof seal skin has the hair shaved off close to 
the skin, great care being taken to leave the epidermis intact, and also 
has a certain amount of tanning in urine. It is probable that a little 
of the blubber is left on these skins, to make them oily and waterproof. 

When, however they wish to prepare the white-tanned seal skin, the 
skins are brought into the warm house, thawed out or dampened and 
then rolled u] > and allowed to ferment for several days, so that when they are 
unrolled hair and epidermis are easily scraped off together. The skin 
is then soaked in urine, stretched on a large hoop, and put out to dry in 
the sun and air. Many of these skins are prepared during the first 
sunny weather in the early spring. The skins of the large seal, walrus 
or bear when used for boat-covers or boot soles appear to be sweated 
in the same way, as the epidermis is always removed. We did not learn 
whether urine was employed on these skins, but I think from their 
ordinary appearance that they are simply stretched and dried in their 
own fat, as appears to be the case with the skin of the beluga, from 
which the epidermis is easily scraped without sweating. 1 

Combs for deerskins. — The loosened hairs on a deerskin garment are 
removed by means of a comb made of a section of the beam of an ant- 
ler, hollowed out and cut into teeth on the end. This instrument prob- 
ably serves also to remove vermin, as its name "kumotm" looks very 
much as if derived from kiiimik, louse. I must say, however, that the na- 
tives whom I asked if kumotin had anything to do with kiimuk said 
it had not. When vermin get troublesome in a garment, it is taken 
out on the tundra, away from the houses, and beaten with rods like a 
carpet. Very old garments when much infested with lice are taken 
out back of the village, cut into small pieces, and burned. It is no un- 
common sight in the spring to see an old woman sitting out on the tun- 
dra, busy with her knife cutting up old clothes. 

We brought home nine of these combs, of which No. 89354 [1870], 
Fig. 301«, has been selected as the type. It is 4£ inches long and has 

1 Crantz describes the process of preparing boat covers as follows: " The boat skins are selected out 
of the stoutest seals' hides, from which the fat is not quite taken off; they roll them up, and sit on them, 
or let them lie in the suu covered with grass several weeks, 'till the hair will come oft'." History of 
Greenland, vol. 1, p. 167. 



sixteen teeth about 1 inch long. The small holes near the other end 
are for a lanyard to hang it up by. 

Fig. 301.— Combs for cleaning deerskins. 

Six of these combs have teeth at one end only, the other three at both 
ends. These teeth are generally about fifteen in number, and 1 inch or 
a little over long. No. 89781 [1005], a very small comb only 2-9 inches 
long, which belonged to the "inland" native Ilubw'ga, has twenty teeth 
0-6 inch long. These combs are usually about 4 or 4£ inches long. No. 
89556 [1017], Fig. 301&, from Utkiavwm is an unusually long comb, 5-3 
inches long, which is peculiar in being solid except at the end which is 
cut into teeth. 

Fig. 301c (No. 89359 [993]), from Utkiavwiii is a double-ended comb, 
having ten teeth on one end and thirteen on the other. It is 4-1 inches 
long and made with considerable care, being ornamented with incised 
rings colored with red ocher. This is a common implement at Point 
Barrow, but seems unusual elsewhere. There is a single specimen from 
the Diomedes in Mr. Nelson's collection. 


No tools are used for this purpose except a knife. I have seen a 
small jackknife used for cutting the fine seal skin lines. The workman 
takes a wet skin from which the hair and epidermis have been removed 
and sits down cross-legged on the ground with somebody else to hold 
the skin stretched for him. Then holding the knife vertically up with 
the edge away from him, he starts at one corner of the skin and cuts 
a narrow strip in one continuous piece, going round and round the 


skin, gathering and stretching the strip with the left hand. They do 
this work quite rapidly and with great skill, cutting single lines upward 
of* 90 feet long and only one-eighth inch in diameter, almost perfectly 
even. These hue lines of seal-skin thong, which serve a great variety of 
purposes, are usually made when they are in the summer camps, before 
the breaking up of the ice. They are dried by .stretching them between 
stakes (> inches or a foot high, driven into the ground. 

The stout thongs of the hide of the bearded seal, walrus, or beluga 
are usually made in the winter and stretched to dry between posts of 
whales' bones set up in the village, about breast high. While they are 
drying, the maker carefully trims and scrapes the edges with his knife, 
so as to make an almost round line. 1 The usual diameter is about 0-3 
inch. These lines are not always made with such care, being often 
merely flat thongs. Fine deer-skin twine, or "babiche," as it is called 
by the voyageurs, for making the nettings of snow shoes, is made in the 
same way. A deer skin is dampened, rolled up, and put up over the lamp 
for a day or two to remove the hair by sweating, and then cut into a 
single long piece of fine thong. 

All the men do not appear able to do this fine 
work. For instance, our friend MiVnialu had the 
babiche for his new snowshoes made by his house- 
mate, the younger Tufiazu. When it is desired 
to fasten together two pieees of the stouter kinds 
of thong, what I have so often referred to as the 

^^ ^^ "double-slit splice" is generally employed. This 
fig. 302-Doubie-siit spike is made as follows: The two ends to be joined to- 

for rawhide lines. gether are each slit lengthwise, and one is passed 
through the slit in the other. The other end of this piece is then passed 
through the slit in the first piece, and drawn through so that the sides 
of each slit interlace like the loops of a square knot (see diagrams, Fig. 
302). The splice is often further secured by a seizing of sinew braid. 
Most writers on the Eskimo have not gone sufficiently into the details of 
their arts to describe their methods of splicing. One writer, 2 however, 
in describing some Eskimo implements from East Greenland, describes 
and figures several splices somewhat of this nature, and one in particu- 
lar especially complicated by crossing the sides of the slits and passing 
the end through several times. This method of uniting thongs is prob- 
ably very general among the Eskimo and is also common enough among 
civilized people. 

builders' tools. 

For excavating. — At the present day they are very glad to use white 
men's picks and shovels when they want to dig in the gravel or clean 
out the ice from their houses. They, however, have mattocks and pick 

1 Gilder describes a similar process of manufacturing these lines at Hudson's Bay- (Schwatka's 
Search, p. 17G.) 

2 W. J. Sollas, in Jour. Anthrop. Inst, of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. 9, pp. 329-336. 




axes (sikla) of their own manufacture, which are still in use. These are 
always single-pointed and have a bone or ivory head, mounted like an 
adz head on a rather short haft. The haft, like those of the mauls and 
adzes already described, is never fitted into the head, but always applied 
to the under surface of the latter and field on by a lashing of tfiong. 

Tfie only complete 
implement of tfie 
kind wfiicfi we ob- 
tained is No. 73574 
[297], Fig. 303. Tfie 
head is of wliale's 
rib, 17f incites long. 
Tfie butt is shoul- 
dered on the under 
surface to receive 
the haft and rough- 
ened with crosscuts 
to prevent slipping, 
with two shallow 
rough transverse notches on the upper surface for the lashings. The 
haft is of pine, 24£ inches long. The lashing is of stout thong of bearded 
seal hide, in two pieces, one of four turns passing through the hole, round 
the front edge of the haft, over the lower notch in the head, and back 
across the haft to the hole again. The ends are knotted together on top 

Fig. 303.— Mattock of whalo's rib. 

Fig. 304. — Fickax heads of bone, ivory, and wliale's ribs. 

of the head by becket-hitching one end into an eye in the other, made by 
slitting it close to the tip and passing a bigfit of tfie standing part through 
tfiis slit. Tfie otfier part is of seven turns, put on in tfie same way, but 
crossing back of the haft, and started by looping one end round the 
head and through the eye by means of an eye at the end made as before. 


It is finished off by windingthe end three or four times round these turns, 
so as to tighten them up, and hitching it round two of them on one side. 
This method of hafting differs in no essential respect from that used on 
the mauls and adzes above described. 

We have also two heads for such mattocks, which hardly differ from 
the one described, except the No. 56494 [285] has the notches for the 
lashings on the side of the head instead of on the upper surface. It is 
10 inches long. The other, No. 89843 [1043], Fig. 304a, is a very rude 
head made of an almost cylindrical piece of rib. This is a very old tool, 
which from its oily condition has evidently been long laid away in 
some blabber room at Utkiavwiu. It is 15*2 inches long. 

These blunt-pointed mattocks are not so much used at present as 
picks with a sharp point mounted in the same way, and specially adapted 
for working in ice or hard frozen soil. I have, however, never seen them 
used for cutting holes in the ice for fishing, which some authors have sup- 
posed to be what they were meant for. Their shape makes them very 
inconvenient for any such a purpose, except when the ice is very thin. 

The ice pick, like those carried on the butt of the spear, is under any 
circumstances a more serviceable tool. These sharp pickax heads are 
generally made of a walrus tusk, the natural shape of which requires 
very little alteration to fit it for the purpose. We collected three of 
these ivory heads, all very nearly alike, of which No. 5G539& [90], Fig. 
304&, will serve as the type. This is the tip of a good-sized walrus 
tusk, 14-2 inches long, preserving very nearly the natural outline of the 
tusk except at the point, where it is rounded off rather more abruptly 
above. It is keeled along the upper edge and on the lower edge at 
the point, so that the latter is four-sided, and the sides of the butt are 
flattened. On the under side the butt is cut off flat for about 3i inches, 
leaving a low flange or ridge, and roughened with crosscuts to fit the 
end of the haft, and the butt is perforated with two large tranverse eyes 
for the lashing. The other two heads are almost exactly like this and 
very nearly the same size. 

Sharp-pointed pick heads of whale's bone appear also to have been 
used, probably at an earlier date than the neatly finished ivory ones, as 
we collected three such heads, all very old and roughly made, and hav- 
ing notches or grooves for the lashings instead of eyes. Fig. 304c is 
one of these, No. 89844 [1315], from Utkiavwiu, very rudely cut from a 
piece of whale's rib, 12 inches long, 

I do not recollect seeing any of these bone-headed picks in use, while 
the ivory-headed one was one of the commonest tools. This Eskimo 
tool is in use at Pitlekaj, a village supposed to be wholly inhabited by 
sedentary Chukches. 1 


Snow knives. — For cutting the blocks of snow used in building the 

'Nordensliiiilil's figures, Vega, vol. 2, p. 123. 



apu'ya, or snow hut, they at the present day prefer a saw or a large steel 
knife (for instance, a whaleman's boarding' knife), if they can procure it, 
but they still have many of the large saber-shaped ivory knives so com- 
monly used by the Eskimo everywhere for this purpose. These are, 
however, more generally used for scraping snow off their clothing, etc., at 

Fig. 305.— Ivory snow knife. 

present. We brought home two of these knives, which do not differ in 
any important respect from the many specimens collected by other ex- 
plorers in Alaska. 

No. 89478 [759], Fig. 305, is one of these— saviu'ra, " like a knife." It 
is of walrus ivory (following the natural outline of the tusk), 1C£ inches 

Fig. 306. — Snow shovels. 

long. The blade is double-edged, the haft rounded on the edges and 
laced along the lower edge for 3£ inches with a double piece of sinew 
braid. The object of this is to give the hand a firmer grip on the haft. 
These knives are also used for cutting the blocks of snow to supply 
the house with water. 

Snow shovels. — The broad, short-handled snow shovel of wood with a 
9 eth 20 


sharp edge of ivory is the tool universally employed whenever snow is 
to be shoveled, either to clear it away or for excavating houses or pit- 
falls in the snowdrifts, or" chinking" up the crevices in the walls of 
the snow house, and is an indispensable part of the traveler's outfit in 
winter. The shovels (pi'ksun) are all made on essentially the same pat- 
tern, which is well shown by Fig. 306a, No. 56739 [30]. The blade is 14 
inches broad and 11 long. The whole upper surface of the shovel 
is flat. The handle is beveled off on the side to a rounded edge 
below, and is quite thick where it joins the blade, tapering off to the tip. 
The blade is thick and abruptly rounded off on the upper edge below 
and gradually thinned down to the edge. The edge of the wood is 
fitted with a tongue into a grove in the top of the ivory edge, which is 
li inches deep. It is fastened on by wooden tree-nails at irregular 
intervals, and at one end, where the edge of the groove has been broken, 
by a stitch of black whalebone. The wooden part of the shovel is made 
of four unequal pieces of spruce, neatly fitted and doweled together 
and held by the ivory edge and three stitches of black whalebone 
close to the upper edge, and countersunk below the flat surface. The 
whippings of sinew braid on the handle are to give a firm grip for 
the hands. 

No. 56738 [27], Fig. 306ft, is a similar shovel of the same material 
and almost exactly the same dimensions, figured to show the way it 
has been pieced together and mended. The maker of this shovel was 
able to procure a broad piece of wood which only had to be pieced out 
with a narrow strip on the left side, which is fastened on as before. It 
was, however, not long enough to make the whole of the handle, which 
has a piece 8J inches long, neatly scarfed on at the end and secured by 
six stout treenails of wood; three at each end of the joint, passing 
through the thin part of the scarf into the thick, but not through the latter. 
Nearly the whole handle was seized with sinew braid put on as before, 
but much of this seizing is broken off. At the right side of the blade 
the grain takes a twist, bringing it parallel to the ivory edge, and ren- 
dering it liable to split, as has happened from the warping of the ivory 
since the shovel has been in the Museum. The owner sought to pre- 
vent this by fastening to the edge a stout " strap " of walrus ivory 4J 
inches, which appears to be an old bird spear point. The lower end of 
this fitted into the groove of the ivory edge, and it was held on by three 
equidistant lashings of narrow- whalebone, each running through a 
hole in the edge of the wood and round the ivory in a deep transverse 

This pattern of snow shovel is very like that from Iglulik, figured by 
Capt. Lyon, 1 but the handle of the latter is so much shorter in propor- 
tion to the blade that there is an additional handle like that of a pot 
lid near the head of the blade on the upper surface. The ivory edge 
also appears to be fastened on wholly with stitches. 

I Parry's Second Voy., pi. opposite p. 548, Fig. 5. 




Fig. 307.— Snow shovel made of a 
whale's scapula. 

a makeshift or an 

Fig. 307 (No. 89775 1 1250] from Utkiavwin) is a peculiar implement, 
the only one of the kind that Ave saw. It is a shovel, 1 7 inches long, 
made of a whale's scapula, with the anterior and posterior borders cut 
off straight so as to make it 13^ inches broad, and the superior margin 
beveled off to an edge. The handle is made by flattening the neck of 
the scapula and cutting through it a large 
horizontal elliptical slot, below which the end 
of the scapula is worked into a rounded bar 1 
inch in diameter. The cutting around this slot 
appears new, and red ocher has been rubbed 
into the crevices. On the other hand, the bev- 
eling of the digging edge appeared to be old. 
Though colored with red ocher, the edge is 
gapped as if from use, and 
there are fragments of tun- 
dra moss sticking to it. It 
is probably an old imple- 
ment " touched up " for sale. 
We did not learn whether 
such tools were now gener- 
ally used. This may have been 
individual fancy. 

Fig. 308 (No. 89521 [1249] from Utkiavwin) is an- 
other peculiar tool of which we saw no other speci- 
men. It appears to be really an old implement and 
was said to have been used for digging or picking in 
the snow. It is a stout sharp-pointed piece of bone, 
3 inches long, inserted in the end of a piece of a long 
bone of some animal, 4-7 inches long and about 1£ 
wide, which serves as a haft. 

Ice picks — The ivory ice pick (tu'u) always attached 
to the seal-harpoon has been already described. Tins 
differs from the tolc of the Greenlanders and other 
eastern Eskimo in having a sharp bayonet point, 
while the latter is often chisel-pointed. All the men 
now have iron ice picks which they use for cutting 
the holes for fishing, setting seal nets, and such pur- 
poses. These are ma,de of some white man's tool 
which has a socket, like a harpoon iron, a whale lance, 
fig. 308.— Snow pick. ;l boarding knife or bayonet, and usually have a rather 
slender blade about a foot long, mounted on a pole 6 or 8 feet long. The 
point is sharp and polygonal, generally four-sided. The tool is managed 
with both hands and used to split off fragments of ice by rather oblique 
blows. In other words, it is used in precisely the same way as the little 
single-handed pick which we use in refrigerators. For chiseling off pro- 
jecting corners of ice when making a path out through the ice pack, they 



i ; i 



often use whale spades, of which they have obtained a great many from 

If o. 89483 [1313] from Utkiavwm, is a very old pick made of a piece of 
reindeer antler, 11^ inches long, split lengthwise, and tapered to a sharp 

curved point. The butt is cut into a sort of tang with a low 

shoulder. The split face is concave, the soft interior tissue 

having been removed by decay 

and perhaps also intentionally. 

Another peculiar tool is shown 

in Fig. 309 (Ho. 89479 [1004] from 

Utkiavwih). This was called 

kakaiyaxion, and is a rounded 

piece of antler 10-4 inches long, 

tapering from the butt where 

there is a low shoulder and the 

broken remains of a rounded 

tang to be fitted to a shaft. One 

side is cut off flat from the shoul- 
der to the tip, gradually becom- 
ing concave. The concavity is 

deepest near the middle. The 

tip is .slightly expanded, rounded, 

and somewhat bent toward the 

convex side. The specimen is 

smoothly and neatly made and 

dark brown from age. No other 
Snow specimens were seen. We were 

told that this tool was mounted 
on a long pole and used for drilling, holes in 
the ice by making the pole revolve with the 

Ice scoops. — When picking a hole through 
the ice they use a long-handled scoop, made 
of a piece of antler bent round into a hoop, 
and netted across the bottom with strips of 
whalebone, so that the water may drain off 
in dipping pieces of ice out of the water. 
We brought home oue specimen of this uni- 
versal implement (No. 89903 [1690], Fig. 310). 
The handle is of oak, 5 feet If inches long 
and elliptical in section. The rim of the 
bowl is a long thin strip of antler, appar- 
ently from the "palm," bent round into a a. 
pointed oval, 8£ inches long and of wide. Fig. 310.— ice scoop, 

with the ends of the strip overlapping about 3 inches at the broader 
end. The ends are sewed together with two vertical stitches of whale- 






bone. The left end has been broken across obliquely near the joint 
and mended with whalebone stitches. Round the lower edge of the 
rim runs a row of twenty-seven pairs of small holes 0-2 inch from the 
edge. The holes of each pair are connected by a deep channel, and a 
narrow shallow groove, probably for ornament, joins the pairs. On the 
left side are eight extra holes between the pairs, which are not used. 
Through these holes, omitting the hist two pairs in the right-hand end, 
is laced a piece of seal thong, thus : Starting at the point of the oval, the 
two ends of the thong are passed through the pair of holes there from 
the outside and the bight drawn home into the channel ; the ends are 
crossed, the left end going to the right, and vice versa, and passed out 
through the farther hole of the next pair and in through the nearer, and 
so on till the ends meet at the broad end of the oval where they are tied 
together, thus making twenty-five loops on the iuside of the rim into 
which the netting is fastened. This is made of strips of thin whale- 
bone, interwoven, over and under each other, passing up through one 
loop and down through the next. There are eleven longitudinal strands 
passing obliquely from right to left, the same number from left to right, 
and eleven transverse strands, making a network with elongated hex- 
agonal apertures. The strips are not one continuous piece. The bowl 
thus made is fastened to the handle by three pieces of stout seal thong. 
The whole lashing was put on wet, and allowed to shrink. 

Nordenskiold mentions and figures a scoop of almost identically the 
same pattern, but smaller, in general use for the same purposes at 
Pitlekaj. 1 A smaller scoop or skimmer (elauatin) is also universally 
used. We inadvertently neglected to preserve a specimen of this very 
common implement, though we had two or three about the station for 
our own use. I shall therefore have to describe it from memory. The 
handle is a flat, straight stick with rounded edges, about 18 inches or 2 
feet long, 1£ inches broad, and three-fourths inch thick. The bowl is 
made of two pieces of antler "palm " of such a shape that when they 
are fastened together on the end of the stick they make a shallow cup 
about 3£ inches long by 3 wide, with a longitudinal crevice along the 
middle which allows the water to drain off. The tip of the handle is 
beveled off on both sides so as to fit into the inside of this cup, along 
the junction of the two pieces, each of which is fastened to it by one or 
two neat stitches of whalebone. The two pieces are fastened together 
in front of the handle with a stitch. 

In addition to the use of these scoops for skimming the fishing holes, 
and reeling up the line, as already described, they also serve as scrapers 
to remove snow and hoarfrost from the clothing. In the winter most 
of the men and boys, epecially the latter, carry these skimmers whenever 
they go out doors, partly for the sake ot having something in their 
hands, as we carry sticks, and partly for use. The boys are very fond 
of using them to pick up and sling snowballs, bits of ice, or frozen dirt, 
which they do with considerable force and accuracy. 

' Vega. vol. 1, p. 4113. 






BlubberhooJcs (ni'kslgii). — For catching- hold of pieces of blubber or 
flesh when "•cutting in" a whale or walrus, or dragging them round on 
shore or on the ice, or in the blubber rooms, they use hooks made by 
fastening a backward-pointing prong of ivory on 
the end of a wooden handle, which is bent into 
a crook at the other end. Those specially in- 
tended for use in the boats have handles 7 or 8 
feet long, while those for shore use are only 2 or 
3 feet long. These implements, which are com- 
mon all along the Alaskan coast, may 
sometimes be used as boathooks, as ap- 
pears to be the case farther south, though 
I never saw them so employed. We 
brought home two short hooks and one 
long one, No. 56766 [126], Fig. 311. This 
has a prong of walrus ivory fastened to 
a spruce pole, 7 feet 7f inches long, to 
the other end of which is fastened a 
short crook of antler. The pole is ellip- 
tical in section. The crook is a nearly 
straight "branch" of an antler with a 
transverse arm at the base made by cut- 
ting out a piece of the "beam" to fit 
against the pole, and is held on by three 

neat lashings of whalebone of the usual 


pattern. The upper two of these are 

transverse lashings passing through cor- 
responding holes in the pole and crook. 

The lowest, which is at the tip of the 

arm, is at right angles to these, passing 

through wood and antler. The lashing 

of whalebone close to the tip of the crook, 

passing through a hole and round the 

under side of the latter, is to keep the 
Lon g 3 biub- nail d from slipping off. The prong is 
her iioot. held on by two lashings of small seal 
thong, each passing through a large transverse 
hole in the prong and a corresponding one in 
the pole. The upper pair of holes do not exactly 
match. There are also two unused holes, one Fl0 
in the pole below the upper hole and one above 
the upper hole in the prong. These holes and the new appearance of 
the lashings indicate that the prong is part of another hook recently 
fitted to this pole, The two lashings are made by a single piece of thong. 


-Short-handled blubber 




The whole is old and weathered and rather greasy about the prong and 
the tip of the pole. 

Fig. 312 (No. 89836 [1203] from Utkiavwm) is a similar hook with, a 
short handle, 34 inches long, for use on land. The crook is 
made by bending the handle. The prong, of walrus ivory as 
before, is 7 inches long, and held on by two stout lashings of 
whalebone, which pass round the end of the handle instead of 
through it. The prong and tip of the handle are very greasy. 

No. 89837 [1353], from the same village, is a similar hook 
rather rudely made. The crook is bent only at an angle of 
about 45°, and there is somewhat of a twist to the whole han- 
dle. The prong, which is of antler, is 7| inches long and shoul- 
dered at the butt like that of the long hook described. It is 
fastened on by two thick lashings of stout seal thong passing 
around prong and handle and kept from slipping by notches 
in the latter, and on the butt end of the former and by a large 
flat-headed brass stud driven into the prong below the upper 

Fish scaler.— Fig. 313 (No. 89461 [1279] from Utkiavwm) rep- 
resents a little implement which we never saw in use, but which 
we were told was intended for scraping the scales off a fish. 
The specimen does not appear to be newly made. It is a piece 
of hollow "long" bone, 8 inches long, cut into the shape of the 
blade of a case knife, flat on one face with a broad, shallow, 
longitudinal groove on the other. 


Twisting and braiding — We had no opportunity of seeing the 

Fig. 313.— 

process of twisting the sinew twine, which is sometimes used Fish scaler. 

in place of the braid so often mentioned but more generally when an 

extra strong thread is desired, as in sewing on boot soles. Fig. 314 (No. 

89431 [1332] from Utkiavwm) is a little shuttle of walrus ivory, 3 inches 
long and 1J broad, which we were told was used in this 
process. The body of this shuttle is reduced to a narrow 
crosspiece, and the prongs at one end are twice as long as 
those at the other. The tips of the long prongs are about % 
inch apart, while those of the short ones nearly meet. There 
is a small round hole in one side of the body. This speci- 
men was made for sale. As well as I could understand the 
seller, the ends of several strands of fine sinew were fas- 
tened into the hole in the shuttle and twisted by twisting 
it with one hand, while the other end was held perhaps by 
the other hand. The part twisted was then wound on the 
shuttle and a fresh length twisted. This would be a very 

simple form of spinning with a spindle. 
No special implements for twisting have been described among other 

FlG. 314.— Ivory 



Eskimo. Mr. E. W. Nelson (in a letter to the writer) says that the 
natives of Norton Sound informed him that the cable twisters (kaputa — 
kibu'tuk at Norton Sound) were also used for making twisted cord. 
He describes their use as follows: '-The ends of the sinew cord are tied 
to the center holes in the two ivory pieces, one of the latter at each end 
of the cord, and then they are twisted in opposite directions, thus get- 
ting the hard-laid sinew cord used on the bows." 
The sinew twine used at Point Barrow is generally braided, almost 


Fig. 315.— Netting needle. 

always in a three-ply braid, usually about the size of stout packthread, 
such as is found on many Eskimo implements from all localities repre- 
sented in the Museum collections. That they also know how to braid 
with four strands is shown by the hair line already described (No. 56545 
[410]). They also have a special word (which I can not recall) for braid- 
ing with four strands in distinction from braiding with three 

Netting. — Two implements are used as usual in netting, a 
needle or long flat shuttle for carrying the twine (Fig. 315, 
No. 56570 [101]), and a mesh stick for gauging the length of the 
mesh. The knot is the universal "fisherman's knot" or becket 
hitch made in the usual manner. The method of using the 
mesh stick, however, is rather peculiar, and somewhat clumsy 
compared with that used by civilized net-makers, as it serves 
only to measure the mesh and not also to hold the successive 
meshes as they are made. It is a long flat piece of bone or 
antler, shaped like a case knife, with a blade square at heel 
and point. There is often also a little blunt hook (as in Fig. 
316, No. 56581 [1021]) at the point, bending upward or toward 
the back of the blade. The blade is the part of the stick which 
measures the mesh, and its length from heel to point is always 
precisely half the length of the mesh to be made. It is used 
as follows: The workman, holding the mesh stick by the han- 
dle in his left hand, with the blade downward, catches the 
mesh into which the knot is to be made with the hook, and 
holds it while the twine is carried down the left side of the F 
blade, round the heel and through the mesh as usual, and drawn M esk stick. 
up till the preceding knot comes just to the point of the blade. This 
makes a loop of the proper length for a mesh round the stick. The point 
where the next knot is to be made is now caught between the thumb and 
finger of the right hand and the mesh stick taken out of the loop. The 
left thumb and finger, while the other fingers of this hand still hold the 



handle of the stick, relieve the fingers of the right hand, which goes on 
to make the knot in the usual manner. 1 

We collected thirteen needles of different patterns and sizes. No. 
56570 [101], Fig. 315, has been selected as the type .(l'nmuvwin^mu'kiitm.) 
It is of walrus ivory, 11-9 inches long. The small hole near the tip of 
one prong is for a lanyard to hang it up by when not in use. This 
needle could be used only for making a large meshed net, perhaps a 
seal net. 

We collected seven needles of almost the same pattern as this, varying 
a little in proportions. The faces are usually more deeply hollowed out 
and the ends usually sinuate instead of being straight. Three of these 
are of reindeer antler and the rest of ivory. The longest is 9-9 inches 
long and the shortest 4£. This needle (No. 56574 [24], from Utkiavwm) 
is rather broad in proportion, being nearly 1 inch wide. It is of walrus 
ivory. No. 89433 [942] is better suited for netting a small mesh, being 
only 0*7 inch broad at the widest part. It is made of reindeer antler and 

Fig. 317.— Netting needles. 

is 7-3 inches long. These needles sometimes have a small hole through 
one end of the body for fastening the end of the twine, and most have 
some arrangement for fastening on a lanyard, either a hole as in the type 
or a groove round the tip of one prong as in No. 56574 [24]. 

No. 89427 [1283], from Utkiavwm, is a needle of a slightly different 
pattern, being rather thick and not narrowed at the middle. It is of rein- 
deer antler, 8-7 inches long and 1 wide. No. 89430 [1286], Fig. 317a, from 
Utkiavwin, is a very broad needle, with short body and long prongs, one 
of which is expanded at the tip and perforated for a lanyard. It is a 
piece of the outside hard tissue of a reindeer antler, 5-4 inches long and 
1-2 broad. It is but slightly narrowed at the middle, while No. 89428 
[1381], Fig. 3176, from Utkiavwin, a somewhat simdar broad needle of 
the same material is deeply notched on each side of the body. This is 
made from antler of smaller diameter than the preceding, and conse- 

' We had no special opportunities for watching the natives at work netting, as hut few nets hap- 
pened to be made at the village during our stay. It was, however, observed that the mesh stick was 
taken out every time a knot was tied. Since my return, after a careful study of the different mesh 
sticks in our collection, I have convinced myself by experiment that the above method of using the 
tool is the only one which will account for the shape of the different parts. 



quently is not flat, but strongly convex, on one face and correspondingly 
concave on the other. It is 8-2 inches long and li wide. 

For making the seal nets a very large needle is used. The one in the 
collection, No. 56581 [102], Pig. 318, from Utkiavwin, is 20 J inches long 
and only 1 J wide. It is made of two nearly equal pieces of antler, which 
are nearly flat, and lap over each other about 3f inches near the middle. 

Fig. 318.— Netting needle for seal net. 

They are strongly fastened together by five whalebone stitches, one at 
each corner of the splice and one in the middle. The corner stitches run 
round the edge of the two parts, and through a hole through both parts. 
The prongs are stout and curved, nearly meeting at the tips. They are 
about 3 inches long. The lateral distortion appears to be due to warping. 

Fig. 319.— Netting needle. 

A peculiar netting needle is shown in Fig. 319 (No. 89429 [1333], from 
Utkiavwin), which is new and rather carelessly made from very coarse 
walrus ivory. The tips of the prongs, after nearly meeting, diverge 
again in the form of the letter U. This needle, which is 9J inches long, 
was said by the maker to be of the pattern used by the "Kulunii'd'lifi.'' 

Fig. 32U. -Mesh sticks. 

There are no specimens resembling it in the museum collections, though 
it curiously suggests certain implements from Norton Sound, labeled 
"reels for holding flue cord," consisting of slender rods of antler, termi- 
nating at each end in similar shallow U-shaped forks. 

Murdoch.) MESH STICKS. 315 

The inesh. stick (kii'brin) belonging to the large netting needle, No. 
56581 [102J, may be taken as the type of this implement. It is a piece 
of the hard outside tissue of a reindeer antler. The three notches on 
the lower edge of the haft are for the fingers. The incised line along one 
face of the blade is probably a mark to which the twine is to be drawn 
in making a mesh. The blade is just the proper length, 7£ inches, for 
the large mesh of the seal net. The remaining four mesh sticks are all 
small, and intended for making fish nets. Three are of reindeer antler 
and the fourth of hard bone, with a wooden haft. 

Fig. 320a (No. 89436 [1284], from Utkiavwm) is of antler, 7-2 inches 
long, with a blade of 2-7 inches, protected from splitting by a stout 
round peg of hard bone, driven through the handle so as to lie against 
the heel of the blade. It terminates in a blunt point instead of a hook, 
and has three finger notches in the haft. No. 89437 [942], also from 
Utkiavwin, is of the same material, 5-2 inches long, without a hook and 
with a blade only 1 inch long. There are two finger notches in the haft. 
The last of the antler mesh sticks (No. 89439 [983], from Utkiavwin, 
Fig. 320ft) is double ended, having a hook and a short blade at each end. 
The blades are respectively 1*5 and 1*6 inches long, and the total length 
is 6-6 inches. Fig. 320c (No. 89435 [1019], also from Utkiavwin) has a 
blade, with a small hook, of white compact bone, and what would be 
the handle lashed to one side of a haft of soft wood, which is shouldered 
to receive it. The haft is 4*3 inches long, and the two parts are held 
together by two lashings of fine sinew, kept from slipping by notches. 
The total length is 7-3 inches, that of the blade 2-7. Netting needles 
and mesh sticks of essentially the same type as those just described, but 
varying in material and dimensions, are in general use from the Ander- 
son Biver to Bristol Bay, as is shown by the Museum collections. 

Netting weights. — We collected 16 little ivory implements, each, when 
complete, consisting of the image of a fish about 3£ to 4 inches long, 
suspended by a string about 4 inches long to a little ivory spring hook. 
We never happened to see these implements • in use, but we were told 
that they were used in netting to keep the meshes in proper shape. 
They generally were made in pairs. The only way of using them that 
I can think of is first to hook one into the bight of the first mesh made 
in starting the net. This would make the successive meshes, as they 
were netted, hang down out of the way. On starting the next row in 
the opposite direction, the second weight hooked into the first mesh of 
this row would draw the successive meshes down on the left-hand side 
of the stick, while the other weight would keep the meshes of the first 
row T stretched so that one could be easily caught at a time. On begin- 
ning the third row the first weight would be transferred to the first 
mesh of this, and so on. Fig. 321« is one of a pair of these nepitaura 
(No. 56596 [207] ) which has been selected as the type. It is a rather 
rude figure of a salmon or trout 4 inches long, neatly carved out of walrus 
ivory. The string is of braided sinew and the hook of walrus ivory. 



Fig. 321/> (No. 89442 [890] from Nuwiik) is a weight without the 
hook and made of compact whale's bone. It is 4-1 inches long - , and very 
neatly carved, having all the fins in relief, the gill openings, mouth, and 

eyes incised. No. 50582 
[173 J from Utkiavwin is 
one of a pair very rudely 
carved out of a piece of 
snow- shovel edge. The 
mouth and gill openings 
are indicated by incised 
and blackened lines, the 
latter fringed with short 
lines, each endingin adot, 
perhaps to represent the 
gill filaments. It is 4-2 
inches long, and hastily 
made for sale. Fig. 321c 
(No. 56578 [201] from Ut- 
kiavwm) seems to be in- 
tended for a polar cod, 
and has the hole drilled 
through the root of the 
tail. The lateral line is 
marked by a scratch, col- 
ored with black lead, and 
the dark color of the back 
is represented by curved, 
transverse scratches also 
colored with black lead. 
When the carving is suf- 
ficiently good to show 
what sort of a fish is 
meant, it is generally a 
salmon or trout. Only 3 
fig. 32i.— letting weights. out of the 16 are of any- 

thing but walrus ivory. These 3 are of compact whale's bone, and one 
had small bine glass beads inlaid for eyes, of which one still remains. 

Fig. 322.— Shuttle belonging to set of feather tools. 

The shortest is 3-4 inches long, and the longest 4-3, but most of them are 
almost exactly 4 inches long. 

Wearing. — A set of little tools made of bone and reindeer antler were 
brought over for sale, which were said to be those used in weaving the 



feather belts. I had no opportunity of seeing a belt made, but the work 
evidently does not require all three of these tools. The little netting 
needle or shuttle of bone (Fig. 322, No. 89434 [1338]) can not be used in 
feather weaving, because, as already mentioned, the strips of feather are 

Fig. 323.— Mesh stick. 

hot fastened together into a continuous cord which could be carried on 
a shuttle. It is 5-9 inches long and 0-7 wide, There is also a little mesh 
stick of antler (Fig. 323, No. 89438 [1338]) 6-7 inches long, with a blade 1-9 
inches in length, and a little hook, which appears to 
be fitted for nothing except netting a small net. The 
lower edge of the handle, however, is cut into 10 deep 
rounded notches, which perhaps serve the purpose of 
a rude "frame" for keeping apart the strands of the 
warp, while the woof of feather is passed through 
with the fingers. It would be held with this edge 
up, and the beginning of the belt being fastened to 
the wall, the warp strands would be stretched over 
this, as over a violin bridge, each resting in one of the 
notches. The last tool of the set (Fig. 324, No. 89462 
[1338]) is undoubtedly a " sword" for pushing home 
the woof, and probably also serves to separate the 
strands of the warp into a ''shed." It is a flat, thin 
piece of antler, 9 inches long and three-fourths wide, 
of which about 6£ inches forms a straight blade 6£ 
inches long, and the rest is bent round to one side and 
slightly down, forming a handle. When the strands 
of the warp are stretched over the bridge as above de- 
scribed, pushing this horizontally through them alter- 
nately over and under the successive strands, would 
make a "shed" through which the end of the woof 
could be thrust with one motion, and pushed up 
against the preceding strand of the woof by sliding 
the sword forward. It would then be withdrawn and 
passed through again, going over the strands it weut 
under before and vice versa, so as to open a "shed" 
for the next strand of the woof. 

Sewing. — For sewing furs and leather they always 
use thread made by stripping off thin fibers from a 
piece of dried sinew of the reindeer, as is usual with 
Eskimo. Cotton or linen thread of civilized manufacture is now often 
used for sewing the cotton frocks, etc., and sometimes for. making an or- 


Fig. 324.— "Sword" for 
feather weaving. 



namental seam on the waterproof gut shirts. The stitches employed 
have already been described under the head of clothing (which see). 
They hold the needle between the thumb and middle finger, with the 
thimble on the forefinger (both are called by the same 
name, ti'kya) and sew toward them. This appears to 
be the regular Eskimo method-of sewing. 1 

At the present day they are well supplied with steel 
needles (miksun) of all sizes and patterns, but formerly 
they used bone needles made from the fibula ( 
of the reindeer. We collected sixty of these needles, 
eighteen of which appear to be old and genuine. The 
rest were more or less carefully made for sale. Nlka- 
waalu told us that once when he and a young man were 
out deer hunting a long distance from camp their boots 
gave out. Having killed a deer he made thread from 
the sinew, a needle from the bone, and with pieces of 
the skin repaired their boots, so that they got home in 

No. 89389 [1191], Fig. 325 will serve as the type of 
these needles. This is a case 3£ inches long, made of 
ll3 of the butt of a large quill, closed with a plug of walrus 
bone needles. hide, and contains 6 needles. One is 1-8 inches long, 
stout, and round-pointed, with a large eye. It is much discolored from 
age. The second is also round-pointed but more slender, 1*9 inches 
long, and flattened and expanded at the butt. The third is 2-4 inches 
long, and has a four- 
sided point like a glov- 
er's needle. All three 
of these are very neatly 
made and appear old. 
The other three are 
stout, roughly made, 
and flat, respectively 
2-1, 2-2, and 2-5 inches 
long. Two of them look 
suspiciously new. This 
set was said to have been 
the property of the wife 
of Puka, Nikawaalu's 

Fig. 326a. is a pecul- fig. 826 
iarly large and flat nee- 
dle (No. 89392 [1195] from Utkiavwifi) 3-2 inches long, with a round, 
sharp point and a large eye, with little grooves running to the butt on 
each side for the thread to lie in. This needle was perhaps specially 

Needles and thimbles: (a) large bone needle and peculiar 
thimble: (h) leather thimbles with bone needles. 

■See Parry. Second Voy., p. 537; Lyon, Journal, p. 93; Kumlien. Contributions, p. 25. 

mordoch.] NEEDLES AND THIMBLES. 319 

meant for sewing boat skins. With this needle belongs a peculiar large 
bone or ivory thimble. The remaining needles are all very much alike, 
though some are more roughly made than the others. Three of them 
have the butt square instead of rounded, and half of them, including 
some which are undoubtedly old, are four- sided at the point like a glov- 
er's needle. The longest is 3 inches long and the shortest 1-4 inches, 
but the commonest length is about 2 or 2£ inches. Similar bone needles 
are mentioned by various authors. 1 

Nearly all the women now use ordinary metal thimbles, obtained in 
trade, but they wear them in the old-fashioned way, on the tip of the 
forefinger. Some of the older women, however, still prefer the ancient 
leather thimble. There are two patterns of these : one intended for the 
fore-finger only, and the other of such a shape that it may also be worn 
on the other fingers as a guard against chafing in pulling stout thread 
through thick leather. It is often so used at the present day. 

We collected three of the first-mentioned pattern, which is represented 
by Fig. 326b (No. 89396 [1202, 1246] ). It is made by cutting out a narrow 
ring of raw sealskin 0'7 inch in diameter, with a circular flap 0-5 inch 
in diameter on the outside of the ring and a corresponding one on the 
inside of the same size, cut out of the middle of the ring. The flaps 
are doubled over so as to make a pad on the inside of the forefinger 
when the tip of the latter is inserted into the ring. The butt of the 
needle presses against this pad. 

The third thimble, which belongs with the needlecase (No. 89371 
[1276]), is of precisely the same form and dimensions. 

There appeared to be little if any variation among those which we 
saw. Capt. Lyon 2 figures two similar thimbles from Igiulik, which 
are described on page 537 of the same work as being made of leather. 
The flaps, however, seem to be only semicircular and not folded over, so 
that the shield consists of only one thickness of leather. 

A similar thimble with the flap also not folded is used at Cumberland 
Gulf. 3 

The other pattern, of which we brought home nine specimens, is rep- 
resented by No. 89389 [1191], which belongs with the set of bone needles 
of the same number. It is a tube, open at both ends, one of which is larger 
than the other, made by bending round a strip of split walrus hide and 
sewing the ends together. It is 0*4 inch long and 2*1 in circumference 
at the larger end. It is worn smooth with handling, and impregnated 
with grease and dirt and marked with small pits where it has been 
pressed against the butt of the needle in use. 

Four other old thimbles (No. 89393 [1194], from Utkiavwin, are made 

'Formerly they used the bones of fishes or the very fine bones of birds instead of needles. Crantz, 
vol. 1. p. 136. 

"Their own clumsy needles of bone," Parry. Second Voy., p. 537 and pi. opposite p. 548, Fig. 11. 
Kumlien also speaks of "steel needles or bone ones made after the same pattern" at Cumberland Gulf 
(Contributions, p. 25). 

2 Parry, Second Voy., pi. opposite p. 550, Fig. 25. 

3 Boas, Central Eskimo, p. 524, Fig. 473 and Kumlien, Contributions, p. 25. 



in the same way, but are a trifle larger. As they show no needle-marks, 
they were probably used only as finger guards. The remaining four are 
similar to the above, but newly made, for sale. 

A most peculiar thimble, the only one of the kind seen, is shown in 
Fig. 326a (No. 89392 [1195] from Utkiavwm, belonging with the large 
bone needle of the same number already described and figured). This 
is made of a single piece of walrus ivory, browned with age, and the 
round shallow socket is for the butt of the needle. The ends of the half 
ring are slightly expanded and notched on the outside to receive a string- 
to complete the ring so that it can be fitted round the finger, with the 
flange in the same position as the pad of a leather thimble. 

Needles are kept in a case (ujyami), consisting of a tube of bone or 
ivory about 5 or 6 inches long, through which is drawn a broad strap of 

leather furnished with a knot at one end 
to keep it from slipping wholly through. 
Into one side of this strap the needles 
are thrust obliquely, so that when the 
strap is pulled in they are covered by the 
tube. To the other end of the strap is 
usually attached an ivory snap hook for 
fastening the needle case to the girdle of 
the pantaloons. These needle cases are 
made of two slightly different patterns, of 
which the first is represented by No. 89365 
[1277], Fig. 327a. It is of white walrus 
ivory, 4£ inches long, and the strap is of 
seal thong about 11 inches long and 0-3 
inch wide. At one end of this is a pear- 
shaped knob of walrus ivory, which is 
shouldered off at the small end and worked 
into a short flattened shank perforated 
with a large eye, through which the end 
of the strap, which is cut narrow, is thrust. 
It is fastened by doubling it back and sew- 
ing it to the standing part. A sky-blue 
transparent glass bead is inlaid in the large end of the knob. The other 
end of the strap is fastened in the same way into a tranverse slot in the 
end of the belt hook (ti'tkibwiii) of ivory, 4*7 inches long. 

This pattern appears to be usually made of walrus ivory. Only one 
of the six brought home is of bone, and this is an unusually small one, 
only 3-6 inches long, made for sale. The usual length is 4| to 5 
inches. No. 89363 [1105], Fig. 327ft, from Utkiavwin, is a tube very much 
like the one described, but is ornamented with an incised pattern colored 
with red ocher, and has a differently shaped belt hook. When the latter 
is hooked over the girdle the ring is pushed up the shank over the point 
of the hook till it fits tight, and thus keeps the hook from slipping off 
the belt. 

Fig. 327.— Needle cases with belt books. 




Fig. 328ri (No. 89364 [1243] from Utkiavwiii) is another ivory needle 
case, 4-7 inches long. The tube was once ornamented with incised 
patterns, but these are almost wholly worn off by constant handling. 
The knob is carved into an ornamental shape, having a circle of six 
round knobs round the middle. It has been suggested that this is 
meant to represent a cloud-berry (Rubus chamaemorus), a fruit known 
to the "Nunatafimiun" though not at Point Barrow. The hook is a 
snap hook very much like those described in connection with the netting 
weights, but larger (3 inches long) 
and very broad at the upper end, 
which is made into a broad ring. 
The point of a steel needle still stick- 
ing in the flesh side of the strap 
shows how the needles are carried 
with the,points toward the knob. 

No. 89370 [1033], also from Utkiav- 
wiii, has no kiiob,but the end of the 
strap is kept from slipping through 
by rolling it up transversely and 
catching it with a stitch of sinew. 
It has a broad flat snap hook similar 
to the last, but cut on the edges into 
ornamental scallops. The tube is 
ornamented with an incised pattern 
colored red with ocher, and is 5-2 
long. No. 56575 [7] is an old tube of 
brown walrus ivory, enlarged into a 
knob at one end. It has no knob or 
hook, but a new strap of white seal 
skin, in the lower end of which is tied 
a large knot. The other pattern has 
the cylinder made of a hollow " long" 
bone, in its natural shape. This bone 
appears to be almost always the hu- 
merus of some large bird, probably 

a SWan. The Strap lias USUally no Fig. 328.— Needle cases: (a) case with belt hook; 
1 t. -u , • i ,/. t • (6) case open, showing bone needles. 

knob, but is kept from slipping 

through by knotting the end or tying on a large bead or a bear's toe, or 
some such object too large to go through the tube. None of these have 
belt hooks except one new and roughly made specimen. 

These bone tubes are apparently older than the neat ivory cylinders, 
and it is not unlikely that the belt hook was not invented till the former 
was mostly out of fashion. No. 89361 [1239], Fig. 328& from Utkiavwiii, 
is one of these which has for knob one of the large dark blue glass 
beads which used to bring such enormous prices in the early days of 
Arctic trading, and which are still the kind most highly prized. The 
9 eth 21 


end of the strap is cut narrow, passed through the bead, and knotted on 
theend. This case carries a half-dozen of the old-fashioned hone needles, 
which appear to be genuine. It is 3-7 inches long and, roughly speak- 
ing, 0-4 in diameter. No. 89369 [1201], also from Utkiavwin, resembles 
the above, but has a wolverine's toe sewed to the end of the strap. No. 
89371 [1270] , from Utkiavwin, also has the toe of a wolverine for a knob, 
and has a belt hook with two tongues made of reindeer antler. No. 
89306 [1137], from Utkiavwin, is a highly ornamented ease of this 
pattern, which lias a short cylindrical knob, also ornamented. No. 
89368 [1089], from Utkiavwin, is not made of bird's bone, but is apiece 
of a long bone from some mammal, and has a brown bear's toe for a 
knob. No. 89307 [1339], from the same village, is roughly made of a 
branch of antler, 3-9 inches long and 0-8 wide, hollowed out. It has a 
knob of whale's bone, but no belt hook, the end of the strap being knotted 
into a leather thimble of the first pattern. Of the six specimens of this 
pattern in the collection only the first is a genuine old implement. All 
the others are merely commercial imitations rather carelessly made. 

Tins kind of needle case is very commonly used throughout Alaska, 
as is shown by the enormous collections in the National Museum brought 
home by various explorers, Nelson, Turner, Dall and others. The needle 
case from Iglulik, figured byCapt. Lyon, 1 resembles the second or older 
pattern, being of bone, not tapered at the ends, and having neither knob 
nor belt hook. To the ends of the strap are hung thimbles "and other 
small articles liable to be lost. " 2 Dr. Simpson 3 speaks of the needle case 
in use at Point Barrow, but merely describes it as "a narrow strip of 
skin in which the needles are stuck, with a tube of bone, ivory, or iron 
to slide down over them, and kept from slipping off the lower end by a 
knob or large bead."' This appears to refer only to the second or older 

The old-fashioned ring thimbles were usually carried on the belt hook 
of the needlecase, but modern thimbles require a box. These boxes 
(kigiune), which are usually small and cylindrical, also serve for holding 
thread, beads, and all sorts of little trinkets or knickknacks, and many 
of them are so old that they were evidently used for this purpose long 
before the introduction of metal thimbles. Little tin canisters, spice 
boxes, etc., are also used for the same purpose nowadays. We brought 
home thirteen of these boxes, of which No. 89407 [1158] Fig. 329a has been 
chosen as the type. It is a piece of the beam of a stout antler, 4-3 inches 
long, cut off square on the ends and hollowed out. Into the large end 
is fitted a Oat bottom of thin pine, fastened in by four little treenails of 
wood. The cover is of the same material. It is held on by a string of 
sinew braid about 11 inches long, which passes out through the lower 
of the two little holes on one side of the box, being held by a knot at 

1 Parry's Second Voyage, pi. opposite p. 550, Fig 
■' Ibid., p. 537. 
s Op. '-it, p. 'J4. r >. 




the end, in through .the upper, then out and in through two similar holes 
in the middle of the eover, and out through a hole on the other side of 
the box. Pulling the end of this string draws the eover down snugly 
into its place. 

Some of the remaining boxes are made of antler, and vary in length 
from 4-7 to 8 inches. The last is, however, unusually large, most of 
the others being about 5 inches long. The covers are generally held on 
by strings much in the manner described, and the ends are both usually 
of wood, though two old boxes have both ends made of antler, and one 
has a top of hard bone. The last is a specimen newly made for sale. 
These boxes are sometimes ornamented on the outside with incised lines, 
colored red or blackened, either conventional patterns as in Fig. 32dh 

Fig. 329.— Trinket boxes. 

(No. 89405 [1335], from Utkiavwin) or figures of men and animals as in 
Fig. 329o (No. 56615 [41] from the same village). The former is a new 
box, 4-7 inches long, and has the wooden ends both shouldered to fit 
tightly. The cover is worked with a string. 

~No. 56615 [41] on the other hand is very old, and has lost its cover. 
The wooden bottom is shouldered and held in with treenails. The sur- 
face is elaborately ornamented with incised and blackened figures. 
It is divided by longitudinal lines into four nearly equal panels, on 
which the figures are disposed as follows (the animals all being repre- 
sented as standing on the longitudinal lines, and facing toward the 
right, that is, toward the open end of the box) : On the first panel are 
4 reindeer, alternately a buck and a doe, followed by a man in a kaiak, 
and over his head two small "circles and dots," one above the other. 



All the deer on this box are represented strictly in profile, so as to show 
only two legs and one antler each. On the second panel are 4 deer, all 
does, followed by a man with a bow slung across his back. On the 
third, a man in the middle appears to be calling 2 dogs, who, at the 
left of the panel, are drawing a railed sled. Reversed, and on the upper 
border of the panel, is a man pushing behind a similar sled drawn 
by 3 dogs. The head dog has stopped and is sitting down on his 
haunches. The dogs, like the reindeer, are all strictly in profile and 
rather conventionalized. In the fourth panel are 3 reindeer followed 
by a man in his kaiak, and upside down, above, a deer without legs, 

Fig. 330.— Trinket boxes. 

supposed to be swimming in the water, and a very rude figure of a man 
in his kaiak. These figures probably represent actual occurrences, 
forming a sort of record. 

Fig. 330a (No. 89408 [1371] from Sidaru) is a piece of stout antler, 
4-7 inches long, which has the bottom of pine fitted tightly in without 
fastenings. The cover is of wood, covered, to make it fit tight, with 
parchment, apparently shrunk on and puckered on the upper surface. 
A thick hank of untwisted sinew is fastened as a handle through the 
middle of the cover. This box is old and dirty, and contains an unfin- 
ished flint arrow-head. No. 5G505 [59] from Utkiavwln, is a new box, 
closed at the ends with thick shouldered plugs of pine wood. The tube 
is 8 inches long and ornamented with a conventional pattern of incised 
lines colored with red ocher. 




Ivory box. 

Fig. 3306 (No. 89402 [1359] also from Utkiavwiu), is peculiar from the 
material of which it is made. It is of about the same pattern as the 
common antler boxes, but is made of 
the butt end of the os penis of a large 
walrus, cut off square and hollowed out, 
and has ends of hard whale's bone. Its 
length is 4-2 inches. No. 89403 [1425] 
Fig. 331 from Sidaru, is made of the hol- 
low butt of a good-sized walrus tusk, 3-2 
inches long. It has a neatly fitted 
wooden bottom, held in with 6 tree- 
nails, two of ivory and four of wood. 
The box has been cracked and split and 
mended with stitches 
of sinew and whale- 
bone. Peculiar con- 
ventional patterns are 
incised on the box and 

cover. A peculiar box is shown in Fig. 332 (No. 56583 
[37] from Utkiavwiu). This is of compact white bone, 
i with a flat wooden bottom. I do not recollect seeing 
any other boxes of the same sort. 

Fig. 333 (No. 89409 [1372]) is the tip of a walrus tusk 
cut off and hollowed out into a sort of flask, 3-8 inches 
long, closed at the large end by a flat wooden bottom, fastened in with 
treenails and at the small end by a stopper of soft wood. 
The most peculiar box of all, how- 
ever, is shown in Fig. 334 (No. 56512 
[2] from Utkiavwiu), the only speci- 
men of the kind seen. It is 5*5 
inches long, made of reindeer antler, 
and very neatly carved into a most 
excellent image of a reindeer lying 
on its left side, with the head, which 
has no antlers, turned down and to 
the left. The legs are folded up 
against the belly, the forelegs with 
the hoofs pointing backward, the 
hind hoofs pointing forward. The 
eyes are represented by small sky- 
blue glass beads, and the mouth, 
nostrils, and navel neatly incised, 
the last being particularly well- 
marked. The tips of the hoofs are 
rounded off, which, taken in connec- FlG - 334 -^ r hl shapeof 
tion with the attitude and the well marked navel, lead me to believe 

Fig. 332 Boue box. 



that the image is meant to represent an unborn fetus. The whole 
of the body is hollowed, the aperture taking up the whole of the but- 
tocks, and closed by a flat, thick plug of soft wood. A round peg of 

wood is driven in to close an accidental 
hole just above the left shoulder. The 
box is old and discolored, and worn smooth 
with much handling. 

Rarely these little workboxes are made 
of basketwork. We obtained four speci- 
mens of these small baskets, of which 
No. 56504 [SS] Fig. 335, workbasket (agu- 
ma, ama, ipiaru), will serve as the type. 
The neck is of black tanned sealskin, 2£ 
inches long, and has 1 vertical seam, to 
the middle of which is sewed the mid- 
dle of a piece of flue seal thong, a foot 
long, which serves to tie up the mouth. 
The basket appears to be made of flue 
twigs or roots of the willow, with the bark removed, and is made by 
winding an osier spirally into the shape of the basket, and wrapping 
a narrow splint spirally around the tAvo adjacent parts of this, each 
turn of the splint being separated from the next by a turn of the suc- 
ceeding tier. The other basket from Utkiavwiii (No. 50565 [135]) is 
almost exactly like this, but larger (3-5 inches in diameter and 2-2 
high), and has holes round the top of the neck for the drawstring. 

Two baskets from Sidaru are of the same material and workman- 
ship, but somewhat larger and 
of a different shape, as shown 
in Fig. 330, No. 898(11 [1300], 
and Fig. 337, No. 89802 [1427]. 
This was the only species of 

Fig. 335.— Small basket. 

Fig. 336 

basketwork seen among these 
people and is probably not of 
native manufacture. 

Prof. O. T. Mason, of the Na- 
tional Museum, has called my 
attention to the fact that the 
method of weaving employed in making these baskets is the same as 
that used by the Apaches and Navajos. who have been shown to be 
linguistically of the same stock as the Athabascan or Tinne group of 
Indians of the North. The first basket collected, No. 50504 [88], was 
said by the owner to have come from the "great river" in the south. 
Now, the name Kuwuk or Kowak, applied to the western stream flow- 
ing into Hotham Inlet, means simply "great river,'' and this is the 
region where the Eskimo come into very intimate commercial relations 
with Indians of Tinne stock. ' Therefore, in consideration of the Indian 

>Dall, American Association, Address, 1885, p. 13. 



workmanship oi these baskets, and the statement that one of them 
came from the "great river, south," I am well convinced that they were 
made by the Indians of the l'egion between the Koynknk and Silawik 
Rivers, and sold by them to the Kuwunmiun, whence they conld easily 
And their way to Point Barrow through the hands of the "Nunatan- 
minn" traders. 

The Eskimo of Alaska south of Bering Strait make and use bas- 
kets of many patterns, but east of Point Barrow baskets are exceed- 
ingly rare. The only mention of anything of 
the kind will be found in Lyon's Journal. 1 He 
mentions seeing at Iglulik a " small round bas- 
ket composed of grass in precisely the same 
manner as those constructed by the Tibboo, in 
the southern part of Fezzan, and agreeing with 
them also in its shape," Now, these Africans 
make baskets of precisely the same "coiled" 
work (as Prof. Mason calls it) as the Tinue, so 
that in all probability what Lyon saw was one 
of these same baskets, carried east in trade, 
like other western objects already referred to. 
The name aina applied to these baskets at 
Point Barrow (the other two names appear to 
be simply "bag" or receptacle) corresponds to 
the Greenlandic amat, the long thin runners 
from the root of a tree, " at present used in the 
plural also for a basket of European basketwork," (because they had no 
idea that twigs could be so small) — Gr^nlandske Ordbog. 

No. 89799 [1329] from Utkiavwin, is a, peculiar bag, the only one of 
the kind seen, used for the same purpose as the boxes and baskets just 
described. It is the stomach of a polar bear, with the muscular and 
glandular layers removed, dried and carefully worked down with a skin 
scraper into something like goldbeater's skin. This makes a large, 
nearly spherical bag 7£ inches in diameter, of a pale brownish color, 
soft and wrinkled, with a mouth Cinches wide, A small hole has been 
mended by drawing the skin together and winding it round tightly on 
the inside with sinew. 

Fig. 337.— Small basket. 

1 P. 172. 




Kaiaks and paddles. — Like all the rest of the Eskimo race, the natives 
of Point Barrow use the kaiak, or narrow, light, skin-covered canoe, 
completely decked over except at the middle, where there is a hole or 
cockpit in which the man sits. Although nearly every male above the 
age of boyhood owns and can manage one of these canoes, they are much 
less generally employed than by any other Eskimo whose habits have 
been described, except the "Arctic highlanders," who have no boats, 
and perhaps those of Siberia and their Chuckche companions. The 
kaiak is used only during the season of open water, and then but little 
in the sea in the neighborhood of the villages. Those who remain near 
the villages in the summer use the kaiak chiefly for making the short 
excursions to the lakes and streams inland, already described, after 
reindeer, and for making short trips from camp to canip along the coast. 
At Pernyu they are used in setting the stake-nets and also for retriev- 
ing fowl which have fallen in the water when shot. 

According to Dr. Simpson 1 the men of the parties which go east in 
the summer travel in their kaiaks after reaching the open water "to 
make room in the large boat for the oil-skins." We obtained no infor- 
mation regarding this. It is at this time, probably, that the kaiak comes 
specially in play for spearing molting fowl and " flappers", and for catch- 
ing seals with the kukiga. They manage the kaiak with great skill and 
confidence, but we never knew them to go out in rough weather, nor 
did we ever see the practice, so frequently described elsewhere, of tying 
the skirts of the waterproof jacket round the coaming of the cockpit so 
as to exclude the water. 

It should, however, be borne in mind that from the reasons above 
stated our opportunities for observing the use of the kaiak were very 
limited. At all events it is certain that the people depend mainly on 
the umiak, not only for traveling, but for hunting and fishing as well, 
which places them in strong contrast with the Greenlauders, who are 
essentially a race of kaiakers and have consequently developed the boat 
and its appendages to a high state of perfection. 

We brought home. one complete full-sized kaiak, with its paddle, No. 
57773 [539], Fig. 338a and b, which is a very fair representative of the 
canoes used at Point Barrow. This is 19 feet long and 18 inches wide 
amidships. The gunwales are straight, except for a very slight sheer at 
the bow, and the cockpit is 21 inches long and ISi inches wide. It has 
a frame of wood, which appears to be all of spruce, held together by 
treenails and whalebone lashings, and is covered with white-tanned seal- 
skins with the grain side out. The stoutest part of the frame is the two 
gunwales, each 3£ inches broad and £-inch thick, flat, and rounded off on 
the upper edge inside, running the whole length of the boat and ineet- 

1 Op. cit. p. 264. 




ing at the stem and stern, gradually tapered up on the lower edge at 
each end. The ribs, of which there are at least forty-three, are bent into 
nearly a half-circle, thus making a U-shaped midship section, and are 
f -inch wide by ^-inch thick, flat on the outer side and round on the inner. 
Their ends are mortised into the lower edge of the gunwale and fas- 
tened with wooden treenails. They are set in about 3 inches apart and 
decrease gradually in size fore and aft. Outside of these are seven 
equidistant streaks running fore and aft, f inch to 1 inch wide and J inch 




Fig. 338.— Kaiak. 

thick, of which the upper on each side reaches neither stem nor stern. 
These are lashed to the ribs with a strip of whalebone, which makes a 
round turn about one rib, above the streak, going under the rib first, 
and a similar turn round the next rib below the streak (Fig. 339). 

There is a stout keelson, hemi-elliptical in section, under the cockpit 
only. This is 4£ feet long, about 2 inches deep, and li inches wide, and 

is fastened in the middle and about 1 foot 

from each end by a strip of whalebone, which 
passes through a transverse hole in the keel- 
son, round the rib on one side, back through 
the keelson, and round the rib on the other 
side twice. The end is wrapped spirally 
round the turns on one side and tucked into 
the hole in the keelson. The deek beams 
are not quite so stout as the ribs and are mortised into the upper edge 
of the gunwales a little below the level of the deck. The ends are 
secured by lashings or stitches of some material which are concealed 
by the skin cover. They are about as far apart as the ribs, but neither 
exactly correspond nor break joints with the latter. 

At the after end of the cockpit is an extra stout beam or thwart to 
support the back, If inches wide and three-quarters inch thick, with 
rounded edges, the ends of which are apparently lashed with thong. 
The first beam forward of the cockpit is rounded, and appears to be 
a natural crook forming a (J-shaped arch, and is followed by seven 
V-shaped knees, thickest in the middle and enlarged a little at the 
ends, successively decreasing in height to the seventh, which is almost 
straight. This makes the rise in the deck forward of the cockpit. 

Fig. 339.— Method of fastening 
gether frame of kaiak. 



Every alternate deck beam is braced to the gunwale at each end by 
an oblique lashing of whalebone, running from a transverse hole in the 
beam about 1 inch from the gunwale to a corresponding 
hole in the gumvale, three-quarters inch from the lower 
edge. The lashing makes three or four turns through 
these holes and around the lower edge of the gunwale, and 
the end is wrapped spirally round these turns for their 
whole length. Above these beams a narrow batten runs 
fore and aft amidships from cockpit to stem and stern, 
mortised into the two beams at the cockpit, and lashed 
to the others with whalebone. The coaming- of the cock- 



Fig. 340.- 

pit is made of a single flat piece of wood, If inches broad 
and one-quarter inch thick, bent into a hoop with the ends 
lapping about 6 inches and "sewed" together with stitches 
of whalebone. Round the upper edge of this, on the out- 
side, is fitted a " half-round " hoop, which appears to be 
made of willow, three-quarters by one-third inch, with its 
ends lapped about 4 inches, this lap coming over the joint 
of the larger hoop. It is fastened on by short stitches of 
whalebone about 5 or 6 inches apart, leaving room enough 
between the two hoops to allow a lacing of fine whalebone 
to pass through. The coaming is put on over the edge of 
the skin cover, which is drawn up tight inside of the coam- 
ing and over its upper edge and fastened by a lacing of 
whalebone, which runs spirally round the outer hoop and 
through holes about one-half inch apart in the edge of the 

The coaming fits over the crown of the arch of the for- 
ward deck beam and rests on the middle of the thwart aft, 
a nd is secured by lashings of whalebone, which pass through 
holes in the coaming and over its upper edge. The forward 
lashing makes three turns, Which pass round the beam with 
the end wrapped spirally round the parts between beam 
and coaming; the after lashing, four similar turns, which 
pass through a hole in the thwart and around its forward 
edge. On each side is a stout vertical brace of wood 3J 
inches long, 1 inch wide, and one-half inch thick, with 
rounded edges and corners. The ends are cut out paral- 
lel to the breadth, so that one end fits on to the upper 
edge of the gunwale, while the other receives the lower 
edge of the coaming, protruding on the outside through a 
hole in the cover. 

The cover is of six sealskins, put together heads to tails, 
so that there is only one longitudinal seam, which runs 
irregularly along the deck. The transverse seams, which 
run obliquely across the bottom are double and sewed 


with a blind stitch, like the seams already described on the waterproof 
boots, from the inside. These seams are nearly 2 inches wide. The 
longitudinal seam is sewed in the same way from the outside, but 
not so broadly lapped, with the edge tinned over into a roll. There 
are two pieces of stout thong stretched across the deck, one forward 
of the cockpit and the other aft, which serve to fasten articles to 
the deck. The thong passes out through a hole in the gunwale, one- 
half inch from the upper edge and (5 inches from the cockpit, on the 
starboard side forward and on the port side aft, and is secured by 
a knot in the end inboard. The other end passes in through a cor- 
responding hole in the other gunwale and is loosely knotted to the deck 
beams, so that the line can be slackened off or tautened up at pleasure. 
Three feet from the bow is a becket for holding spears, etc., fastened 
into two little holes bored diagonally outward through the edge of the 
gunwales. It is of two parts of seal thong, one part twisted round the 
other, but is broken in the middle, so that only one-half of it is left. 
The weight of this kaiak in its present dry condition is 32 pounds. 

This is about the ordinary pattern of kaiak used at Point Barrow, 
and is a medium-sized one. These boats are made to lit the size of the 
owner, a youth or small man using a much smaller and lighter kaiak 
than a heavy adult. They are never made to carry more than one per- 
son, and I have never heard of their being used by the women. In 
carrying the kaiak across the land from lake to lake, it is held hori- 
zontally against the side with the bow pointing forward, by thrusting 
the forearm into the cockpit. We never saw them carried on the head, 
in the manner practised at Fury and Hecla Straits. 1 

In entering the canoe the man takes great care to wipe his feet clean 
of sand and gravel, which would work down under the timbers and 
chafe the skin. The canoe is launched in shoal water, preferably 
alongside of a little bank, and the man steadies it by sticking down his 
paddle on the outer side and holding it with his left hand, while he bal- 
ances himself on his right foot, and with his free hand carefully wipes 
his left foot. He then steps with his left foot into the kaiak, and still 
balancing himself with the help of the paddle, lifts and wipes his right 
foot before he steps in with that. He then pushes his feet and legs for- 
ward under the raised deck, settles himself i a a proper position for 
trimming the boat, and shoves off. As elsewhere, the kaiak is always 
propelled with a paddle. 

No. 89240 [539J, Fig. 340, is the paddle which belongs to the kaiak 
just described. It is 7 feet long. The shaft joining the blades is 
elliptical in section, with its greatest width at right angles to the plane 
of the blades so to present the greatest resistance to the strain of pad- 
dling. The shape of the blade, with rounded tip and thin rounded 
edges is admiralty adapted to give the blade a clean entry into the 

'Lyon, Journal, p. 233. See also Capt. Lyon's figure in Parry's 2d Voy., pi. opposite p. 274. 


water. The whole is very neatly and smoothly made, and the blades 
are painted with red ocher. This is a much more effective paddle than 
those used by the Greenlanders and other eastern Eskimo, the blades 
of which, probably from the scarcity of wood 1 are very narrow, not 
exceeding 4 inches in width. In Greenland and Labrador, also, the 
blades are square at the ends like those of ordinary oars, and are usually 
edged with bone to prevent them from splitting. The absence of this 
bone edging on the paddles from Point Barrow perhaps indicates that 
they are meant for summer use only and not for working among the 
ice. In accordance with the general custom in northwestern America, 
the double-bladed paddle (pautin) is used only when great speed is 
desired, as in chasing game. It is handled in the usual way, being- 
grasped with both hands near the middle, and dipped alternately on 
opposite sides. For ordinary traveling they use a single-bladed paddle 
(afiuu), of the same shape as those used in the umiak but usually some- 
what smaller, of which we neglected to procure a specimen. With this 
they make a few strokes on one side, till the boat begins to sheer, then 
shift it over and make a few strokes on the other side. They do this 
with very great skill, getting considerable speed, and making a remark- 
ably straight wake. The use of this single paddle appears to be uni- 
versal along the coast of Alaska, from Point Barrow southward, and it 
is also used at the Mackenzie and Anderson rivers, as shown by the 
models collected by MacFarlane in that region. It is, however, 
unknown among the eastern Eskimo about whom we have any definite 
information on the subject, namely, the Greenlanders, the people of 
Baffin Land, Hudson Strait, and Labrador. 2 

Curiously enough the Greenlanders had a superstition of a sort of 
malevolent spirits called kajariak, who were "kayakmen of an extraor- 
dinary size, who always seem to be met with at a distance from land 
beyond the usual hunting grounds. They were skilled in the arts of 
sorcery, particularly in the way of raising storms and bringing bad 
weather. Like the umiarissat [other fabulous beings], they use one- 
bladed paddles, like those of the Indians." 3 This tradition either refers 
back to a time when the ancestors of the Greenlanders used the single 
paddle or to occasional and perhaps hostile meetings between eastern 
and western Eskimo. 

Though the kaiak is essentially the same wherever used, it differs 
considerably in size and external appearance in different localties. The 
kaiak of the Greenlanders is perhaps the best-known model, as it has 

1 It is a curious fact, however, that the narrowest kaiak paddles I have ever seen belonged to some 
Eskimo that I saw in 1876, at Rigolette, Labrador, who lived in a region sufficiently well wooded to 
furnish them with lumber for a small schooner, which they had built. 

''For information concerning the last two regions I am indebted to Mr. L. M. Turner; for the others 
to the standard authorities. 

:i Rink. Tales and Traditions, p. 47. See also p. 374 for a story of the meeting of a Greeulander with 
one of these beings. 


been figured and described by many authors. It is quite as light aud 
sharp as the Point Barrow model, but has a flat floor, the bilge being 
angular instead of rounded, and it has considerably more sheer to the 
deck, the stem and stern being prolonged into long curved points, which 
project above the water, aud are often shod with bone or ivory. The 
coaming of the cockpit also is level, or only slightly raised forward. 
The kaiaks used iu Baffin Land, Hudson Straits, and Labrador are of 
a very similar model, but larger aud heavier, having the projecting 
points at the bow and stern rather shorter and less sharp, and the 
coaming of the cockpit somewhat more raised forward. Both of these 
forms are represented by specimens and numerous models in the museum 
collections. I have seen one flat- floored kaiak at Point Barrow. It 
belonged to a youth and was very narrow and light. 

The kaiak in use at Fury and Hecla Straits, as described by Capt. 
Lyon 1 and Capt. Parry 2 is of a somewhat different model, approaching 
that used at the Anderson River. It is a large kaiak 25 feet long, with 
the bow and stern sharp and considerably more bent up than in the 
Greenland kaiaks, but round-bottomed, like the wester u kaiaks. The 
deck is flat, with the cockpit coaming somewhat raised forward. 3 

In the kaiaks used at the Anderson and Mackenzie rivers, as shown 
by the models in the National Museum, the bending up of the stem and 
stern posts is carried to an extreme, so that they make an angle of 
about 130° with the level of the deck. The bottom is round and the 
cockpit nearly level, but sufficient room for the knees and feet is obtained 
by arching not only the deck beams just forward of the cockpit, but all 
of them from stem to stern, so that the deck slopes away to each side 
like the roof of a house. At Point Barrow, as already described, the 
deck beams are arched only just forward of the cockpit, and the stem 
and stern are not prolonged. This appears- to be the prevailing form 
of canoe at least as far south as Kotzebue Sound and is sometimes used 
by the Malemiut of Norton Sound. At Port Clarence the heavy, large 
kaiak, so common from Norton Sound southward, appears to be in use 
from Nordenskiold's description, as he speaks of the kaiaks holding two 
persons, sitting back to back in the cockpit. 4 The kaiaks of the south- 
western Eskimo are, as far as I have been able to learn, large and 
heavy, with level coamings, with the deck quite steeply arched fore and 
aft, and with bow and stern usually of some peculiar shape, as shown 
by models in the Museum. See also Dall's figure (Alaska, p. 15 .) 5 

'Journal, p. 233. 

^Second voyage, p. 506, and pis. opposite, pp. 274 and 508. 

3 There is quite a discrepancy iu regard to this between Capt. Lyon's description referred to above 
a.nd the two plates drawn by him in Parry's second voyage. In his .journal he speaks of the coaming of 
the cockpit being about 9 inches higher forward than it is aft, while from his figures the difference 
does not appear to be more than 3 or 4 inches. 

4 Vega, vol. 2, p. 228. 

6 1 have confined myself in the above comparison simply to the kaiaks used by undoubted Eskimo. 
I find merely casual references to the kaiaks used on the Siberian coast by the Asiatic Eskimo and 
their companions the Sedentary Chuckchis, while a discussion of the canoes of the Aleuts would carry 
me beyond the limits of the present work. 


While the kaiak, however, differs so much in external appearance in 
different localities, it is probable that in structure it is everywhere 
essentially the same. Only two writers have given a detailed descrip- 
tion of the frame of a kaiak, and these are from widely distant localities, 
Iglulik and western Greenland, both still more widely distant from 
Point Barrow, and yet both give essentially the same component parts 
as are to be found at Point Barrow, namely, two comparatively stout 
gunwales running from stem to stern, braced with transverse deck- 
beams, 1 seven streaks running fore and aft along the bottom, knees, or 
ribs in the form of hoops, and a hoop for the coaming, bound together 
with whalebone or sinew. 2 

Fig. 341 .-Model kaiak and paddle. 

The double-bladed paddle is almost exclusively an Eskimo contri- 
vance. The only other hyperborean race, besides the Aleuts, who use it, 
are the Yukagirs, who employ it in their narrow dugout canoes on the 
River Kolyma in Siberia. 3 Double-bladed paddles have also been ob- 
served in the Malay Archipelago. 

Fig. 341, (No. 56561 [224] from UtkiavwifL) is a very neatly made 
model of a kaiak, 13*3 inches long. It is quite accurate in all its de- 
tails, but has only five streaks on the bottom, and its width and depth 
are about twice what they should be in proportion to the length. The 
frame is lashed together with fine sinew and covered with seal en- 
trail. The paddle is also out of proportion. Many similar neatly fin- 

1 Since the above was written Boas has published a detailed description of the central kaiaks, in 
which lie says there arc only four streaks besides the keel (Central Eskimo, p. 486). 

'Dr. Kane's description, though the best that we have of the flat-bottomed Greenland kaiak ami ac- 
companied by diagrams, is unfortunately vague in some important respects. It is in brief as follows: 
"The skeleton consists of three longitudinal strips of wood on each side * * * stretching from end 
to end. * * * The upper of these, the gunwale * is somewhat stouter than the others. The 

bottom is framed by three similar longitudinal strips. These are crossed by other strips or hoops, 
which perform the office of knees and ribs. They are placed at a distance of not more than 8 to 10 
inches from one another. Wherever the parts of this framework meet or cross they arc bound together 
with reindeer tendon very artistically. The pah or manhole has a rim or lip secured 

upon the gunwale and rising a couple of inches above the deck." (First Grinnell Exp., p. 477.) It will 
be seen that he does not mention any deck beams, which would be very necessary to keep the gunwales 
spread apart. They are shown, however, in Crantz's crude section of a kaiak frame. (History. of 
Greenland, vol. 1, pi. vii), and are evidently mortised into the gunwale, as at Point Barrow. Crantz 
also (op. cit., p. 150) speaks of the use of whalebone for fastening the frame together. 

Capt. Lyon's description of the round-bottomed kaiak used at Fury and Hecla Straits (Journal, p. 233) 
is much more explicit. He describes the frame as consisting of a gunwale on each side 4 or 5 inches 
wide in the middle and three-fourths inch thick, tapering at each end, sixty-four hoop-shaped ribs (on 
a canoe 25 feet long), seven slight rods outside of the ribs, twenty-two deck-beams, and a batten run- 
ning fore and aft, and a hoop round the cockpit. These large kaiaks weigh ">o or 6i> pounds. There is 
a very good figure of the Point Barrow kaiak. paddled with a single paddle, in Smyth's view of Xnwuk 
(Beechey's Voyage, pi. opposite p. 307). 

3 Wrangell. Narrative of an Expedition, etc., p. nil. footnote. 


ished models were made for sale. The natives are so skillful in making 
them that it is possible that they are in the habit of making them for 
the children to play with. I do not, however, recollect ever seeing a 
child with one. 

Umiaks and fittings. — The large skin-covered open boat, essentially 
the same in model as that employed by almost all Eskimo, as well as 
the Aleuts and some Siberian races, is the chief means of conveyance 
by water, for traveling, hunting, and fishing. Though the women do a 
great share of the work of navigating the boat when a single family or 
a small party is making a journey, it is by no means considered as a 
woman's boat, as appears to be the case among the Clreenlanders and 
eastern Eskimo generally. 1 On the contrary, women are not admitted 
into the regularly organized whaling crews, unless the umialik can not 
procure men enough, and in the "scratch" crews assembled for walrus 
hunting or sealing there are usually at least as many men as women, 
and the men work as hard as the women. 1 do not, however, recollect 
that I ever saw a man pull an oar in the umiak. They appear always 
to use paddles alone. This is interesting in connection with the Green- 
land custom mentioned by Egede in the continuation of the passage 
just quoted : '' And when they first set out for the whale fishing, the men 
sit in a very negligent posture, with their faces turned towards the 
prow, pulling with their little ordinary paddle; but the women sit in 
the ordinary way, with their faces towards the stern, rowing with long 

We were unable to bring home any specimen of these boats on ac- 
count of their size, but Fig. 342, from a photograph by Lieut. Bay, will 
give a good idea of the framework. These boats vary considerably in 
size, but are usually very nearly the dimensions of an ordinary whale- 
boat — that is, about 30 feet in length, with a beam of 5 or 6 feet and a 
depth of about 2^ feet. The boat resembles very much in model the 
American fisherman's dory, having a narrow flat bottom, sharp at both 
ends, with flaring sides, and considerable rake at stem and stern. Both 
floor and rail have a strong sheer, fore and aft, and the gunwales ex- 
tend beyond the stem so as to meet at the bow. Both stem and stern 
are sharp nearly to the rail, where they flare out and are cut off square. 
These boats are exceedingly light and buoyant, and capable of consid- 
erable speed when fully manned. They are very "quick" in their mo- 
tion and quite crank till they get down to their bearings, but beyond 
that appear to be very stiff. 

I never heard of one being capsized, though the natives move about 
aboard of them with perfect freedom. The frame is neatly made of pieces 
of driftwood, which it usually takes a considerable time to accumulate. 2 

'For example: "For they tliiuk it unbecoming a man to row such a boat, unless great necessity 
requires it." Egede, Greenland, p. 111. "It would be a scandal for ;i man to meddle, except the 
greatest necessity compels him to lend a hand." Crantz, vol. 1, p. 149. 

2 Part of the description of the umiak frame is taken from the model (Xo. 56563 [225]). as the writer 
not only had few opportunities for careful examination of these canoes, but unfortunately did not 
realize at the time the importam f detail. 



A stout square timber, of perhaps 3 inches scantling, runs along the 
middle of the bottom forming a keel or keelson. This of necessity is 
usually made of several pieces of wood scarfed together and fastened 
with treenails and whalebone lashings. x\t each end it is fastened in the 
same way to the stem and sternpost, which are both of the same shape, 
broad and flat above or inside, but beveled off to a keel outside, and 
curving up in a knee, at the same time tapering off to the point where 
the bow (or stern) begins to flare. Here it is mortised into the under 
side of a trapezoidal block of wood, widest and thickest on the inboard 
end, and concaved off on the under face, to a thin edge outboard. It is 
held on by a transverse lashing passing through holes in the end of the 
post and the thickest part of the block. - Along each side of the bottom, 
at" what would be the bilge of a round- bottom boat, runs a stout streak, 

Fio. 342.— Frame of umiak. 

thinner and wider than the keelson and set up edgewise. These are 
spread apart amidships, but bent together fore and aft so as to be 
scarfed into the stem and sternpost (see diagram, Fig. 343a). 

On the model they are fastened here with treenails, and this is prob- 
ably also the case on the large canoes. They are spread apart by 
cross pieces or floor timbers, flat rather broad boards laid across the 
keelson with their ends mortised into the bilge streaks. These are 
longest amidships and decrease regularly in length fore and aft. There 
wereflfteenof them on Mkawaalu's umiak. On the model they are pegged 
to the keelson and bilge streaks. The ribs are straight, slender, square 
timbers, eighteen on each side (on Xikawanlu's umiak ; the cauoe photo- 
graphed has fifteen). These are all of the same length, but fitted obliquely 
to the outer edge of the bilge-streaks in such a way (see diagram, Fig. 


34:3b) that those amidships slant considerably outward while the others 
become gradually more and more erect fore and aft, thus producing the 
sheer in the lines. To these ribs, inside, a little below the middle of each, 
is fastened a streak on each side, of about the dimensions of the bilge 
streak, running from stem to stern, and the gunwales are fitted into the 
notched ends of the ribs, where they are secured by lashings of whale- 
bone. These on Nikawaalu's umiak were each a single round pole about 
2 inches in diameter. Such long pieces of wood as this were proba- 
bly obtained by trade from the Nunatafimeun. These extend about 2£ 
or 3 feet beyond the stem, to which they are fastened on each side by 
whalebone lashings, arid meet at a sharp angle, being lashed together 
with whalebone. On the model, this lashing passes through holes in 
both gunwales and round underneath. The gunwales are fastened to 
the sternpost in the same way as to the stem, in both cases resting on 
the upper surface of the block so 
as to form a low rail, but project 
only 5 or 6 inches. 

Between the post and the last 
pair of long ribs at each end are 
two pairs of short ribs running 
only from the gunwale to the in- 
side streak. The frame is still 
further strengthened by an out- 
side streak between the bilge 
streak and the inside streak, and , 

I<IG. .:S43.— Construction ot umiak: (a) method of 
Nikawaalll's Canoe had an extl"a fastening bilge streaks to stem ; (6) method of 

streak of " half-round " willow out- framiDg rib to « unwale - etc - 
side of the latter. The thwarts rest on the inside streak and are secured 
by whalebone lashings. The block or head of the stern-post serves as 
a high seat for the steersman. Orantz's ' description and diagram show 
that the frame of the Greenland umiak consists of essentially the same 
timbers, lacking only the two outside streaks. 

The cover is made of the skins of the larger marine animals. Walrus 
hide is often used and sometimes the skin of the polar bear, which 
makes a beautifully white cover, but the skin of the bearded seal is 
preferred, the people from Point Barrow sometimes making journeys 
to Wain wright Inlet in search of such skins, which are dressed with 
their oil in them in the manner already referred to. We were informed 
that six of these skins were required to cover one umiak. They are put 
together in the same way as the skins for the kaiak and sewed with the 
same seam. The edges of the cover are stretched over the gunwale, 
and laced to the inside streak with a stout thong, which passes through 
holes in the edge of the cover. At stem and stern the cover is laced 
with a separate thong to a stout transverse lashing of thong running 
from gunwale to gunwale close to the edge of the posthead. 

1 History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 148, and pi. vi. 
9 ETH 22 


The cover is removed in the winter and stowed away on the cache 
frame or some other safe place (Mufiialu, when preparing to start for 
the spring deer hunt in 1883, carefully buried his boat cover in a snow- 
bank) ont of reach of the dogs, and the frame is placed bottom up- 
wards on a staging 4 or 5 feet from the ground. 

When they are ready to refit the canoe for the spring whaling, a hole 
is cut in the sea ice close to the shore, and the cover immersed in the 
sea water for several days to soften it, the hole being covered with 
slabs of snow to keep it from freezing up. Crantz 1 mentions a similar 
custom in Greenland. After removing the hair from the boat-skins 
"they lay them in salt water for some days to soften them again, and 
so cover the women's boats and kajaks with them." When not in use, 
the umiak is drawn up on the beach and usually laid bottom upward 
with the gear, spears, etc., underneath it, but sometimes propped up on 
one gunwale to make a shelter against the wind. This is a common 
practice in the camp at Pernyfi, where there is usually at least one boat 
set up edgewise, sheltered by which the men sit to whittle and gossip. 

In the whaling camp at Imekpiiii in 1883, the boats which were not 
ready to go out to the open water were laid up bottom up with one end 
resting on a sled set up on its side and the other supported by a block 
of snow. They do not appear to be in the habit of using the canoe for 
a tent, as is said to be the custom among the more southern natives, 2 
as they always carry a tent with them on their journeys. The umiak 
is propelled by paddles, oars, and a sail, and in smooth weather when 
the shore is clear of ice by "tracking" along the beach with men and 
dogs, one person at least always remaining on board to steer with a 
paddle at the stern. 

The sail, which they are only able to use with a free wind, is square, 
narrow, and rather high, and is nowadays always made of drilling. Dark 
blue drilling appeared to be the most popular sort at the time of our 
visit. The head of the sail is laced to a light yard, and hoisted to the 
masthead by a halyard through a hole in the latter. The mast is a 
stout square pole 10 or 12 feet long and is set up well forward of amid- 
ships, without a step, the square butt resting against a bottom board, 
and held up by two forestays and two backstays, running from the 
masthead to the inside streak. All the rigging, stays, halyards, towing 
line, etc., are made of stout thong. The Greenlanders set up the mast in 
the bow of the umiak — as a sailor would say, "in the very eyes of her," 3 
but as far as 1 can learn the Western Eskimo all set it up as at Point 

The oars are very clumsily made with very narrow blades not over 
3 inches broad. They are about 7 feet long and somewhat enlarged at 
the loom. Instead of resting in rowlocks, they are secured by two long 

1 Vol. 1. ]>. 167. 

'•' Sic Kotzebue's Voyage, etc., vol. 1, i>. 216. 

3 Tliis is also the custom amoug the Central Eskimo. (See Boas "Central Eskimo." p. 328. Fig. 481.) 


Fig. 344.— Method of slinging the oar of umiak. 


loops of thong as in the diagram Fig. 344. To keep the oar from chaf- 
ing the skin on the gunwale, they lash to the latter a long plate of 
bone. No. 89696 [1197] from Utkiavwin is one of these plates. Two 
of these oars are commonly used in an umiak, one forward and one aft, 
and the women row with great vigor, swinging well from the hips, but 
do not keep stroke. The use of oars is so unusual among savages that 
it would be natural to suppose that these people had adopted the cus- 
tom from the whites. If this be the case, the custom reached them 
long ago, and through very indirect channels. 

When Thomas Simpson, in 1837, bought an umiak from some Point 
Barrow natives at Dease Inlet, he bought with it " four of their slender 
oars, which they used as tent poles, besides a couple of paddles ; fitted 
the oars with lashings, and arranged our strange vessel so well that the 
ladies were in raptures, declaring us to be genuine Esquimaux, and not 
poor white men." 1 The custom, 
moreover, appears to be wide- 
spread since Lyon speaks of see- 
ing in 1821, "two very clumsy 
oars with flat blades, pulled by 
women," in the umiaks at Hud- 
son Strait. 2 It was practiced at 
a still earlier date in Greenland. 3 

While at Point Barrow the oars have very narrow blades and the 
double paddles very broad ones, the reverse seemed to be the case in 
Greenland, where the double paddle, as already noticed, has blades not 
over 3 or 4 inches broad. Orantz describes the oars as " short and 
broad before, pretty much like a shovel, but only longer, and * * 
confined to their places on the gunnel with a strap of seal's leather." 
(Vol. 2, p. 149 and pi. vi ) Although both oars and sails are un- 
doubtedly quite ancient inventions (Frobisher in his description of Meta 
Incognita in Hakluyt's Voyages (1589) pp. 621 and 628, speaks of skin 
boats with sails of entrail), 4 I am strongly inclined to believe that they 
are both considerably more recent than the paddles, not only on general 
principles, but from the fact that the whaling umiaks at Point Barrow 
use only paddles. There is no practical reason against using either 
oars or sails, and in fact the latter would often be of great advantage 
in silently approaching a whale, as the American whalemen have long 

1 Narrative, p. 148. 

2 Journal, p. 30. Compare also Chappell, " Hudson Bay," p. 57. 
3 See Egede, Greenland, p. 111. 

4 These passages being, as far as I know, the earliest description of the umiak and kaiak are worth 
quotation: "Their boats are made all of Scale skins, with a keel of wood within the skinne; the 
proportion of them is like a Spanish shallop, sane only they be flat in the bottome, and sharp at both 
endes " (p. 621, 157C). Again: "They haue two sorts of boats made of leather, set out on the inner 
side with quarters of wood, artificially tyed with thongs of the same; the greater sort are not much 
unlike our wherries, wherein sixteene or twenty men may sitte; they have for a sayle, drest the 
guttes of such beasts as they kill, very fine and thinne, which they sewe together; the other boate is 
but for one man to sitte and rowe in, with one oare " (p. 628, 1577). 



ago discovered. It seems to me that this is merely auother case of ad- 
hering to an obsolete custom on semireligious grounds. The paddles 
are usually about 4 or 5 feet long, made of one piece of driftwood, with 
slender round shafts, and lanceolate blades about 6 inches broad, and 
a short rounded cross handle at the upper end. (Fig. 345 shows two 
of the paddles belonging to the model.) The steersman uses a longer 
paddle, and stands in the stern or sits up on the head of the sternpost. 

Fia. 345. — Model of umiak and paddles: (a) side view; (6) inside plan. 

Fig. 345a represents the model (No. 56563 [225] from Utkiavwm), 
which gives a very good idea of the shape of one of these boats. It is 
quite correct in all its parts, though the timbers are rather too heavy, 
and there are not so many ribs and floor timbers as in a full-sized canoe. 
The breadth of beam, 6*2 inches, is at least 1 inch too great in propor- 
tion to the length, 25 inches. The cover is one piece of seal skin which 
has been partially tanned by the " white-tanning" process, and put on 
wet. In drying it has turned almost exactly the color of a genuine 

FlG. 346. — Ivory bailer for umiak. 

boat cover. The frame, as is often the case with a full-sized boat, is 
painted all over with red ocher. (See Fig. 345ft, inside plan.) 

For bailing these boats a long narrow dipper of ivory or bone is used, 
of such a shape as to be especially well suited for working in between 
the floor timbers. Fig. 346 represents one of these (No. 5(5536 [40] from 
Utkiavwin). It is a piece of walrus tusk 16-3 inches long. The cavity 
is 14 inches deep and was excavated by drilling vertical holes and 
cutting away the substance between them. Some of the holes have not 
been completely worked out. A similar bailer (No. 89835 [1010] also 




from TJtkiavwiB ) is made of reindeer antler, a substance much more easily 
worked than the ivory, as the soft interior tissue exposed by cutting the 
upper side flat is readily carved out. As with the walrus tusk, the 
natural curve of the material gives the proper inclination to the handle. 
It is 18*3 inches long. 

When the umiak is fitted out for whaling a stout U-shaped crotch of 
ivory or bone, about 7 inches long and 5 wide, is lashed between the 
gunwales where they meet at the bow. In this the heavy harpoon 
rests when they are approaching a whale. It is only used when 
whaling. The Museum collection contains specimens of this sort from 
as far south as the Diomede Islands. 

We brought home five specimens of these ku'nn^, of which No. 50510 
[117] Fig. 347 has been selected as 
the type. This is made of two bilat- 
erally symmetrical pieces of white wal- 
rus ivory, each piece consisting of one 
arm of the crotch and half the shank. 
Its total length is 7*8 inches. The two 
pieces are held together by a stout 
wooden tree-nail, and above this a 
lashing of sinew-braid, lodged in two 
deep vertical channels one on each 
side of the shank just below the arms, 
and wedged above and below on both 
sides with slips of wood. A hole is 
drilled through each side of the butt 
close to the end, and through these a 
lashing is stretched across the reen- 
tering angle of the butt consisting of 
four turns of sinew braid with the end 
closely wrapped round the parts between the holes, and neatly tucked in. 

Just at the bend of each arm is a small round becket hole, running 
obliquely from the back to the outer side. In each of these is a neat 
becket, about § inches long, made of several turns of sinew braid, with 
the end neatly wrapped around them. These beckets serve to receive 
the lashings for attaching the crotch to the gunwales. All the orna- 
mental figures are incised and blackened. 

Three ot the remaining four specimens are of walrus-ivory, and of 
essentially the same pattern, differing only in ornamentation and other 
minor details. No. 5(3511 [116], from UtkiavwiS, is almost exactly like 
the type and of very nearly the same size. It is fastened together with 
a lashing only, but no treenail, and the beckets have been removed from 
the becket holes. The border is colored with red ocher, and there are 
two whales' tails instead of one on the shank. The other two have the 
tips of the arms carved into the shape of whales' heads. No. 89118 
[1224], Fig. 348, from Utkiavwiu, is otherwise of the same shape as 
those already described, but is lashed together with stout seal thong, 

Fig. H47. — Ivory croteli for harpoon. 



and has four beckets of the same material, two in the usual position 
and two at the widest part of the shank. These take the place of the 
loop running - across the butt. On the middle of the back of each arm 
is a small cross incised and blackened with a small blue glass bead in- 
laid in the center, and there are two whale's tails on the opposite face 
of the shank. It is 8 inches long. 

No. 89419 [926J, from Nuwfik, has a nearly straight shank with a 
flange on each side at the butt. It is lashed together with whalebone 
and has also a treenail, like the type. The upper beckets are of sinew- 
braid. A large becket at the butt is made by looping and knotting 
the ends of a bit of thong into a hole in each flange. There is one 
whale's tail engraved on the front of the shank. When lashed in posi- 

Pig. :U8.— Ivory crotch for 

Fig. 349.— Crotch for hapooil made 
(if walrus jaw. 

tion the front or ornamental side faces inboard, as is indicated by the 
shape of the shank, which is .slightly narrower behind than in front, 
so as to tit between the converging gunwales. No. 8917 [1101], Fig. 
349, from Nuwuk, the only one of the kind seen, is a very interesting 
form. It is made by cutting a horizontal slice out of the lower jaw of 
a walrus, so that it form the arms of the crotch, while the thick sym- 
physis is cut into a shank of the usual shape, with the two upper beckets 
in the usual place and a large one at the butt, passing through a trans- 
verse hole. These beckets are roughly made of thong. Its total length 
is 6-6 inches. 

This specimen from its soiled condition is undoubtedly quite ancient, 
and probably of an older type than the highly ornamented ivory crotches 


of the present day. The latter are evidently ouly copies of the jaw- 
bone crotch in a material susceptible of a higher finish than the coarse 
bone. The only reason for making them in two pieces is that it is im- 
possible to get a single piece of walrus ivory large enough for a whole 
one. It seems to me highly probable that the crotch was suggested by 
the natural shape of the walrus jaw, since these are frequently used for 
crotches to receive the cross pieces of the cache frames. Perhaps, for 
a while, the whole jaw was simply lashed to the bow of the boat. The 
next step would obviously be to cut out the shank and reduce the weight 
of the crotch by trimming off the superfluous material. The reason for 
making the crotch of ivory is perhaps purely esthetic ; but more likely 
connected with the notions already referred to which lead them to clean 
up their boats and gear and adorn themselves and paint their faces 
when they go to the whale fishery. 

Although, as I have already stated, there appears to be no essential 
difference in the general plan of the frame of the Greenland umiaks 
and those used at Point Barrow, there seems to be considerable differ- 
ence in the size and outward appearance. As well as can be judged 
from the brief descriptions and rude figures of various authors 1 and 
various models in the National Museum (the correctness of which, how- 
ever, I can not be sure of, without having seen the originals) the umiak 
not only in Greenland, but among the Eskimo generally as far west as 
the Mackenzie, is a much more wall sided square ended boat than at 
Point Barrow, having less sheer to the gunwales with the stem and 
stern-post nearly vertical. 2 Mr. L. M. Turner informs me that this is the 
case atUngava Bay. It was also a larger boat. Egede says that they " are 
large and open * * * some of them 20 yards loug;" :i Crantz gives their 
length as "commonly 6, nay 8 or 9 fathoms long;" 4 Kumlien says that 
it required "about fifteen skins of Phoca barbata" to cover an umiak 
at Cumberland Gulf, 5 and Mr. Turner informs me that eight are used 
at Ungava. Capt. Parry found no umiaks at Fury and Hecla straits 6 
and Kumlien says that they are becoming rare at Cumberland Gulf. The 
so-called Arctic Highlanders of Smith Sound have no boats of any kind. 
The model used at Point Barrow probably prevails as far south as 
Kotzebue Sound. The boats that boarded us off Wainwright Inlet in 
the autumn of 1883, and those of the JSTunatahmiun who visited Point 
BarroAv, seemed not to differ from those with which we were familiar, 
except that the hitter were rather light and low sided, nor do I remember 
anything peculiar about the boats which we saw at Plover Bay in 

1 Compare for instance Kane's figure 1st Grinnell Exp. p. 422, and Lyon, Journal, p. 30. 

2 See Beechey Voyage, p. 252. In describing the umiaks at Hotham Inlet he says : ' ' The model differs 
from that of the umiak of the Hudson Bay in beiug sharp at both ends." Smyth gives a good figure 
of the Hotham Inlet craft in the plate opposite p. 250. 

3 Greenland, p. 111. 

4 Vol.1, p. 148. 

6 Contributions, p. 4)i. Boas, however, says three to five skins. (Central B. kiino. p. 528.) 

6 2d Voy.,p. 507. 


There is very little accessible detailed intonation regarding the 
uMiaks used in the rest of Alaska. From Dall's figure 1 and a few 
models in the Museum, the Norton Sound umiak appears to have the 
gunwales united at both stem and stern. Those that we saw at St. 
Michael's iu 1S83, were so much modified by Russian ideas as to be 
wholly out of the line of comparison. The same is true of the Aleutian 
"baidara," if, indeed, the latter be an umiak at all. 


tinowshoes (tuglu.) — Snowshoes of a very efficient pattern and very 
well made are now universally employed at Point Barrow. Although 
the snow never lies very deep on the ground, and is apt to pile up iu 
hard drifts, it is sufficiently deep and soft in many places, especially on 
the grassy parts of the tundra, to make walking without snowshoes very 
inconvenient and fatiguing. I have even seen them used on the sea ice 
for crossing level spaces when a few inches of snow had fallen. Prac- 
tically, every man in the two villages, and many of the women and 
boys, have each their own pair of snowshoes, fitted to their size. Each 
shoe consists of a rim of light wood, bent into the shape of a pointed 
oval, about five times as long as the greatest breadth, and much bent 
up at the rounded end, which is the toe. The sides are braced apart 
by two stout cross-bars (toe and heel bar) a little farther apart than the 
length of the wearer's foot. The space between these two bars is net- 
ted iu large meshes (foot netting) with stout thong for the foot to rest 
upon, and the spaces at the ends are closely netted with fine deerskin 
"babiche" 2 (toe and heel netting). The straps for the foot are fastened 
to the foot netting in such a way that while the strap is firmly fastened 
round the ankle the snowshoe is slung to the toe. The wearer walks 
with long swinging strides, lifting the toe of the shoe at each step, 
while the tail or heel drags in the snow. The straps are so contrived 
that the foot can be slipped in and out of them without touching them 
with the fingers, a great advantage in cold weather. When deer hunt- 
ing, according to Lieut. Ray, they take a long piece of thong and knot 
each end of it to the toe of one snowshoe. The bight is then looped 
into the belt behind so that the snowshoes drag out of the way of the 
heels. When they wish to put on the shoes they draw them up, insert 
their feet in the straps, and fasten the slack of the lines into the belt 
in front with a slip knot. When ; however, they come to a piece of 
ground where snowshoes are not needed, they kick them off, slip the 
knots, and let them " drop astern."' 

We brought home three pairs of snowshoes, which represent very 
well the form in general use. No. 89912 [1736], Fig. 350, has been 
selected as the type. The rim is of willow, 51 inches long and 10i inches 

1 Alaska, p. 15. 

"Twisted sinew is sometimes used. A pair of snowshoes from Point Barrow, owned by the write^ 
are netted with this material. 




wide at the broadest part, and is made of two strips about 1 inch thick 
and J wide, joined at the toe by a long lap-splice, held together by 
four short horizontal or slightly oblique stitches of thong. Each strip 
is elliptical in section, with the long axis vertical, and keeled on the 
inner face, except between the bars. Each is 
tapered off considerably from the toe bar to the 



toe, and slightly tapered toward the heel. The 

two points are fastened together by a short hori- 
zontal stitch of whalebone. The tip is produced 

into a slight "tail," and the inner side of each 

shoe is slightly straighter than the outer — that 

is to say, they are "rights and lefts." 
The bars are elliptical in section, flattened, 

and have their ends mortised into the rim. They 

are about a foot apart, and of oak, the toe bar 

9-2 inches long and the heel bar 8-5. Both 

are of the same breadth and thickness, 1 by £ 

inch. There is also an extra bar for strength- 
ening the back part of the shoe 10 inches from 

the point. It is also of oak, 4vS inches long, 0-5 

wide, and 0-3 thick. The toe and heel nettings 

are put on first. Small equidistant vertical 

holes run round the inside of each space. Those 

in the rim are drilled through the keel already 

mentioned, and joined by a shallow groove 

above and below; those in the bars are about 
£ inch from the edge and joined by a groove on 
the under side of the toe bar only. Into these 
holes is laced a piece of babiche, which is knot- 
ted once into each hole, making a series of 
beckets about f inch wide round the inside of 
the space. There are no lacing holes in the 
parts spliced at the toe, but the lacing passes 
through a bight of each stitch. At the toe bar 
the lacing is carried straight across from rim to 
rim about three times, the last part being wound 
round the others. 

On the left shoe the end is brought back on 
the left-hand side, passed through the first hole 
in the bar from above, carried along in the 
groove on the underside to the next hole, up 
through this and round the lacing, and back 
through the same hole, the two parts being 
twisted together between the bar and lacing. This is continued, " stop- 
ping " the lacing in festoons to the bar, to the last hole on the right, 


Fig. 350.— Snrrashoe. 



where it is finished off by knotting the end round the last " stop.''' 
The stops are made, apparently, by a separate piece on the right shoe. 
The lacing on the heel bar is also double or triple, but the last part, 
which is wound round the others, is knotted into each hole as on the 
rim. The lacings on the rim of the heel space are knotted with a single 
knot round each end of the extra bar. 

In describing the nettings it will always be understood that the upper 
surface of the shoe is toward the workman, with the point upward, if 
describing the heel nettings, and vice versa for the toe. To begin with 
the heel netting, which is the simpler: This is in two parts, one 
from the heel bar to the extra bar (heel netting proper) and one from 
the latter to the point (point netting). The netting is invariably 
fastened to the lacing by passing the end through the becket from 
above and bringing it back over itself. In making the point netting 
the end of the babiche is knotted round the bar at the right-hand 
lower corner with a single knot. The other end goes up to the lacing 
at the point and comes down to the left-hand lower corner, where it is 

hitched round the bar, as in Fig. 351, 
| / then goes up to the lowest becket on 

the left side, crosses to the corre- 
sponding one on the right, and comes 
down and is hitched as before round 
the bar inside of the starting point. 

Fig. 351.— Knot in snowshoe. „, . , „ n , 

1 his makes a series ot strands round 
the outside of the space, two running obliquely from right to left, a 
long one on the right side and a short one on the left side; two similar 
strands from left to right, the long one on the left and the short one 
on the right, and one transverse strand at the base of the triangle 
(see diagram, Fig. 352«). The next round goes up to the first becket at 
the top on the left hand, crosses to the corresponding one on the 
right, and then makes the same strands as the first round, running 
parallel to them and about half an inch nearer the center of the space 
(see diagram, Fig. 3526). Each successive round follows the last, com- 
ing each time about £ inch nearer the center, till the space is all filled 
in, which brings the end of the last round to the middle of the bar, 
round which it is knotted with a single knot. This makes three sets 
of strands, two obliquely longitudinal, one set from right to left and 
one from left to right, and one transverse, all of each set parallel and 
equidistant, or nearly so, and each interwoven alternately over and 
under each successive strand it meets. 

The right shoe has fourteen longitudinal strands in each set and 
thirteen transverse ; the left, one less iu each set. On the left shoe the 
end is carried up from the last knot to the lacing at the point, and then 
comes back to the bar, fastening the other part to the netting with six 
equidistant half-hitches. The heel netting proper is put on in a slightly 




different fashion, as the space to be filled is no longer triangular. It 
starts as before in the right hand lower corner, where it is knotted into 
the becket, running across from the rini to the heel-bar; goes up to the 
middle of the extra bar, round which it is hitched as already described, 
then down to the left hand lower corner; up to the first becket on the 
left, rim, across to the corresponding one on the right, and down to the 
first becket on the heel bar. This completes the first round (see dia- 
gram, Fig. 353a). The second round goes up to the hind bar at the left 
of the first, comes down only to the transverse strand of the first round 
on the left, goes up to the becket on the rim above the first, crosses to 
the right, and comes back to the transverse turn of the first rounds. 
All these strands except the transverse one are on the left of the first 
round. The third round follows the first, which brings all its strands 
except the transverse one to the right of the first round (see diagram, 

Fig. 352. — Point netting ot'snowshoe heel: (a) first round; (h) first and second rounds. 

Fig. 353ft). The successive odd rounds follow the first and the even 
rounds the second, bringing the longitudinal strands alternately to the 
right and left of the first round, until the ends of the hind bar are 
reached — that is to say, till the space outside of the first round is filled — 
each transverse strand coming above the preceding. This is done reg- 
ularly on the left shoe, the tenth round coming to the left end of the 
bar, and the eleventh to the right. The twelfth round comes to the 
becket in the left hand upper corner, and crosses to the corresponding 
becket on the other side. It then follows the odd rounds, thus making- 
six strands, four longitudinal and two transverse, as in the point net- 
tings. All the remaining rounds follow this till the whole space is 
filled in, which brings the end of the last round to the middle of the 
heel bar, where it is knotted do the becket. 

On the right shoe the maker seems to have made a mistake at the 
eighth round, which obliged him to alter the order of the other strands 



and finisb with half a round. Instead of taking- the end of the eighth 
round down to the preceding transverse strand only, he has brought it 
down to the heel bar, which brings the ninth round to the left, following 
the even rounds, and coming to the end of the hind bar, the tenth to the 
right end of the bar, .so that it is the eleventh which makes the first 
transverse turn at the top. The pattern is the same as in the point 
nettings. The right shoe has 25, 24, and 19 strands in the three sets 
respectively, and the left, 25, 25, and 19. The toe nettings are put on 
in the same way, the first round going to the middle becket at the toe, 
and crossing to the first becket on the right hand, the second going to 
the first becket on the left hand and crossing on the right to the first 
round, and the third going to the first round at the toe and crossing 
on the right to the becket. 

Fig. 353.— Heel netting of snow shoe; (a) first round; (6) first, second, and third rounds. 

All the even rounds go to the becket at the toe and cross to the pre- 
ceding even round, and all the odd rounds go to the preceding odd 
round at the toe and cross to the becket, until the space outside of the 
first round is filled with longitudinal strands, when they begin to make 
descending transverse turns across the toe, going from the becket on 
the left to the corresponding one on the right and thus following the 
odd rounds. The fourteenth round on the right shoe begins this, the 
twelfth on the left. This brings the end of the last round to the middle 
of the toe bar. It is then carried up to the becket at the toe, brought 
down and up again, and the end is used to fasten these three parts to 
the netting with equidistant half hitches — fourteen on the right shoe 
and thirteen on the left. The pattern, of course, is the same as before, 
with 33, 33, and 20 strands on the right shoe, and 31, 31, and 25 on the 
left, in each set respectively. 

muedoch.] SNOWSHOES. 349 

The foot-netting is of a very different pattern, and consists of seven 
transverse and thirteen longitudinal strands, of which six, in the mid- 
dle, do not reach the toe bar, leaving an oblong transverse hole, 
through which the toe presses against the snow at the beginning of 
the step. The cross strands are a piece of stout thong (the skin of the 
walrus or bearded seal), to the end of which is spliced with double slits 
a long piece of thinner seal thong, which makes the longitudinal ones. 
The seven transverse strands pass in and out through holes in the rim, 
while the longitudinal strands pass over the bars, except the middle 
three pairs, which pass round the horizontal strand behind the toe 
hole, drawing it down to the next strand. The end of the thirteenth 
strand wattles these two firmly together, as it does also the two pairs 
of longitudinal strands on each side of the toe hole, and finishes off the 
netting by whipping the two sets of strands together witli a "bird- 
cage stitch." 

The object of the complicated wattling round the toe hole is, first, to 
strengthen the hind border against which the toe presses in walking, 
and second to give a firm attachment for the straps, which are fastened 
at the junction of the doubled and twisted longitudinal strands with 
the first and second transverse ones. Each strap is a single piece of 
stout seal thong fastened to the shoe with two loops as follows : At the 
inner side of the shoe the end is passed into the toe hole and makes a 
round turn about the doubled longitudinal strands, and then goes un- 
der the two cross strands, coming out behind them and between the 
twelfth and thirteenth longitudinal strands. It is then spliced into the 
standing part with two slits, making a becket about 3 inches in 
diameter. The other end, leaving a loop large enough to go round the 
wearer's heel, is passed through the becket just made, wound in the 
same way as before round the strands at the other corner of the toe 
hole, and made into a similar becket by knotting the end to the stand- 
ing part with a marlinghitch with the bight left in. On the right shoe 
this hitch is made in a slit in the standing part. The end is probably 
left long for the purpose of adjusting the length of the strap to the 
wearer's foot. 

In putting on the Shoe, the toe is thrust sideways through the loop 
till the bight comes well up over the heel, and then turned round and 
stuck under the two beckets, which together form a strap to fasten the 
toe down to the shoe, leaving the latter free to swing when the heel is 
raised. By reversing the process the shoe is easily kicked off. These 
straps must be fitted very nicely or else the shoe is apt to come off. 
This is a very neatly made pair of shoes, and the woodwork is all painted 
red above. 

No. 89913 [ 1737 ] is a pair of similar shoes also from Utkiavwiu. The 
frame is made in the same way and is wholly of willow except the extra 
hind bar, which is of walrus ivory. These shoes are shorter and some- 
what broader than the preceding and not so well made. They are 48-5 



inches long and 1 1 broad. The two shoes are not perceptibly different 
in shape. The lacing, which is of sinew braid, is put on in the same way 
as on the preceding pair, except that it is fastened directly into the 
holes on the toe bars. The whole of the heel netting is in one piece, and 
made precisely in the same way as the point nettings of the first pair, 
the end being carried up the middle to the point of theheel and brought 
down again to the bar as on the toe nettings, but fastened with marl- 
ing hitches. The number of strands is the same in each shoe, twenty- 
three in each set. The toe nettings follow quite regularly the pattern 
of the preceding pair. 

The shoes are not quite the same size, as the 
right has 35, 35, and 28 strands, and the left 33, 
33, and 25, in each set respectively. There is no 
regular rule about the number of strands in any 
part of the netting, the object being simply to 
make the meshes always about the same size. 
The foot netting is made of stout and very white 
thong from the bearded seal. These shoes have 
no strings. 

No. 89914 [1738] is a pair of rather small shoes 
from Utkiavwin, one of which is shown in Fig. 
354. They are rights and lefts, and are 42 inches 
long by 10 broad. The frame is wholly of oak, 
and differs from the type onlj r in having no extra 
hind bar, and having the heel and toe bars about 
equal in length. The points are fastened together 
with a treenail, as well as with a whalebone stitch. 
The heel-nettings are put on with perfect regu- 
larity, as on the pair last described, but the toe- 
nettings, though they start in the usual way, do 
not follow any regular rule of sucession, the 
rounds being put on sometimes inside and some- 
times outside of the preceding, till the whole 
space is filled. The foot-nettings are somewhat 
clumsily made, especially on the right shoe, which 
appears to have been broken in several places, 
and "cobbled" by an unskillful workman. There 
are only five transverse strands which are double 
on the left shoe, and the longitudinal strands 
are not whipped to these, but interwoven, and 
each pair twisted together between the trans- 
verse strands. There is no wattling back of the toe hole, and one pair 
of longitudinal strands at the side of the latter is not doubled on the 
left shoe. The strings are put on as on the type except that the 
ends are knotted instead of being spliced. This pair of shoes was 

Fig. 354. — Small suowshoo. 



used by the writer on many short excursions around the station 
duriug the winters of 1881-'82 and 1882-'83. They were old when pur- 

I had but one opportunity of seeing the process of making the frames 
of the snowshoes. Ilubw'ga, the "inland" native frequently mentioned, 
a particularly skillful workman, undertook to make a pair of snow- 
shoes for Lieut. Kay at our quarters, but did not succeed in finishing 
them, as the ash lumber which we brought from San Francisco proved 
too brittle for the purpose. Having a long piece of wood, he "got out" 
the whole rim in one piece. Ordinarily the splice at the toe must be 
made, at least temporarily, before the frame can be bent into shape. 
He softened up the wood by wrapping it in rags wet with hot water. 
Some of the other natives, however, recommended that the wood 
should be immersed in the salt water for a day or two, from which I 
infer that this is a common practice. After slowly bending the toe, 
with great care, nearly into shape, he inserted into the bend a flat block 
of wood of the proper shape for the toe and lashed the frame to this. 
A pointed block was also used to give the proper shape to the heel; 
the bars being inserted in the mortises before the ends were brought 
together. The temporary lashings are kept on till the wood dries into 
shape. The toes are turned up by tying the shoes together, sole to 
sole, and inserting a transverse stick between the tips of the toes. 

The use of finely finished snowshoes of this pattern is of compara- 
tively recent date at Point Barrow. Dr. Simpson 1 is explicit concern- 
ing the use of snowshoes in his time (1853-55). He says: " Snowshoes 
are so seldom used in the north where the drifted snow presents a hard 
frozen surface to walk upon, that certainly not half a dozen pairs were 
in existence at Point Barrow at the time of our arrival, and those were 
of an inferior sort." I have already mentioned the universal employ- 
ment of these snowshoes at the present day, so that the custom must 
have arisen in the last thirty years. The pattern of shoe now used is 
identical with those of the Tinne or Athabascan Indians (as is plainly 
shown by the National Museum collections), and I am inclined to be- 
lieve that the Point Barrow natives have learned to use them from the 
"Nunatanmiuu," from whom, indeed, they purchase ready-made snow- 
shoes at the present day, as we ourselves observed. The "Nunatan- 
miun," or the closely relnted people of the Knwuk Eiver, are known to 
have intimate trading relations with the Indians, and even in Simp- 
son's time 2 used the Indian shoe, sometimes at least. The fact that in 
recent times families of the "Nunatanmiun" have established the habit 
of spending the winter with the people of Point Barrow and associat- 
ing with them in the winter deer-hunt, would explain how the latter 
came to recognize the superior excellence of the Indian shoe. 

This is more likely than that they learned to use them from the east- 
ern natives, whom they only meet for a short time in summer, though 

1 Op- cit., i>. 243. 2 Op. cit., p. 244. 


the latter used the Indian style of snowshoes at least as early as 1826. 
Franklin x speaks of seeing, at Demarcation Point, a pair of snowshoes 
netted with cords of deerskin and shaped like those of tlie Indians of 
the Mackenzie. 

Most of the other Eskimo of Alaska, who need to use snowshoes at 
all, use a style of shoe very much less efficient and more roughly made, 
the rim being of heavy, rather crooked pieces of willow or alder. Simp- 
sou's description will apply very well to this form, which is used even 
as far north as Icy Cape, whence Mr. Nelson brought home a pair. It 
also appears to be the prevailing, if not the only, form on the Siberian 
coast and St. Lawrence Island, judging from Nordinskiold's figure 2 
and Mr. Nelson's collections. 

Simpson says: 3 "The most common one is two pieces of alder, about 
two feet and a half long, curved towards each other at the ends, where 
they are bound together, and kept apart in the middle by two cross- 
pieces, each end of which is held in a mortise. Between the crosspieces 
is stretched a stout thong, lengthwise and across, for the foot to rest 
upon, with another which first forms a loop to allow the toes to pass 
beneath ; this is carried round the back of the ankle to the opposite 
side of the foot, so as to sling the snowshoe under the joint of the great 

When there are toe and heel nettings, they are of seal thong with a 
large open mesh. The snowshoe from Norton Sound, figured by Dall, 4 
is a rather ueatly made variety of this form. South of the Yukon, the 
use of the snowshoe appears to be confined to the Indians. As shown 
by the Museum collections, the strings are always of the pattern de- 
scribed throughout the whole northwestern region. 5 

Snowshoes appear to be rarely used among the eastern Eskimo. 
The only writer who mentions them is Kumlien. 6 He says: "When 
traveling over the frozen wastes in winter, they [i. e., the natives of 
Cumberland Gulf] use snowshoes. These are half-moon shaped, of 
whalebone, with sealskin thongs tightly drawn across. They are 
about 16 inches long. Another pattern is merely a frame of wood, 
about the same length and 8 or 10 inches wide, with sealskin thongs for 
the foot to rest on." 

The latter is apparently quite like the western snowshoes described 
by Simpson. 

Staff. — The only staff used by the young and vigorous is the shaft 
of the spear, when one is carried. The aged and feeble, however, sup- 
port their steps with oue or two staffs about 5 feet long, often shod 
with bone or ivory. (The old man whom Franklin met on the Copper- 
mine River walked with the help of two sticks. 7 ) Fig. 355 from a photo- 
graph represents old Yuksina from Nuwiik, with his two staffs, without 
which he was hardly able to walk. 

'2d Expert.. ]>. 142. "Alaska, i>. 190. Fig. A. 'Contributions, p. 42. 

•'Vega, vol. 2, p. 102 a. 5 See, also, Dall. Alaska, p. '1st Exp., vol. 2, p. 180. 

3 Op. cit., p. 243. 190, and Figs. A and C. 





Sledges. — The only land conveyance employed at Point Barrow is 
the universal sledge of the Eskimo, of which there are two forms in 
general use, one, ka/moti, with a high rail on each side, and especially 
intended for carrying loads of the smaller articles, clothing, camp 
equipage, etc., and the other (unia) low and flat, without rail or "up- 
stander," for carrying bulky objects, like whole carcasses of deer, frozen 
seals, rough dried deerskins, etc., and especially used for carrying the 
umiak across the land or solid ice. Both 
kinds are made without nails, but are fast- 
ened together by mortises and lashings and 
stitches of thong and whalebone. I have, 
however, seen one unia, which was made in 
1883, fastened together with nails, a rather 
inferior substitute for the lashings, as they 
not only would not hold so firmly, but 
would also be liable to break in cold 

Both kinds of sledge are made of drift- 
wood and shod with strips of whale's jaw, 
about three-fourths of an inch thick, fas- 
tened on with bone treenails. These bone 
runners, which are about 2 inches wide, run 
sufficiently well over ice, hard snow, the 
frozen gravel of the beach or even on the 
bare tundra, but for carrying a heavy load over the softer snow of the 
interior they are shod with ice in a manner peculiar to this region. 

It is well known that not only the Eskimo generally, but other hyper- 
borean people coat the runners of their sleds with ice to make them run 
more smoothly, but this is usually only a comparatively thin crust, pro- 
duced by pouring water on the runners or applying a mixture of snow 
or mud and water. 1 Mr. Turner informs me that at Ungava they are 
particular to use fine black vegetable mold for this purpose. 

The method at Point Barrow is quite different from this. To each 

1 For example, Lyon says that at Fury and Hecla Straits the runners are coated with ice by mixing 
snow and fresh water (Journal, p. 235); (See also Parry, 2d Voyage, p. 515). At Cumberland Gulf 
"they pour warmed blood on the under surface of the bone shoeing; some use water, but this does 
not last nearly so long as the blood and is more apt to chip off." Kumlien, Contributions, p. 42; (See 
also Hall, Arctic Researches, p. 582). Around Repulse Bay they ice the runners by squirting over 
them water which has been warmed in the mouth, putting on successive layers till they get a smooth 
surface. This is renewed the first thing every morning. Gilder, Schwatka's Search, p. C6. A na- 
tive of the eastern shore of Labrador, according to Sir John Richardson (Searching Expedition, vol, 
2, p. 82), applied to the runners coat after coat of earth or clay tempered with hot water, and then 
washed the runners with water, polishing the ice with his naked hand. MacFarlane in his MS. 
notes speaks of covering the sled runners with "earth, water, and ice" in the Mackenzie region. 
Petitot (Monographie, etc., p. XVII) says the runners in the Mackenzie and Anderson district are shod 
with "un bourrelet de limon et do glace," which has to be often renewed. Nordenskiiild sa3 - s that 
at Pitlekaj "the runners, before the start, are carefully covered with a layer of ice from two to three 
millimeters in thickness by repeatedly pouring water over them," (Vega, vol. 2, p. 94). and accord- 
ing to Wrangell (Narrative, etc., p. 101, footnote) it is the common custom in northern Siberia to pour 
water over the runners every evening to produce a thin crust of ice. 
9 ETH 23 

FiG.355.-01d "Chief" with staffs. 



as the runner, and 

runner is fitted a heavy shoe of clear ice, as long 
fully 1 foot high by G inches thick. The sledge with these ice runners 
is estimated to -weigh, even when unloaded, upwards of 200 or 300 
pounds, but it appears that the smoothness of running more than 
counterbalances the extra weight. At any rate these shoes are almost 
universally employed on the sleds which make the long journey from 
the rivers in the spring with heavy loads of meat, fish, and skins. One 
native, in 1883, shod his sledges with salt-water ice in this way before 
starting for the hunting grounds. As these ice .shoes are usually put 
on at the rivers, I had no opportunity of seeing the process, though I 
have seen the sledges thus shod after their return to the village. 
Lieut. Ray, who saw the process, describes it as follows : 

' ' From the ice on a pond that is free from fracture they cut the pieces the length 
of a sled runner, 8 inches thick and 10 inches wide; iuto these they cut a groove 
deep euough to receive the sled runner up to the heam; the sled is carefully fitted 
into the groove, and secured hy pouring in water, a little at a time and allowing it 
to freeze. Great care is taken in this part of the operation, for should the workman 
apply more than a few drops at a time, the slab of ice would be split and the work 
all to do over again; after the ice is firmly secured the sled is turned bottom up and 
the ice-shoe is carefully rounded with a knife, and then smoothed by wetting the 
naked hand and passing it over the surface until it becomes perfectly glazed." ' 

Fig. 356. — Bailed sledge, diagrammatic (from photograph). 

In traveling they take great care of these runners, keeping them 
smooth and polished, and mending all cracks by pouring in fresh water. 
They are also careful to shade them from the noonday sun, which at 
this season of the year is warm enough to loosen the shoes, for this 
purpose hanging a cloth or skin over the sunny side of the sled. 2 

We were unfortunately not able to bring home specimens of either style 
of large sled. The rail sled (kamoti) is usually about 8 or 9 feet long, and 
2A to 3 feet wide, and the rail at the back not over 2£ feet high. The 
thick curved runners, about 5 or 6 inches wide (see diagram, Fig. 356, 

1 Rep. Point Barrow Exp., p. 27. 

2 Schwatka, in "Nimrod in the North," (p. 159) describes a practice among the " Netschillik," of 
King William's Land, which appears very much like this, though his description is somewhat obscure 
in details. It is as follows: "Wo found the runners shod with pure ice. Trenches the length of 
the sledge are dug in the ice, and into these the runners are lowered some two or three inches, yet 
not touching the bottom of the trench by fully the same distance. Water is then poured in and al- 
lowed to freeze, and when the sledge is lifted out it is shod with shoes of perfectly pure and trans- 
parent ice.'' Strangely enough, these curious ice shoes are not mentioned by Schwatka's companions, 
Gilder and Klutschak, nor by Schwatka himself in his paper on the " Netschillik " in Science, al- 
though Klutschak describes and figures a sledge made wholly of ice among the Netsillingmiiu. 
( " Als Eskimo, etc." p. 76). Also referred to by Boas (" Central Eskimo," p. 533). 




made from a small photograph) meet the curved slender rails (which 
are usually round) in front, but are separated from them behind by four 
stout vertical posts on each side, increasing in length toward the other 
end and mortised into the runners and rails. An equal number of stout 
wooden arches half the height of the posts are mortised into the run- 
ners, each arch a little in front of each pair of posts. A longitudinal 
strip runs along the middle of each side, and slats are laid across these, 
supported by the arches. The sledge is rather heavy and clumsy, but 
usually carefully made and often painted with red ocher. 

Fig. 357.— Flat sledge. 

Of the unia or flat sledge we have, fortunately a good photograph, 
Fig. 357. To the thick straight wooden runners are fastened directly 
seven cross slats, which project about 2 inches at each end beyond the 
runner, to which they are fastened by two stitches of whalebone each. 
A longitudinal strip runs along above the slats on each side. These 
sledges are generally made on the same pattern, varying somewhat in 

Fig. 358. — Small sledge with ivory runners. 

size. A common size is about 6 feet long, about 2£ feet wide, and 9 or 
10 inches high. Very small sledges of this pattern are sometimes made, 
especially for the purpose, as we were told, of carrying provisions, per- 
haps when one or two persons desire to make a rapid journey of some 
length, or for carrying a small share of meat from camp to camp. 

One of these (Fig. 358, No. 89889 [1140], from Utkiavwm), which shows 
signs of long use, was brought home. It is 20-7 inches long and 13 broad, 
and has ivory runners, with three wooden slats across them, held down 

■The word used was "kau-kau." Perhaps it, referred to a seal for food, as tho sledge appears very like 
one described by Hooper (Corwin Keport, p. 105) as used on the "Arctic Coast." " When sealing on 
solid ice a small sled is sometimes used, the runners of which are made of walrus tusks. It is per- 
haps 16 inches long by 14 inches wide and 3 inches high. It is used in dragging the carcass of the 
seal over the ice." 

We, however, never saw such sleds used for dragging seals. This one may have been imported from 
farther south. See also, Beechey, Voyage, etc., p. 251, where he speaks of seeing at Kotzebue Sound, a 
drawing on ivory of " a seal dragged home on a small sledge." 


by a low wooden rail on each side. Each runner is a slice from a single 
large walrus tusk, with the butt at the back of the sled. The slats, 
which are pieces of a ship's paneling, are lashed to the upper edge of 
the runners so as to project about one-half inch on each side. The rails 
Hare slightly outward. The whole is fastened together by lashings of 
rather broad whalebone, passing through a hole near the upper edge of 
the runner, a notch in the end of the slat and a hole in the slat inside of 
the rail. There are two lashings at each end of each broad slat and 
one in the middle, at each end of the narrow one. The last and the ones 
at each end of the sled also secure the rail by parsing through a hole 
near its edge, in which are cut square notches to make room for the 
other lashings. The trace is a strip of seal thong about 5 feet long and 
one-fourth inch wide, split at one end for about 1 foot into two parts. 
The other end is slit in two for about 3 inches. This is probably a 
broken loop, which served for fastening the trace to a dog's harness. 

I do not recollect ever seeing so small a sled in actual use, though Lieut. 
Eay says he has frequently seen them drawn by one dog. The people 
who came down from Nuwuk with a small load of things for trade 
sometimes used a small uuia about 3 feet long, with one dog, and the 
same was often used by the girls for bringing in firewood from the 

A very peculiar sled was formerly used at Point Barrow, but we have 
no means of knowing how common it was. It was a sort of toboggan, 
made by lashing together lengthwise slabs of whalebone, but is now 
wholly obsolete, since whalebone has too high a market value to per- 
mit of its being used for any such purpose. We obtained one speci- 
men about 10 feet long, but it was unfortunately in such a dilapidated 
condition that we were unable to bring it home. I find no previous 
mention of the use of such sleds by any Eskimo. It is not necessary 
to suppose that this sled is modeled after the toboggan of the Hudson 
Bay voyagers, of which these people might have obtained knowledge 
through the eastern natives, since the simple act of dragging home a 
"slab" of whalebone would naturally suggest this contrivance. 

We did bring home one small sled of this kind (iSTo. 89S75 [772], Fig. 
359, from TJtkiavwiu), which from its size was probably a child's toy, 
though from its greasy condition it seems to have been used for drag- 
ging pieces of blubber. It is made of the tips of small "slabs" of 
black whalebone, each about 2 inches wide at the broad end, and put 
together side by side so as to form a triangle 19J inches long and 9^ 
wide, the apex being the front of the sled, and the left-hand edge of each 
slab slightly overlapping the edge of the preceding. They are fastened 
together by three transverse bands, passing through loops in the upper 
surface of each slot, made by cutting two parallel longitudinal slits 
about one-half inch long and one-fourth inch apart part way through, 
and raising up the surface between them. The hindmost band is a 
strip of whalebone nearly one-half inch wide, passing through these 



loops, and wound closely in a spiral around a straight rod of whalebone, 
0*4 inch wide and 04 inch thick, as long as the band. The ends of the 
band are knotted into lings or beckets about 2^ inches in diameter. 
The other two bands are simple, narrow strips of whalebone, running 
straight across through the loops and knotted at the ends into similar 
beckets. These beckets were obviously for tying on the load. 

The sled with side rails does not appear to be used east of the Mac- 
kenzie region, but is found only slightly modified at least as far south 
as Norton Sound. 1 The sledge used on the Asiatic coast, however, as 
shown in Nordenskiold's figure, 2 belongs to a totally different family, 
being undoubtedly borrowed from the reindeer Ohukches. 3 The sleds 
of the eastern Eskimo vary somewhat in pattern and material, but 
may be described in general terms as essentially the same as the unia, 
but usually provided with what is called an " upstander, " namely, two 
upright posts at each side of the back of the sled, often connected by a 

Fig. 359.— Small toboggan of whalebone. 

cross rail, which serve to guide the sled from behind. Many descrip- 
tions and figures of these sleds will be found in the various descriptions 
of the eastern Eskimo. 

Dogs and harness. — These sledges are drawn by dogs, which, as far as I 
am able to judge, are of the same breed as those used by the eastern 
Eskimo. They are, as a rule, rather large and stout. A number of the 
dogs at Utkiavwiii would compare favorably in size with the average 
Newfoundland dogs, and they appear to be capable of well sustained 
exertion. The commonest color is the regular " brindle" of the wolf, 
though white, brindle-and-white, and black-and-white dogs are not un- 
common. There was, however, but one wholly black dog in the two 
villages. This was a very handsome animal known by the name of Alliia 

Every dog has his name and knows it. Their disposition is rather 
quarrelsome, especially among themselves, but they are not particu- 
larly ferocious, seldom doing more than howl and yelp at a stranger, 
and it is not difficult usually to make friends with them. There was 

1 See Dall's figure, Alaska, p. 105. 

2 Vega, vol. 1, p. 498. 

3 Compare also tbe various illustrations in Hooper's ''Tents of the Tuski." 


very little difficulty in petting the half dozen dogs which we had at 
the station, and they grew to be very much attached to the laborer 
who used to feed them. The natives treat their dogs well as a rule, 
seldom beating them wantonly or severely. Though they do not allow 
them to come into the houses, the dogs seem to have considerable at- 
tachment to their masters. Considerable care is bestowed on the pup- 
pies. Those born in winter are frequently reared in the iglu, and the 
women often carry a young puppy around in the jacket as they would a 

We saw no traces of the disease resembling hydrophobia, which has 
wrought such havoc in Greenland and Baffin Land. I once, however, 
saw a puppy apparently suffering from fits of some kind, running 
wildly round and round, yelping furiously, and occasionally rolling 
over and kicking. The natives said, " MulukiYlirua, asi'rua", ("He is 
howling [ ?] j 1 he is bad" ), and some of the boys finally took it out on the 
tundra and knocked it on the head. 

The dog harness, anun (G-r. anut), consists of a broad strip of stout 
rawhide (from the bearded seal or walrus), with three parallel loops at 
one end, frequently made by simply cutting long slits side by side in 
the thong and bending it into shape. The head is passed through 
the middle loop and a foreleg through each of the side-loops, bringing 
the main part of the thong over the back. This serves as a trace, and 
is furnished at the end with a toggle of bone or wood, by which it is 
fastened to beckets in a long line of thong, the end of which is usually 
made fast to the middle of the first slat of the sledge. The dogs are 
attached in a long line, alternately on opposite sides of this trace, just so 
far apart that one dog can not reach his leader when both are pulling. 

The most spirited dog is usually put at the head of the line as leader, 
and the natives sometimes select a bitch in heat for this position, as the 
dogs are sure to follow her. The same custom has been observed by 
Kumlien at Cumberland Gulf. 2 Ten dogs are considered a large team, 
and few of the natives can muster so many. When the sledge is 
heavily loaded men and women frequently help to drag it. The dogs 
are never driven, and except over a well known trail, like that between 
Utkiavwih and the whaling camp in 1S83, will not travel unless a 
woman trots along in front, encouraging them with cries of " Afi ! aii ! 
tu'lla! tiVlla! (Come! come on!), while the manor woman who runs be- 
hind the sled to guide it and keep it from capsizing, urges them on with 
cries of" Ku ! kit ! (Get on ! get on !), occasionally reproving an individual 
dog by name. After they are well started, they go on without much urg- 
ing if nothing distracts their attention. It is not easy to stop a dog 
team when the destination is reached. Commands and shouts of " Lie 
down ! " are seldom sufficient, and the people generally have to pull 

'I failed to get the translation of this word, but it seems to be connected with the Greenlandic 
malavok, lie howls (a dog — ). 
2 Contributions, p. 51. 

mdkdoch.] DOGS AND DRIVING. 359 

back on the sled and drag back on the harness till the team comes to 
a halt. 

The leader, who is usually a woman or child sometimes guides the 
team by a line attached to the trace, and Lieut. Ray says he has seen 
them, when traveling in the interior, tie a piece of blubber or meat on 
the end of a string and drag it on the snow just ahead of the leader. 
The natives seldom ride on the sledge except with a light load on a 
smooth road. A few old and decrepit people like Yu'ksiiia always trav- 
eled on sledges between the villages, and the people who came down 
with empty sledges for provisions from the whaling camp, always rode 
on the well beaten trail where the dogs would run without leading. 1 
The dog whip so universally employed by the eastern Eskimo, is not 
used at Point Barrow, but when Lieut. Eay made a whip for driving 
his team, the natives called it lpiran'ta, a name essentially identical 
with that used in the east. They especially distinguished ipirau'ta, a 
whip with a lash, from a cudgel, auau'ta. The latter word has also the 
same meaning in the eastern dialects. 

We saw nothing of the custom of protecting the dogs' feet with seal- 
skin shoes, so prevalent on the Siberian coast. 2 Curiously enough the 
only other localities in which the use of this contrivance is mentioned 
are in the extreme east. 3 During the first warm weather in the spring, 
before the dogs have shed their heavy winter coats, they suffer a great 
deal from the heat and can go only a short distance without lying down 
to rest. 

The method of harnessing and driving the dogs varies considerably 
m different localities. Among the eastern natives the dogs are usually 
harnessed abreast, each with a separate trace running to the sledge, 
and the driver generally rides, guiding the dogs with a whip. The 
leader usually has a longer trace than the rest. The harness used at 
Fury and Hecla Straits is precisely the same as that at Point Barrow, 
but in Greenland, according to Dr. Kane, it consists of a "simple breast- 
strap," with a single trace. The illustration, however, in Rink's Tales 
and Traditions, opposite p. 232, which was drawn by a native Green- 
lander, shows a pattern of harness similar to that used in Siberia and 
described by Nordenskiold 4 as u made of inch- wide straps of skin, form- 
ing a neck or shoulder band, united on both sides by a strap to a girth, 
to one side of which the draft strap is fastened." It is a curious fact 
that the two extremes of the Eskimo race (for even if the people of Pitle- 
kaj be Chukchi in blood, they are Eskimo in culture) should use the 
same pattern of harness, while a different form prevails between them. 
The Siberians also habitually ride upon the sledges, and use a whip, 
and on some parts of the coast, at least, harness the dogs abreast. In 

1 Compare Dall. Alaska, p. 25. 

2 See Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 195, and Nordenskiold, Vega, vol. 2, p. 96, where one of these shoes is fig- 

3 See Kumlien, Contributions, p. 42. 
*Vega, vol. 2, p. 95. 


the region about Pitlekaj, however, the dogs are harnessed "tandem" 
in pairs, as is the case at Norton Sound, where a more efficient har- 
ness is also used, which is probably not Eskimo, but learned from the 
whites. 1 Nordenskiold 2 expresses the opinion that the Eskimo method 
of harnessing the dogs abreast indicates that the Eskimos have lived 
longer than the north of the limit of trees; in other words, 
that the method of harnessing the dogs tandem is the older one, and 
that the Eskimo have learned to harness them abreast since they left 
the woodland regions. I can hardly agree with these conclusions, for 
it seems to me that the easiest and most natural method of attaching 
the dogs would be to fasten each directly to the sled by its own trace. 
Now, when many dogs are attached to the sled in this way, the outer 
dogs can not apply their strength in a direct line but must pull obliquely, 
and, moreover, as we know to be the case, so many long traces are 
constantly becoming entangled, and each individual dog has to be kept 
straight by the driver. If, however, the dogs be made fast to a long 
line, one behind the other, not only does each pull straight ahead, but 
if the leader be kept to the track he pulls the other dogs after him, re- 
lieving the driver of the greater part of the care of them. 

It seems to me therefore, that the tandem method is an improvement 
in dog harnessing, which has been adopted only by the natives of 
northeastern Siberia, and northwestern America, and has no connection 
with the wooded or unwooded state of the country. 3 


The only thing that we saw of the nature of numerical records were 
the series of animals engraved upon ivory, already alluded to. In most 
cases we were unable to learn whether the figures really represented 
an actual record or not, though the bag handle, No. 89421 [890] 
already figured, was said to contain the actual score of whales killed 
by old YiYksina. The custom does not appear to be so prevalent 
as at Norton Sound (see above, p. 117). Many of these possible scores 
being engraved on ivory implements have already been described. 
With one exception they only record the capture of whales or reindeer. 
The exception (No. 89425 [1732], Fig. 1536) presents a series of ten 
bearded seals. The reindeer are usually depicted in a natural attitude, 
and some of the circumstances of the hunt are usually represented. 
For instance, a man is figured aiming with a bow and arrow toward a 
a line of reindeer, indicating that such a number were taken by shoot- 
ing, while a string of deer, represented without legs as they would ap- 

'See Dall, Alaska, pp. 1G3 and 166. 

'Vega, vol. 2, p. 95, foot note. 

3 Eor descriptions of the sledges and methods of harnessing used by the eastern Eskimo, see Bessel's 
Naturalist, vol. 18, pt. 0, p. 868, figs. 4 and 5 (Smith Sound); Kane, 2d Grinnell Exp., vol. 1, p. 205 
(Smith Sound) and first Grinnell Exp., p. 443 (Greenland) ; Kuinlien, Contributions, p. 42, and lioas, 
"Central Eskimo, " pp. 520-538 (Cumberland Gulf ) ; Parry, 2d voyage, p. 514, and Lyon, Journal, p. 
235 (Iglulik); Gilder, Sehwatka's Search, pp. 50, 52, and 66, and Schwatka's "Nimrod in the North," 
pp. 152, 133 (NW. shore of Hudson Bay and King Williams Land). 






pear swimming, followed by a rude figure of a man in a kaiak, means 
that so many were lanced in the water. Other incidents of the excur- 
sion are also sometimes represented. On these records the whale is al- 
ways represented by a rude figure of the tail cut off at the " small," 
and often represented as hanging from a horizontal line. 

We also brought home four engraved pieces of ivory, which are 
nothing else than records of 
real or imaginary scenes. I 
have figured all of these. Fig. 
3G0 (No. 89487 [1026] from 
Nuwftk) is a narrow flat tablet 
of ivory, 4-8 inches long and 
1 inch wide, with a string at 
one end to hang it up by. On 
each face is an ornamental 
border inclosing a number of 
incised figures, which probably 
represent actual scenes, as the 
tablet is not new. 

The figures on the obverse 
face are colored with red ocher. 
At the upper end. standing on 
a cross line, with his head 
toward the end, is a rudely 
drawn man, holding his right 
hand up and his left down, with 
the fingers outspread. At his 
left stands a boy with both 
hands down. These figures 
probably represent the hunter 
and his son. Just below the 
cross line is a man raising a 
spear to strike an animal which is perhaps meant for a reindeer without 
horns. Three deer, also without horns, stand with their feet on one 
border with their heads toward the upper end, and on the other border 
near the other end are two bucks with large antlers heading the other 
way, and behind them a man in a kaiak. Between him and the animal 
which the first man is spearing is an object which may represent the 
crescent moon. The story may perhaps be freely translated as follows: 
" When the moon was young the man and his son killed six reindeer, 
two of them bucks with large antlers. One they speared on land, the 
rest they chased with the kaiak." 

On the reverse the figures and border are colored black with soot. 
In the left-hand lower corner is a she bear and her cub heading to the 
left, followed by a man who is about to shoot an arrow at them. Then 
come two more bears heading toward the right, and in the right-hand 

Fig. 360. — Hunting score engraved on ivory. 



lower corner is a whale with two floats attached to him by a harpoon 
line. Above this is an umiak with four men in it approaching - another 
whale which has already received one harpoon with its two floats. The 
harpoon which is to be thrust at him may be seen sticking out over the 
bow of the boat. Then come two whales in a line, one heading to the 
left and one to the right. In the left-hand tipper corner is a figure 
which may represent a boat, bottom up, on the staging of four posts. 
We did not learn the actual history of this tablet, which was brought 
down for sale with a number of other things. 

Fig. 3G1 (No. 89473 [1349] from Utkiavwifi) is a piece of an old snow- 
shovel edge with freshly incised figures on both faces, which the artist 

Fig. 361. — Hunting score engraved on ivory, obverse and reverse. 

said represented his own record. The figures are all colored with red 
ocher. On the obverse the figures all stand on a roughly drawn ground 
line. At the left is a man pointing his rifle at a bear, which stands on 
its hind legs facing him. Then comes a she bear walking toward the 
left followed by a cub, then two large bears also walking to the left, 
and a she bear in the same attitude, followed by two cubs, one behind 
the other. This was explained by the artist as follows: " These are 
all the bears I have killed. This one alone (pointing to the 'rampant' 

Fig. 362. — Hunting score engraved on ivory. 

one) was bad. All the others were good." We heard at the time of his 
giving the death shot to the last bear as it was charging his comrade, 
who had wounded it with his muzzle-loader. On the reverse, the 
figures are in the same position. The same man points his rifle at a 
string of three wolves. His explanation was: " These are the wolves 
1 have killed." 

Fig. 362 (No. 89474 [1334] from Utkiavwifi) is newly made, but was 
said to be the record of a man of our acquaintance named Mufiinolu. 
It is a fiat piece of the outside of a walrus tusk 9-7 inches long and 1*8 
wide at the broader end. The figures are incised on one face only, ami 



colored with red ocher. Thefaceis divided lengthwise into two panels 
by a horizontal line. In the upper panel, at the left, is a man facing to 
the right and pointing a gun at a line of three standing deer, facing 
toward the left. Two are bucks and one a doe. Then come two 
bucks, represented without legs, as if swimming in the water, followed 
by a rude figure of a man in a kaiak. Below the line at the left is an 
umiak with five men, and then a row of twelve conventionalized whales' 
tails, of which all but the first, second, and fifth are joined to the hor- 
izontal line by a short straight line. The record may be freely trans- 
lated as follows: " I went out with my gun and killed three large 
reindeer, two bucks and a doe. I also speared two large bucks in the 
water. My whaling crew have taken twelve whales." The number of 
whales is open to suspicion, as they just fill up the board. 

Fig. 363. — Hunting score engraved on ivory, obverse and reverse. 

Fig. 363 (No. 56517 [121] from Utkiavwm) is a piece of an old snow- 
shovel edge 4-2 inches long, with a loop of thong at the upper side to 
hang it up by. It is covered ou both faces with freshly incised figures, 
colored with red ocher, representing some real or imaginary occurrence. 

The obverse is bordered with a single narrow line. At the left is a 
man standing with arms outstretched supporting himself by two slen- 
der staffs as long as he is. In the middle are three rude figures of 
tents, very high and slender. At the right is a hornless reindeer head- 
ing to the left, with a man standing ou its back with his legs straddled 


apart and liis arms uplifted. On the reverse, there is no border, but 
a single dog and a man who supports himself with a long staff are drag- 
ging an empty rail sledge toward the left. 

I find no mention of the use of any such scores among the eastern 
Eskimo, but they are very common among th/>se of the west, as shown 
by the Museum collections. They record in this way, not only hunting 
exploits but all sorts of trivial occurrences. 


Gambling. — These people have only one game which appears to be of 
the nature of gambling. It is played with the twisters and ma