By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Ethnological results of the Point Barrow expedition - Ninth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1887-1888, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1892, pages 3-442
Author: Murdoch, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ethnological results of the Point Barrow expedition - Ninth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the - Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1887-1888, - Government Printing Office, Washington, 1892, pages 3-442" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at
http://gallica.bnf.fr and The Internet Archive (American

[This e-text includes characters that require UTF-8 (Unicode) file
encoding, including:

  ă ĕ ĭ ŭ (short vowels)
  ā ū (long vowels)
  ɐ ǝ (inverted a and e, see below)
  ĸ (kra)
  ρ (Greek rho)
  œ (“oe” ligature)

If any of these characters do not display properly--in particular,
if a diacritic does not appear directly above the letter--or if the
apostrophes and quotation marks in this paragraph appear as garbage,
make sure your text reader’s “character set” or “file encoding” is set
to Unicode (UTF-8). You may also need to change the default font. As a
last resort, use the Latin-1 version of the file instead.

Footnotes have been renumbered continuously. They are marked with
leading [N] to avoid confusion with other bracketed numerals. Many
illustrations were labeled for scale as “1/4”, “2/3” and similar.
These notations have been retained for completeness.

_Orthography_ is briefly described early in the article. Note in
particular the vowels ɐ and ǝ (inverted a and e); both are rare. The
inconsistent use of ĸ and ρ, especially in material quoted from other
sources, is not explained. The letter ĸ (kra) is equivalent to q in
modern (ICI) orthography; ρ (rho) may represent r or voiced/nasalized q.

Decimal points throughout the article were prined as · (mid-dot). They
have been changed to . (ordinary decimal or period). Oversized letters
or symbols (rare) are shown as #A#.

Typographical errors corrected by the transcriber are listed at the end
of the e-text. Some inconsistencies were noted but not changed; some of
these are also listed.

The Franz Boas article “The Central Eskimo” is available from Project


  of the



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

  [Illustration: Plate I


  Showing the region known to the Point Barrow Eskimo
  _Based on the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey map of Alaska, 1884,
  with additions from the U.S. C. & G. S. “General Chart of Alaska”
  1889, and from Eskimo account._

  _Eskimo names given in the form used at Point Barrow_

  _Names of “tribes” underlined thus_ _Kûñmûdliñ_

  Compiled by JOHN MURDOCH



  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
        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
        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
        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
      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 Nuwŭk                         34
       2. Mûmûñina, a woman of Nuwŭk                      35
       3. Akabiana, a youth of Utkiavwiñ                  36
       4. Puka, a young man of Utkiavwiñ                  37
       5. Woman stretching skins                          38
       6. Pipes: (_a_) pipe with metal bowl;
          (_b_) 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 Utkiavwiñ                              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 Utkiavwiñ                  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
      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                                   111
      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. Man’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
      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 hafted 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 jade                  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
     145. Spurious tool, flint blade                     173
     146. Whalebone shave, 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
     151. Bow drill                                      177
     152. Drill bow                                      177
     153. Drill bows                                     178
     154. Spliced drill bow                              178
     155. Drill mouthpiece with iron socket              179
     156. Drill mouthpiece without wings                 179
     157. Bone-pointed drill                             179
     158. Handles for drill cords                        180
     159. Flint-bladed reamers                           182
     160. Flint-bladed reamers                           182
     161. Awl                                            182
     162. Jade whetstones                                183
     163. Jade whetstones                                184
     164. Wooden tool-boxes                              185
     165. Large wooden tool-boxes                        186
     166. Tool-bag of wolverine skin                     187
     167. Tool-bag of wolverine skin                     188
     168. Drills belonging to the tool-bag               189
     169. Comb for deerskins in the tool-bag             189
     170. Bag handles                                    190
     171. Bag of leather                                 190
     172. Little hand-club                               191
     173. Slungshot made of walrus jaw                   191
     174. Dagger of bear’s bone                          192
     175. Bone daggers                                   192
     176. So-called dagger of bone                       193
     177. Boy’s bow from Utkiavwiñ                       196
     178. Loop at end of bowstring                       197
     179. Large bow from Nuwŭk                           197
     180. Large bow from Sidaru                          198
     181. Feathering of the Eskimo arrow                 201
     182. Flint-headed arrow (kukĭksadlĭñ)               202
     183. Long flint pile                                202
     184. Short flint pile                               202
     185. Heart-shaped flint pile                        203
     186. (_a_) Arrow with “after pile” (ipudligadlĭñ);
          (_b_) arrow with iron pile (savidlĭñ);
          (_c_) arrow with iron pile (savidlĭñ);
          (_d_) arrow with copper pile (savidlĭñ);
          (_e_) deer-arrow (nûtkodlĭñ)                   203
     187. Pile of deer arrow (nûtkăñ)                    205
     188. “Kûnmûdlĭñ” arrow pile                         205
     189. (_a_) Fowl arrow (tugalĭñ); (_b_) bird arrow
        (kixodwain)                                      206
     190. Bow case and quivers                           208
     191. Quiver rod                                     209
     192. Cap for quiver rod                             209
     193. Bracer                                         210
     194. Bracer of bone                                 210
     195. Bird dart                                      211
     196. Point for bird dart                            212
     197. Ancient point for bird dart                    212
     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
     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
     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 sealer                                    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. (_a_) 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;
          (_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; (_b_) 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 jaw          342
     350. Snowshoe                                       345
     351. Knot in snowshoe netting                       346
     352. (_a_) First round of heel-netting of snowshoe;
          (_b_) 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  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
     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. 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;
          (_b_) 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
     410. Ivory image of whale                           404
     411. Pair of little ivory whales                    405
     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
     418. (_a_) Piece of ivory, engraved with figures;
          (_b_) development of pattern                   408
     419. (_a_) Similar engraved ivory;
          (_b_) 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                  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

  [Illustration: Plate II
  The Hunting Grounds
  of the
  Point Barrow Eskimo
  Based on Lieut. P. H. Ray’s “Map of
  Explorations in Northwestern Alaska,”
  Signal Service, U.S.A. 1885
  Completed by
  John Murdoch]


By John Murdoch.


The International Polar Expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska, was
organized in 1881 by the Chief Signal Officer of the Army, for the
purpose 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 expedition, 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,[N1] 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 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.

    [Footnote N1: Report of the International Polar Expedition to
    Point Barrow, Alaska, by Lieut. P. H. Ray, Washington, 1885.]

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 notes of 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 I 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
alphabet given in Powell’s “Introduction to the Study of Indian
Languages” has been used, with the addition _ɐ_ for an obscure _a_
(like the final _a_ in _soda_), _ǝ_ for a similar obscure _e_, and _ö_
for the sound of the German _ö_ 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,
Director of the Bureau of Ethnology, for their kindness in enabling me
to carry on these investigations. Grateful acknowledgment is due for
valuable 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. Emil
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
important 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 not been referred to or included in this list, which also
contains only the editions referred to in the text.

ARMSTRONG, ALEXANDER. A personal narrative of the discovery of the
Northwest Passage; with numerous incidents of travel and adventure
during nearly five years’ continuous service in the Arctic regions
while in search of the expedition under Sir John Franklin. London,

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, 1827, and 1828. London,

BESSELS, EMIL. Die amerikanische Nordpol-Expedition. Leipzig, 1878.

---- The northernmost inhabitants of the earth. An ethnographic
sketch. < American Naturalist, vol. 18, pp. 861-882. 1884.

---- Einige Worte über die Inuit (Eskimo) des Smith-Sundes, nebst
Bemerkungen über Inuit-Schädel. < Archiv für Anthropologie, vol. 8,
pp. 107-122. Braunschweig, 1875.

BOAS, FRANZ. The Central Eskimo. In Sixth Annual Report of the Bureau
of Ethnology, pp. 399-669. Washington, Government Printing Office,

BRODBECK, J. Nach Osten. Untersuchungsfahrt nach der Ostküste
Grönlands, 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 America, and of the tribes inhabiting that
remote region. London, 1817.

CHORIS, L. Voyage Pittoresque autour du Monde, avec des portraits des
sauvages d’Amérique, d’Asie, d’Afrique, et des iles du Grand Océan;
des paysages, des vues maritimes, et plusieurs objets d’histoire
naturelle; accompagné de descriptions par M. le Baron Cuvier, et M. A.
de Chamisso, et d’observations sur les crânes 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. (Commonly called “Cook’s Third

“CORWIN.” Cruise of the revenue steamer Corwin in Alaska and the
N.W. Arctic Ocean in 1881. Notes and memoranda. Medical and
anthropological; botanical; 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 Lichtenfels, in that country. 2 volumes. London,

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. < Third
Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the
Smithsonian Institution, 1881. Washington, Government Printing Office,

---- Tribes of the extreme northwest. < Contributions to North
American Ethnology, vol. 1. Washington, Government Printing Office,

[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 principal navigations, voiages, etc.,” pp. 776-780.
London, 1589.

---- The second voyage attempted by Master John Davis with others for
the discoverie 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 Dauis, Gentleman, as
chiefe Captaine and Pilot generall, for the discoverie 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 principal navigations, voiages, etc.,” pp. 789-792.
London, 1589.

DEASE, PETER W., and SIMPSON, THOMAS. An account of the recent arctic
discoveries by Messrs. Dease and Simpson. < Journal of the Royal
Geographical 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 progress 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,

[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 navigations, 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. < Hakluyt, “The
principal navigations, voiages, 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. Schwatka’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 the
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, 1887.

HOLM, G. Konebaads-Expeditionen til Grønlands Østkyst 1883-’85.
< Geografisk Tidskrift, vol. 8, pp. 79-98. Copenhagen, 1886.

HOLM, G., and GARDE, V. Den danske Konebaads-Expeditionen til
Grønlands Østkyst, populært beskreven. Copenhagen, 1887.

HOOPER, C. L. (Capt.). Report of the cruise of the U.S. revenue
steamer Thomas Corwin, in the Arctic Ocean, 1881. Washington,
Government Printing Office, 1884.

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, ELISHA 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.
< Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
for the year 1864, pp. 416-420. Washington, 1865.

KLUTSCHAK, HEINRICH W. Als Eskimo unter den Eskimos. Eine Schilderung
der Erlebnisse der Schwatka’schen 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 Bevolkerungsverhältnisse der
Tschuktscher-Halbinsel. < Deutsche geographische Blätter, vol. 6,
pp. 248-278. Bremen, 1883.

---- and ARTHUR, Die Expedition der Bremer geographischen Gesellschaft
nach der Tschuktscher-Halbinsel. < Deutsche geographische Blätter,
vol. 5, pp. 1-35, 111-133. Bremen, 1882.

---- Die wissenschaftliche Expedition der Bremer geographischen
Gesellschaft nach dem Küstengebiete an der Beringsstrasse. < Deutsche
geographische Blätter, 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, performed 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. Hecla, 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. discovery 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 Parliament, 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 passage between Groenland and Island.
Written by Henry Morgan, seruant to M. William Sanderson, of London.
< Hakluyt, “The principall navigations, voiages, etc.,” pp. 787-9.
London, 1589.

MURDOCH, JOHN. The retrieving harpoon; an undescribed type of Eskimo
weapon. < American Naturalist, vol. 19, 1885, pp. 423-425.

MURDOCH, JOHN. On the Siberian origin of some customs of the western
Eskimos. < American Anthropologist, vol. 1, pp. 325-336. Washington,

---- A study of the Eskimo bows in the U.S. National Museum.
< Smithsonian Report for 1884, pt. II, pp. 307-316. Washington,
Government Printing Office, 1885.

NORDENSKIÖLD, 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. Investigator, Capt. R. M’Clure, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854.
Edited by Commander 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 northwest passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific; performed in the
years 1819-’20, in His Majesty’s ships Hecla and Griper. Second
edition. London, 1821.

---- 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.

l’Athabascaw-Mackenzie. < Bulletin de la Société de Géographie, [6]
vol. 10, pp. 5-12, 126-183, 242-290. Paris, 1875.

---- Vocabulaire Français-Esquimaux, dialecte des Tchiglit des bouches
du Mackenzie et de l’Anderson, précédé d’une monographie de cette
tribu et de notes grammaticales. Vol. 3 of Pinart’s “Bibliothèque de
Linguistique et d’Ethnographie Américaines.”

PETROFF, IVAN. Report on the population, industries, and resources of
Alaska. < Tenth Census of the U.S. Washington, Government Printing
Office, 1884.

POWELL, JOSEPH S. (Lieut.). Report of Lieut. Joseph S. Powell: Relief
expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska. < Signal Service Notes, No. V, pp.
13-23. Washington, 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
September 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 Land and the Arctic Sea, in search of the
discovery ships under command of Sir John Franklin. 2 volumes. London,

---- 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 dänische Expedition nach der Ostküste
Grönlands, 1883-1885. < Deutsche geographische Blätter, vol. 8, pp.
341-353. Bremen, 1885.

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

---- The Eskimo tribes. Their distribution and characteristics,
especially in regard to language. Meddelelser om Grønland, vol. 11.
Copenhagen, 1887.

---- Die Östgrönlander in ihrem Verhältnisse zu den übrigen
Eskimostämmen. < Deutsche geographische Blätter, vol. 9, pp. 228-239.
Bremen, 1886.

---- Østgrønlænderne i deres Forhold til Vestgrønlænderne og de øvrige
Eskimostammer. < Geografisk Tidskrift, vol. 8, pp. 139-145.
Copenhagen, 1886. (Nearly the same as the above.)

---- Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo, with a sketch of their
habits, language, and other peculiarities. Translated from the Danish.
Edinburgh, 1875.

ROSS, JOHN. Appendix to the narrative of a second 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 residence in the arctic regions during the years 1829, 1830,
1831, 1832, 1833. Philadelphia, 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 Greenland, made in the summer of 1822, in the ship Baffin, of
Liverpool. Edinburgh, 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 inhabit; 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., Parl. 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
Society 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 collection
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 Nuwŭk and Utkiavwĭñ. Small contributions to the collection
were obtained from natives of Wainwright Inlet and from people of the
Inland River (Nunatañmiun) who visited the northern villages.

Nuwŭk, “the Point,” is situated on a slightly elevated knoll at the
extremity of Point Barrow, in lat. 71° 23´ N., long. 156° 17´ W., and
Utkiavwĭñ, “the Cliffs,” at the beginning of the high land at Cape
Smyth, 11 miles southwest from Nuwŭk. The name Utkiavwĭñ was explained
as meaning “the high place, whence one can look out,” and was said to
be equivalent to ĭkpĭk, 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[N2] as “Ot-ki-a-wing,” a form of the word very
near the Eskimo pronunciation. On Dr. Simpson’s map[N3] it is changed
to “Ot-ke-a-vik,” which on the admiralty chart is misprinted
“Otkiovik.” Petroff on his map[N4] 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.

    [Footnote N2: Parl. Reports, 1854, vol. 42, p. 186.]

    [Footnote N3: Further Papers, &c., Parl. Rep. (1855).]

    [Footnote N4: Report on the population, etc., of Alaska.]

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

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[N5]--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 Refuge 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 some times as far as the Mackenzie River. The
extent of their wanderings 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.

    [Footnote N5: 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
    Herschel Island.]

The coast from Refuge Inlet runs nearly straight in a generally
northeast direction to Point Barrow, and consists of steep banks of
clay, gravel, and pebbles, in appearance closely resembling glacial
drift, bordered 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 Isûtkwɐ,
which is made by the confluence 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
elevation, 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 Imérnyɐ, 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 Nuwŭk is situated. At
various points 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

Between Imernyɐ and Elson Bay (Tă´syûk) is a series of large shallow
lagoons, nearly circular and close to the beach, which rises in a
regular sea-wall. All have low steep banks on the land side, bordered
with a narrow beach. The first of these, I´kpĭlĭñ (“that which has
high banks”), breaks out in the 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 I´kpĭlĭñ by a small stream running
along behind the beach. It is called Sĭ´n-nyû, and receives a rivulet
from a small fresh-water lake 3 or 4 miles inland. The third, Imê´kpûñ
(“great water”), is also fresh, and has neither tributary nor outlet.
The fourth, Imêkpû´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
Kĭkyûktă´ktoro, from one or two little islands (kĭkyû´ktɐ) 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 connected
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
distance of about 50 miles from the north shore, where the surface
becomes undulating and hilly, and, farther south, mountainous.”[N6]
This description has been substantially verified by Lieut. Ray’s
explorations. South of the usual deer-hunting ground of the natives he
found the land decidedly 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.[N7]

    [Footnote N6: Arctic papers, p. 233.]

    [Footnote N7: Report U.S. International Polar Expedition to Point
    Barrow, p. 28.]

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 appearance
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 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, and 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 surface 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 immediate neighborhood
of Point Barrow. On the other hand, three of the rivers emptying into
the Arctic Ocean between Point Barrow and the Colville, which Dr.
Simpson speaks of as “small and hardly known except to persons who
have visited them,”[N8] have been found to be considerable streams.
Two of these were visited by Lieut. Ray in his exploring trips in 1882
and 1883. The first, Kua´ru, is reached after traveling 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 second named
river. Lieut. Ray 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 observations for its
geographical position. Early in April, 1883, he again visited the
upper portion of the stream, and traced it back some distance into the
hilly country. The intermediate portion has never been surveyed. 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 in the spring. It receives several tributaries.
(See maps, Pls. I and II.)

    [Footnote N8: Op. cit., p. 235.]

The third river is known only by hearsay from the natives. It is
called Ĭ´kpĭkpûñ (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 Tă´syûkpûñ
(Great Lake.) This lake is separated from the sea by a comparatively
narrow strip of land, and is so large that a man standing on the
northern 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 Nunatañmiun coming from the south first saw
the lake they said “Taxaio!” (the sea).

On Capt. Maguire’s map[N9] 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 Ikpikpûñ. This lake is not
mentioned in the body of the report. Dr. Simpson, however,[N10] 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 Harrison Bay.” They are well acquainted with the Colville River,
which in their intercourse with us they usually called “the river at
Nĭ´galĕk,” Nĭ´galĕk being the well known name of the trading camp at
the mouth. It was also sometimes spoken of as the “river of the
Nunatañmiun.” The Mackenzie River is known as “Kupûñ” (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 “Cogrua,” which is laid down on the charts
as emptying 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[N11]--before he found it shallow
enough to ford.

    [Footnote N9: Parl. Rop., 1854, vol. 42, opp. p. 186.]

    [Footnote N10: Op. cit., p. 265.]

    [Footnote N11: Corwin Report, p. 72.]


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. There is, of course, an equal time in
the summer 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
fine and dry that it is easily moved by the wind and is constantly in
motion, forming deep, heavy, hard drifts under all the banks, while
many exposed 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
uncommon later than that date. There is a good deal of clear, calm
weather during the winter, and extremely low temperatures are seldom
accompanied by high wind. Violent storms are not uncommon, however,
especially in November, during the latter part of January, and in
February. 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

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, sometimes moving northeastward with the
prevailing current and grinding along the edge of the barrier,
sometimes moving off to sea before an offshore wind, leaving “leads”
of open water, which in calm weather are immediately covered with new
ice (at the rate of 6 inches in 24 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
quantities of ice, which, pressing against the land-floe, are pushed
up into hummocks and ground firmly in deeper water, thus increasing
the breadth of the fixed land-floe until the line of separation
between the land-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-floe. 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 July, 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 remaining 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

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[N12] 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.

    [Footnote N12: Op. cit., p. 264.]



In stature these people are of a medium height, robust and muscular,
“inclining rather to spareness than corpulence,”[N13] 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
9½ inches, and the shortest 4 feet 11 inches. The tallest woman was 5
feet 3 inches in height, and the shortest 4 feet ½ 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.[N14] 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.[N15] 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 themselves. 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.[N16]

    [Footnote N13: Simpson, op. cit., p. 238.]

    [Footnote N14: See Report of Point Barrow Expedition, p. 50, for a
    table of measurements of a number of individuals selected at
    random from the natives of both villages and their visitors.]

    [Footnote N15: Op. cit., p. 238.]

    [Footnote N16: Davis (1586) speaks of the “small, slender hands
    and feet” of the Greenlanders. Hakluyt’s Voyages, etc. (1589),
    p. 782.

    “Their hands and feet are little and soft.” Crantz, vol. 1, p. 133

    Hands and feet “extremely diminutive,” Parry 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

    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”!]

  [Illustration: FIG. 1. Unalina, a man of Nuwŭk.]

The features of these people have been described by Dr. Simpson,[N17]
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
regions by various explorers, some of which might easily pass for
portraits of persons of our acquaintance at Point Barrow.[N18]

    [Footnote N17: Op. cit., p. 238.]

    [Footnote N18: One young man at Point Barrow looks remarkably like
    the well known “Eskimo Joe,” as I remember him in Boston in the
    winter of 1862-’63.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 2.--Mûmûñina, a woman of Nuwŭk.]

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
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
Eskimo were able to wear our spring eye-glasses), and broad,
especially across the alæ nasæ, with a peculiar rounded, somewhat
bulbous tip, and large nostrils. The eyes are horizontal,[N19] with
rather full lids, and are but slightly sunken below the level of the

  [Illustration: FIG. 3.--Akabiana, a youth of Utkiavwiñ.]

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 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.[N20] In most
cases the complexion appears 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.

    [Footnote N19: 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 be mistaken, however, as no
    careful comparisons were made on the spot.]

    [Footnote N20: Frobisher says of the people of Baffin Land: “Their
    colour is not much unlike the sunburnt countrie man.” Hakluyt’s
    Voyages, etc. (1589), p. 627.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 4.--Puka, a young man of Utkiavwiñ.]

The old are much wrinkled, and they frequently suffer from watery
eyes, with large sacks under them, which begin to form at a
comparatively early age. There is considerable variation in features,
as well as complexion, among them, even in cases where there seems to
be no suspicion of mixed blood. There were several men among them with
decided aquiline noses and something of a Hebrew cast of countenance.
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,
perfectly 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
eyebrows 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,[N21] however, speaks of the “luxuriant
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.

    [Footnote N21: Journey, etc., p. 289.]

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 elastic
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.”[N22] 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.[N23]

    [Footnote N22: Op. cit., p. 238.]

    [Footnote N23: Cf. Simpson, op. cit., p. 240.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 5.--Woman stretching skins.]

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.)
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 comparisons
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
children. One woman was known to have at least four, but
investigations of this sort were rendered extremely difficult by the
universal custom of adoption. Dr. Simpson heard of a “rare case” where
one woman had borne seven children.[N24] 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,[N25] 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. Yûksĭ´ña, the so-called “chief”
of Nuwŭk, 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, but
with his mental faculties apparently unimpaired. Gray hair appears
uncommon. Even the oldest are, as a rule, but slightly gray.

    [Footnote N24: Op. cit., p. 254.]

    [Footnote N25: Op. cit. p. 254.]


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
carelessness 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 probably
aggravated by the universal habit of inhaling tobacco smoke. The
people suffer from diarrhea, indigestion, and especially from

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.
Rheumatism is rather frequent. All are subject to snow blindness in
the spring, and 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 consequent upon this helpless
condition most probably cuts off its afflicted objects.”[N26]

    [Footnote N26: Journ. Ethnol. Soc., vol. 4, p. 206.]

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.[N27]

    [Footnote N27: Compare what Davis wrote in 1586 of the
    Greenlanders: “These people are much given to bleed, and,
    therefore, stoppe theyr noses with deere hayre or the hayre of an
    elan.” Hakluyt, Voyages, etc., 1589, p. 782.]

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
fullness of the circulatory system caused by their exclusively animal

    [Footnote N28: 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,

Natural deformities and abnormalities of structure are uncommon,
except strabismus, which is common and often, at least, congenital.
One boy in Utkiavwĭñ 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.[N29]

    [Footnote N29: I have an indistinct recollection of having once
    seen a left-handed person from Nuwŭk.]


As a rule they are quick-witted and intelligent, and show a great
capacity for appreciating and learning useful things, especially
mechanical arts. In disposition they are light-hearted and cheerful,
not easily cast down by sorrow or misfortune, and though sometimes
quick-tempered, their anger seldom lasts long.[N30] They have a very
keen sense of humor, and are fond of practical jokes, which they take
in good part, 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
Nuwŭk. Disagreements between man and wife, however, sometimes lead to
blows, in which the man does not always get the best of it.

    [Footnote N30: Holm calls the East Greenlanders “et meget livligt
    Folkefærd” Geogr. Tidskrift, vol. 8, p. 96.]

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 Utkiavwĭñ tried to lay the blame
on the Nuwŭk people, and we may suppose that the charge was
reciprocated, as was the case regarding the theft of the _Plover’s_
sails.[N31] 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

    [Footnote N31: Simpson, op. cit., p. 248.]

Robbery with violence appears to be unknown. We never saw or heard of
the “burglar-alarm” described by Dr. Simpson,[N32] which I am inclined
to believe was really a “demon trap” like that described by Lieut. Ray
(see below, under Religion).

    [Footnote N32: Op. cit., p. 247.]

They are in the main truthful, though a detected lie is hardly
considered 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.[N33]

    [Footnote N33: Compare Nordenskiöld’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 fishskins sewed together to represent
    fish. (Voyage, p. 285.)]

Their affection for each other, especially for their children, is
strong, 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 permanent than superficial appearances would indicate.

Their curiosity is unbounded, and they have no hesitation in
gratifying 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 endeavored 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 superiors,
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
politeness which is quite surprising. I have known a young Eskimo so
polite that in conversing with Lieut. Ray 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.[N34]

    [Footnote N34: Compare Vega, vol. 1, p. 489. The Chukches 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_.”]


We were unable to discover among these people the slightest trace of
tribal organization or of division into gentes, and in this our
observations agree with those of all who have studied the Eskimos
elsewhere. They call themselves as a race “In´uĭn,” a term
corresponding to the “Inuit” 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 probably 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, Nuwŭ´ñmiun, “the inhabitants of the point;”
Utkiavwĭñmiun, “the inhabitants of Utkiávwĭñ;” Kuñmiun (in Greenlandic
“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 “Kûñmû´dlĭñ,” 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 Nuwŭk 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
backward 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 intimately acquainted with everybody at Utkiavwĭñ, that we could
form anything like a correct estimate of the population of this
village.[N35] This we found to be about 140 souls. As well as we could
judge, there were about 150 or 160 at Nuwŭk. These figures show a
great decrease in numbers since the end of 1853, when Dr. Simpson[N36]
reckoned the population of Nuwŭk at 309. During the 2 years from
September, 1881, to August, 1883, there were fifteen deaths that we
heard of in the village of Utkiavwĭñ 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 escape speedy extinction, unless by accessions
from without, which in their isolated situation they are not likely to

    [Footnote N35: See “Approximate Census, etc.,” Report of Point
    Barrow Exp., p. 49.]

    [Footnote N36: Op. cit., p. 237.]

    [Footnote N37: 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” (Utkiavwĭñ) as 225.
    Refuge Inlet (where there is merely a summer camp of
    Utkiavwĭñmiun), 40, and “Kokmullit,” 200. The supposed settlement
    of 50 inhabitants at the Colville River is also a mere summer
    camp, not existing in the winter.]



_Other Eskimo._--The nearest neighbors of these people, as has been
stated above, are the Eskimo living at Demarcation Point (or Herschel
Island), eastward, and those who inhabit the small villages between
Point Belcher and Wainwright Inlet. These villages are three in
number. 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´tûnĕ. The people of these villages are so closely connected that
they are sometimes spoken of collectively as Sida´ruñmiun. At a
distance up the river, which flows into Wainwright Inlet, live the
Ku´ñmiun, “the people who live on the river.” These appear to be
closely related to the people of the first village below Wainwright
Inlet, which is named Kĭlauwitawĭñ. At any rate, a party of them who
came to Cape Smyth in the spring of 1883 were spoken of indifferently
as Kuñmiun or Kĭlauwitawĭ´ñmiun.

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 Kĭlauwitawĭñ,
mentioned above, sometimes 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 distinctly.

The people at Point Hope are known as Tĭkera´ñmiun “inhabitants of the
forefinger (Point Hope)”, and their settlement is occasionally visited
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.[N38] We found some people acquainted by name with the Kuwû´ñmiun
and Silawĭ´ñmiun of the Kuwûk (Kowak or “Putnam”) and Silawik Rivers
emptying into Hotham Inlet, and one man was familiar with the name of
Sisualĭñ, the great trading camp at Kotzebue Sound. We were unable to
find that they had any knowledge of Asia (“Kokhlitnuna,”) 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.[N39]

    [Footnote N38: Maguire, NW. Passage, p. 384.]

    [Footnote N39: 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.]

With the people of the Nu´natăk (Inland) River, the Nunatañmiun, they
are well acquainted, as they meet them every summer for purposes of
trading, and a family or two of Nunatañmiun sometimes spend the winter
at the northern villages. One family wintered at Nuwŭk in 1881-’82,
and another at Utkiavĭñ the following winter, while a widower of this
“tribe” was also settled there for the same winter, having married a
widow in the village. We obtained very little definite information
about these people except that they came from the south and descended
the Colville River. 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 Nunatăk and that some of
them visit Kotzebue Sound in the summer, while trading parties make a
portage between the Nunatăk and Colville, descending the latter river
to the Arctic Ocean.[N40] 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
received articles of Siberian tame reindeer skin from the east, which
must have come across the country from Kotzebue Sound.

    [Footnote N40: Op. cit., pp. 234 and 236.]

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 Kûñmû´dlĭñ (“Kangmali enyuin” of Dr. Simpson and other
authors) and still further off “a great distance” to the Kupûñ or
“Great River”--the Mackenzie--near the mouth of which is the village
of the Kupûñmiun, whence it is but a short distance inland to the
“great house” (iglu´kpûk) 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
Kĭtiga´ru[N41] or of the stone-lamp country mentioned by Dr.
Simpson.[N42] The Kûñmûdlĭñ are probably, as Dr. Simpson believes, the
people whose winter houses were seen by Franklin at Demarcation
Point,[N43] near which, at Icy Reef, Hooper also saw a few

    [Footnote N41: This was the name of a girl at Nuwŭk.]

    [Footnote N42: Op. cit., p. 269.]

    [Footnote N43: Second Exp., p. 142.]

    [Footnote N44: Tents of the Tuski, p. 255.]

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.[N45] The
Point Barrow people have but slight acquaintance with them, as they
see them only a short time each summer. Captain Smith, however,
informs 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 Utkiavwĭñ who was called “the
Kûñmû´dlĭñ.” He came there when a child, probably, by adoption, and
was in no way distinguishable from the other people.

    [Footnote N45: All the published information there is about them
    from personal observation can be found in Franklin, Second Exp.,
    p. 142; T. Simpson, Narrative, pp. 118-123; and Hooper, Tents,
    etc., pp. 255-257 and 260.]

Father Petitot appears to include these people in the “Taρèoρmeut”
division of his “Tchiglit” Eskimo, whom he loosely describes as
inhabiting the coast from Herschel Island to Liverpool Bay, including
the delta of the Mackenzie,[N46] without locating their permanent
villages. In another place, however, he excludes the “Taρèoρmeut” from
the “Tchiglit,” saying, “Dans l’ouest, les _Tchiglit_ communiquaient
avec leurs plus proches voisins les Taρèoρ-meut,”[N47] while in a
third place[N48] he gives the country of the “Tchiglit” as extending
from the Coppermine River to the Colville, and on his map in the same
volume, the “Tareormeut” 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.

    [Footnote N46: Monographie, p. xi.]

    [Footnote N47: Ibid, p. xvi.]

    [Footnote N48: Bull. de la Société de Géographie, 6^e sér., vol.
    10, p. 256.]

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 “Taρèoρmeut” (= Taxaiomiun in the Point Barrow dialect),
“those who live by the sea.” That they do not call themselves
“Kûñmû´dlĭñ” or “Kanmali-enyuin” or “Kangmaligmeut” is to my mind
quite certain. The word “Kûñmû´dlĭñ,” as already stated, is used at
Norton Sound to designate the people of Point Barrow (I was called a
“Kûñmû´dlĭñ” by some Eskimo at St. Michaels because I spoke the Point
Barrow dialect), who do not recognize the name as belonging to
themselves, but have transferred it to the people under consideration.
Now, “Kûñmû´dlĭñ” is a word formed after the analogy of many Eskimo
words from a noun kûñme and the affix lĭñ or dlĭñ (in Greenlandic
lik), “one who has a ----.” The radical noun, the meaning of which I
can not ascertain, would become in the Mackenzie dialect kρagmaρk
(using Petitot’s orthography), which with -lik in the plural would
make kρagmalit. (According to Petitot’s “Grammaire” the plural of -lik
in the Mackenzie dialect is -lit, and not -gdlit, as in Greenlandic).
This is the name given by Petitot on his map to the people of the
Anderson River,[N49] while he calls the Anderson River itself
Kρagmalik.[N50] 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 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 explicitly states that he brought the last party to
Fort Good Hope “autant pour les instruire à loisir que pour apprendre
d’eux leur idiome.”[N51] Nothing seems to me more probable than that
he learned from these Mackenzie people the names of their neighbors of
the Anderson, which he had failed to obtain in his flying visits 5
years before, and that it is the same name, “Kûñmû´dlĭñ,” 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 Karmaĸ, a wall, which throws no light upon the
subject. Petitot calls the people of Cape Bathurst Kρagmaliveit, which
appears to mean “the real Kûñmû´dlĭñ” (“Kûñmû´dlĭñ” and the affix
-vik, “the real”).

    [Footnote N49: See also Monographie, etc., p. xi, where the name
    is spelled Kρamalit.]

    [Footnote N50: Vocabulaire, etc., p. 76.]

    [Footnote N51: Bull. Soc. de Géog., 6^e sér., vol. 10, p. 39.]

The Kupûñmiun appear to inhabit the permanent villages which have been
seen near the western mouth of the Mackenzie, at Shingle Point[N52]
and Point Sabine,[N53] with an outlying village, supposed to be
deserted, at Point Kay.[N54] They are the natives described by Petitot
in his Monographie as the Taρèoρmeut division of the Tchiglit, to
whom, from the reasons already stated, most of his account seems to
apply. There appears to me no reasonable doubt, considering his
opportunities for observing these people, that Taρèoρmeut, “those who
dwell by the sea,” is the name that they actually apply to themselves,
and that Kupûñmiun, 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 authority 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,[N55] they call the Mackenzie
Kuρvik, instead of Kupûk or Kupûñ.

    [Footnote N52: T. Simpson, Narrative, p. 112.]

    [Footnote N53: Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 264.]

    [Footnote N54: ibid, p. 263.]

    [Footnote N55: Bull. Soc. de Géog., 6^e sér., vol. 10, p. 182.]

These are the people who visit Fort Macpherson every spring and
summer,[N56] and are well known to the Hudson Bay traders as the
Mackenzie River Eskimo. They are the Eskimo encountered between
Herschel 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.[N57]

    [Footnote N56: Petitot, Monographie, etc., pp. xvi and xx.]

    [Footnote N57: 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 Youcan.” Smithsonian Report for 1864. These, with
    Petitot’s in many respects admirable Monographie, comprise all the
    information regarding these people from actual observation that
    has been published. 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
    invented to fill the space between “the coast people in the north
    and the Athabascans in the south.”]

We are still somewhat at a loss for the proper local names of the last
labret-wearing Eskimo, those, namely, of the Anderson River and Cape
Bathurst. That they are not considered by the Taρèoρmeut as belonging
to the same “tribe” with themselves is evident from the names
Kρagmalit and Kρagmalivëit, applied to them by Petitot. Sir John
Richardson, the first white man to encounter them (in 1826), says that
they called themselves “Kitte-garrœ-oot,”[N58] and the Point Barrow
people told Dr. Simpson of country called “Kit-te-ga´-ru” beyond the
Mackenzie.[N59] These people, as well as the Taρèoρmeut, whom they
closely resemble, are described in Petitot’s Monographie, and brief
notices of them are given by Sir John Richardson,[N60] McClure,[N61]
Armstrong,[N62] and Hooper.[N63] 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 Kupûñmiun are “bad;”[N64] but notwithstanding this small
parties from the two villages occasionally travel east to the
Mackenzie, and spend the winter at the Kupûñmiun 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 confusion of closing the station, so
that we learned no details of their journey. 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 Rampart House by the Indians who visit
that post.

    [Footnote N58: Franklin, 2d Exp., p. 203.]

    [Footnote N59: Ibid., p. 269.]

    [Footnote N60: Franklin, 2d Exp., pp. 193, 203 and 230; Searching
    Exp., and Polar Regions, p. 300.]

    [Footnote N61: N. W. Passage, pp. 84-98.]

    [Footnote N62: Personal Narrative, p. 176.]

    [Footnote N63: Tents, etc., pp. 343-348.]

    [Footnote N64: Compare what Petitot has to say--Monographie, etc.,
    p. xiii and passim--about the turbulent and revengeful character
    of the “Tchiglit.”]

The intercourse between these people is purely commercial. Dr.
Simpson, in the paper so often quoted, gives an excellent detailed
description of the course of this trade, which agrees in the main with
our observations, though we did not learn the particulars of time and
distance as accurately as he did. There have been some important
changes, however, since his time. A small party, perhaps five or six
families, of “Nunatañmiun” now come every summer to Point Barrow about
the end of July, or as soon as the shallow bays along shore are open.
They establish themselves at the summer camping ground at Pérnyɐ, at
the southwest 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,[N65] June 18, 1882, and June 29,
1883). From all accounts their relations with the eastern people are
now perfectly friendly. We heard nothing of the precautionary measures
described by Dr. Simpson,[N66] and the women talked frequently of
their trading with the Kûñmû´dlĭñ and even with the Kupûñmiun.[N67] We
did not learn definitely whether they met the latter at Barter Point
or whether they went still farther east.

    [Footnote N65: Dr. Simpson, op. cit., p. 264.]

    [Footnote N66: Op. cit., p. 265.]

    [Footnote N67: In the Plover’s time they were left a day’s journey
    in the rear.]

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
Nunatañmiun now sell chiefly furs, deerskins, and clothing ready made
from them, woodenware (buckets and tubs), willow poles for setting
nets, and sometimes 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 mentioned by Dr. Simpson,[N68] 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.

    [Footnote N68: Op. cit., p. 266.]

The Kûñmû´dlĭñ no longer furnish guns and ammunition, as the western
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, whalebone 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 Utkiavwĭñ that
brass kettles were highly prized by the Kupûñmiun, and that a large
one would bring three wolverine skins,[N69] 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 Kûñmû´dlĭñ for a foxskin
apiece. We were told that the eastern natives were glad to buy gun
flints and bright-colored handkerchiefs, and that the Nunatañmiun
wanted blankets and playing cards.

    [Footnote N69: T. Simpson saw iron kettles at Camden Bay which had
    been purchased from the western natives at two wolverine skins
    apiece. Narrative, p. 171.]

_Indians._--They informed us that east of the Colville they sometimes
met “Itkû´dlĭñ,” people with whom they could not converse, but who
were friendly and traded with them, buying oil for fox skins. They
were said to live back of the coast between the Colville and the
Mackenzie, 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 ornamented with beads and fringe. We saw one or two
such jackets in Utkiavwĭñ apparently made of moose skin, and a few
pouches of the same material, highly ornamented with beads. They have
long flintlock 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 “kŭtchin,” 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 Nunatañmiun.[N70] I heard one
man speak of the Kŭtcha Kutchin, who inhabit the “Yukon from the Birch
River to the Kotlo River on the east and the Porcupine River on the
north, ascending the latter a short distance.”[N71]

    [Footnote N70: “The inland Eskimo also call them Ko´-yu-kan, and
    divide them into three sections or tribes. * * *

    One is called I´t-ka-lyi [apparently the plural of Itkûdlĭñ],
    * * * the second It-kal-ya´-ruīn [different or other Itkûdlĭñ],”
    op. cit., p. 269.]

    [Footnote N71: Dall, Cont. to N. A. Ethn., vol. 1, p. 30, where
    they are identified with Itkalyaruin of Simpson.]

One of the tribes with which they have dealings is the “Rat Indians”
of the Hudson Bay men, probably the Vunta´-Kŭtchin,[N72] from the fact
that they visit Fort Yukon. These are the people whom Capt. Maguire
met on his unsuccessful sledge journey 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 Itkûdlĭñ.
Collinson,[N73] 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,[N74] 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
“information slips,” which they immediately carried to Fort Yukon, and
returning to the coast with a letter from the clerk in charge,
delivered it to Capt. Collinson on board of the _Enterprise_ at Barter
Island, July 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 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.

    _Clerk in charge_.[N75]

    [Footnote N72: Ibid., p. 31.]

    [Footnote N73: Arctic Papers, p. 119.]

    [Footnote N74: Further papers, etc., pp. 905 et seq.]

    [Footnote N75: Arctic Papers, p. 144.]

Capt. Collinson evidently never dreamed of identifying this “harmless,
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[N76] to the Arctic Ocean. The Point Barrow
people also know the name of the U´na-kho-tānā,[N77] or En´akotina, as
they pronounce it. Their intercourse with all these Indians appears to
be rather slight and purely commercial. Friendly relations existed
between the Rat Indians and the “Eskimos who live somewhere near the
Colville” as early as 1849,[N78] while it was still “war to the knife”
between the Peel River Indians and the Kupûñmiun.[N79]

    [Footnote N76: Koyū´-ku´kh-otā´nā, Dall, Cont. to N. A. Eth.,
    p. 27.]

    [Footnote N77: Ibid., p. 28.]

    [Footnote N78: Hooper, Tents, etc. p. 276.]

    [Footnote N79: Ibid., p. 273.]

The name Itkû´dlĭñ, of which I´t-ka-lyi of Dr. Simpson appears to be
the plural, is a generic word for an Indian, and is undoubtedly the
same as the Greenland word erĸileĸ--plural erĸigdlit--which means a
fabulous “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 land.”[N80] Dr. Rink[N81] has already pointed out that this
name is in use as far as the Mackenzie River--for instance, the
Indians are called “eert-kai-lee” (Parry), or “it-kagh-lie” (Lyon), at
Fury and Hecla Strait; ik-kil-lin (Gilder), at the west shore of
Hudson Bay, and “itkρe´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,[N82] and which Mr. Dall was informed
meant “children of a louse’s egg,” all appear to be compounds of the
word erĸeĸ, a louse egg, and the affix lik. (I suspect erĸileĸ, from
the form of its plural, to be a corruption of “erĸiliĸ,” since there
is no recognized affix -leĸ in Greenlandic.)

    [Footnote N80: Crantz, vol. 1, p. 208.]

    [Footnote N81: Journ. Anthrop. Inst., 1885, p. 244.]

    [Footnote N82: Dall, Alaska, p. 28 and Contrib., vol. 1, p. 25.]

Petitot[N83] gives an interesting tradition in regard to the origin of
this name: “La tradition Innok dédaigne de parler ici des
Peaux-Rouges. L’áyant fait observer á mon narrateur Aρviuna: ‘Oh!’ me
repondait-il, ‘il ne vaut pas la peine d’en parler. Ils naquirent
aussi dans l’ouest, sur l’ile du Castor, des larves de nos poux. C’ést
pourquoi nous les nommons Itkρe´le´it.’”

    [Footnote N83: Monographie, p. xxiv.]


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 Russian manufacture, such as copper kettles,
which they 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.[N84]
The latter, after he had left the boats and was proceeding on foot
with his party, first met the Nuwŭñmiun at Point Tangent, where there
was a small party encamped, 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 Pernyɐ, 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

    [Footnote N84: Op. cit., p. 264.]

    [Footnote N85: Narrative, pp. 146-168.]

The next white men who landed at Point Barrow were the party in the
_Plover’s_ boats, under Lieuts. Pullen 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 Nuwŭñmiun returning from the east in the
neighborhood of Return Reef. The exploring ships _Enterprise_ and
_Investigator_ 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. 165-185, 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 Northwest Passage.”

We found that the elder natives remembered Maguire, whom they called
“Magwa,” very well. They gave us the names of many of his people 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
permanent influence on these people. In fact, Dr. Simpson’s account of
their habits and customs would serve very well for the present time,
except in regard to the use of firearms. They certainly remembered no
English. Indeed, Dr. Simpson says[N86] 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 intercourse. Although, according to the account of the
natives, there was considerable intercourse between the sailors and
the Eskimo women, 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.

    [Footnote N86: Op. cit., p. 251.]

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
region, and for a couple of months every year the natives have had
considerable 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, “tû´n-nyĭn,” which they used to employ among
themselves when they saw a ship. Dr. Simpson[N87] 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´ñmiun.
He supposes it to apply to the Russians, who had regular bath days at
their posts, and says it is derived from tan-nikh-lu-go, to wash or
cleanse the person.

    [Footnote N87: Op. cit., p. 271.]

The chief change resulting from their intercourse with the whites has
been the introduction of firearms. Nearly all the natives are now
provided with guns, some of them of the best modern patterns of
breechloaders, 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 pattern must be used in taking every whale. All are now
rich in iron, civilized tools, canvas and wreck wood, and in this
respect their condition is improved.

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[N88] 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 during the short time the ships are with them they hardly
neglect their own pursuits.

    [Footnote N88: Report, etc., p. 125.]

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,
however, 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 something 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
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.[N89] Even in their
intimate relations with us they learned but few more phrases and in
most cases without a knowledge of their meaning.

    [Footnote N89: See list of “New Words,” Rep. Point Barrow Exp.,
    p. 57.]

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 _kau-kau_,[N90] food, or to eat;
_hana-hana_, work; _pûnĭ-pûnĭ_, _coitus_, and _pau_, not. _Wahíne_,
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 “kuníɐ” for woman or wife.
They themselves told us that it was not an Eskimo word--“When there
were no white men, there was no _kuníɐ_”--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. _Kuníɐ_ 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.”

    [Footnote N90: The history of this word, which also appears as a
    Chuckch word in some of the vocabularies collected by
    Nordenskiöld’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 _pûnĭ-pûnĭ_ a Chinese word, but I have been able to
    learn nothing of its origin.]



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

_Mammals._--The wolf, amáxo (Canis lupus griseo-albus), is not
uncommon in the interior, but rarely if ever reaches the coast. Red
and black foxes, kaiă´ktûk (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´vwĭñ (Gulo luscus), and the marten, kabweatyía (Mustela americana).
The arctic fox, tĕrĭgûniɐ (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
sĭksĭñ. Lemmings, a´vwĭñɐ, of two species (Cuniculus torquatus and
Myodes obensis) are very abundant some years, and they recognize a
tiny shrewmouse (Sorex forsteri). This little animal is called ugrúnɐ,
a word corresponding to the name ugssungnaĸ given to the same animal
in Labrador, which, according to Kleinschmidt,[N91] 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 land animal, however, is the
reindeer, tŭ´ktu (Rangifer tarandus grœnlandicus), 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.

    [Footnote N91: Grønlandsk Ordbog, p. 386.]

The moose, tŭ´ktuwŭñ, or “big reindeer” (Alce machlis), is well known
from the accounts of the Nunatañmiun, who bring moose skins to trade.
Some of the natives have been east to hunt the mountain sheep, i´mnêɐ
(Ovis canadensis dalli), and all are familiar with its skin, horns,
and teeth, which they buy of the eastern natives. The musk ox, umĭñmau
(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, ă´kqlak, which is probably the barren ground bear, while
on the ice-pack, the polar bear, nä´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, nĕtyĭĸ (Phoca
fœtida), 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, úgru
(Erignathus 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, kasigía
(Phoca vitulina), and the beautiful ribbon seal, kaixólĭñ (Phoca
fasciata), are known, but both are uncommon, the latter very rare.

Herds of walrus, ai´bwêk (Odobænus 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, akbwêk, of the species Balæna 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, kĭlĕlua (Delphinapterus sp.), are not uncommon
in the summer, and they say the narwhal, tugálĭñ (Monodon monoceros),
is occasionally seen. They are also acquainted with another cetacean,
which they call áxlo, 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, 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 Pernyɐ
where the natives assemble in large numbers for the purpose of taking
them. These migrating birds are mostly king ducks, kĭñalĭñ (Somateria
spectabilis), Pacific eiders, amau´lĭñ (S. v-nigra), and long-tailed
ducks, a´dyigi´a, a´hadlĭñ (Clangula hyemalis), with smaller numbers
of the spectacled eider, ka´waso (Arctonetta fischeri), and Steller’s
ducks, ĭgnikau´kto (Eniconetta stelleri). At the rivers they also find
numbers of pintails, i´vwûgɐ (Dafila acuta), which visit the coast in
small numbers during the migrations. Geese of three species, the
American white-fronted goose, nû´glûgruɐ (Anser albifrons gambeli),
the lesser snow-goose, kû´ño (Chen hyperborea), and the black brant,
nûglû´gnɐ (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´yɐ (Larus barrovianus), is the most abundant all
through the season, though the rare rosy gull, kă´ñmaxlu (Rhodostethes
rosea), appears in multitudes late in the autumn. The ivory gull
(Gavia alba), nariyalbwûñ, and Sabine’s gull, yûkû´drĭgûgi´ɐ (Xema
Sabinii), are uncommon, while the Arctic tern, utyuta´kĭn (Sterna
paradisea), is rather abundant, especially about the sandspits of
Nuwŭk. All these species, particularly the larger ones, are taken for

Three species of loons are common: the great white-billed loon,
tu´dlĭñ (Urinator adamsi), and the Pacific and red-throated divers
(U. pacificus and lumme), which are not distinguished from each other
but are both called kă´ksau. They also occasionally see the
thick-billed guillemot a´kpa (Uria lomvia arra), and more often the
sea-pigeon, sêkbwɐk (Cephus mandtii). The three species of jaegers
(Stercorarius pomarinus, parasiticus, and longicaudus) are not
distinguished from one another but are all called isuñɐ. 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, tûlĭ´gwa (Arenaria
interpres), the gray plover, ki´raio´n (Charadrius squatarola), the
American golden plover, tu´dlĭñ (C. dominicus), the knot, tu´awi´a
(Tringa canutus), the pectoral and Baird’s sandpipers, (T. maculata
and bairdii), both called ai´bwûkiɐ, the red-backed sandpiper mêkapĭñ
(T. alpina pacifica), the semipalmated sandpiper, nĭwĭlĭwĭ´lûk
(Ereunetes pusillus), the buff-breasted sandpiper, nu´dluayu
(Tryngites subruficollis), the red phalarope, sabrañ (Chrymophilus
fulicarius), and the northern phalarope, sabrañnɐ; (Phalaropus
lobatus). The last is rare at Point Barrow, but they see many of them
near the Colville. The little brown crane, tutĭ´drĭgɐ (Grus
canadensis), is also rare at the Point, but they say they find many of
them at the mouth of Kulu´grua.

Of land birds, the most familiar are the little snow bunting, amauligɐ
(Plectrophenax nivalis), the first bird to arrive in the spring, the
Lapland longspur, nĕssau´dligɐ (Calcarius lapponicus), and two species
of grouse, the willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus) and the rock ptarmigan
(L. rupestris), which are both called akû´dĭgĭn. These two birds do
not migrate, but are to be seen all winter, as is also the well known
snowy owl, u´kpĭk (Nyctea nyctea). A gerfalcon, kĭ´drĭgûmĭñ (Falco
rusticolus), is also sometimes seen, and skins and feathers of the
golden eagle, tĭ´ñmiɐkpûk, “the great bird” (Aquila chrysætos), are
brought from the east for charms and ornaments. The raven, tulúɐ
(Corvus corax sinuatus), 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 “sû´ksaxíɐ.” This
name appears to mean “wanderer” or “flutterer,” and probably belongs,
I believe, to the different 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, añmû´grûñ (Mallotus
villosus), which is found in large schools close to the beach in the
middle of summer. There are also caught sometimes two species of
sculpins, kû´naio (Cottus quadricornis and decastrensis), and two
species of Lycodes, kúgraunɐ (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 laurettæ) in small
numbers, and occasionally a large trout (Salvelinus malma). 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 Ikpikpûñ, and account for this by
explaining 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
laurettæ, two large whitefish (C. kennicottii and nelsoni), and the
burbot, tita´liñ (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 signifer). In the river Ku is caught a smelt,
ĭthoa´nĭñ (Osmerus dentex). In the great lake, Tă´syûkpûñ (see above,
p. 29), they tell of an enormous 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.

_Insects and other invertebrates._--Of insects, they recognize the
troublesome mosquito, kiktorɐ (Culex spp.), flies, bumblebees, and
gadflies (Œestrus tarandi), both of which they seem much afraid of,
and call i´gutyai, and the universal louse, ku´mɐk. All the large
winged insects, including the rare butterflies and moths and crane
flies, are called tûkĭlû´kica, or tûkilûkĭdja´ksûn, 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´rɐ, “the little braider.” They pay but little attention to
other invertebrates, but are familiar with worms, kupidro, a species
of crab, kinau´rɐ, (Hyas latifrons), and the little branchipus,
iritu´ña (Greenlandic issitôrak, “the little one with big eyes”), of
the fresh water-pools. Cockles (Buccinum, etc.) are called siu´tigo
(Gr. siuterok, from siut, ear), and clams have a name which we failed
to obtain. Jellyfish are called ipiaru´rɐ, “like bags.” They say the
“Kûñmudlĭñ” eat them!


Few plants that are of any service to man grow in this region. The
willows, ŭ´kpĭk, 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, mû´nĭk, furnishes wicks for the
lamps. We could find no fruit that could be eaten. A cranberry
(Vaccinium vitis-idæa) 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 Utkiavwĭñ, where the ground is richly
manured with various sorts of refuse,[N92] though the species of
mosses and lichens furnish the reindeer 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,
tûkĭlû´kica, tûkĭlûkĭdja´ksûn, which seemed to be applied to all
striking yellow or white flowers, such as Papaver, Ranunculus, 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 Nunatañmiun, 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 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 cottonwood, 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.

    [Footnote N92: “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.]


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[N93] from
specimens brought home by our party. Flint, ánma, was formerly in
great demand for arrow and spear heads and other implements, and
according to Dr. Simpson[N94] was obtained from the Nunatañmiun. 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´ksɐ, “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, tună´ktɐ, 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[N95] that
the stones for making whetstones were brought from the Kuwûk River, so
that this jade is probably the same as that which is said to form Jade
Mountain, in that region.

    [Footnote N93: U.S. Geol. Surv., Bull. 9, p. 9, 1884.]

    [Footnote N94: Op. cit., p. 266.]

    [Footnote N95: Op. cit., p. 266.]

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 Colville, and are believed by the natives to have fallen from the
sky. Two other kinds of stone are brought from the neighborhood of
Nu´ɐsŭknan, partly, it appears, as curiosities, and partly with some
ill defined mystical notions. The first are botryoidal masses of brown
limonite, resembling bog iron ore, and the other sort curious
concretions, looking like the familiar “clay stones,” but very heavy,
and apparently containing a great deal of iron pyrites. White gypsum,
used for rubbing the flesh side of deerskins, is obtained on the
seashore at a place called Tû´tyĕ, “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
Beaufort,[N96] are picked up on the beach. Shaly, very bituminous
coal, broken into small square fragments, is rather abundant on the
bars of Kulugrua, whence specimens were brought by Capt. Herendeen.
A native of Wainwright Inlet gave us to understand that coal existed
in a regular 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.[N97]
We also heard a story of a lake of tar or bitumen, ádngun, said to be
situated on an island a day’s sail east of the point. Blacklead,
mĭ´ñun, 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 aúmɐ, 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.

    [Footnote N96: Hooper found coal on the beach at Nuwŭk in 1849,
    showing that this coal has not necessarily been thrown over from
    ships. Tents of the Tuski, p. 221.]

    [Footnote N97: Discovery of the Northwest Passage, p. 100.]




_Substances used for food._--The food of these people consists almost
entirely 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.[N98] Many well developed fœtal
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 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.[N99]

    [Footnote N98: The Eskimo of Iglulik “prefer venison to any kind
    of meat.” Parry, 2d Voyage, p. 510.]

    [Footnote N99: Compare Hooper, Tents, etc. “This, which the Tuski
    call their sugar,” p. 174; and Hall, Arctic Researches, p. 132
    (Baffin Land).]

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 fæces
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.”[N100]
The dung of the musk ox and reindeer when fresh were considered a
delicacy by the Boothians, according to J. C. Ross.[N101] The entrails
of fowls are also considered a great delicacy and are carefully cooked
as a separate dish.[N102]

    [Footnote N100: Egede, Greenland, p. 136.]

    [Footnote N101: Appendix to Ross’s 2d Voyage, p. xix.]

    [Footnote N102: Compare the passage from Egede, just quoted, and
    also Kumlien, Contributions, etc., p. 20, at Cumberland Gulf.]

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[N103] 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 accounts of the Eskimo that it is a
physiological necessity for them to eat enormous quantities of blubber
in order to obtain a sufficient amount of 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[N104] shows that an excessive eating of fat is not the rule,
and is perhaps confined to the territory near Boothia Felix.

    [Footnote N103: For instance, Schwatka says that the Nĕtcĭlĭk 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 (Science, vol. 4, p. 544).
    Parry speaks of the natives of the Savage Islands, Hudson’s
    Strait, eating raw blubber and sucking the oil remaining on the
    skins they had emptied (2d Voyage, p. 14).]

    [Footnote N104: 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; Nordenskiöld, Vega, p. 110.]

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
substances, though they informed us that the buds of the willow were
sometimes 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 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 plentiful.

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.”[N105] 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.

    [Footnote N105: Lieut. Ray’s MS. notes.]

_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 kû´dyĭgi, 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´rnyû, the women
at intervals through the day prepare dishes of meat, which the men eat
by themselves. When 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.[N106] When on the march they usually take a
few mouthfuls of the pemmican above described before they start out in
the morning, and rarely touch food again till they go into camp at

    [Footnote N106: “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, Greenland, p. 135. Compare also, Crantz, vol. 1, p. 145.)]

When a family returns from the spring deer hunt with plenty of venison
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
reindeer 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 writers.

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 winter.


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 replaced 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
circle, with a dipper to drink from. Hardly a native ever passed the
station 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
it liquid. This great fondness for plenty of cold water has been often
noticed among the Eskimo elsewhere, and appears to be quite
characteristic of the race.[N107] 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, “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 undrinkable.

    [Footnote N107: See, for instance, Egede: “Their Drink is nothing
    but Water” (Greenland, p. 134), and, “Furthermore, 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 Nordenskiöld in Siberia (Vega, vol. 2, p. 114).]


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.[N108] This undoubtedly came from the Russians by way of
Siberia and Bering 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 Capt. Cook visited Bristol Bay, in 1778, he
found that tobacco was not used there,[N109] while in Norton Sound,
the same year, the natives “had no dislike to tobacco.”[N110] Neither
was it introduced from the English posts in the east, as Franklin
found the “Kûñmû´dlĭñ” 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,”[N111]--nor had they adopted the
habit in 1837.[N112]

    [Footnote N108: Beechey, Voyage, p. 308.]

    [Footnote N109: Third Voyage, vol. 2, p. 437.]

    [Footnote N110: Ibid, 2, p. 479.]

    [Footnote N111: Second Exp., p. 130.]

    [Footnote N112: See T. Simpson, Narrative, p. 156.]

When the _Plover_ wintered at Point Barrow, according to Dr. Simpson’s
account,[N113] all the tobacco, except a little obtained from the
English discovery ships, came from Asia and was brought by the
Nunatañmiun. 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.

    [Footnote N113: Op. cit., pp. 235, 236, 266.]

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
Commissary 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 Nunatañmiun, 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,[N114] 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 producing any signs of nausea.
The tobacco is chewed by itself and not sweetened with sugar, as was
observed by Hooper and Nordenskiöld among the “Chukches.”[N115] I knew
but two adult Eskimo in Utkiavwĭñ who did not chew tobacco, and one of
these adopted the habit to a certain extent while we were there.

    [Footnote N114: Compare J. Simpson, op. cit., p. 250, and
    Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, p. 116.]

    [Footnote N115: Tents, etc., p. 83; Vega, vol. 2, p. 116.]

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

Of these, No. 89288 [705],[N116] figured in Ray’s Point Barrow Report,
Ethnology, Pl. 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 run 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 tucking 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 execution. The stems 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

    [Footnote N116: The numbers first given are those of the National
    Museum; the numbers in brackets are those of the collector.]

Fig. 6_a_ (No. 56737 [10], from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 smoothly ground stone. No. 89289 [1582] (Fig. 6_b_ from Utkiavwĭñ)
is of rather soft greenish gray slate. No. 89290 [864] is of the same
shape, but of hard greenish stone, while the third stone pipe
(No. 89291 [834], from Utkiavwĭñ), 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. 6_c_, Nos. 89285 [954], 89286 [915], and
89287 [1129].)

  [Illustration: FIG. 6.--Pipes: _a_, pipe with metal bowl; _b_, pipe
  with stone bowl; _c_, pipe bowl of antler or ivory. 1/3]

Antler and stone pipes of this pattern and rather small are usually
carried by the men out of doors, while the more elaborate metal pipes,
which are often very large and handsome (I 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 7.--Pipe made of willow stick. 1/3]

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-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
“Nunatañmiun,” who were in camp at Pernyû in 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]
(Utkiavwĭñ) 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 deerskin, 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
contains three of these, of which No. 89803 [889] (Fig. 8_a_) 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 8.--Tobacco pouches. 1/4]

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.
8_b_]), 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.
Simpson,[N117] 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´ púksak,” bag for tiba´ (tobacco). No. 89903 [889]
contains a specimen of tobacco as prepared for smoking by the Eskimo.
This consists 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 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 giddiness, 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.[N118]

    [Footnote N117: Op. cit., p. 243.]

    [Footnote N118: 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 (1837),
    Narrative, p. 156. Also Kotzebue: “They chew, snuff, smoke, and
    even swallow the smoke.” Kotzebue Sound (1816) Voyage, vol. 1,
    p. 237. Beechey 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 (Monographie, etc., p. xxix)
    describes a precisely similar method of smoking among the
    Mackenzie Eskimos. Their tobacco was “melangé à de la ráclure de
    saule” and the pipe was called “kwiñeρk.” (Vocabulaire, p. 54).]

Though they smoke little at a time, they smoke frequently when tobacco
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
conversation with us they usually called all means for smoking
“pai´pa,” the children sometimes specifying “pai´pa-sigya´” (cigar) or
“mûkparapai´pa,” paper-pipe (cigarette). The use of the kui´nyɐ, 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.[N119] Tobacco ashes are also eaten, probably for
the sake of the potash they contain, as one of the men at Utkiavwīñ
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 Anderson River and Cape Bathurst,[N120]
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
Nordenskiöld’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.[N121]

    [Footnote N119: See Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 177, and Dall, Alaska,
    p. 81.]

    [Footnote N120: 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 (Monographie, 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´ρovik,” which he supposes to mean St. Michaels, but which,
    from the evidence of other travelers, is much more likely to mean

    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´ρovik” to be St. Michaels is rather peculiar. The Mackenzie
    natives call the people who are nearest to Nate´ρovik on the north
    “the Sedentary.” Now, the people who live nearest to St. Michaels
    on the north are the “Sedentary American Tchukatchīs”(!);
    therefore Nate´ρovik is probably St. Michaels. (“Le nom
    _Natéρovik_ semble convenir à l’ancien fort russe Michaëlowski, en
    ce que la tribu iunok la plus voisine de ce poste, vers le nord,
    est désignée par nos Tchiglit sous le nom d’ _Apkwam-méut_ ou de
    Sédentaires; or telle est la position géographique qui convient
    aux sédentaires Tchukatches américains, dont la limite la plus
    septentrionale, selon le capitaine Beechey, est la pointe
    Barrow.”) A slight acquaintance with the work of Dall and other
    modern explorers in this region would have saved Fr. Petitot from
    this and some other errors.]

    [Footnote N121: 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 by 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.: “Generally, I believe, about one-third part
    of wood is used” (pp. 176 and 177; and Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2,
    p. 116.)]

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 Nordenskiöld[N122] 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.[N123] 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 “tibakĭ,” but among themselves it
is still known as ta´wak, which is the word found in use among them by
the earliest explorers.[N124] “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 language sufficiently to be used as the radical in
compound words such as “tiba´xutikă´ktûñɐ,” “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.[N125]

    [Footnote N122: Vega, vol. 2, p. 116.]

    [Footnote N123: See also Petitot, Monographie, etc., p. xxix.]

    [Footnote N124: See Beechey, Voyage, p. 323; T. Simpson,
    Narrative, p. 156--“tobacco, which * * * they call tawāc, or
    tawākh, 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 français corrompu”!]

    [Footnote N125: Since the above was written, the word for pipe,
    “kuinyɐ,” has been found to be of Siberian origin. See the
    writer’s article “On the Siberian origin of some customs of the
    Western Eskimos” (American Anthropologist, vol. 1, pp. 325-336).]


_The winter house_ (_ĭ´glu_).--The permanent winter houses are built
of wood[N126] 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 4½ feet high. The sloping mound of
earth which 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 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 Utkiavwĭñ, would be underground.

    [Footnote N126: In some of the older houses, the ruins of which
    are still to be seen at the southwest end of the village of
    Utkiavwĭñ, 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, walruses,
    and smaller animals,” with the interstices filled with earth and

  [Illustration: FIG. 9.--Plans of Eskimo-winter house.]

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. Round 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 Utkiavwĭñ 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
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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 10.--Interior of iglu, looking toward door.]

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 6 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 11.--Interior of iglu, looking toward bench.]

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 over two arched sticks of light wood--whalebone was used in
Dr. Simpson’s time[N127]--running diagonally across from corner to
corner. The window 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,[N128] etc. Deerskin blankets 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 Utkiavwĭñ--complete the furniture.

    [Footnote N127: Op. cit., p. 256.]

    [Footnote N128: Compare Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 46: “Small lattice
    shelves * * * on which moccasins * * * are put to dry.” Plover
    Bay. See also plate to face p. 160 Parry’s Second Voyage.]

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 Utkiavwĭñ 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 widowed
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 Nuwŭk
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 people sleep
with their heads toward the edge of the banquette. Children and
visitors lie with their heads the other way.[N129] (See Fig. 9, ground
plan and section of house, and Figs. 10 and 11, interior, from
sketches by the writer. For outside see Fig. 12, from a photograph by
Lieut. Ray).

    [Footnote N129: Monographie, etc., p. xxiii.]

At the back of the house is a high oblong scaffolding, made by setting
up tall poles of driftwood, four, six, or eight in number, and
fastening 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.[N130]

    [Footnote N130: See 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 serve 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); Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, p. 92

Around Norton Sound, however, they use a more elaborate structure,
consisting of a regular little house 6 feet square, raised 6 to 10
feet from the ground on four posts.[N131]

    [Footnote N131: Dall, Alaska, p. 13.]

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 storehouses for blubber. These may be called “blubber rooms.”

  [Illustration: FIG. 12.--House in Utkiavwĭñ.]

These winter houses can only be occupied when the weather is cold
enough to keep the ground hard frozen. During the summer the
passageways are full of water, which freezes at the beginning of
winter and is dug out with a pickax. The people of Utkiavwĭñ 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
middle 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.[N132]

    [Footnote N132: Egede, Greenland, p. 114; Crantz, History of
    Greenland, vol. 1, p. 139; Rink, Tales and Traditions, p. 7.]

A detailed description of the peculiar communal house of the East
Greenlanders, of which, there is only one at each village, will be
found in Capt. Holm’s paper in the Geografisk 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 (1586) 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.[N133]

    [Footnote N133: Hakluyt, Voyages, etc. (1589), p. 788.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 13.--Ground plan and section of winter house in
  Mackenzie region.]

At Iglulik the permanent houses were dome shaped, built of bones, with
the interstices filled with turf, and had a short, low passage.[N134]
No other descriptions of permanent houses are to be found until we
reach the 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.[N135] (See Fig. 13.)
Petitot[N136] gives a very excellent detailed description of the
houses of the Anderson River 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.[N137]

    [Footnote N134: Lyon, Journal, p. 171.]

    [Footnote N135: See Fig. 13, ground plan and section, copied from
    Petitot, Monographie, etc., p. XXIII.]

    [Footnote N136: Monographie, etc., p. XXI.]

    [Footnote N137: 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).]

We have no description of the houses at the villages between Point
Barrow and Kotzebue Sound, but at the latter place was found the large
triple house described by Dr. Simpson, and compared by him with that
described by Richardson, though in some respects it more closely
resembles those seen by Hooper.[N138] This house really has a
fireplace in the middle, and in this approaches the houses of the
southern Eskimo of Alaska. According to Dr. Simpson,[N139]
“a modification of the last form, built of undressed timber, and
sometimes of very small dimensions, with two recesses opposite each
other, and raised a foot above the middle space, is very common on the
shores of Kotzebue Sound,” but he does not make it plain whether
houses like those used at Point Barrow are not used there also.

    [Footnote N138: See ante.]

    [Footnote N139: Op. cit., p. 258.]

This form of house is very like the large snow houses seen by Lieut.
Ray at hunting camps on Kulugrua. Dr. Simpson describes less permanent
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.”[N139b] These buildings, and
especially the temporary ones described by Dr. Simpson, used on the
Nunatak, 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.[N140]

    [Footnote N139b: Op. cit., p. 258.]

    [Footnote N140: Dall, Alaska, pp. 13 and 14, diagram on p. 13.]

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 thy are still covered with sods.[N141] There are no published
accounts of the houses of the St. Lawrence islanders, but they are
known to inhabit subterranean or partly underground earth-covered
houses, built of wood, while the Asiatic Eskimo have abandoned the old
underground houses, which were still in use at the end of the last
century, and have adopted the double-skin tent of the Chukches.[N142]
In addition to the cases quoted by Dall, Capt. Cook speaks of finding
the natives of St. Lawrence Bay in 1778 living in partly underground
earth-covered houses.[N143]

    [Footnote N141: Petroff, Report, etc., p. 15.]

    [Footnote N142: 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.]

    [Footnote N143: Third Voyage, vol. 2, p. 450.]

_Arrangement in villages._--The village of Utkiavwĭñ 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. Nuwŭk, from Dr. Simpson’s account[N144] 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
Nuwŭk than at Utkiavwĭñ, 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.[N145]

    [Footnote N144: Op. cit., p. 256.]

    [Footnote N145: 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 Nuwŭk, op. cit., p. 256.]

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.[N146]

    [Footnote N146: 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.]

The tents on the sandspit at Plover Bay all face west. The same was
observed by the Krause brothers at East Cape.[N147] At Utkiavwĭñ 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 Isû´tkwamiun. Similar mounds are to be seen
at Pernyû, 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.

    [Footnote N147: Geographische Blätter, vol. 5, p. 27.]

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

Dr. Simpson states[N148] 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 kû´dyĭgi or kû´drĭgi (karrigi of Simpson),
a word which corresponds, mutatis mutandis, with the Greenlandic
kagsse, which means, first, a circle of hills round a small deep
valley, and then a circle of people who sit close together (and then,
curiously enough, a brothel). At Utkiavwĭñ 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.

    [Footnote N148: Op. cit., p. 259.]

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 kû´dyĭgi
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 similar 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
generally repair to the kû´dyĭgi 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 Imêkpûñ 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
territory south of Bering Strait,[N149] nor as a hotel for visitors,
as in the Norton Sound region.[N150] Visitors are either entertained
in some dwelling or build temporary snow huts for themselves.

    [Footnote N149: Petroff, Report, etc., p. 128.]

    [Footnote N150: Dall, Alaska, p. 16.]

The kû´dyĭgi 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.[N151] Even the
Siberian Eskimo, who have abandoned the iglu, still retained the
kû´dyĭgi 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 usual inner apartments only a species of bench of
raised earth ran round it).”[N152] These buildings are numerous and
particularly large and much used south of Bering Strait, where they
are also used as steam bath houses.[N153]

    [Footnote N151: See Rink, Tales and Traditions, p. 8; also
    Geografisk Tidskrift, vol. 8, p. 141. Speaking of buildings of
    this sort, Dr. Rink says: “Men i Grønland kjendes de vel kun af
    Sagnet. Paa Øer Disko vil man have paavist Ruinen af en saadan
    Bygning, som besynderlig nok særlig sagdes at have været benyttet
    til Festligheder af erotisk Natur.” Boas, “The Central Eskimo,”
    passim; Lyon, Journal, p. 325 (Iglulik); Richardson, in Franklin’s
    2d Exp., pp. 215-216 (Atkinson Island); Petitot, Monographie,
    etc., xxx; “_Kêchim_, ou maison des assemblées;” Beechey, Voyage,
    p. 268 (Point Hope); Dall, Alaska, p. 16 and elsewhere; Petroff,
    Rep. p. 128 and elsewhere.]

    [Footnote N152: Tents, etc., p. 136.]

    [Footnote N153: See references to Dall and Petroff, above.]

_Snow houses_ (_apúya_).--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 Nuwŭk decided in
the winter of 1882-’83 to come down and settle at Utkiavwĭñ, 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 build 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.

    [Footnote N154: Parry, 2nd Voy., p. 160 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, Monographie, etc., p. xvii (a full description
    with a ground plan and section on p. xix), and all the popular
    accounts of the Eskimo.]

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 over 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 2½ 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
fireplace about 2½ 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 ubkuaĸ, “a skin which is hung up before the entrance
of the house,”[N155] 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. 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[N156].

    [Footnote N155: Grønlandsk Ordbog, p. 404; Kane’s 1st Grinnell
    Exp., p. 40, calls it a “skin-covered door.” Compare, also, the
    skin or matting hung over the entrance of the houses at Norton
    Sound, Dall, Alaska, p. 13, and the bear-skin doors of the
    Nunatañmiun and other Kotzebue Sound natives, mentioned by Dr.
    Simpson, op. cit., p. 259.]

    [Footnote N156: Compare Dr. Simpson’s description, op. cit.,
    p. 259.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 14.--Ground plan of large snow house.]

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, 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, _b_, running across the back of
the room and excavated below into a sort of cupboard. There are also
similar cupboards, _c_, at different places in the walls, and a long
tunnel, _f_, 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

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
temporary cache frame,[N157] on which are hung bulky articles--
snowshoes and guns.[N158] 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 Capt. Lyon.[N159]

    [Footnote N157: Compare the woodcut on p. 406, vol. 1, of Kane’s
    2d Exp., where two sleds are represented as stuck up on end with
    their “upstanders” meeting to form a platform--Smith Sound.]

    [Footnote N158: Firearms can not be carried into a warm room in
    cold weather, as the moisture in the air immediately condenses on
    the cold surface of the metal.]

    [Footnote N159: Journal, p. 204; see also the plate opposite
    p. 358 of Parry’s 2d Voyage.]

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
canvas 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
lighted 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 ships.

_Tents_ (_tupĕk_).--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 Utkiavwĭñ 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 Sê´kqluka,
Nakĕ´drixo, Kuosu´gru, Nună´ktuau, Ĭpersua, Wă´lăkpa (Refuge Inlet,
according to Capt. Maguire’s map, Parl. Rep. for 1854, opp. p. 186),
Er´nĭvwĭñ, Sĭ´ñaru, and Sa´kămna. 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 Sĭ´nnyû and one at Imê´kpûñ, while a few go to Pernyû even early in
the season.

As the sea opens the people from the lower camps travel up the coast
and concentrate at Pernyû, where they meet the Nuwuñmiun, the
Nunatañmiun 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 Pernyû. 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 Utkiavwĭñ, all who were going whaling in the Utkiavwĭñ boats
went into camp with their families in tents pitched on the crown of
the beach at Imêkpûñ, 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,[N160] and Hooper mentions sealskin tents at Cape Smyth and
Point Barrow.[N161] Dr. Simpson gives a description of the skin tents
at Point Barrow.[N162] 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 Nunatañmiun at Pernyû 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 Utkiavwĭñ.
Deerskin tents are used by the Anderson River natives,[N163] while
sealskins are still in use in Greenland and the east generally.[N164]
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.”[N165] That they have not always
been ignorant of tents is shown by the use of the word “topek” for a
dwelling at Norton Sound.[N166]

    [Footnote N160: Beechey’s Voyage, p. 315.]

    [Footnote N161: Tents, etc., pp. 216, 225.]

    [Footnote N162: Op. cit., p. 260.]

    [Footnote N163: MacFarlane MSS. and Petitot, Monographie, etc.,
    p. xx, “des tentes coniques (_tuppeρk_) en peaux de renne.”]

    [Footnote N164: 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 for this
    purpose in Egede’a time--Greenland, p. 117; and Kumlien, op. cit.,
    p. 33.). In east Greenland, according to Holm, “Om Sommeren bo
    Angsmagsalikerne i Telte, der ere betrukne med dobbelte Skind og
    have Tarmskinds Forhæng.” Geogr. Tids., vol. 8, p. 89. In
    Frobisher’s description of Meta Incognita (in 1577), he says:
    “Their houses are tents made of seale 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. (1589), p. 628. See also Boas, “Central

    [Footnote N165: Petroff, op. cit., p. 128.]

    [Footnote N166: Dall, Alaska, p. 13.]

The tents at Point Barrow are still constructed in a manner very
similar to that described by Dr. Simpson (see reference above). Four
or five 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 frame, so that the edges do not meet in
front except at the top, leaving a triangular space or doorway, filled
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 the
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, paddles, etc., are
laid up against the outside. (See Fig. 15, from a photograph by Lieut.

  [Illustration: FIG. 15.--Tent on the beach at Utkiavwĭñ.]

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 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,[N167] while at Cumberland Gulf two sets of poles connected
by a ridgepole are used, those for the front being the shorter.[N168]
The fashion at Iglulik is somewhat similar.[N169] 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´dliwĭñ,” the place for working.

    [Footnote N167: Egede, Greenland, p. 117; Crantz, vol. 1, p. 141;
    Rink, Tales, etc., p. 7.]

    [Footnote N168: Kumlien, op. cit., p. 33.]

    [Footnote N169: See Parry’s 2nd Voyage, p. 271 and plate opposite.
    Compare also Chappell, “Hudson Bay,” pp. 75-77, figure on p. 75.]



_Canteens_ (_i´mutĭn_).--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
sealskins and of small size. I find no published mention of the use of
such canteens among the Eskimo elsewhere, except in Baffin Land.[N170]

    [Footnote N170: “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.]

_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
entrail, 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 sewing the ends together. These are
probably all obtained from the Nunatañmiun, as it would be almost
impossible to procure suitable wood at Point Barrow. The collection
contains four specimens--two tubs and two buckets.

  [Illustration: FIG. 16.--Wooden bucket. 1/5]

No. 56764 [370] (Fig. 16) will serve as a type of the water bucket
(kûtau´ɐ). A thin strip of spruce 8 inches wide is bent round a
circular bottom of the same wood 10¼ inches in diameter. The edge of
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 3½ inches and are sewed together with narrow strips of
whalebone in two vertical seams of short stitches, one seam close to
the outer end, which is steeply chamfered off and painted red, and the
other 1.6 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 whalebone
passing through corresponding holes in the ear and the bucket. The
bucket has been some time in use.

No. 56763 [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 “kûtauɐ”
corresponds to the Greenlandic kátauaĸ, “a water-pail with which water
is brought to the house.”[N171]

    [Footnote N171: Grønl. Ordbog., p. 135.]

No. 89891 [1735] (Fig. 17), which is nearly new, is a very large tub
(ilulĭ´kpûñ, 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 alternately
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 having 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 before.

  [Illustration: FIG. 17.--Large tub. 1/12]

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 imusiáru (which is
applied also to a barrel, and which means literally “an unusual cup or
dipper,” small cups of the same shape being called i´musyû), 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 kúvwĭñ
(“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 chamber

Vessels of this sort are in use throughout Alaska, and have been
observed among the eastern Eskimo where they have wood enough to 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.”[N172] There are specimens in
the Museum from the Mackenzie and Anderson Rivers, described in the
MacFarlane MS. as “pots for drinking with, pails for carrying and
keeping water, and also as chamber pots. Oil is also sometimes carried
in them in winter.”

    [Footnote N172: Franklin, 1st Exp., vol. 2, p. 181.]

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,[N173] and “circular
and oval vessels of whalebone” were in use at Iglulik.[N174] This is
the same as the Greenlandic vessel called pertaĸ (a name which appears
to have been transferred in the form pĭ´túño 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.”[N175]
Nordenskiöld speaks of vessels of whalebone at Pitlekaj, but does not
specify the pattern.[N176] 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 18.--Whalebone dish. 1/4]

A strip of whalebone 4¼ inches wide is bent round a nearly circular
bottom of cottonwood so as to form a small tub. The edges of the
bottom are chamfered to fit a shallow croze in the whalebone. 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 uncommon, 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 woodenware among the articles brought for sale by the
Nunatañmiun.[N177] The small whalebone vessels will be described under
drinking cups, which see.

    [Footnote N173: First Voy., p. 286.]

    [Footnote N174: Second Voy., p. 503.]

    [Footnote N175: Grønl. Ordbog., p. 293.]

    [Footnote N176: Vega, vol. 2, p. 124.]

    [Footnote N177: Op. cit., p. 266.]

_Meat bowls._--(Pĭ´tûño, see remarks on p. 88.) Large wooden bowls are
used to hold meat, fat, etc., both raw and cooked, which are generally
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
ornamented 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 19.--Meat bowl. 1/4]

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, which is the common one. The new
bowl (No. 73570 [408]) is of a less common shape, being not so nearly
hemispherical as the others, but shaped more like a common milk pan.
It is ornamented with straight lines drawn in black lead, dividing the
surface into quadrants. These were probably put on to catch the white
man’s eye, as the bowl was made for the market. Dishes of this
description are common throughout Alaska (see the National Museum
collections) and have been noted at Plover Bay.[N178]

    [Footnote N178: Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 147.]


_Pots of stone and other materials (u´tkuzĭñ)._--In former times, pots
of soapstone resembling those employed by the eastern Eskimo, and
probably obtained from the same region as the lamps, were used 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)[N179] 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 20.--Stone pot. 1/4]

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 bottom. From the corner of
this gap the pot has been broken obliquely across the bottom, and
mended in three places with stitches of whalebone made as described
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.[N180]

    [Footnote N179: Beechey’s Voyage, p. 572.]

    [Footnote N180: This specimen was broken in transportation, and
    the pieces received different Museum numbers. It is now mended
    with glue.]

Nos. 89886 [680] and 89868 [1096] are much less complete. They are the
broken ends of pots slightly smaller than the above, but of precisely
the same pattern, even to the ornamental transverse ridge across the
end.[N181] The string holes are bored through the corners as before,
and in both pots are holes showing where they have been mended by
whalebone stitches, fragments of which are still sticking in one pot.
This method of mending soapstone vessels by sewing is mentioned by
Capt. Parry as practiced at Iglulik.[N182]

    [Footnote N181: Compare these pots with the 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 the ridge runs all the
    way round. The plate also shows how the pots were hung up. See
    also Fig. 1, plate opposite p. 548.]

    [Footnote N182: 2d Voyage, p. 502.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 21.--Small stone pot. 1/4]

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 whalebone. The care
used in mending these vessels shows that they were valuable and not
easily replaced. I can find no previous mention of the use of stone
vessels for cooking on the western coast, and there are no specimens
in the National Museum collections. The only Eskimo stone vessels are
a couple of small stone bowls from Bristol Bay. These are very 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.[N183] The close
resemblance of the pots from Point Barrow to those described by Capt.
Parry, taken in connection with Dr. Simpson’s statement[N184] 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.

    [Footnote N183: 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
    (Cumberland Gulf); Boas, “Central Eskimo,” p. 545; and Gilder,
    Schwatka’s Search, p. 260 (West Shore of Hudson Bay).]

    [Footnote N184: Op. cit., pp. 267-269.]

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,[N185] and appears to have been baked. They are irregular
fragments (No. 89697 [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

    [Footnote N185: 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.”]

  [Illustration: FIG. 22.--Fragments of pottery.]

Beechey (Voyage, p. 295) speaks of “earthen jars for cooking” at
Hotham Inlet in 1826 and 1827, and Mr. E. W. Nelson has collected a
few jars from the Norton Sound region, very like what those used at
Point Barrow must have been. Choris figures a similar vessel in his
Voyage Pittoresque, Pl. III (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
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,[N186] as had the people of Plover Bay in 1849.[N187]

    [Footnote N186: See Further Papers, etc., p. 909.]

    [Footnote N187: Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 57.]

_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-pidjûk-nunamisinĭ´ktuɐ-kau´teɐ” (literally
“iron-not-dead-hammer”), 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. All are constructed on the same general plan,
consisting of an oblong roughly cylindrical mass of stone, with flat
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 reindeer 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.[N188]
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.[N189]

    [Footnote N188: We saw this done on No. 56634 [83], the head and
    haft of which were brought in separate and put together by an
    Eskimo at the station.]

    [Footnote N189: Figured in Ray’s Point Barrow Report, Ethnology,
    Pl. II, Fig. 6.]

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, probably 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 considerable age.

These mauls vary considerable in size. The largest is 7.1 inches long
and 2.5 in diameter, and the smallest 2.1 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 7.1 by 2.5 inches, have
hafts 5 inches long.

  [Illustration: FIG. 23.--Stone maul. 3/8]

The lashing of all is put on in the same general way, namely, by
securing one end round the head and through the eye, then taking a
variable 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 sinew 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 1½ 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 24.--Stone maul. 3/8]

The following figures will illustrate the most important variations in
the form of this implement. Fig. 23, No. 56634 [83] from Utkiavwĭñ,
has a head of light gray pectolite, slightly translucent, 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 Utkiavwĭñ, has the head of grayish
pectolite, rough and unusually large. The haft is of some soft
coniferous wood soaked with grease. It is nearly round, instead 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 25.--Stone maul. 3/8]

Fig. 25, No. 56639 [161], from Utkiavwĭñ, is of pectolite, the upper
and lower faces almost black and the sides light gray. The haft is of
hard wood and unusually long (7.2 inches). It is noticeable for being
attached 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 26.--Stone maul. 3/8]

Fig. 26, No. 89654 [906], is from Nuwŭk. The head is an oblong, nearly
cylindrical, water-worn pebble of black quartzite, 7.1 inches long;
the haft is of reindeer antler, and the lashing of seal thong.

Fig. 27, No. 89655 [1241], from Utkiavwĭñ. The head of this maul is a
long pebble of rather coarse-grained gray syenite, and is peculiar in
having a shallow groove roughly worked out round the middle to keep
the lashing from slipping. 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 27.--Stone maul. 3/8]

  [Illustration: FIG. 28.--Stone maul. 3/8]

Fig. 28, No. 89657 [877], from Nuwŭk. 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 unmounted heads, which are all of pectolite, are grooved
in this way to receive the haft, but No. 56658 [205] has two shallow,
incomplete grooves round the middle for lashings, and No. 56655 [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.

Stone mauls 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
hole in the haft. Among the “Chukches” at Pithkaj, however,
Nordenskiöld 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.[N190]
Lieut. Ray saw only dogs fed with it in the interior. Nordenskiöld
does not mention 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. 89655 [1241], fig. 27.)

    [Footnote N190: Vega, vol. 2, p. 113; figures on p. 112.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 29.--Bone maul. 3/8]

In addition to the above-described stone mauls, there are in the
collection five nearly similar mauls of heavy bone, which have
evidently served the same purpose. They were all brought over for sale
from Utkiavwĭñ at about the same time, and from their exceedingly oily
condition 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 30.--Bone maul. 3/8]

The following figures will illustrate the general form of these
implements: 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 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 deep notches for the lashing, one on each
side, are 1 inch behind the middle. The haft is a 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 peculiar
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
common pattern and attached as usual, the lashing being made of very
stout sinew braid. The head is a section of a small rib 6 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 battered on the striking face, showing that they have been

  [Illustration: FIG. 31.--Bone maul. 3/8]

  [Illustration: FIG. 32.--Bone maul. 3/8]

At the first glance it seems as if we had here a series illustrating
the development of the stone hammer. Fig. 32 would be the first form,
while the 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 developed 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 makeshifts 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 [1049] 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 and nearly circular or oblong in shape.
The collection contains two specimens of the circular form and three
oblong 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´libiɐ). 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 inside where meat has been cut up in it. No. 89867 [1323] is a
very similar dish, and made of the same material, 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 whalebone
stitches in the manner previously described.

  [Illustration: FIG. 33.--Meat dish. 1/7]

No. 73575 [223] (Fig. 34) is a typical oblong dish. It is neatly
hollowed out, having a broad margin painted with red ocher. It
measures 24 inches in length, is made of pine, rather roughly carved
on the outside, and is new and clean. This is a common form of dish.
Fig. 35, No. 89868 [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´mai,” “the footprints of the stone (scil. adz).” The
excavation is shallow and leaves a margin of 2 inches at one 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. 36, No. 89866 [1376], 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 whalebone in the usual way. Trays and
dishes of this sort are in general use among all Eskimo,[N191] and are
sometimes made of tanned sealskins.[N192]

    [Footnote N191: See for example, Crantz, vol. 1, p. 144,
    Greenland; Parry, 2d. Voy., p. 503, Iglulik; and Hooper, Tents,
    etc., p. 170, Plover Bay.]

    [Footnote N192: Bessels, Naturalist, Sept. 1884, p. 867.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 34.--Oblong meat dish. 1/8]

  [Illustration: FIG. 35.--Oblong meat dish; very old. 1/8]

  [Illustration: FIG. 36.--Fish dish. 1/10]


_Whalebone Cup_ (_I´musyû_).--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). Of these there are
five specimens in the collection, all from Utkiavwĭñ. No. 89853 [1302]
(Fig. 37) will serve as the type. It is 4.6 inches long and made by
binding a strip of black whalebone round a spruce bottom, and sewing
together the ends, which overlap each other about 1½ inches, with
coarse strips of whalebone.

  [Illustration: FIG. 37.--Whalebone cup. 1/2]

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 fraction 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. 56560 [654] was found
among the débris of one of the ruined houses at Utkiavwĭñ, 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
actual use, was made after our arrival, as the bottom is made of a
piece of one of our cigar boxes.

  [Illustration: FIG. 38.--Horn dipper. 1/4]

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. 56534 [28] (Fig. 38) has been selected as
the type. This is made of a single piece of pale yellow translucent
horn, 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 hand
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|, 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, 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 village of Utkiavwĭñ.

  [Illustration: FIG. 39.--Horn dipper. 1/4]

Horn dippers of the same general pattern as these are common
throughout Alaska. The Museum collection contains a large series of
such utensils, collected by Mr. Nelson and others. The cups and
dippers of musk-ox horn found by Parry at Iglulik are somewhat
different in shape.[N193] Those made of the enlarged base of
horn[N194] 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.[N195]
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, Nuwŭk, Utkiavwĭñ,
and Sidaru, and all were obtained for the collection. They show signs
of age and long use. They differ somewhat 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´musyû, kĭlĭgwû´garo), is neatly carved
from a single piece of fine-grained fossil ivory, yellowed by age. The
handle, polished by long use, terminates in a blunt, recurved,
tapering hook, which serves the purpose of the peg in the horn dipper.
The rounded gap in the brim opposite the handle is an accidental
break. Another, No. 89830 [1259], from Sidaru, 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 inserted in the end of the
handle. This cup is especially interesting from its resemblance to the
one obtained by Beechey (Voyage, Pl. I, Fig. 4) at Eschscholtz 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.[N196] Fig. 41, No. 89833
[933], from Nuwŭk, 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 1¾ 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
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
engravings 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. 56535
[371] was obtained from the Nunatañmiun.

    [Footnote N193: Second Voyage, p. 503.]

    [Footnote N194: See Fig. 26, plate opposite p. 550.]

    [Footnote N195: See Figs. 8 and 9, opposite p. 548.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 40.--Dipper of fossil ivory. 3/10]

  [Illustration: FIG. 41.--Dipper of fossil ivory. 1/3]

    [Footnote N196: Narrative, p. 148.]

_Spoons and ladles._--Each family has several spoons of various sizes,
and narrow shallow ladles of horn, bone, etc. The large spoon is for
stirring and ladling soup, etc. There is only one specimen in the
collection, No. 89739 [1352] (Fig. 42). This is a new one, made by a
native of Utkiavwĭñ, whom I asked to make himself a new spoon and
bring me his old one. He, however, misunderstood me and brought over
the new one, which Lieut. Ray purchased, 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.
89416 [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 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 42.--Wooden spoon. 1/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 43.--Horn ladle. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 44.--Bone ladle. 1/2]

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. 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 [1013] closely resembles
this but is a trifle larger. The other two specimens are interesting
as showing an attempt at ornamentation. No. 89412 [1102] (Fig. 45,
from Nuwŭk) is carved smoothly into a rude, flattened figure of a
whale (Balaena mysticetus). The flukes form the handle and the belly
is hollowed out into the bowl of the ladle. No. 89413 [934] (Fig. 46,
from Utkiavwĭñ) 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, kĭliu´tɐ, obtained for these ladles is given in the
vocabulary collected 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 cognate Greenlandic kiliortût, “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 scrapers.

  [Illustration: FIG. 45.--Bone ladle in the form of a whale. 1/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 46.--Bone ladle. 3/8]


_Lamps (kódlö)._--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 “Kûñmû´dlĭñ,” 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
temporary 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 Yûksĭ´ña, the so-called “chief,” at
Nuwŭk, there were three lamps, the third standing in the right-hand
front corner of the house. The dish is filled with oil, which is
burned by 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 sä´potĭn
(corresponding to the Greenlandic saputit, “(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 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
(ajû´ksûxbwĭñ) projecting from the wall about a foot above the middle
of the lamp.[N197]

    [Footnote N197: Compare the custom noticed by Parry, at Iglulik,
    of hanging a long thin strip of blubber near the flame of the lamp
    to feed it (2d Voyage, p. 502). According to Petitot (Monographie,
    etc., p. xviii), the lamps in the Mackenzie district are fed by a
    lump of blubber stuck on a stick, as at Point Barrow.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 47.--Stone house lamp. 1/4]

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.[N198] No food, except an
occasional 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 the banquette, and easily keep the temperature between 50°
and 60° F. in the coldest weather. In the collection are three house
lamps, two complete and one merely a fragment, and three traveling

    [Footnote N198: Compare Nordenskiöld, 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 in train-oil are used” (Pitlekaj), and foot-note
    on 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 . . . in old Eskimo graves in northwestern

  [Illustration: FIG. 48.--Sandstone lamp. 3/8]

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 outward. 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 1½ 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 has been broken off obliquely 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, without a shelf, and only a little
steeper behind than in front. The idea at once suggests 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 Kulugrua. 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 49.--Traveling lamp. 3/8]

Fig. 49, No. 56673 [133], is a traveling lamp, and is a miniature of
the large lamp, No. 89879 [872], 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 lamp, also of soapstone, and made of about half of a
large lamp. It has been used little if at all since it was made over,
as the inside is almost new while the outside is coated with soot and
grease. It is 6.3 inches long. No. 89881 [1209] is a miniature of No.
89880, 8.1 inches long, and is made of the same gritty stone.

  [Illustration: FIG. 50.--Socket for blubber holder. 3/8]

Suitable material is not at hand for the proper 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[N199] 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
appears at Hudson Strait in the lamps collected by Mr. L. M. Turner,
while those used at Iglulik are nearly semicircular.[N200] South of
Kotzebue Sound lamps of the shape so common in the east are used, but
these, Mr. Turner informs 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.[N201] 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
Nordenskiöld, who figures one from Siberia.[N202] This lamp is
interesting as the only one described with a ledge comparable to the
shelf of No. 89879. 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 pebble 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.

    [Footnote N199: Naturalist, September, 1884, p. 867, Fig. 2.]

    [Footnote N200: Parry, Second Voyage, Pl. opposite p. 548, Fig.

    [Footnote N201: See Dall, Alaska, p. 387; and Petroff Report,
    etc., p. 141. See also the collections of Turner and Fischer from
    Attu and Kadiak.]

    [Footnote N202: Vega, vol. 2, p. 23, Fig. _b_ on p. 22, and
    diagrams, p. 23.]

Fig. 50, No. 56492 [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 1½
thick, very rudely carved into a human head and body without arms,
with a large round hole about 1¼ 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[N203] makes the
rather surprising 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 excessive 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 lounging about the station, but by the next spring
these were all packed away and were not resumed again except in rare
instances in the summer.

    [Footnote N203: Report, etc., p. 125.]

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 “Nunatañmiun,” are
especially valued for full-dress jackets. We heard no mention of the
use of the skin of the unborn reindeer fawn, but there is a kind of
dark deerskin 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 having the flesh side colored red,[N204] while
American-dressed skins are worked soft and rubbed with chalk or
gypsum, giving a beautiful white surface like pipe-clayed leather.

  [Illustration: FIG. 51.--Man in ordinary deerskin clothes]

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 epidermis 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. Nordenskiöld,[N205] however, found it in use among
the Chukches for this purpose. It is considered an excellent material
for soles at Point Barrow, and is sometimes used to make boat covers,
which are beautifully white. Heavy mittens for the winter 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.

    [Footnote N204: Compare Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol 2. p. 213.]

    [Footnote N205: Vega, vol. 2, p. 98.]


Dr. Simpson[N206] gave an excellent general description 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,[N207] and most
closely resembles the style in vogue at and near Norton Sound.[N208]
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 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 without 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. Overshoes of
the same material, reaching just above the ankles, with a drawstring
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.

    [Footnote N206: Op. cit., pp. 241-245.]

    [Footnote N207: See for example, Egede, p. 219; Crantz, vol. 1,
    p. 136; Bessels, Op. cit., pp. 805 and 868 (Smith Sound); Kane,
    1st Grinnell Exp., pp. 45 (Greenland) and 132 (Cape York);
    Brodbeck, “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, Frobisher, in Hakluyt’s
    Voyages, 1589, etc., p. 628.]

    [Footnote N208: Dall, Alaska, pp. 21 and 141.]

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 wearing 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
drifting snow out of their furs.

Both men and women wear gloves or mittens. These are of deerskin for
ordinary use, but in extreme weather mittens of polar bear skin are
worn. When hunting in winter it is the custom to wear gloves of thin
deerskin 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 wearing only one mitten, but keeping the other arm
withdrawn from the sleeve and inside of the jacket.

  [Illustration: FIG. 52.--Woman’s hood.]

The dress of the women consists of two frocks, which differ from those
of the men in being continued from the waist in two 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. On 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, but 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 pantaloons. 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
engaged 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 Eskimos 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 commented upon that it is unnecessary to refer to it. One
or two youths learned from association with us the convenience of
pockets, and accordingly had “patch pockets” of cloth sewed on the
outside of the skirt of the inner frock, and one young man in 1883
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
recollection 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 Utkiavwĭñ
(Nägawau´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
deerskin, tied round like a fillet. No specimens of any of these
articles were obtained. Fancy conical caps are worn in the dances and
theatrical performances, but these belong more properly under the head
of Games and Pastimes (where they will be described) than under that
of Clothing.

_Frocks (atigĕ)._--Two frocks are always worn by both sexes except in
the house, or in warm weather, the inner (ílupa) with the hair next
the skin, and the outer (kalûru´rɐ) 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 ornamented 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 53.--Man’s frock.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 54.--Pattern of man’s deerskin frock.]

There are in the collection three specimens, all rather elaborate
dress frocks, to be worn outside. All have been worn. No. 56751 [184]
(Fig. 53), brown deerskin, will serve as the type. The pattern can
best be explained by reference to the accompanying diagrams (Fig. 54).
The body consists of two pieces, front and back, each made of the
greater part of the skin of a reindeer fawn, with the back in the
middle and the sides and belly coming at the edges. The head of the
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 armpit 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 binding of the
hood, its ends separated by the chin piece, so that the long hairs
form a fringe around the face. Similar strips are sewed round each
wrist with the fur inward. The binding round the skirt (Fig. 55_a_) is
2¼ inches broad. The light-colored strips are 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 wolverine fur, sewed on with the flesh side, which is
colored red, probably with ocher, outward. A band of similar
materials, arranged a little differently (Fig. 55_b_) and 1¼ 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 55.--Detail of trimming, skirt and shoulder of
  man’s frock.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 56.--Man wearing plain, heavy frock.]

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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 57.--Man’s frock of mountain sheepskin, front
  and back.]

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 is always used for the back of the hood, as Capt. Parry observed
to be the custom at Iglulik.[N209] A plain frock is sometimes used for
rough work, hunting, etc. This has no fringe or trimming round the
hood, skirt, or wrists, the first being smoothly hemmed or bound with
deerskin and the last two left raw-edged. Fig. 56 shows such a jacket,
which is often made of very heavy winter deerskin. Most frocks,
however, 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.[N210] Instead of a
fringe the hood sometimes has three tufts of fur, one on each side and
one above.

    [Footnote N209: Second Voy., p. 537.]

    [Footnote N210: Compare Dall, 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 “Kûñmûdlĭñ” fashion.[N211] Nearly all the natives
wear outer frocks of deerskin, but on great occasions elaborately made
garments of other materials are sometimes seen. Nos. 56758 [87] (Fig.
57, _a_ and _b_) and 56757 [11] (Fig. 58, _a_ and _b_) are two such
frocks. No. 56758 [87] is of mountain sheep skin, nearly white. As
shown in the diagrams (Fig. 59, _a_, _b_, _c_), the general pattern is
not unlike the type described, but there are more pieces in the hood
and several small gussets are inserted to improve the set of the
garment. The trimmings are shoulder 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.

    [Footnote N211: There are several frocks so trimmed in the
    National Museum, from the Mackenzie and Anderson region.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 58.--Man’s frock of ermine skins, front and

No. 56757 [11] is a very handsome garment (Fig. 58). The body and
sleeves are of white and brown (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 diagram (Fig. 60 _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. 60 _b_), though the back is a little
longer in the skirt. There is no regular seam on the shoulders, where
irregular bits of white ermine skin are pieced together so as to fit.
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 below, 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 pattern of vertical stripes, two
skins fastened together end to end making a stripe, which is the same
on the front and the back. There 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 59.--Pattern of sheepskin frock.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 60.--Pattern of ermine frock. _a_, hood; _b_,

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
collection. (The “jumper of mixed white and blue fox pelts,” seen by
Dr. Kane at Ita,[N212] must have been like this.)

    [Footnote N212: Second Grinnell Exp., vol. 1, p. 203.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 61.--Woman’s frock, front and back.]

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 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.
74041 [1791] (Fig. 61, _a_ and _b_), 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 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. Trimming: a strip of edging (Fig. 63) in
which the light stripes are clipped white mountain sheepskin, 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
similar 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 62.--Pattern of woman’s frock.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 63.--Detail of edging, woman’s frock.]

  [Illustration: 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
eastern 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 River. 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.[N213]

    [Footnote N213: Egede, p. 131; Crantz, i, p. 137 and Pl. III.
    (Greenland); Bessels, op. cit., p. 865 (Smith Sound--married women
    only); Parry, 2nd Voy., p. 491, and numerous illustrations, passim
    (Iglulik); Packard. Naturalist Vol. 19, p. 6, Pl. XXIII
    (Labrador), and Kumlien, l. c., p. 33 (Cumberland Gulf). See also
    several specimens in the National Museum from Ungava (collected by
    L. M. Turner) and the Mackenzie and Anderson rivers (collected by
    MacFarlane). The hoods from the last region, while still much
    larger and wider than those in fashion at Point Barrow, are not so
    enormous as the more eastern ones. The little peak on the top of
    the woman’s hood at Point Barrow may be a reminiscence of the
    pointed hood worn by the women mentioned by Bessels, op. cit.]

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 Rink’s Tales, etc., pp. 8 and 9),
but the ancient fashion, judging from the plate in Crantz’s History of
Greenland, referred 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.[N214] Petitot[N215] gives a
full description of the dress of a “chief” from the Anderson River. He
calls the frock a “blouse échancrée par côté et terminée en queues
arrondies par devant et par derrière.” 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.[N216] The frock worn in Kadiak
was hoodless and long, with short sleeves and large armholes beneath

    [Footnote N214: Parry, 2d Voy., p. 494, and 1st Voy., p. 283.]

    [Footnote N215: Monographic, etc., p. xiv.]

    [Footnote N216: Petroff, op. cit., p. 134, Pls. 4 and 5. See also
    specimens in the National Museum.]

    [Footnote N217: Petroff, op. cit., p. 139, and Liscansky, Voy.,
    etc., p. 194.]

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 mouth of a bag, around the face by a string
inserted in the edge.”[N218] According to Nordenskiöld,[N219] the men
at Pitlekaj wear the hoodless frock summer and winter, putting on one
or two separate 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 kneebreeches in one piece,
sewed to tightfitting boots reaching to the knees.[N220]

    [Footnote N218: Dall, Alaska, p. 379.]

    [Footnote N219: Vega, vol. 2, p. 98.]

    [Footnote N220: Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, p. 100 and Fig. on
    p. 57; Dall, Alaska, p. 379 and plate opposite. I also noticed
    this dress at Plover Bay in 1881. Compare also Krause Brothers,
    Geogr. Blätter, 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.]

_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 tending 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 one specimen in the
collection, No. 56760 [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. 66). 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 depth 39.
It is worn with the white flesh side out, as is indicated by the seams
being sewed “over and over” on the hair side. All the mantles seen
were essentially of the same pattern. The edge is sometimes cut into
an ornamental fringe, and the flesh side marked with a few narrow
stripes of red ocher. This garment appears to be peculiar to
northwestern America. No mention 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 a line across the shoulders in cold weather,”
among the Anderson River Eskimo. 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
Nunata´ñmiun who were at Nuwŭk in the autumn of 1881.

  [Illustration: FIG. 65.--Man’s cloak of deerskin.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 66.--Pattern of man’s cloak.]

_Rain-frocks._--The rain-frock (silû´ña) is made of strips of seal or
walrus 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 ornament. 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 entrail 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 collection.

The kaiak jacket of black sealskin, so universal in Greenland, is
unknown 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[N221] as used
in Greenland in their time. Ellis also[N222] says: “Some few of them
[i.e., the Eskimo of Hudsons Strait] wear shifts of seals’ bladders,
sewed together in pretty near the same form with those in Europe.”
They have been described generally under the name _kamleïka_ (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.

    [Footnote N221: Vol. 1, p. 137.]

    [Footnote N222: Voyage to Hudsons Bay, p. 136.]

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
generally 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.[N223]

    [Footnote N223: Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, p. 98.]


_Mittens._--The hands are usually protected by mittens (aitkă´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. 67). They are made of thick winter reindeer skin,
with the white flesh side outward, in the shape of ordinary mittens
but 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 7½ inches long and 4½ broad. The free part of
the thumb is only 2¼ 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 dogskin, with the hair
out. When the hand covered with such a mitten is held upon the
windward side of the face in walking, the long hair affords a very
efficient protection against the wind. The long stiff hair of the
bearskin also makes the mitten a very convenient brush for removing
snow and hoar frost from the clothes. It is even sometimes used for
brushing up the floor.

  [Illustration: FIG. 67.--Deerskin mittens]

In the MacFarlane collection are similar mittens from the Mackenzie
region. Petitot[N224] says the Anderson River “chief” wore pualuk
“mitaines 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.[N225] 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.

    [Footnote N224: Monographie, etc., p. xv.]

    [Footnote N225: Compare Parry, 2d Voy., p. 494, where a similar
    habit is mentioned at Iglulik.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 68.--Deerskin gloves.]

_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 winter. 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.
No. 89829 [974] (Fig. 68) illustrates a very common style called
a´drigûdrĭn. They are made of thin reindeer skin, with the white flesh
side out, and 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 8½ inches, with fingers (all of the same
length) 4½ inches long, while the other is 8 inches long with fingers
of 3½ inches. No. 56747 [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, into which is inserted the square ornamental
pattern in which the light stripes are white deerskin and the dark
pipings the usual almost hairless fawnskin. Gloves like this type are
the most common and almost universally have a fringe round the wrist.
They are also usually a little longer-wristed than the mittens.

Mittens are universally employed among the Eskimo, but gloves with
fingers, 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[N226] and in the Mackenzie district[N227], and have even been
observed among the Arctic Highlanders of Smith Sound, who, however,
generally wear mittens[N228]. Dr. Simpson[N229] mentions both deerskin
and bearskin 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 Nunatañmiun at Kotzebue Sound, who in
their turn would teach it to the Point Barrow traders at the Colville,
and these would carry it on to the eastern natives.

    [Footnote N226: Dall, Alaska, pp. 23, 152, and 153. He speaks of
    the thumb (p. 23) as “a triangular, shapeless protuberance”;
    a description which applies well to those in our collection.]

    [Footnote N227: MacFarlane MS., and Petitot, Monographie, etc.,
    p. xv.]

    [Footnote N228: Bessels, Naturalist, vol. 18, p. 865.]

    [Footnote N229: Op. cit., p. 242.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 69.--Man’s breeches of deerskin]


_Breeches (kă´kli)._--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 the pubes, but run up
much higher behind, sometimes as high as the small of the back. They
are held in place by a girdle of thong round the waist, and are
usually fastened below the knee, over the boots, by a drawstring.
There is one pair in the collection, No. 56759 [91], Fig. 69. They are
of short-haired brown reindeer skin, from the body of the animal, worn
with the hair out. The waist is higher behind than in front, and each
leg is slightly gathered to a band just below the knee. Pattern (see
diagram, Fig. 70): There are two pieces in each leg, the inside and
the outside. The spaces between the edges _e_ of the two legs is filled
by the gusset, made of five pieces, which covers the pubes. The crotch
is reinforced by a square patch of white deerskin sewed on the inside.
The trimming consists of strips of edging. The first strip (Fig. 71)
is 1½ inches wide, and runs along the front seam, inserted in the
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 1½ inches
apart. A straight strip, 2 inches wide, is inserted obliquely across
the outside piece from seam to seam. It is of the same materials, but
differs slightly in pattern. The knee-band is of the same materials
and 2½ 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. When 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 sometimes, but rarely, used for summer breeches, which
are worn with the hair out. With this exception, breeches seem to be
invariably made of deerskin. This garment is practically universal
among the Eskimo and varies very little in pattern.

  [Illustration: FIG. 70.--Pattern of man’s breeches.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 71.--Trimming of man’s breeches. 3/8]

_Pantaloons (kûmûñ)._--The women and children, and occasionally the
men, wear pantaloons (strictly speaking), i.e., tight-fitting trousers
continuous 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.
73_a_): 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), which enlarges the garment to fit the swell of
the calf and thigh and the half-waistband (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 1¼
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 3½ inches is
left uncrimped on each side of the foot. (The process of crimping
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 _f_, and the curved edges _g g_ joined to the straight edges
_h h_, which makes the folded edge _f_, fit the outline of the instep.
The bottom is then cut off accurately to fit the sole and sewed to the
edge of the band. The trousers and shoes are sewed together at the
ankles. The whole is made of the short-haired skin from the deer’s
legs. Pieces 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10 are of dark brown skin (10 put on
so that the tuft of coarse hair on the deer’s ankle comes on the
outside of the wearer’s ankle), while the remaining 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 [136] is a pair of pantaloons
of nearly the same pattern (see diagram, Fig. 73_b_) 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 72.--Woman’s pantaloons.]

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 everyday 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 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 described 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 specimens in the Museum.[N230]

  [Illustration: FIG. 73.--Patterns of woman’s pantaloons.]

    [Footnote N230: Dr. Simpson’s language (op. cit., p. 243) is a
    little indefinite (“The feet and legs are incased in water-tight
    sealskin boots”), but probably refers to these as well as to the
    knee boots. The “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 we continually saw the natives when working in the boats,
    and these 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 specimens of
women’s leg coverings from the Mackenzie district, but Petitot[N231]
describes them thus: “Le pantalon * * * fait corps avec la chaussure.”
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.[N232]

    [Footnote N231: Monographie, etc., p. xv.]

    [Footnote N232: 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 Labrador, see Pl. XVII, Naturalist, vol.
    19, No. 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).]

  [Illustration: FIG. 74.--Pattern of stocking.]

_Stockings._--Next to the skin on the feet and legs the men wear
stockings 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
substituted for the outer boots when deer-hunting 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 preparation.

_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, beginning 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 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 slopes well in over the foot. Some boots, especially those
intended for 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
the 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 75.--Man’s boot of deerskin.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 76.--Pattern of deerskin boot.]

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[N233] of the walrus,
bearded seal, polar bear, or, best of all, the white whale. This last
makes a beautiful light yellow translucent leather about 0.1 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 mention to be found of
its use elsewhere. The “narwhal skin” spoken of by Dr. Simpson[N234]
is probably this material, as he calls it “Kel-lel´-lu-a,” which is
the ordinary word for white whale at Point Barrow. The narwhal 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 from the
white whale skins, are obtained from the eastern natives or elsewhere.
Such crimped soles are in use among the Eskimo everywhere, varying but
little in general pattern. The Greenland boots are specially
noticeable for the neatness of the crimping, 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 Museum, which, however, are turned up without
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 between the
upper and sole of the Plover Bay boots. I am informed by Capt.
Herendeen 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 deerskin, 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 sealskin soles. Leg and upper are
in four pieces,[N235] 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 held up round the
ankles by two tie-strings of sealthong, sewed in between 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.

    [Footnote N233: Probably prepared like the boat covers described
    by Crantz, vol. 1, p. 167, by drying them without removing all of
    their own blubber.]

    [Footnote N234: Op. cit., pp. 242-266.]

    [Footnote N235: See diagram, Fig. 76.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 77.--Man’s dress boot of deerskin.]

Boots of this style are the common everyday 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 gussets 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 in number as in No.
56750, and put together in the same way, but 2 and 3 are of a
different shape.[N236] 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 coming to a point at the toe,
and the five ornamental bands are of sealskin, 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 fawnskin, tagged
with red worsted. The leg reaches to just below the knee, and is
hemmed over on the inside, to hold the drawstring, which comes out
behind. There are strings at the ankles as before.

    [Footnote N236: See diagram, Fig. 78.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 78.--Pattern of man’s dress boot of deerskin.]

Fig. 79, No. 89834 [770], is one of a pair of almost precisely the
same pattern 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. Edging is inserted
into both the seams on each side. It is strips of mountain-sheep skin
and a dark brown deerskin, tagged with red worsted, with the edge
which laps 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
Nuwŭk 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 enlarged to fit the swell of the calf by a large triangular
gusset from the knee to the midleg, meeting the inside 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 79.--Man’s dress boot of skin of

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 drawstrings 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 down on them. Tying down the
breeches over the tops of the boots, as is done at Point Barrow, is an
improvement 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
together, flesh side to flesh side, so that the edge of one projects
beyond 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 turned 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 run 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 women 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 waterproof seam is used in sewing together boat covers.

  [Illustration: FIG. 80.--Pair of man’s dress boots of deerskin.]

There is one pair of waterproof boots in the collection (No. 76182
[1794] Fig. 81). The tops are of black dressed sealskin, reaching to
the knee and especially full on the instep and ankle, which results
from their being made with the least possible number of seams, to
reduce the chance of leaking. The soles are of white whale skin,
turned up about 1½ 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 “run” together with fine stitches, with a stout double
under-thread running through them along the surface of the upper. The
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 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 81.--Woman’s waterproof sealskin boot.]

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 midleg,
without drawstrings, or shoes reaching just above the ankle with a
string round the top are sometimes worn over the deerskin boots.
Similar shoes of deerskin are sometimes worn in place of boots.

Waterproof boots of black sealskin 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 shrinking, and
worked soft with a stone skin-dressing tool or the teeth. The natives
prefer to dry them in the 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 82.--Sketch of “ice-creepers” on boot sole]

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 themselves to walk on this surface without falling, 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.


_Belts (tapsĭ)._--The belt which is used to hold up the pantaloons or
breeches is simply a stout strip of skin tied round the waist. The
girdle, 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 the former and one of the latter.

  [Illustration: FIG. 83.--Man’s belt woven of feathers. The lower cut
  shows detail of pattern. 1/4]

No. 89544 [1419] (Fig. 83_a_) 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, 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 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,
ending 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_b_, a long stitch on each side, three very short ones
on each side of the middle, and a slightly longer one in the middle.
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.
83_b_). 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 outside 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 spearhead is attached to the belt as an amulet by a stout

  [Illustration: FIG. 84.--Diagram showing method of fastening the
  ends of feathers in belt.]

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 working fiber. Belts of 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 85.--Woman’s belt of wolverine toes. 3/8]

The women never wear anything except a simple strip of skin or the
wolverine 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 1½ 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 women.

  [Illustration: FIG. 86.--Belt-fastener.]

Fig. 86, No. 89718 [1055], is an object which is quite uncommon and
seldom if ever now seen in use. It is of walrus ivory, very old and
yellow. It served as a belt-fastener (tápsĭgɐ). I have seen a brass
clock wheel used on a girl’s belt for the same purpose. This specimen
is very old, neatly made, and polished smooth, probably from long 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.[N237] 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 various 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 no 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,[N238] in describing the dress of the Anderson River
“chief,” says: “par derrière il portait aux reins une queue épaisse et
ondoyante de renard noir.” According to him[N239] it is the _women_ of
that region, who wear, “à titre de talismans, des defroques empaillées
de corbeau, de faucon, ou d’hermine.” The custom of wearing an ermine
skin on the jacket was observed by Dr. Armstrong of the _Investigator_
at Cape Bathurst.[N240]

    [Footnote N237: Op. cit., p. 243.]

    [Footnote N238: Monographie, etc., p. xiv.]

    [Footnote N239: Ibid.]

    [Footnote N240: Personal Narrative, p. 176.]



_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 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 in 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, Añoru 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 Mû´ñialu had a couple of small marks on one
forearm. Niăksára, the wife of Añoru, also had a little mark tattooed
in each corner of her mouth, which she said were “whale marks,”
indicating that she was the wife of a successful whaleman. Such marks,
according to Petitot (Monographie, etc., p. xv) are a part of the
usual pattern in the Mackenzie district--“deux traits aux commissures
de la bouche.” One or two men at Nuwŭk had each a narrow line across
the face, over the bridge of the nose, which were probably also “whale
marks,” though we never could get a definite answer concerning

    [Footnote N241: Compare the custom observed by H.M.S.
    _Investigator_, at Cape Bathurst, where, according to McClure
    (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 horizontal
    lines. It is interesting to note in this connection that one of
    the “striped” men at Nuwŭk told us that he had killed a man.
    According to Holm, at Angmagsalik (east Greenland), “Mændene ere
    kun undtagelsvis tatoverede og da kun med enkelte mindre Streger
    paa Arme 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 be tattooed
    on the back of the hand, as a souvenir of some distant or deceased

  [Illustration: FIG. 87.--Man with tattooed cheeks.]

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 natives
of Smith Sound, though the custom is falling into disuse among the
Eskimo who have much intercourse with the whites.[N242]

    [Footnote N242: 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);
    Franklin, 1st Exped., vol. 2, p. 183 (Coppermine River); 2d
    Exped., p. 126 (Point Sabine); Petitot, Monographie, 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”); Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, pp.
    99, 100, 251, and 252, with figures (Siberia and St. Lawrence
    Island); Krause brothers, Geographische Blätter, 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

    Frobisher’s account, being the earliest on record, is worth
    quoting: “* * * The women are marked on the face with blewe
    streekes downe 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). Hakluyt’s Voyages, etc., 1589.]

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 elaborate patterns,
sometimes extending to the arms and other parts of the body, in
fashion among the eastern Eskimo[N243] and those of Siberia, St.
Lawrence Island, and the Diomedes.

    [Footnote N243: Holm (East Greenland) says: “et Paar korte Streger
    paa Hagen” (Geogr. Tids. vol. 8, p. 88).]

  [Illustration: FIG. 88.--Woman with ordinary tattooing.]

Fig. 88, from a sketch made on the spot by the writer, shows the Point
Barrow pattern.

_Painting._--On great occasions, such as dances, etc., or when going
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.[N244] 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,

    [Footnote N244: 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.]

    [Footnote N245: Petroff Report, etc., p. 139.]


_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 always 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 clipping of the back of the head prevents snow
blindness in the spring. The people of the Mackenzie district have a
different theory. “La large tonsure que portent nos Tchiglit a pour
but, m’ont-ils dit, de permettre au soleil de rechauffer leur cerveau
et de transmettre par ce moyen sa bienfaisante chaleur à leur cœur
pour les faire vivre.”[N246] Some of the Nunatañmiun and one man from
Kilauwĭtaiwĭñ that we saw wore their front hair long, parted in the
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 that the tonsure was not common at Point
Barrow.[N247] It is universal at the present day, as it was in Dr.
Simpson’s time.[N248] 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,[N249] 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.[N250] The women
dress their hair in the fashion common to all the Eskimo except the
Greenlanders and the people about the Mackenzie and Anderson Rivers,
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.[N251] The hair is parted in the middle from the
forehead to the nape of the neck, and gathered into a club on each
side 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 Capt. Herendeen observed).

    [Footnote N246: Petitot, Monographie, etc., p. xxxi.]

    [Footnote N247: Tents, etc., p. 225.]

    [Footnote N248: Op. cit., p. 238.]

    [Footnote N249: Petitot, Monographie, etc., p. xxxi. See also
    Franklin, 2d Exp., p. 118.]

    [Footnote N250: See also Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, pp. 9 and
    252, and figures passim, especially pp. 84 and 85; Hooper, Tents,
    etc., p. 27; and Dall, Alaska, p. 381.]

    [Footnote N251: 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 Greenland; 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
    Reef, 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 Nordenskiöld, given above, and Krause
    Bros., Geographische Blätter, vol. 5, pt. 1, p. 5.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 89.--Man’s method of wearing the hair.]

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 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 blue glass beads, sometimes sewed on a strip of
deerskin. 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 instead.” 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 superstitious
regard.”[N252] None were ever offered for sale and we had only two or
three opportunities 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 captain 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 Capt. Parry at Iglulik,[N253]
which “was understood to be worn on the head by men, though we did not
learn on what occasions.”

    [Footnote N252: See Dr. Simpson, op. cit., p. 243. Compare also
    Brodbeck, “Nach Osten” (p. 23). Speaking of “ein Kopf- oder
    Stirnband,” he says: “Vielleicht gilt es ihnen als eine Art von
    Zauberschützmittel, denn es ist um kein Geld zu haben. Drängt man
    sie, so sagen sie wohl, es sei nicht ihr eigen.”]

    [Footnote N253: Second Voy., p. 498 and Fig. 7, pl. opposite
    p. 548.]

_Earrings (nógolu)._--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 sometimes
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.[N254] 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.

    [Footnote N254: Op. cit., p. 211.]

No. 89386 [1340] is a similar pair of earrings, in which the hook
projects 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 90.--Earrings.]

_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.[N255] They are or have been worn by all the Eskimo of western
America, including St. Lawrence Island and the Diomedes, from the most
southern point of their range to the Mackenzie and Anderson district,
and were also worn by Aleuts in ancient times.[N256] East of the
Mackenzie district no traces of the habit are to be observed.
Petitot[N257] 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 _Investigator_, 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
tattooed under each corner of the mouth, just in the position of the
labret. This may be a reminiscence of an ancient habit of wearing
labrets, or may have been done in imitation of the people of the
Diomedes and the American coast.

    [Footnote N255: 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.]

    [Footnote N256: See Dall, Contrib., etc., vol. 1, p. 87, and the
    paper just referred to.]

    [Footnote N257: Monographie, etc., p. xxvi.]

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 was 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,[N258] 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 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 incisions are at first only
large enough to admit a flat-headed pin of walrus ivory, about the
diameter of a crow quill, worn with the head resting 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.

    [Footnote N258: Op. cit., p. 241.]

We heard of no special ceremonies or festivals connected with the
making of these incisions, such as Dall observed at Norton
Sound,[N259] but in the one case where the operation was performed at
the village of Utkiavwĭñ during our stay, we learned that it was done
by a man outside 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 employment 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

    [Footnote N259: Alaska p. 141.]

The collection contains two specimens of such lancets. No. 89721
[1153] (figured in Rept. 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 flattened, and tapering toward
the rounded ends, of which one is somewhat larger than the other.
Round each end is a narrow, 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, probably 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 91.--Plug for enlarging labret hole.]

No. 89579 [1200] is a similar blade of reddish purple slate, mounted
in a rough haft of bone. Fig. 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 resembles the plugs figured by Dall from Norton
Sound,[N260] 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 lip. The labrets worn at Point Barrow at the present day
are usually of two patterns. One is a large, flat, circular disk about
1½ 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.

    [Footnote N260: Alaska, p. 140.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 92.--Labret of beads and ivory.]

One of the Nunatañmiun wore a glass cruet-stopper for a labret, and
many natives of Utkiavwĭñ 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.[N261] 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´tɐ) is No. 89700 [1163] (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
0.6 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
unusual at Point Barrow. Fig. 92, No. 89719 [1166], from Nuwŭk, 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, on top of which
is a small, translucent, sky-blue 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) from Cape Prince of Wales, also very
old. It is surmounted by a single oblong blue bead.

    [Footnote N261: The 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).]

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 Nuwŭk. This may be compared with a specimen
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 specimen.

I obtained one pair of syenite disk labrets, No. 56716 [197] (figured
in Point Barrow Rept., Ethnology, Pl. 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,

  [Illustration: FIG. 93.--Blue and white labret from Anderson River.]

Fig. 93, No. 2083, is one of the blue and white disks said to come
from the Anderson River. This is introduced to represent those worn at
Point Barrow, which are of precisely the same pattern. The disk is of
white marble, 1½ 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 marble disks without the bead
are 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 River and from the north shore of
Norton Sound and we saw them worn by the Nunatañmiun, as well as the
natives of Point Barrow and Wainwright Inlet. The beads, which are
larger than those sold by the American traders, were undoubtedly
obtained from Siberia, as Kotzebue, in 1816, found the people of the
sound which bears his name wearing labrets “ornamented with blue glass
beads.”[N262] The high value set on these blue-bead labrets has been
mentioned by Franklin[N263] and T. Simpson,[N264] as well as by Dr.
Simpson.[N265] The last named seems to be the first to recognize that
the disks were made of marble. All previous writers speak of them as
made of walrus ivory.

    [Footnote N262: 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 Choris, Voyage Pittoresque).]

    [Footnote N263: 2d Exp., p. 118.]

    [Footnote N264: Narrative, p. 119.]

    [Footnote N265: Op. cit., p. 239.]

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 [866]
(figured in Point Barrow Rept., Ethnology, Pl. 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
anywhere. Beechey saw one in Kotzebue Sound 3 inches long and 1½
wide,[N266] 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 received from Kotzebue Sound.

    [Footnote N266: Voyage, p. 249.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 94.--Oblong labret of bone.]

Fig. 94, No. 89712 [1169], from Sidaru is a labret of similar shape,
3 inches long and 1½ 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
against the teeth, and it is probably genuine. The purchase of this
specimen apparently started the manufacture of bone labrets at
Utkiavwĭñ, 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 labrets),
like Fig. 95, No. 89707 [1215]. The purchase of three specimens of
these started a wholesale manufacture of them, and we stopped

  [Illustration: FIG. 95. Oblong labret of soapstone.]

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.[N267] Unfortunately, he does not specify whether they were worn
in pairs or singly, and if singly, as would be natural from their size
and shape, whether in the middle of the lip or at one side.

    [Footnote N267: Beechey’s Voy., p. 308.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 96.--Ancient labrets.]

Nos. 89304 [1713], 89716 [1042], and 89717 [1031] (Fig. 96) 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.[N268] 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 Utkiavwĭñ. 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 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 Nordenskiöld saw men at Port Clarence who
had, besides the ordinary labret holes, “a similar hole forward in the
lip.”[N269] The various portraits of natives previously inserted show
the present manner of wearing the labrets at Point Barrow.

    [Footnote N268: See Contrib., etc., vol. 1, p. 89, and the two
    copper figures on the plate opposite.]

    [Footnote N269: Vega, vol. 2, p. 233.]


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 circles of narrow thong, upon which are strung one or two
large beads or a couple of Dentalium shells (pû´tû).[N270]

    [Footnote N270: There is in the collection a bunch of five of
    these shells (No. 89530 [1357], which are scarce and highly valued
    as ornaments. Mr. R. E. C. Stearns, of the U. S. National Museum,
    has identified the species as Dentalium Indianorum Cpr. (probably
    = _D. pretiosum_, Sby.), called “alĭkotci´k” by the Indians of
    northwest California, and “hiqua” (J. K. Lord) or “hya-qua”
    (F. Whymper) by the Indians round Queen Charlotte Sound.]

We brought home one pair of men’s bracelets (newly made), one of which
(89388 [1355]) is figured in Point Barrow Rept. Ethnology, Pl. 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 katû´kqlĕrûñ, from katû´kqlûñ, the middle finger, upon which
the ring is always worn.


  [Illustration: FIG. 97.--Beads of amber.]

_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.[N271] These people appear to have attempted the
manufacture of beads in former times, when they were not so easily
obtained as at present. There is in the collection a 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 specimens were the only
ones seen.

    [Footnote N271: Voyage, p. 295.]


The only object in use among these people that can be considered a
toilet article is the small hair comb (ĭ^{d}lai´utĭn), usually made of
walrus ivory.

The collection contains ten specimens, from which No. 56566_b_ [182]
(Fig. 98_a_) 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 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. 98_b_, No. 56569 [194], or sometimes with a plain
top, like No. 56572 [210] (Fig. 98_c_). Nine of the ten combs, all
from Utkiavwĭñ, are of walrus ivory, but No. 89785 [1006], which was
the property of Ilû´bwga, the Nunatañmiun, who spent the winter of
1882-’83 at Utkiavwĭñ, 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 fine saw. This
kind of comb is very like that described by Parry from Iglulik.[N272]

    [Footnote N272: 2nd Voyage, p. 194, Fig. 12, Pl. opp. p. 548.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 98.--Hair combs.]



_Knives._--All the men are now supplied with excellent knives of
civilized 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. Capt. Lyon, in
describing a man whittling at Winter island, says: “As is customary
with negroes, he cut toward the left hand and never used the thumb of
the right, as we do, for a check to the knife.”[N273] 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 truncated point, with the butt terminating 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 material 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.

    [Footnote N273: Journal, p. 92.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 99.--Slate knives. 1/2]

No. 89584 [1107] (figured in Point Barrow Rept., Ethnology, Pl. III,
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 flat tang is
inserted into a cleft in the end of a straight haft of spruce. The
blade is secured 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. 99_a_, 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. 99_b_), has a
blade of dark gray slate, and the haft, which appears to be of cotton
wood, is in two longitudinal sections. The lashing which holds these
two sections together is of braided sinew. Of the blades, the only
sharp-pointed one, No. 56684 [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 3½ 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 understand that the sharp-pointed ones were sometimes, at least,
used for stabbing. Perhaps they were used specially for cutting up the
smaller animals.

  [Illustration: FIG. 100.--Slate knife-blade. 1/2]

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 much 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, worked down
gradually to the edge, or flat with narrowly beveled edges. They are
all small knives, the longest being 8.3 inches long, with the blade
projecting 3.1 inches from the haft, and the shortest 4.9 inches, with
the blade projecting only 1.4 inches.

  [Illustration: FIG. 101.--Slate knife. 1/2]

Fig. 101, No. 89583 [1305], is a knife of this class, with the blade a
nearly equilateral triangle (1.4 inches long and 1.3 inches wide at
the base), with a flat wooden haft as wide as the blade and 3½ 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 wood.

  [Illustration: FIG. 102.--Slate knife. 1/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 103.--Slate hunting-knife. 1/4]

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], Fig. 103. This has a blade of soft, light greenish
slate, 6 inches long and 2.6 inches broad, with the edges broadly
beveled 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, appears 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 104.--Blade of slate hunting-knife. 1/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 105.--Large slate knife. 1/4]

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 greenish gray slate, 6.2 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 Roman gladius. The haft is a piece sawed out of
the beam of an antler, and has a cleft sawed in one end to receive the
short broad tang of the blade. The whipping is of sinew braid.

  [Illustration: FIG. 106.--Large single-edged slate knife. 1/4]

The single-edged knives were probably all meant specially for cutting
food, and are all of the same general pattern, varying in size from a
blade only 2½ 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. There are in the collection four
complete knives and five unhafted blades. No. 89597 [1052] (Fig. 106)
is a typical knife of this kind. The blade is of black slate, rather
rough, and is 5.6 inches long (including the tang). The tang, which is
about one-half 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 having the tang inserted in a cleft in the end of
the haft, and No. 89589_a_ [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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 107.--Blades of knives.]

Most of the blades are those of knives similar to the type, more
smoothly finished, but No. 56712 [226] (Fig. 107_a_) 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. 89601 [776] (Fig. 107_b_) is almost
double-edged, the back being rounded off. Fig. 108, No. 89631 [1081],
is a very remarkable form of slate knife, of which this was the only
specimen seen. In shape it somewhat resembles a hatchet, having a
broad triangular blade with a strongly curved cutting edge, along the
back of which is fitted a stout haft of bone 12½ 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 the haft. This
implement was brought down from Nuwŭk 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 108.--Peculiar slate knife. 1/4]

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 specimen
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

  [Illustration: FIG. 109--Knife with whalebone blade. 1/4]

Fig. 109, No. 89477 [1422], 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 whalebone wedged between the two psarts of the
haft, which has been sawed lengthwise for 6½ inches to receive it. 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 110.--Small iron knife.]

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 obtain 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 Nuwŭk, has a blade of iron, and the flat haft is made of
two longitudinal sections 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
Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 111_a_, No. 89297
[1125], from Nuwŭk, has a short blade, 2½ inches long, and the two
sections of the haft are held together, not by rivets, but by a close
spiral lasting of stout seal thong extending the whole length of the
haft. No. 89293 [1330], Fig. 111_b_, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 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-’54.

  [Illustration: FIG. 111.--Small iron knives. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 112.--Iron hunting knife. 1/2]

There is in the collection one large double-edged knife (Fig. 112, No.
89298 [1162]) 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 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 Nunatañmiun, 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
can be cleared up.

The natives of Point Barrow, in ordinary conversation, call all knives
savĭk, 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 soapstone 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 Russian 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 sizes, a large knife, mĭ´dlĭñ, 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 cutting 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 workman. 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

    [Footnote N274: 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.”]

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 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 countersunk 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 sealskin thong, the two parts crossing like a
shoe-lacing, to prevent the 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 113.--Large crooked knife. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 114.--Large crooked knife, with sheath. 1/3]

Fig. 114, No. 89780 [1004_d_], 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
provided with a sheath 3¼ 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
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” Ilû´bwgɐ, previously mentioned. No.
89283 [967], from Nuwŭk, is interesting as being the only left-handed
tool we obtained. The fourth knife has a blade with a cutting edge of
3½ inches, while that of each of the others is 3 inches.

The small knife differs little from the mĭ´dlĭñ except in having the
haft very much shorter and not tapered off at the tip. Fig. 115_a_,
No. 56552 [145], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 115_b_, 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 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 common, are intended for ornament.
Fig. 116, No. 89275 [1183], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 115.--Small crooked knives. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 116.--Crooked knife. 1/3]

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.[N275] 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 Greenlanders, except
the following definition in Kleinschmidt’s “Grønlandsk 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.[N276]

    [Footnote N275: Lisiansky also mentions “a small crooked knife”
    (Voyage, p. 181), as one of the tools used in Kadiak in 1805.]

    [Footnote N276: A specimen has lately been received at the
    National Museum. It is remarkably like the Indian knife in

  [Illustration: FIG. 117.--Crooked knives, flint bladed. 4/9 1/3]

Whether these people used crooked knives before the introduction of
iron is by no means certain, though not improbable. Fig. 117_a_, No.
89633 [1196], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 mĭdlĭñ 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 followed by others equally genuine looking, I should
have no hesitation in pronouncing it a prehistoric knife, and the
ancestor of the present steel one. The fact, however, 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. 117_b_, No. 89636 [1212] is one of the
best of these counterfeits, made by wedging a freshly flaked flint
blade into the haft of an old savigrón, 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 Utkiavwĭñ. Another suspicious
circumstance is that a few days previously two slate-bladed crooked
knives had been brought down from Nuwŭk 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, are as certainly new. Fig. 118_a_, 118_b_, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 118.--Slate-bladed crooked knives. 1/2]

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 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[N277] that in
his time they were brought from Kotzebue Sound by the Nunatañmiun, who
obtained them from the Siberian Eskimo. There are in the collection
three of these steel knives, all of the small size generally called
ulúrɐ (“little úlu”). No. 56546 [14] has 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 cutting edge of the blade is beveled on one face only.
This knife represents the general shape of knives of this sort, but is
rather 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 úlu 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.

    [Footnote N277: Op. cit., p. 266.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 119.--Woman’s knife, steel blade. 1/3]

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 úlu in preference to
anything else. The knife is handled precisely as described among the
eastern Eskimo, making the cut by pushing instead of drawing,[N278]
thus differing from the long-handled round knife mentioned above.
Knives of this pattern are very generally used among the western
Eskimo, but in the east the blade is always separated from the handle
by a short shank, as in our mincing knives.

    [Footnote N278: See for example, Kumlien, op. cit., p. 26.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 120.--Woman’s knife, slate blade. 1/3]

The natives of Point Barrow used round knives long before the
introduction 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 almost precisely the modern shape, but both faces are
gradually worked down to the cutting edge without a bevel on either.
The handle is very large and stout and made of coarse whale’s bone.
This knife was said to have come from the ruined village at Pernyɐ.
Fig. 121, No. 89679 [971], from Nuwŭk, 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
Nuwŭk, and made for the market, is introduced to show a method of
hafting 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 instead 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 intermediate
between this and the modern shape, having a blade with a long back,
but produced into a sharp point at one end. The handle is of reindeer
antler and the blade rather soft black slate. This specimen is a very
cleverly counterfeited antique.

  [Illustration: FIG. 121.--Woman’s knife, slate blade. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 122.--Woman’s knife, slate blade. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 123.--Woman’s knife, slate blade. 1/3]

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 thong, with the end wound spirally round all the parts on both
sides and neatly tucked in. It seems to serve no purpose beyond
enlarging the handle so as to make it fit 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. 89676 [1586], a small knife blade from Ukiavwĭñ, which has been
kept as an amulet. No. 56660 [129], is a blade of the same type, but
elongated, being 7½ 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 indicates that they were to be fitted into a
narrow slit in a long haft, like that of No. 89684 [886], Fig. 124,
from Nuwŭk. 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, evidently belonged to a
longer blade, which fitted in the cleft without the need of any
lashing. Fig. 125, No. 89693 [874], 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 Utkiavwĭñ. It is made of a single piece
of coarse whale’s bone. It was intended for a blade at least 7 inches

  [Illustration: FIG. 124.--Woman’s ancient slate-bladed knife. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 125.--Ancient bone handle for woman’s knife.

  [Illustration: FIG. 126.--Large knife of slate. 1/3]

Fig. 126, No. 56672 [191], from Utkiavwĭñ, is a very crude, large
knife, intended for use without a handle. It is of rough, hard, dark
purplish 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 on 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

While ground slate is a quite common material for round knives, flint
appears to have been rarely used. We obtained only three of this
material. No. 89690 [1311] is a flint knife hafted 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 ulúrɐ 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 interesting from being made for use without handles.

  [Illustration: FIG. 127.--Woman’s knife of flaked flint. 1/3]

No. 89691 [1360], 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 rounding up at the ends. The specimen is old and dirty, and
was probably preserved as a sort of heirloom or amulet. No. 89692
[1178] is a similar spall from a round pebble. Such knives as these
are evidently the first steps in the development of the round knife.
The shape of the spalls, produced by breaking a round or oval pebble
of flint, would naturally suggest using them as knives, and the next
step would be to improve the edge by flaking. The greater adaptability
of slate, from its softness and easy cleavage, for making such knives
would soon be recognized, and we should expect to find, as we do,
knives like No. 56672 [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.[N279]

    [Footnote N279: See, especially, Dall, Contrib., vol. 1, pp. 59
    and 79, for figures of such knives from the caves of Unalashka.]

The relationship between these knives and the semilunar slate blades
found in the North Atlantic States has already been ably discussed by
Dr. Charles Rau.[N280] 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 distinctive than the name “tobacco-cutter” for a Yankee’s

    [Footnote N280: Prehistoric Fishing, pp. 183-188.]

    [Footnote N281: It is but just to Dr. Rau to say that he
    recognized the fact that these implements are not exclusively
    fish-cutters, and applies this name only to indicate that he has
    treated of them simply in reference to their use as such. The
    idea, however, that these, being slightly different in shape from
    the Greenland _olu_ or ulu, are merely fish knives, has gained a
    certain currency among anthropologists which it is desirable to

_Adzes (udlimau)._--Even at the present day the Eskimo of Point Barrow
use no tool for shaping large pieces of woodwork, except a
shorthandled adz, hafted in the same manner as the old stone tools
which were employed before the introduction of iron. Though axes and
hatchets 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[N282] and at Iglulik by Capt. Parry.[N283] Mr. L. M. Turner
informs 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 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.

    [Footnote N282: Journal, p. 28.]

    [Footnote N283: 2d Voyage, p. 536, and pl. opp. p. 548, fig. 3.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 128.--Hatchet hafted as an adz. 1/3]

Fig. 129, No. 56638 [309], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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
transverse 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 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 1½ inches apart.
This is preferable 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 umiak, or a plank to
repair his house, he searches along the beach until he finds a
suitable piece of driftwood, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 129.--Hatchet hafted as an adz. 1/3]

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 irregularly 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 130.--Adz-head of jade. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 131.--Adz-head of jade. 1/3]

No. 89662 [900], from Nuwŭk, 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 appearance 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 Utkiavwĭñ, is of rather light olive,
opaque jade and a trifle better finished than the type, while No.
89661 [1155], Fig. 131, also from Utkiavwĭñ, is a still better piece
of workmanship, the curve of the faces to the cutting edge being very
graceful. The interesting 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 were 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 introduction of iron. Possibly a reindeer
scapula, cut like the one made into a saw (No. 89476 [1206], Fig.
147), but without teeth, was used for this purpose.

  [Illustration: FIG. 132.--Hafted jade adz. 1/2]

That such stone blades were used with a haft is shown by the only
hafted specimen, No. 56628 [214], Fig. 132, from Nuwŭk. This is a
rather small adz. The head of dark green jade differs from those
already described only in dimensions, being 4 inches long, 2.1 wide,
and 1.7 thick. The haft is of reindeer antler and in shape much like
that of No. 56638 [309], but has only one hole for the lashing. The
lashing is of the usual stout seal thong and put on in the usual
fashion. No. 89673 [1423] is an old black adz from Sidaru of the same
pattern as those described, but very smoothly and neatly made. About
one-half of this specimen has been cut off for whetstones, etc.

The next step is to make the lashing more secure by cutting transverse
grooves on the upper face of the head to hold the thong in place. This
has been done on No. 56667 [215], figured in Point Barrow Rept.,
Ethnology, Pl. II, Fig. 5, an adz of dark olive green jade, from
Utkiavwĭñ, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 133.--Adz-head of jade and bone. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 134.--Adz-head of bone and iron, without eyes.

Fig. 133, No. 89658 [1072], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 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 cemetery at Utkiavwĭñ).

  [Illustration: FIG. 135.--Adz-head of bone and iron, with vertical
  eyes. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 136.--Adz-head of bone and iron, with vertical
  eyes. 1/3]

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
channels on the sides of the head--in other words, bore holes instead
of cutting 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 between 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, from Nuwŭk, which in general pattern
closely resembles No. 89876 [696], but has three large horizontal eyes
instead of the vertical 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 [309].

  [Illustration: FIG. 137.--Hafted bone and iron adz. 1/4]

That this final type of hafting was reached before stone had gone out
of use for such implements is shown by Fig. 138, No. 89839 [769], from
Utkiavwĭñ, which, while very like the last in shape, has a blade of
hard, dark purple slate. The haft is of reindeer antler. The lashing
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
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 Utkiavwĭñ. No. 56670 [246] also from Utkiavwĭñ, 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,[N284]
which Nordenskiöld calls a “stone chisel,” found in the ruins of an
old Eskimo house at Cape North, is evidently the head of one of these
little bone adzes, as is plainly seen on comparing this figure with
the larger adzes figured above.

    [Footnote N284: Figured in the Voyage of the _Vega_, vol. 1,
    p. 444, Fig. 1.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 138.--Hafted bone and stone adz. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 139.--Small adz-blade of green jade. 1/2]

I have figured two more composite adzes, which are quite different
from the rest. No. 89838 [1109], Fig. 140, has a blade of neatly
flaked gray flint, but this as well as the unusually straight haft is
newly 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], is introduced to show how the native has
utilized an old cooper’s adz, of which the eye was probably broken, by
fitting it with a bone body.

  [Illustration: FIG. 140.--Hafted adz of bone and flint. 1/3]

While the adzes already described appear to have been the
predominating types, another form was sometimes used. Fig. 142,
No. 89874 [964], from Nuwŭk, represents this form. The haft is of
whale’s rib, 1 foot long, and the head of _bone_, apparently whale’s
scapula, 5.6 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 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 141.--Old cooper’s adz, rehafted. 1/3]

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 rib 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 particularly 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 for 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 lashings 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 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 down 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 142.--Adz with bone blade. 1/3]

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,
resembling 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
(kĭ´ñnusa). 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 2½
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 whalebone.

  [Illustration: FIG. 143.--Antler chisel. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 144.--Antler chisel. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 145.--Spurious tool, flint blade. 1/2]

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, 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. 89637 [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. 89653 [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

_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
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 collection contains three specimens of the ordinary form
(sávigɐ), represented by No. 89306 [885] (figured in Point Barrow
Report, Ethnology, Pl. III, Fig. 6). 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 0.2 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 146.--Whalebone shave, slate blade. 1/2]

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. 146, No.
89649 [1213], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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.
89652 [1225] is like the others in shape, but more neatly made, and is
peculiar in having a blade of hard, compact bone. This is inserted by
sawing 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 filled 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 no 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 flint, 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[N285] speaks of
“a little lock saw” as one of a Greenlander’s regular tools in his
time, and Egede[N286] mentions handsaws as a regular article of trade.
Capt. Parry[N287] found the natives of Iglulik, in 1821-1823, using a
saw made of a notched piece of iron. On our asking Nĭkawa´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 afterwards he brought over a model of such a
saw, which he said was exactly like those formerly used. Fig. 147, No.
89476 [1206], represents 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 fine saw teeth on this thin edge. The
spine is also cut off nearly flat. This makes a tool very much like a
carpenter’s backsaw, the narrow part of the scapula forming a
convenient handle.

    [Footnote N285: History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 149.]

    [Footnote N286: Greenland, p. 175.]

    [Footnote N287: 2d Voyage, p. 536.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 147.--Saw made of deer’s scapula. 1/4]

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 Utkiavwĭñ 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 uluă´ktun.

  [Illustration: FIG. 148.--Saw made of a case-knife. 1/3]

_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 Anderson
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, Pl. II, Fig. 1, has been selected as a typical drill
(niă´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 16½.

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
than it has done already. The drill is of iron and the shaft of
spruce, which was once painted with red ocher.

  [Illustration: FIG. 149.--Bow drill. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 150.--Bow drill and mouthpiece. 1/4]

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 3½
inches long and 0.3 to 0.4 inch wide has 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. II,
Fig. 2, is a typical bow (pizĭksuá) 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 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
Nuwŭk. 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. 153_a_, No. 56506 [298] is unusually broad and flat and was
probably made for a handle to a tool bag. Such handles, however,
appear 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.
153_b_, No. 89421 [1260], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 153_c_, No. 89425 [1732], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 perhaps a “score.” Fig. 153_d_, No. 89509
[914], from Nuwŭk, is a bow of the common pattern, but ornamented by
carving the back into a toothed keel.

  [Illustration: FIG. 151.--Bow drill. 1/4]

Fig. 153_e_, No. 89510 [961], from Utkiavwĭñ, is ornamented on one
side only with an incised pattern, which is blackened. Fig. 153_f_,
No. 89511 [961], also from Utkiavwĭñ, has, in addition to the incised
and blackened pattern, a small transparent sky-blue glass bead inlaid
in the middle of the back. Fig. 153_g_, 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. The
string is made of sinew braid.

  [Illustration: FIG. 152.--Drill bow. 1/4]

Fig. 154, No. 89777 [1004_b_], which belongs in the “kit” of
Ilû´bw’ga, the Nunatañmiun, previously mentioned, is interesting from
having been lengthened 3¼ 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 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 (kĭ´ñmia) consists of a block of hard stone (rarely
iron), in which is hollowed out a round cup-like socket, large enough
to receive the tip of the drill shaft, imbedded in a block of wood of
a suitable size to hold between the teeth. This block often has curved
flanges on each side, which rest against the cheeks. Such mouthpieces
are common all along the coast from the Anderson River to Norton
Sound, as is shown by the Museum collection. No. 89500 [800], figured
in Point Barrow Report, Ethnology, Pl. II, Fig. 3, is a type of the
flanged mouthpiece. The block is of pine, 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 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 6 inches across from one end of the arch to the

  [Illustration: FIG. 153.--Drill bows. 3/8]

  [Illustration: FIG. 154.--Spliced drill bow. 1/4]

There are two other specimens of the same pattern, both rather
smaller. No. 89503 [891], Fig. 150, from Nuwŭk, 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 [1004_c_], 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 155.--Drill mouthpiece, with iron socket. 1/2]

Fig. 156, No. 89505 [892], from Utkiavwĭñ, represents the pattern
which is perhaps rather commoner than the preceding. The wood, which
holds the socket of black and white syenite, is simply an elliptical
block of spruce. The remaining three specimens are of the same pattern
and of the same material as the last, except No. 89507 [908], from
Nuwŭk, 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], figured in
Point Barrow Report, Ethnology, Pl. II, Fig. 1. It is of walrus ivory,
3-6 inches long. The end of a piece of thong is passed through the eye
and the other part fastened round the open end with a marline-hitch,
catching down the end. This leaves a lanyard 9¼ inches long, which is
hitched or knotted round the shaft of the drill when the sheath is
fitted over the point.

  [Illustration: FIG. 156.--Drill mouthpiece without wings. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 157.--Bone-pointed drill. 1/4]

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
introduction 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. 89498 [956], Fig. 157,
is one of these, from Nuwŭk. The shaft is 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.

The drill at the 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 could be
attached. All were old, and we never saw them in use. The first two
were collected 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 prevented 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 implement. On
our return home, when I had opportunities for making a careful study
of the collection, 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 similar implements in Mr.
Nelson’s collection labeled “drill-cord handles,” and finally one pair
(No. 36319, from Kashunuk, near Cape Romanzoff), still attached to the
drill cord. These handles are almost identical in shape with No. 89458
[835], from Utkiavwĭñ. 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 being mates. Fig.
158_a_ (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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 158.--Handles for drill cords. 1/4]

Fig. 158_b_ (No. 56527 [23] from Utkiavwĭñ), 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 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

Fig. 158_c_ (No. 89455 [929] from Nuwŭk), 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
indicate the male genital opening.

Fig. 158_d_ (No. 89456 [930] from Nuwŭk) is like No. 56527 [23], but
represents the left foot and is not so artistically carved. It is 3.7
inches long.

Fig. 158_e_ (No. 89457 [925] from Nuwŭk) is 4.7 inches long, and
resembles No. 89455 [929], 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_f_ (No. 89458 [835] from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 kû´ñ-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 Report,
Ethnology, Pl. II, Fig. 4, is a typical implement of this class
(ītaun, i´tûgetsau´). 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. 159_a_, 159_b_, 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 attaching 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 Utkiavwĭñ. 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 159.--Flint-bladed reamers. 1/3]

_Hammers._--At the present day nearly every man has been able to
procure an iron hammer of some kind, which he uses with great
handiness. Before the introduction of iron, in addition to the bone
and stone mauls above described as bone crushers, unhafted pebbles of
convenient shape were also employed. No. 56661 [274] is such a stone.
It is an ovoid water-worn pebble of greenish gray quartzite, 3½ 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 Utkiavwĭñ.

_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 converted his Winchester rifle from a rim fire to a
central fire 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 the gun.

  [Illustration: FIG. 160.--Flint-bladed reamer. 3/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 161.--Awl. 3/4]

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 cut 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 162.--Jade whetstones. 1/2]

_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 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 specimens, of which No. 89618 [801], Fig. 162_a_, 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 4¾
inches long.

The remaining whetstones are of very much the same pattern. I have
figured five of them, to show the slight variations. Fig. 162_b_
(No. 56662 [393], from Utkiavwĭñ) is of light grayish green jade,
smoothly polished 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. 56663 [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. 89617 [1262] (from Sidaru) is of
olive green, translucent jade, 6.1 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. 89619
[837] (from Utkiavwĭñ) is of bright green, translucent jade, 5.1
inches long, and unusually thick, its greatest diameter being 0.6
inch. The tip is gradually worked off to an oblique edge, and it has
ornamental grooves running through the eye like No. 56662 [393].

  [Illustration: FIG. 163.--Jade whetstones. 3/4]

No. 89620 [865] (from Nuwŭk) 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. 163_a_
(No. 89621 [757], from Utkiavwĭñ) 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. 163_b_
(No. 89622 [951], also from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 Nunatañmiun from
the people of the “Ko-wak River.” 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 [1004_f_], which belong in
Ilû´bw’ga’s tool bag. They are two rough, oblong bits of hard dark
gray slate, apparently split off a flat, weathered surface.

  [Illustration: FIG. 164.--Wooden tool boxes. 1/6]

_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_a_, 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. 164_b_ (No. 89858 [1319], from Utkiavwĭñ), is a similar box, 21.1
inches long. The cover is held on by a string passing over little
hooked ivory studs close to the edge of the 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 165.--Large wooden tool boxes. 1/8]

No. 89859 [1318] is a smaller box (19 inches long) of the same
pattern, with only four studs. The cover has three large blue glass
beads, like those used for labrets, inlaid in a line along the middle.
No. 89858 [1144], from Utkiavwĭñ, is the shape of the type, but has a
thicker cover and six stud holes in the margin. No. 89861 [1151], Fig.
165_a_, from the same place, is shaped something like a violin case,
22.2 inches long. The cover has been split and “stitched” together
with whalebone, 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. 89862 [1593], Fig. 165_b_, 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
whalebone. The string is arranged in permanent loops, under which the
cover can be slipped off and on.

  [Illustration: FIG. 166.--Tool bag of wolverine skin. 1/4]

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 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, ĭkqûxbwĭñ, 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. 166, 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 outward and noses up. One head comes on each end
of the bag and one on each side, and the spaces between the noses are
filled out with gussets 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, 14½ 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 transverse 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 167.--Tool bag of wolverine skin. 1/4]

Fig. 167, No. 89776 [1004], is a similar bag, made of four wolverine
heads with the lower jaws attached. The bottom is of stout leather
without hair. 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 1¾ 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 reindeer 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 [1004_b_]
(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 Nunatañmiun Ilûbw’ga, so
frequently mentioned, and was purchased with all its contents.

  [Illustration: _a_ _b_ FIG. 168.--Drills belonging to the tool bag.

These are two bow drills, one large and one small (Figs. 168_a_ and
168_b_, Nos. 89778 and 89779 [1004_a_]); a drill bow (Fig. 154, No.
89777 [1004_b_]); a mouthpiece (Fig. 155, No. 89787 [1004_c_]); a
large crooked knife with a sheath (Fig. 114, No. 89780 [1004_d_]); a
flint flaker (No. 89752 [1004_e_]); 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]).

  [Illustration: FIG. 169.--Comb for deerskins in the tool bag. 1/2]

No. 89796 [1118], from Nuwŭk, 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

I have figured four handles of such bags to show the style of
ornamentation. Fig. 170_a_(No. 89420 [1111], from Nuwŭk) 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. 170_b_ (No. 89423
[996], from Utkiavwĭñ) is a very elaborate handle, 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. 170_c_ (No. 89424 [890], from Nuwŭk) 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 Yûksĭ´ña (“Erksinra” of Dr. Simpson), the so-called
“chief” at Nuwŭk. All the above handles are of walrus ivory, and have
been in actual use. Fig. 170_c_ (No. 56513 [43], from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 170.--Bag handles.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 171.--Bag of leather.]

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, 4½, 4, 5½, and 5
inches broad at the bottom, respectively, narrowing to 2½, 1½, 1¼, 2,
and 2⅓, respectively, at the top), alternating with five straight
strips, respectively 1½, 1, 1⅓, 1¼, and 1½ inches broad. The edges of
these strips overlap the edges of the broad pieces, and are neatly
stitched with two 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 filament 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 hunting 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 taking human life. One of these was a little club
(tĭ´glun) (No. 89492 [1310], Fig. 172, from Utkiavwĭñ) 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, probably at the
temple. The transverse grooves for hafting give a good hold for the
fingers. This was the only weapon of the kind seen.

  [Illustration: FIG. 172.--Little hand-club. 1/2]

We collected a single specimen of a kind of slung shot, No. 89472
[905] (Fig. 173), made of a roughly ovoid lump of heavy bone, the
symphysis of the lower jaw of a walrus, 3⅓ inches long. At the smaller
end two large holes are bored in obliquely so as to meet under the
surface 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 173.--Slungshot made of walrus jaw. 1/2]

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. Insane persons were sometimes killed in Greenland, and
the act was considered “neither decidedly admissible nor altogether
unlawful.”[N288] The use of 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.
89484 [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.

    [Footnote N288: Rink, Tales and Traditions, p. 35.]

Fig. 175_a_, No. 89475 [988], from Nuwŭk, is made of a straight
splinter from the shaft of one of the long bones, 9¾ inches long. No.
89480 [1141], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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_b_, also from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 Nuwŭk, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 174.--Dagger of bear’s bone.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 175.--Bone daggers.]

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 contains a bone dagger curiously like
these Eskimo weapons, but made of the bone of the grizzly bear, and
used by the Indians of the McCloud River, northern California. They
believe that the peculiar shape of the point, having a hollow (the
medullary cavity) on one face, like the Eskimo daggers, causes the
wound to bleed internally.


_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.[N289] Hooper believed this to be the gun lost by Sir John
Franklin’s party in 1826.[N290] 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[N291]), and was found to have on the lock,
besides the name “Barnett,” also the date, “1843,” so that of course
it was not lost in 1826. Armstrong[N292] also mentions seeing this
gun, which, the natives told him, they had procured “from the other
tribes to the southward.” In the summer of 1853 they began to purchase
guns and ammunition from the eastern natives. Yûksĭña and two other
men each bought a gun this year.[N293]

    [Footnote N289: Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 239.]

    [Footnote N290: Franklin, 2d Exp., p. 148. In the hurry of leaving
    Barter Island “one of the crew of the _Reliance_ left his gun and

    [Footnote N291: See McClure’s N. W. Passage, p. 390.]

    [Footnote N292: Narrative, p. 109.]

    [Footnote N293: Maguire, Further Papers, p. 907.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 176.--So-called dagger of bone. 1/2]

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 Russian manufacture. They are all stamped in Russian with
the name of Tula, a town on the Oopa, 105 miles south of Moscow, which
has received the name of the “Sheffield and Birmingham of Russia,”
from its vast manufactory of arms, established by Peter the Great.
These guns must have come from the “Nunatañmiun,” who obtained them
either from the Siberian traders or from the Russians 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 “cupûñ,” an onomatopœic word in
general use in western America, but many of the different kinds have
special names. For instance, a double gun is called madro´lĭñ (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 called akĭmiɐlĭñ (“that which has fifteen,” sc.,
shots). The whalers are also in the habit of buying up all sorts of
cheap or second-hand guns for the Arctic trade, so that many other
kinds of guns are also common. Of breechloaders, we saw the Sharpe’s
rifle, savĭgro´lĭñ (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´psualĭñ (from kaipsĭ,
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 mûkpara´lĭñ (from _mûkpara´_,
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
yäger rifles, of the old U.S. Army pattern, Enfield rifles, ship’s
muskets with the 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 Nunatañmiun 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 cartridges 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 firing 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 supply.
The only 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 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 kăkrúra (little bullets, from kă´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
dispatching the whale after it is harpooned. These are of various
patterns, 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_ (_pízĭ´ksĕ_).--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 consideration, 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 them.

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 constructed 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.[N294] 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 1¼ 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 (except 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
number 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, where the greatest strength and elasticity 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 bow.

    [Footnote N294: See the writer’s paper on the subject of Eskimo
    bows in the Smithsonian Report for 1884, Part II, pp. 307-316.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 177.--Boy’s bow from Utkiavwĭñ. 1/8]

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 one of these bows wholly through a polar bear, “if there was no
bone.” Three bows only were obtained: One from Nuwŭk, one from
Utkiavwĭñ (a lad’s bow), and one from Sidaru.

  [Illustration: FIG. 179.--Large bow from Nuwŭk. 1/8]

The bow from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 36¼ 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 178.--Loop at end of bowstring. 1/2]

No. 89245 [25] (Fig. 179), from Nuwŭk, 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 1⅓ inches, and it is 0.8
inch thick at the handle. It is slightly narrowed 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 3¼ inches long, which is strengthened by a
curved strap of antler, convex above and thickest 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 consequently did not learn
how the bending was accomplished. 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 rawhide (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.

No. 72771 [234], from Sidaru (Fig. 180_a_ and _b_), is a bow with bent
ends like the last, but all in one piece and smaller. Its length is
43½ inches and its greatest breadth 1⅓. 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
ingenious. 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 inches 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 180.--Large bow from Sidaru. 1/8]

In my paper on Eskimo bows, already mentioned, 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

I. The Southern type, which was the only form used from the island of
Kadiak to Cape Romanzoff, 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
from the Kaviak peninsula to the Mackenzie and Anderson rivers; and

III. The Western type, confined to St. Lawrence Island and the
mainland 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
different 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 trading 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
contented 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, we 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[N295] mentions seeing one bow, made of pieces of antler
spliced together, in the possession of a man at Ita. In Danish
Greenland, the use of the bow has been abandoned for many years. When
Crantz[N296] wrote it had already gone out of use, though in
Egede’s[N297] time it was still employed. It appears to have been
longer than the other Eskimo bows. Nordenskiöld[N298] 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. Kumlien.

    [Footnote N295: Naturalist, vol 8, No. 9, p. 869.]

    [Footnote N296: “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 stiffer it was bound round with whalebone or sinews.”
    History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 146.]

    [Footnote N297: “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.]

    [Footnote N298: 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:[N299]
“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.”

    [Footnote N299: Hakluyt’s Voyages, 1589, p. 628.]

Of the bow used at the straits of Fury and Hecla we have a most
excellent figure in Parry’s Second Voyage (Pl. 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 examination 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[N300] speaks
of the Netyĭlĭk of King Williams Land as using bows of spliced pieces
of musk-ox horn or driftwood, but gives no further description of
them. Ellis[N301] describes the bow in use at Hudson’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. They 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.[N302]

    [Footnote N300: Science, vol. 4, 98, p. 543.]

    [Footnote N301: Voyage to Hudson’s Bay, p. 138.]

    [Footnote N302: Compare what I have already said about the backing
    being put on wet.]

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 twisted.

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
American Indians stiffen the bow by gluing flat pieces of sinew upon
the back.

One tribe of Indians, the “Loucheux” of the Mackenzie district,
however, used bows like those of the Eskimos, but Sir Alexander
Mackenzie[N303] expressly states that these were obtained from the

    [Footnote N303: 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 describing these arrows I shall employ the terms used in
modern archery[N304] 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 6 or 7 inches long, consisting of two,
or less often, three feathers. (The set of sixteen arrows from Sidaru,
two from Nuwŭk, and one from Utkiavwĭñ, have three feathers. The rest
of the fifty-one have two.) The shaft of the feather is split and the
web is cut narrow, and tapered off to a point at each end (Fig. 181).
The ends of the feathers are fastened to the stele with whippings of
fine 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 whipping 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 collection, only nine are feathered with gull’s
feathers, and of these all but two are new, or newly feathered for
sale to us.[N305] Dr. Simpson[N306] says that in his time “feathers
for arrows and head-dresses,” probably the eagles’ feathers previously
mentioned, were obtained in trade from the “Nunatañmiun.”

  [Illustration: FIG. 181.--Feathering of the Eskimo arrow.]

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
mangling them.

    [Footnote N304: Encyclopedia Britannica, 9th edition, article

    [Footnote N305: On this subject of using the feathers of birds of
    prey for arrows, compare Crantz, History of Greenland, 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 Kumlien,
    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.]

    [Footnote N306: Op. 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
kūki (“claw” or “nail”), and was known as kukĭ´ksadlĭñ (“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,
25½ inches 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 6 inches long. This is one of the two
arrows from Nuwŭk with three feathers.

  [Illustration: FIG. 182.--Flint-headed arrow (kukĭksadlĭñ). 1/8]

  [Illustration: FIG. 183.--Long flint pile.]

No. 72780 [234_a_], from Sidaru, is feathered with three raven
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 feathering.

  [Illustration: FIG. 184.--Short flint pile.]

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 patterns 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
Utkiavwĭñ, which is of gray flint. The next is similar in shape, but
shorter, as shown in Fig. 182 (No. 89240 [25], from Nuwŭk), 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. 56691_c_ [64_c_], from Utkiavwĭñ,
of dark grayish brown flint, rather coarsely flaked). The fourth kind
is very short, being not over 1½ inches, including the half-inch tang,
but is 1 inch broad, thick and convex on both faces. It is triangular,
with a square base and curved edges (Fig. 185, No. 56702_b_ [113_b_],
from Utkiavwĭñ, newly made for sale).

  [Illustration: FIG. 185.--Heart-shaped flint pile.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 186.--Arrows: (_a_) Arrow with “after-pile”
  (ipudlĭgadlĭñ); (_b_) arrow with iron pile (savidlĭñ); (_c_) arrow
  with iron pile (savidlĭñ); (_d_) arrow with copper pile (savidlĭñ);
  (_e_) deer-arrow (nûtkodlĭñ).]

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-headed 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 the second
kind of bear arrows, which are called ipudlĭ´gadlĭñ (“having the
ipu´dlĭgɐ” [Gr. ipuligak, the similar bone head of a seal lance with
iron tip]). After the introduction of iron, metal piles sometimes
replaced the flint in arrows of this kind. We collected eight with
flint and two with metal piles. No. 72787 [234_a_], Fig. 186_a_, 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 feathers.

Two others from Sidaru have only a single barb on the after-pile, but
the other four have two, one behind the other on the same side. No.
89237 [164], from Utkiavwĭñ, differs in no respect from the
single-barbed flint arrows from Sidaru, 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
kukĭ´ksadlĭñ, making the third and last form of bear arrow, the
sa´vĭdlĭñ (“fitted with iron”). This arrow differs from the others
only in the form of the pile, which is generally 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 Nuwŭk, represents the first form. The pile is of
iron, rough and flat, 2½ inches long. No. 72770 [241_b_], from
Utkiavwĭñ, is of the same form. No. 72760 [165], Fig. 186_c_, from
Utkiavwĭñ, has a similar pile 3.3 inches long, but has each of the
under edges cut into four sharp, backward-pointing teeth. No. 72778
[234_b_], Fig. 186_d_, 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 Nuwŭk, is a long, narrow iron pile with three
bilateral barbs, all simple.

Nos. 72755 [25], from Nuwŭk, 72759 [25], also from Nuwŭk, and 72764
[165], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 1½ 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.
186b) and 72762 [25], both from Nuwŭk, are peculiar in being the only
iron-pointed arrows with unilateral barbs. The piles are made of the
two blades of a pair of large scissors, 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 for 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 “nä´nu,” the polar bear, but of course they also
served for use against other dangerous game, like the wolf and brown
bear, and there is no reason to believe that they were not also shot
at reindeer, though the hunter would naturally use his deer arrows

  [Illustration: FIG. 187.--Pile of deer arrow (nûtkăñ).]

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. 186_e_ from Utkiavwĭñ, has a pile 3½ inches long
with two barbs. The pile of No. 89238 [162] from the same village is 3½
inches long and has but one barb, while that of No. 89241_a_ [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 section, 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.[N307] When such an arrow was
shot into a deer the shaft would easily be shaken out, leaving the
sharp barbed pile in the wound.

    [Footnote N307: 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, but lightly tyed to,
    or else set in a nocke, that upon small occasion the arrowe
    leaveth these heads behind them.”]

  [Illustration: FIG. 188.--Kûñmûdlĭñ arrow pile.]

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
nû´tkăñ, whence comes the name of the arrow, nû´tko´dlĭñ. We collected
ten arrows and three piles of this pattern. No. 89460 [1263], Fig.
188, is a peculiar bone arrow pile, perhaps intended for a deer arrow.
It is 7 inches long and made of one of the long bones of some large
bird, split lengthwise so that it is rounded on one side and deeply
concave on the other, with two thin rounded edges tapered to a sharp
point. Each 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 “Kûñmûd´lĭñ” arrow. I was pleased to
find the truth of this corroborated by the Museum collection. There
are two arrows from the Mackenzie region (Nos. 1106 and 1906) 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 6 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 generally five-sided, though sometimes trihedral, and have a long,
rounded tang inserted into the end of the shaft. Fig. 189_a_
(No. 89349 [119] from Utkiavwĭñ), 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 described. No. 89238 [25],
from Nuwŭk, has a trihedral pile 6.6 inches long, with a single barb.
Another from Nuwŭk (No. 89241 [25]) has a trihedral pile 5.3 inches
long, with two barbs, and one from Utkiavwĭñ (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´lĭñ (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_a_ [786] from Utkiavwĭñ). These arrows are new and
rather carelessly made, and were intended for the lad’s bow (No. 89904
[786]) 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 (kĭ´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. The four arrows of this kind in the
collection are almost exactly alike, except that three of them,
belonging to the set from Sidaru, have three feathers. Fig. 189_b_,
No. 72773 [234_c_] 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 189.--Arrows: (_a_) fowl arrow (tugalĭñ); (_b_)
  bird arrow (kixodwain).]

This is the kind of arrow mostly used by the boys, whose game is
almost exclusively small birds or lemmings. Nowadays the bone pile 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
Nuwŭk, 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
Cumberland Gulf[N308] 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 collections 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.[N309] The arrow, however, described by Capt.
Parry[N310] 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.

    [Footnote N308: “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 zwischen Daumen und
    Zeigefinger, sondern zwischen Zeige- und Mittelfinger gehalten,”
    Krause Brothers, Geographische Blätter, vol. 5, p. 33.]

    [Footnote N309: Voyage to the Northern Whale Fishery, p. 187.]

    [Footnote N310: 2d Voyage, p. 511, and figured with the bow (22)
    on Pl. opposite p. 550.]

_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
described. We obtained one case and quiver which belong with the bow
and arrows (No. 25, from Nuwŭk) and a single quiver with the bow and
arrows (No. 234, from Sidaru.) The case, No. 89245 [25], Fig. 190_a_
(pizĭ´ksĭzax), 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 up 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 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 190.--Bow case and quivers.]

The quiver (No. 89240-1 [25], Fig. 190_b_) is a long, straight bag of
the same material, open at one end, with a seam down one side, and the
edge of the mouth 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 ½ inch in diameter, with one end, which is pointed,
projecting about 1½ 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 passing 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. 190_c_) is like the
preceding, but larger at the bottom than at the mouth. The latter is
8½ inches in circumference and the former 12¾, and the seam is left
open for about 7½ 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 new.

  [Illustration: FIG. 191.--Quiver rod. 1/3]

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[N311] 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).
Nordenskiöld, however, figures a very elaborate flat quiver[N312], in
use at Pitlekaj, which is evidently of genuine Asiatic origin.

    [Footnote N311: Parry’s 2d Voyage, Pl. opposite p. 550, Fig. 24.]

    [Footnote N312: Vega, vol. 2, p. 106.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 192.--Cap for quiver rod.]

Some pains seem to have been bestowed on ornamenting the quiver in
former times, when the bow was in more general use. Fig. 191, No.
56505 [231], from Nuwŭk, represents 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 inserted 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 Nuwŭk, 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
protected 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_b_ [1233], Fig. 193.

  [Illustration: FIG. 193.--Bracer.]

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
purpose except ornament. 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_a_ [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
Utkiavwĭñ, is apparently such an implement. It is a thin elliptical
plate of hard bone, 2½ inches long and 1½ 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 194.--Bracer of bone.]

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.[N313] I find no other mention of this implement
in the writers who have described the Eskimo.

    [Footnote N313: “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-holder.” Voyage, p. 575.]

_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 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
between 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 catching molting
fowl, in the summer season, away from the immediate neighborhood of
the station. It is called nuiă´kpai, which is a plural referring to
the number of points, one of which is called nuiă´kpûk (“the great

    [Footnote N314: 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 represent 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.”]

  [Illustration: FIG. 195.--Bird dart.]

No. 89244 [1325], Fig. 195, from Utkiavwĭñ, has been selected as the
type of this weapon. The shaft is of spruce, 61⅓ 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 walrus 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 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 13½ 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 Nĭkawa´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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 196.--Point for bird dart.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 197.--Ancient point for bird dart.]

The form of head seen in this dart appears to be the commonest. It is
called by the same name, nû´tkăñ, 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 Utkiavwĭñ, which has four barbs on one side only. It is 7¼ inches
long exclusive of the tang. Out of eight specimens of such heads one
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 nugfit of the Greenlanders, which,
since Crantz’s time[N315] has always had a head of iron. Iron is also
used at Cumberland Gulf, as shown by the specimens in the National
Museum. Fig. 197 represents a very ancient spearhead from Utkiavwĭñ,
No. 89372 [760]. It is of compact whale’s bone, darkened 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 crosscuts 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, ă´kqlĭgûk, and it does bear some slight resemblance
to the head of weapon used in Greenland and called by a similar
name[N316] (agdligaḵ). The roughened tang, however, indicates that it
was intended to be fixed permanently in the shaft, and this, taken in
connection with its strong resemblance to the one-barbed head of the
Greenland nugfit[N317] as well as to the head of the Siberian bird
dart figured by Nordenskiöld[N318], makes it probable that it is
really the form of bird dart head anciently used at Point Barrow. It
is possible that this pattern has 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.

    [Footnote N315: History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 148.]

    [Footnote N316: Crantz, vol. 1, p. 147, and Figs. 6 and 7, Pl. V.]

    [Footnote N317: Ibid., Fig. 8.]

    [Footnote N318: Vega, vol. 2, p. 105. Fig. 5.]

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 Utkiavwĭñ, an
ivory head of a good typical shape, has been figured (Fig. 198) to
show a common style of ornamenting 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 specimen.

  [Illustration: FIG. 198.--Point for bird dart. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 199.--Bird dart with double point. 1/5]

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 [1326], Fig. 199, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 199_b_).
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 each prong and one through little holes in
each 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 [526], in the collection which not only has not
the prongs at the middle, but lacks the enlargement of the shaft to
receive them. The head is undoubtedly old and genuine, 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

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.[N319]

    [Footnote N319: See Crantz’s figure referred to above; also one in
    Parry’s second voyage, Pl. opposite p. 550, Fig. 19, and Rink,
    Tales., etc., Pl. 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. Rau[N320] is very striking.

  [Illustration: FIG. 200.--Ancient ivory dart head. 1/2]

_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
attaching 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[N321] and Rink[N322], use weapons of this kind of considerable
size, adapted not only to the capture of the small seals (_Phoca
vitulina_ and _P. fœtida_), but also to the pursuit of the larger
seals, the narwhal and beluga. At Point Barrow, however, at the
present day, they employ only 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, impregnated 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.

    [Footnote N320: Prehistoric fishing, Figs. 94 and 95, p. 73.]

    [Footnote N321: History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 147, Pl. V, Figs.
    6 and 7.]

    [Footnote N322: Tales, etc., Pl. opposite p. 12 (“bladder

  [Illustration: FIG. 201.--Bone dart head. 1/3]

This is very like the head of the weapon called _agligak_ (modern
Greenlandic agdligak), figured by Crantz, and referred 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 “nuiă´kpai nû´tkoa,” “the point of a bird dart,” to which it
does bear some resemblance, 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 ă´kqlĭgûk, evidently the
same as the Greenlandic _agdligak_, 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 forgotten all about the ă´kqlĭgûk 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 Utkiavwĭñ 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 contracted toward one end and then
expanded into a stout collar. At the other is a stout longitudinal
flange, three-fourths inch long, perforated with an oblong slot.
Between the flange and the collar the surface is roughened with
crosscuts, and the other end is still choked with the remains of a
wooden plug. This nozzle was inserted into a hole in the bladder 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 pleasure and corked up with the wooden plug.

  [Illustration: FIG. 202.--Nozzle for bladder float.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 203.--Seal dart. 1/12]

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 of these
three spears darted into the seal in succession is said to be
sufficient to fatigue the seal so that he can be easily approached and
dispatched. We never saw these weapons used, though they are very
common, 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 (kúkigû).

No. 89249_b_ [523], Fig. 203, has been selected for description. The
shaft is of spruce, 54½ 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 arrowhead 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 attaching 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 5½
feet long is passed through the hole in the head and secured 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 18½ 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 foreshaft
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 64⅓ inches, and the shortest 57.) The head, as
well as the foreshaft, is sometimes made of walrus ivory, and the
latter sometimes of whale’s bone. 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 foreshaft 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 204.--Foreshaft of seal dart. 1/2]

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 propelled 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 contrivance, which
practically makes of the hand a lever 18 inches long, enables the
thrower by a slight motion of the wrist to impart great velocity to
the dart. The use of this implement is universal among the Eskimo,
though not peculiar to them. The Greenlanders, however, not only use
it for the two kinds of darts already mentioned, but have adapted it
to the large harpoon.[N323] 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.[N324] Throughout
western North America the throwing-board is used essentially as at
Point Barrow. Prof. O. T. Mason has given[N325] an interesting account
of the different forms of throwing-board used by the Eskimo and Aleuts
of North America.

  [Illustration: FIG. 205.--Throwing board for darts. 1/4 1/4]

    [Footnote N323: Crantz, vol. 1, p. 146, Pl. V, Figs. 1 and 2, and
    Rink as quoted above, also Kane, First Exp., p. 478.]

    [Footnote N324: Parry, Second Voyage, p. 508 (Iglulik); and
    Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, p. 105, Fig. 5.]

    [Footnote N325: Smithsonian Report for 1884, part II, pp.

We obtained five specimens of the form used at Point Barrow. No. 89233
[523], Fig. 205_a_, 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. 205_b_, No. 89235
[60], differs from this in having a double curve instead of being
flat. A slight advantage 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 projecting point on one side. They are generally painted
with 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 accurately how the
handle was grasped, but it is probably held as seen by Beechey at
Eschscholtz Bay,[N326] namely, with the forefinger in the hole, the
thumb and middle finger clasped round the spear, and the third and
little fingers clasping the handle 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 throwing-boards from Point Barrow are

    [Footnote N326: Voyage, p. 324.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 206.--Harpoon head. 1/2]

_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 intended 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,
intended for a walrus harpoon (túkɐ), 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, 4½ 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 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 diameter of the body, and
therefore at right angles to the plane of the barb, the narrow _blade
slit_, 1.1 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 207.--Harpoon head. 1/3]

The body is sometimes cut into faces so as to be hexagonal instead of
elliptical in section as in Fig. 207 (No. 89791 [873]), and
intermediate forms are common. When such a head is mounted for use a
bight of the line or _leader_, a short line for 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 immediately toggles it across the wound. The toggle head of
the whale harpoon is called kia¢ron, of the walrus harpoon, tukɐ, and
of the seal harpoon, naulɐ. They are all of essentially the same
pattern, differing chiefly in size.

  [Illustration: FIG. 208.--Ancient bone harpoon head.]

There is in the collection an interesting series of old harpoon heads,
showing a number of steps in the development of the modern pattern of
harpoon head from an ancient form. 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, but since the different kinds as
mentioned above practically differ only in size, their development was
probably the same. The earliest form in the collection is No. 89382
[1383], Fig. 208, from Nuwŭk, 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. Behind this it is narrowed and then widened into a
broad flat base produced 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 triangular, 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 longitudinal
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.[N327]

  [Illustration: FIG. 209.--Harpoon heads: (_a_) ancient bone harpoon
  head: (_b_) variant of the type. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 210.--Bone harpoon head. 1/2]

The next form, No. 89331 [932], Fig. 209_a_, 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 two slots parallel to
the socket groove running obliquely to the other side, where they open
into a shallow depression. Figs. 209_b_ and 210, Nos. 89544 [1419] and
89377 [766], 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 Nordenskiöld[N328] from the ancient “Onkilon” house at
North Cape. No. 89377 [766] is a peculiar 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 Utkiavwĭñ), which is just like No.
89544 [1419] except in this respect. The line grooves first appear at
this stage of the development.

  [Illustration: FIG. 211.--Bone harpoon head. 1/2]

    [Footnote N327: Second Grinnell Exp., vol. 1, Figs. on pp. 412 and

    [Footnote N328: 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 [969] from Nuwŭk) or of flint, as in Fig. 212 (No. 89748
[928], also from Nuwŭk). Both of these are whale harpoons, such as are
sometimes used even at the present day.

  [Illustration: FIG. 212.--Harpoon head, bone and stone. 1/3]

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 Utkiavwĭñ), which has the slate blade inserted in this
position. 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[N329] already
mentioned, in spite of the fact that we have a bone harpoon head in
the collection, No. 89378 [1261], figured in Point Barrow report,
which is exactly like No. 89379 [795], except that it has the blade
_at right angles_ to the plane of the body barb. This is, however,
a newly made model in reindeer antler of the ancient harpoon, and was
evidently made by a man so used to the modern pattern that he forgot
this important distinction. 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[N330] and at Sledge
Island in the west (as shown in Mr. Nelson’s collection), 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 213.--Harpoon head, bone and stone. 1/2]

    [Footnote N329: Compare, also, the walrus harpoon figured by Capt.
    Lyon, Parry’s Second Voyage, Pl. opposite p. 550, Fig. 13.]

    [Footnote N330: See Kumlien, Contributions, p. 35, and Boas,
    “Central Eskimo,” p. 473, Fig. 393.]

All of the Eskimo race, as far as I have 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.[N331] In Danish Greenland, however, the
body has an extra pair of bilateral barbs below the blade. The
Greenlanders 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

    [Footnote N331: Kane, 2d Grinnell Exp., vol. 1, pp. 412 and 413
    (Fig. 1), and Bessells, Naturalist, vol. 18, pt. 9, p. 869, Figs.

    [Footnote N332: Crantz, vol. 1, p. 146, and Pl. V, Figs. 1 and 2,
    and Rink Tales, etc., Pl. opposite p. 10.]

Curiously enough, this form of the toggle head appears again in the
Mackenzie and Anderson region, as shown by the extensive collections
of Ross, MacFarlane, 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,[N333] 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 distinguishable 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.[N334] The seal harpoon head (naulɐ)
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´kɐ. 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 description of the
different forms of harpoon with which these toggle heads are used.

    [Footnote N333: 2d Voyage, Pl. opposite p. 550, Fig. 13.]

    [Footnote N334: Museum collections and Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2,
    p. 105, Fig. 1. This figure shows the blade _in the plane_ of the
    barb, but none of the specimens from Plover Bay are of this form.]

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
foreshaft, 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, okimailutaĸ,
_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´gimû), 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 1½ 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´lerbwĭñ) 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
forefinger 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 already 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 walrus, 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 come up and dispatch him. This
weapon is called u´nakpûk, “the great u´na or spear.” U´na (unâk,
u´nañ) 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_a_, has the most
typical shaft and loose shaft. The shaft is of spruce 71 inches long,
roughly rounded, and tapering from a diameter of 1½ 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 whipping 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 6 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 214.--Walrus harpoons. 1/12 1/15]

The line catch (ki´lerbwĭñ) is a little, blunt, backward-pointing hook
of ivory inserted in the shaft 17 inches from the tip and projecting
about one-third inch. Ten and one-fourth inches farther back and 90
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 line belonging to this harpoon are intended for hunting
the bearded seal, and will be described below. No. 56772 [536], Fig.
214_b_, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 1½ 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 line 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 2½ feet from the head, as follows: One 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
harpoons in detail, beginning with the head. Our series is so large,
containing 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 3½, but by
far the greater number are from 4½ 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 commonest 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 type figured, triangular with
curved edges, varying from a rather long triangle like the slate blade
just mentioned to a rather short one with very strongly curved edges
like Fig. 215_a_ (No. 89750 [1038]), which is peculiar as the only
walrus harpoon head with a body of reindeer antler. It also has an
iron blade and a rivet of iron, not seldom with rounded basal angles
so as to be almost heart-shaped, like Fig. 215_b_ (No. 56621 [283]).
A less common shape of blade is lanceolate, with the base cut off
square as in Fig. 216_a_ (No. 89764 [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. 216_b_ (No. 89790
[943]). 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 215.--Typical walrus-harpoon heads. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 216.--Typical walrus-harpoon heads. 1/2]

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; Nordenskiöld, however, figures a walrus harpoon
from Port Clarence[N335] with a jade blade riveted in. The rivet is
generally made of whalebone, but other materials are sometimes used.
For instance, 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 collected are of hard bone, and one already
mentioned and figured, No. 89750 [1038], Fig. 215_a_, is of reindeer
antler), and the hexagonal shape, often with rounded edges, and the
line grooves continued to the tip, as in Fig. 217_a_, No. 89757 [947],
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. Only three out of the forty-eight show
this peculiarity, of which No. 56613 [53], Fig. 217_b_, is an example.

    [Footnote N335: Vega, vol. 2, p. 229, Fig. 3.]

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 represent natural objects, but are
always conventional patterns, generally a single or double border on
two or more faces with short oblique cross-lines and branches. Harpoon
heads at Point Barrow are probably never ornamented with the “circles
and dots,” so common on other implements and on the harpoons of the
southern Eskimo.

  [Illustration: FIG. 217.--Typical walrus-harpoon heads. 1/2]

Twenty-eight of the heads still have the leaders attached to them. The
object of this short line is to enable the hunter to readily detach 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
separating from the line. It is made of a stout piece of rawhide
thong, the skin of the walrus or bearded seal, about one-third inch in
diameter, and usually from 2 to 3 feet long. It is always 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 beckets apart when the main line ends
in 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 218.--Walrus-harpoon head, with leader. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 219.--Walrus-harpoon head, with line. 4/9]

  [Illustration: FIG. 220.--Walrus-harpoon head, with line. 1/3]

The commonest method is that already described. When the longer end is
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 beckets 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 being 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 before. 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, preferably the skin of the bearded seal (very fine lines
are sometimes made of beluga skin), about one-third inch square, and,
when properly 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 upside down (No. 56771 [535], Fig.
218), or by means of a small becket, made either as on the specimen
described (No. 56770 [536], Fig. 219), or spliced with double slits.
The long becket at the other end for attaching the float is made
either by tying a carrick bend with the end stopped back to the
standing part (Fig. 220, No. 56767 [531]), or by splicing (Fig. 221,
No. 56769).

  [Illustration: FIG. 221.--Walrus-harpoon head, with line. 1/2]

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 differently 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 1½ 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 sometimes
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 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 foreshaft. 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 generally a little hook of ivory or hard bone like
the one described, 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 evidently the knob
of a seal drag (see below) as the longitudinal 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 222.--Foreshaft of walrus harpoon. 1/3]

Harpoons closely resembling these in type are used by the Eskimo of
western North America wherever they habitually 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
appear 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 collection. 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 down 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
ornamented with the usual reddened incised pattern.

  [Illustration: FIG. 223.--Harpoon head for large seals. 1/2]

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 hand. The line is hitched round the shaft
back of the line 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 exclusively 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 in walking 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.[N336]

    [Footnote N336: See the writer’s note on this weapon, American
    Naturalist, vol. 19, p. 423.]

Since my note in the Naturalist was written, I have learned from Mr.
Henry Balfour, of the museum at Oxford, that their collection contains
two or three specimens of this very pattern of harpoon, undoubtedly
collected by some of the officers of the _Blossom_. Consequently, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 224.--Retrieving seal harpoon. 1/10]

Though this weapon was universally used at Point Barrow, we happened
to obtain only two specimens, possibly because the natives thought
them too necessary an implement to part with lightly. No. 89907
[1695], Figs. 224, 225, has a new shaft, etc., but was used several
times by the maker before it was offered for sale. Such a retrieving
harpoon is called naúlĭgɐ. The shaft (ipúa) is of ash, 4 feet 5 inches
long and 1 inch in diameter, tapering very slightly to each end. The
ice pick (túu) of walrus ivory, 14 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. The foreshaft (ukumailuta) is of
walrus ivory, 4½ inches long and 1½ inches in diameter at the thickest
part, and secured to the shaft by a whipping (nĭ´mxa) of seal thong.
The loose shaft (ígimû) is also of ivory and 2 inches long and secured
by a thong (ĭpíuta) 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 below the whipping.
The ivory finger rest (ti´ka) is fastened on with a lashing of whip
cord (white man’s) passing round the shaft. The line catch
(ki´lerbwĭñ), 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 fastened into a body of walrus ivory with a single
wooden rivet. While there is no detachable leader, the head is
attached by a separate piece of the same material to the line
(tûkăksia), 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 225.--Details of retrieving seal harpoon. 1/4]

No. 89908 [1058] is one of these spears rigged ready for darting. The
line is secured 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 foreshaft and ice pick are lashed in with sinew braid, which
is first 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 9½ 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 harpoon, are usually about 3 inches
long, and, as a rule, have lanceolate blades. The body is generally
conoidal, often made of reindeer antler, and always, apparently, with
a double barb. It is generally plain, but sometimes ornamented like
the walrus-harpoon heads.

  [Illustration: FIG. 226.--Jade blade for seal harpoon.]

No. 89784 [1008] was made by Ilû´bw’ga, the Nunatañmeun, when thinking
of coming to winter at Utkiavwĭñ. He had had no experience in sealing,
having apparently spent all his winters on the rivers inland, and this
harpoon head seems to have been condemned as unsatisfactory by his new
friends at Utkiavwĭñ. It looks like a very tolerable naula, but is
unusually small, being only 2½ inches long.

We saw only one stone blade for a seal harpoon, No. 89623 [1418], Fig.
226. This is of light olive green jade, and triangular, with
peculiarly dull edges and point. Each face is concaved, and there is a
hole for a rivet. (Compare the jade-bladed harpoon figured by
Nordenskiöld 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 harpoon 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 carries a núalɐ like the other harpoon, but has
only a short line, the end of which 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.[N337] 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.

    [Footnote N337: Parry, Second Voyage, p. 507, Iglulik.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 227.--Seal harpoon for thrusting.]

We obtained two specimens, of which No. 89910 [1694], 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, 20½ inches long and 1.1
inches in the middle, tapering to 0.9 at the ends. At the butt is
inserted, as before, an ivory ice pick (túu) of the form already
described, 13¾ inches long and lashed in with sinew braid. The
foreshaft (kátû) is of walrus ivory, nearly cylindrical, 5¾ inches
long and 0.9 inch in diameter, shouldered at the butt and fitted 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.”)

  [Illustration: FIG. 228.--Diagram of lashing on shaft.]

The loose shaft (ígimû) is of bone, whale’s rib or jaw, and has two
transverse holes above the shoulder to receive the end of the
assembling line (sábromia), 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,
then through the upper and carried down to the tip of the shaft, where
it is hitched just below the whalebone whipping, as follows: 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 (naúlɐ) is of the ordinary pattern, 2.8 inches
long, with a copper blade and antler body. The line (túkăktĭn) 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 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 the assembling line, which makes one or two
loose turns round it. The slack of the line is doubled into “fakes”
and tucked between the shaft and assembling line.

  [Illustration: FIG. 229.--Model of a seal harpoon. 1/3]

The other specimen is of the same pattern, but slightly different
proportions, having a shaft 18½ inches long and a pick 19 inches long.
The loose shaft is of ivory, and there are lashings of white whalebone
at each end of the shaft. The assembling 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 braid, 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 16¼ 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 shafts for 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

The harpoon used for the whale fishery is a heavy, bulky weapon, which
is never thrown, but thrust with both hands as the whale 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 unships. This foreshaft is not weighted, as in the
walrus harpoon, since this is not necessary in a weapon which does not
leave the hand. The harpoon line is fitted with two inflated sealskin

  [Illustration: FIG. 230.--Large model of a whale harpoon. 1/12 1/6]

No complete, genuine whaling harpoons were ever offered for sale, but
a man at Nuwûk made a very excellent reduced model about two-thirds
the usual size (No. 89909 [1023], Fig. 230), which will serve as the
type of this weapon (a´jyûñ). This is 6 feet 11 inches in length when
rigged for use. The shaft is of pine, 5 feet 8½ inches long, with its
greatest diameter (1½ inches) well forward of the middle and tapered
more toward the butt than toward the tip, which is chamfered off on
one side to fit the butt of the foreshaft (igimû), and shouldered to
keep the lashing in place. The foreshaft is of whale’s bone, 11½
inches long, three-sided with one edge rounded off, and tapers from a
diameter of 1 inch to a tapering rounded point 1½ inches long, and
slightly curved away from the flat face of the foreshaft. It will
easily 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
whipping of seal thong. The head is 7 inches long, and has a body of
walrus 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 imbedded in the tip of the body,
which is seized round with sinew braid. The body is unusually long and
slender 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 toggle-head. The line is of stout thong (the skin of the bearded
seal) and about 8½ feet long. It is passed through the line hole,
doubled in the middle, the two parts are firmly 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 detached by a straight pull. The ends are then
doubled back over the lashing and stopped to the shaft with a single
thread of sinew.

  [Illustration: FIG. 231.--Model of whale harpoon with floats. 3/8]

Fig. 231 is a toy model of the whale harpoon, No. 56562 [233], 18½
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 sealskins. A piece of seal thong 13½ 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 232.--Flint blade for whale harpoon.]

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 Utkiavwĭñ, is one of these, made of black flint) are about
1 inch shorter and were perhaps intended for walrus harpoons, though
we saw none of these with flint blades. They are all newly made for
the market.

  [Illustration: FIG. 233.--Slate blade for whale harpoon.]

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 Utkiavwĭñ, made of soft purple
slate), except one new one, No. 56697_a_ [188_a_], which has the
corners cut off so as to give it a rhomboidal shape. The corners are
sometimes rounded off so that they are nearly heart-shaped. These
blades are usually about 2¾ inches long and 2 broad; two unusually
large ones are 3 inches long and nearly 2¼ broad, and one small one
2.1 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 8½ inches
long (one is 9¼ inches long) and not over 1½ inches broad at the
widest part. 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. 235_a_,
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_b_, No. 56602
[157], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 234.--Body of whale harpoon head. 1/3]

The blade slit, and consequently the blade, is always in the plane of
the barb, which position, as I have said before, corresponds to the
last step but one in the development 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. 89748 [928], from
Nuwŭk. 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 [1044]) may have some significance 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 precisely the same type
from Greenland, where the modern harpoons are so different from those
used in the west.

  [Illustration: FIG. 235.--Whale harpoon heads. 1/3]

That the line connecting the head with the float line is not always so
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 walrus-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 slit. One of these ends is then slit
and through it are passed the other end of the short piece and the
bight of the long piece, and all is drawn taut and securely seized
with sinew. The becket thus formed was probably looped directly into
the bight of the float line.

  [Illustration: FIG. 236.--Whale harpoon head with a “leader.” 1/4]

The foreshaft is much larger than that of the model, though of the
same shape. No. 56537 [97], Fig. 237, from Utkiavwĭñ, is of
walrus-ivory and 15.8 inches long with a diameter of 1½ 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
breaking. 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 ancient

  [Illustration: FIG. 237.--Foreshaft of whale harpoon. 1/4]

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 ceremonies
long after they have gone out of use in every-day 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 performed, 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, undifferentiated, is also the older form.

Why the development of the harpoon was arrested at this particular
stage is not so easily determined. A natural supposition would be that
this was the form of harpoon used by their ancestors 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 both
villages together caught only one small whale, was attributed to the
use of these “irons,” and it was decided by the elders that the
_first_ harpoon struck into the whale must be a stone-bladed one such
as their forefathers used when they killed many whales.

In this connection, it is interesting to note a parallel custom
observed at Point Hope. Hooper[N338] says that at this place the
beluga must always be struck with a _flint_ spear, even if it has been
killed by a rifle shot.

    [Footnote N338: Corwin Report, p. 41.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 238.--Whale lance.]

_Lances._--As I have said on a preceding page, some of the natives 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 continued 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 (kaluwiɐ) and one complete lance, a very
fine specimen (No. 56765 [537], Fig. 238), which was brought down as a
present from Nuwŭk. 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 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 1¾
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 1½ inches below the whipping.

  [Illustration: FIG. 239.--Flint head of whale lance. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 240.--Flint heads for whale lances.]

No. 89596 [1032] is the head and 5 inches of the shaft of a similar
lance. The head is of black flint, 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 Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 56679 [239], also from Utkiavwĭñ, is of black flint and broader
than the preceding. Its length is 6.3 inches. No. 56680 [394], from
the same village, is of light bluish gray flint and very broad. It is
5.4 inches long. No. 56681 [5], from Utkiavwĭñ, is another broad head
of black flint, 6 inches long. Fig. 240_a_, No. 89597 [1034], from
Nuwŭk, is of black flint, and unusually long in proportion, running
into the tang with less shoulder than usual. Much of the original
surface is left untouched on one face. This is probably very old. No.
89598 [1361] is a head of similar shape of dark gray flint from
Sidaru. It is 6 inches long. Fig. 240_b_, 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. 240_c_, No. 89600 [1069], from
Utkiavwĭñ, 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, pû´nnû, 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 Utkiavwĭñ. It has a head of gray
flint 3½ 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, 6 feet 8 inches long,
rounded and somewhat flattened at the tip, which is 1 inch wide and
tapering to a diameter of 0.7 at the butt, and is painted red with
ocher. The tip has a slight shoulder to keep the whipping in place.
The tang is wedged in with bits of leather and secured by a close
whipping of sinew braid 1¼ inches deep. Fig. 242, No. 89611 [1034],
from Nuwŭk, 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. 56708_a_ [114_a_] and No.
56708_b_ [114_b_], are both new, but were probably meant for the bear
lance. They are of gray flint, 3½ inches long, and have the edges
regularly serrate.

  [Illustration: FIG. 241.--Bear lance. 1/12]

  [Illustration: FIG. 242.--Flint head for bear lance. 1/2]

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 Eskimo.[N339] 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 the cockpit. The hunter then paddles rapidly
up alongside of the deer, grasps the lance near the butt, as he would
a dagger, and stabs the animal with a quick downward thrust. This
spear is called kă´pun, which in the Point Barrow dialect exactly
corresponds to the Greenlandic word kapût, which is applied to the
long-bladed spear or long knife used for dispatching a harpooned
seal.[N340] The word kă´pun means simply “an instrument for stabbing.”

    [Footnote N339: Parry, 2d Voy., p. 512 (Iglulik); Kumlien,
    Contributions, p. 54 (Cumberland Gulf); Schwatka, Science, vol. 4,
    No. 98, p. 544 (King Williams Land).]

    [Footnote N340: Crantz, vol. 1, p. 147, Pl. V, Fig. 5; and Kane,
    1st Grinnell Exp., p. 479 (fig. at bottom).]

  [Illustration: FIG. 243.--Deer Lance. 1/12 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 244.--Part of deer lance, with flint head. 1/2]

No. 73183 [524], Figs. 243_a_, 243_b_ (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, 4¾ inches long exclusive
of the tang, and 1½ 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 whipping 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. 56699 [166] is one of a pair of neatly
made copper lance heads. It is 5.9 inches long and 1½ 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 (No. 89900 [1157] from Nuwŭk).
The shaft is new and rather carelessly made of a rough, knotty piece
of spruce, and is 5 feet 5¾ inches long. The head is of black flint
and 2 inches long, exclusive of the tang, and 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 is an old head
newly mounted for the market, and the head is wedged in with a bit of
blue flannel.

No. 89897 [1324], Fig. 245, from Utkiavwĭñ, on the other hand, is an
old shaft 5 feet 7½ inches long, fitted with a new head, which is very
broad, and shaped like the head of a bear lance. It is of variegated
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. 89896
[1324] is the mate to this, evidently 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 appears to be wholly old, except the whipping of sinew braid.
The shaft is of spruce, 5 feet 4¾ inches long, and painted red with
ocher. We also collected three stone heads for such lances. Fig. 246,
No. 38711 [148], from Utkiavwĭñ, shows the shape of the tang. It is of
gray flint, and 3.7 inches long. No. 89610 [1154] 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 as an amulet. We were told
that this lance head was brought from the west. A large slate lance
head found by Nordenskiöld[N341] in the old “Onkilon” house at North
Cape is of precisely the same shape as these deer-lance heads, but
from its size was probably intended for a whale lance.

    [Footnote N341: Vega, vol. 1, p. 444, Fig. 7.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 245.--Deer lance, flint head. 1/12]

  [Illustration: FIG. 246.--Flint head for deer lance. 1/2]


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. 247, No. 75969
[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 preceding 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
seen approaching, the handle is grasped in the right hand, the balls
in the left, and the strings are straightened out 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
natives said that the balls flew with sufficient force to stun a duck
or break his wing, but we never happened 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 universally
employed, especially by those who have no guns, and a good 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 247.--Bird bolas, looped up for carrying. 1/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 248.--Bird bolas, ready for use. 1/6]

We brought home one specimen of this implement (kelauĭtau´tĭn), 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, 1.6 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, into
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 quills and vanes stand up on all
sides. The middle of each 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. 89490 [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 Utkiavwĭñ 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
collections or in the writings of authors. A few points, however, have
been made out with certainty. The bolas are unknown among all the
Eskimo east of the Anderson River, 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 Point
Barrow.[N342] They were first noticed by Beechey at Kotzebue Sound in
1826.[N343] 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
Nordenskiöld,[N344] and the Krause Brothers.[N345]

    [Footnote N342: T. Simpson’s Narrative, p. 156.]

    [Footnote N343: Voyage, p. 574.]

    [Footnote N344: Vega, vol. 2, p. 109, and Fig. 3, p. 105.]

    [Footnote N345: Geographische Blätter, vol. 5, pt. 1, p. 32. See
    also Rosse, Arctic Cruise of the Corwin, p. 34.]


_Floats._--I have already spoken of the floats (apotû´kpûñ) of
inflated sealskin used in capturing the whale and walrus. We obtained
one specimen, No. 73578 [538] Fig. 249. This is the whole skin, except
the head, of a male rough seal (Phoca fœtida), with the hair out. The
carcass was carefully removed without making any incision except round
the neck and a few inches down the throat, and skinned to the very
toes, leaving the claws on. All natural or accidental apertures are
carefully 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 249.--Seal skin float. 1/12]

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.[N346] 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.

    [Footnote N346: I learn from our old interpreter, Capt. E.P.
    Herendeen, who has 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.]

_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
flippers and passing the ivory through. We unfortunately never had an
opportunity of verifying this story. Neither pair is new. Fig. 250_a_
represents a pair of these implements (kă´gotĭñ) (No. 56580 [227]).
They are of white walrus ivory. In the middle of each belly is
excavated 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 (Balæna
mysticetus), 4½ inches long, and the other evidently intended for a
“California 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, kăgotĭñ, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 250.--Flipper toggles. 2/3]

Fig. 251_a_ represents one of these boxes (No. 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, 9½ 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 “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 corresponding 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 251.--Boxes for harpoon heads. 1/3]

We collected seven such whale-harpoon boxes, usually about 9 to 9¾
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 Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 251_b_ (No. 89733 [1161], from Nuwŭk) represents a small box 4⅓
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 [860], Fig. 251_c_,
from Nuwŭk, 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 filled 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 roughly
made, 5 inches long and painted all over with red ocher. It has a
cover, but no strings.

No. 56501 [142], Fig. 251_d_, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 middle of the cover and out at a hole on the left side,
about one-fourth inch from the cavity. The box is filled with raveled
rope-yarns. Fig. 251_e_ (No. 89730 [981], from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 Nuwŭk), 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.

_Nets (ku´bra)._--The smaller seals are captured in large-meshed nets
of rawhide. We brought home one of these, No. 56756 [109], Figs
252_a_-252_b_ (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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 252.--Seal net. 1/36 1/4]

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 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´nɐ)
alone. The net was used in seal catching in Dr. Simpson’s time, though
he makes but a casual reference to it,[N347] and Beechey found seal
nets at Kotzebue Sound in 1826.[N348] 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 Nordenskiöld speaks of seal nets “set in summer among
the ground ices along the shore,”[N349] 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,”[N350] as none of his party ever witnessed the seal
fishery.[N351] 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 Crantz I am inclined to believe that they were
introduced by the Europeans.[N352] 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.

    [Footnote N347: Op. cit., p. 262.]

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:

    [Footnote N348: Voyage, pp. 295, 574.]

    [Footnote N349: Vega, vol. 2, p. 108.]

    [Footnote N350: Ibid., p. 98.]

    [Footnote N351: See also the reference to Hooper’s Corwin Report,
    quoted below under Hunting.]

    [Footnote N352: See, however, the writer’s paper in the American
    Anthropologist, vol. 1, p. 333.]

_Seal calls_ (adrigautĭn).--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. 253_a_, is the type. It is 11½ 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. 253_b_ (No. 56557 [93] from Utkiavwĭñ is 9½ 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
surface. 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 Utkiavwĭñ, has
the haft notched on each side, and has an irregular stud of bone for
securing the lashing.

  [Illustration: FIG. 253.--Scratchers for decoying seals.]

No. 89468 [1354], Fig. 253_c_, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 points 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
specimens from St. Lawrence Island and Cape Wankarem in Siberia.
Nordenskiöld speaks of the use of this implement at Pitlekaj and
figures a specimen.[N353] The other instrument appears to be less
common. I have called it a seal rattle.

    [Footnote N353: Vega, vol. 2, p. 117, Fig. 3.]

_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 something was said about “nĕtyĭ” 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 collected 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 function 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 254.--Seal rattle. 1/2]

_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 notice 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 seen in use. We collected two specimens, of which No. 56507 [104],
Fig. 255_a_, will serve as the type. It is of walrus ivory, 14½ inches
long and 0.3 in diameter, with a small lanyard of sinew. The curved
cross piece of ivory, 1⅓ inches long, is inserted into a slot
one-fourth of an inch from the end and secured by a little treenail of

Fig. 255_b_ (No. 89454 [1114], from Nuwŭk) is a similar indicator, 13½
inches long and flat (0.3 inch wide and 0.1 thick). The upper end is
carved into scallops for ornament and has a small eye into which was
knotted a bit 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 “feather setter” (ĭgugwau) in feathering arrows. Such implements
are mentioned in most popular accounts of the Eskimo of the east, and
Capt. Parry describes it from personal observation at Iglulik.[N354]
I have been unable to find any mention of its use in western America,
and have seen no specimens in the National Museum.

  [Illustration: FIG. 255.--Seal indicators. 1/4]

_Sealing stools._--When a native is watching a seal-hole he frequently
has to stand for hours motionless on the ice. His feet would become
exceedingly cold, in spite of the excellence of his foot covering,
were it not for a little three-legged stool about 10 inches high upon
which he stands. This stool is made of wood, with a triangular top
just large enough to accommodate 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 256.--Sealing stool. 1/4]

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.

    [Footnote N354: Second Voyage, p. 510; also pl. opposite p. 550,
    Fig. 17.]

We brought home two specimens of this common object (nĭgawaúotĭn). No.
89887 [1411], Fig. 250, will serve as the type. The top is of spruce,
8¾ inches long and 10¾ 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 joining 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
Museum 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 mention 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 (Pl. 9) as oval,
with very short legs.[N355]

    [Footnote N355: “They first look out for Holes, which the Seals
    themselves make with their Claws about the Bigness 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 harpoon.” Crantz, History of
    Greenland, vol. 1, p. 156.]

_Seal drags (uksiu´tiñ.)_--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 collected eight of these drag lines, from which I have
selected No. 56624 [44], Fig. 257_a_, as the type.

  [Illustration: FIG. 257.--Seal drags and handles. 1/2]

This consists of a stout thong of rawhide (the skin of the bearded
seal) 0.3 inch wide and 37 inches long, and doubled in a bight so that
one end is about 2½ inches the longer. These ends are fastened into a
handle of walrus ivory, consisting of three pieces, namely: a pair of
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 1¼ 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 Utkiavwĭñ, 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 complicated 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.
257_b_ is the upper part of a line (No. 56622 [36], from Utkiavwĭñ),
with a similar tube 1¾ inches long, and a handle carved from a single
piece into a pair of mittens like the others.

No. 56625 [81], also from Utkiavwĭñ, is almost exactly similar to the
one first described, but has the seal belly up. Fig. 257_c_ (No. 89470
[1337], from the same village) has a seal 2.3 inches long for the
handle, and No. 56626 [212], from Utkiavwĭñ, is like it. No. 89469_a_,
[755_a_] Fig. 257_d_, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 257_e_, has a handle made of two ivory bears’
heads, very neatly carved, with circular bits of wood inlaid for eyes,
and perforated 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 with sinew braid. This makes a small becket above the

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 1½ 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
specimens from as far south as Cape Darby.

_Whalebone wolf-killers (ĭsĭbru)._--Before the introduction of the
steel traps, which they now obtain by trade, these people used a
peculiar contrivance for catching the wolf. This consists of a stout
rod of whalebone 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,[N356] wrapped in blubber (whale’s blubber was used,
according to our informant, Nĭkawáalu), 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 animal’s death. Nikawáalu says that a wolf
would not go far after swallowing one of these blubber balls.

    [Footnote N356: 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.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 258.--Whalebone wolf-killers. 1/4]

We collected four sets of these contrivances, one set containing seven
rods and the others four each. Fig. 258_a_ gives a good idea of the
shape of one of these. It belongs to a set of seven, No. 89538 [1229],
Fig. 258_b_, from Utkiavwĭñ, which are old and show the marks of
having been doubled up. It is 12½ 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 partially frozen blubber, as is stated by Schwatka.[N357] Two of
the sets are new, but made like the others.

    [Footnote N357: “Nimrod in the North,” p. 133.]

    [Footnote N358: 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.]

This contrivance is also used by the Eskimo of Hudson Bay[N358] and at
Norton Sound, where, according to Petroff,[N359] the rods are 2 feet
long and wrapped in seal blubber. The name ĭsĭ´bru appears to be the
same as the Greenlandic (isavssok), found only in the diminutive
isavssoraĸ, a provincial name for the somewhat similar sharp-pointed
stick baited with blubber and used for catching gulls. The diminutive
form of this word in Greenlandic may indicate that their ancestors
once used the large wolf-killer, when they lived where wolves were
found. The definition of uju´kuaĸ, the ordinary word for the
gull-catcher (see below)--in the Grønlandske 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 dictionary.

    [Footnote N359: Report, etc., p. 127.]

_Traps._--Foxes are caught in the winter by deadfalls or steel traps
(nänori´a), set generally along the beach, where the foxes are
wandering about in 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#),
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.[N360] In regard to the use of this contrivance in Greenland,
see above under “wolf-killers.”

    [Footnote N360: See Dr. Rau’s Prehistoric Fishing, p. 12. Fig. 2,
    p. 13, represents one of these from Norton Sound, and Figs. 3-8,
    a series of similar implements from the bone caves of France.]

_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
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[N361] except in Siberia, where they
use a simple shade for the eyes.[N362]

    [Footnote N361: See Parry, 2d Voyage, p. 547, Iglulik and Hudson
    Strait, pl. opposite p. 548, Fig. 4, and pl. 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).]

    [Footnote N362: Nordenskiöld, Vega, Vol. 2, p. 99.]

We brought home four pairs of these goggles (í´dyĭgûñ), 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 259.--Wooden snow goggles. 1/2]

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 Isû´tkwa, where our station stood, buried at a depth of 27 feet in
undisturbed frozen ground, and were uncovered in digging the shaft
sunk by Lieut. Ray for obtaining earth temperatures.[N363] The layer
in which they were found was evidently an old sea beach, consisting of
sand and gravel mixed 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.

    [Footnote N363: Report U.S. International Polar Expedition to
    Point Barrow, p. 37.]

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 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 hollowed out.

  [Illustration: FIG. 260.--Bone snow goggles. 1/2]

Fig. 260 (No. 89701 [763], from Utkiavwĭñ) represents one of these
specimens. I do not recollect ever seeing goggles of this material in
actual use. No. 89703 [754], Fig. 261, is an unusual pattern, having
along the top a horizontal 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 goggles worn. Dall figures a
similar pair from Norton Sound, and those brought by Mr. Turner from
Ungava have a similar brim and ventilating holes. The snow goggles
mentioned in Parry’s Second Voyage (p. 547) as occasionally seen at
Iglulik, but more common in Hudson’s Strait, appear to have resembled
these, but had a brim 3 or 4 inches deep.

  [Illustration: FIG. 261.--Wooden snow goggles, unusual form. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 262.--Marker for meat cache. 1/2]

_Meat-cache markers._--We purchased a couple of little ivory rods,
each with a little bunch of feathers tied to one 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

Fig. 262, represents one of these (No. 89531 [978] from Nuwŭk). It is
a flat, slender rod of white walrus ivory, 11½ inches long, and
evidently broken off at the tip. The other end is cut into ornamental
notches, and ornamented with an incised pattern colored with red
ocher, consisting of conventional lines 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
buff-breasted sandpiper (Tryngites subruficollis). This was evidently
longer when new and perhaps was originally used for a seal indicator
(which see above). Fig. 263 (No. 89453 [1581] from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 end.

  [Illustration: FIG. 263.--Marker for meat cache. 1/4]


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 Utkiavwĭñ 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 wolf._--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
exceedingly 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._--Reindeer 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
distance 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, trusting 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 pertinacity. 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 manner already
described. In July, 1883, one man from Utkiavwĭñ 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 Imê´kpûñ and Imêkpûnĭglu 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 Pernijû. 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 “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.”[N364] Pl. 4, of the same work, is a very
curious illustration of this style of hunting.

    [Footnote N364: Greenland, p. 62.]

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.[N365] Franklin also noticed between the Mackenzie and the
Colville similar ranges of driftwood stumps leading across the plain
to two cairns on a hill,[N366] and Thomas Simpson mentions a similar
range near Herschel Island,[N367] 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.[N368]
This is similar to the practice described by Schwatka[N369] 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.

    [Footnote N365: Franklin, 1st Exped., vol. 2, p. 181.]

    [Footnote N366: 2d Exped., p. 137.]

    [Footnote N367: Narrative, p. 114.]

    [Footnote N368: Ibid., p. 138.]

    [Footnote N369: Science, vol. 4, 9, pp. 543-544.]

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 Kulugrua, where the deer are exceedingly plentiful at
this season. Capt. 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 necessary 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. Some of the old men
and those who have not a supply of ammunition engage in the same

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 Utkiavwĭñ 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 Sĭ´ñaru, and then
strike across country, crossing Kuaru and reaching Kulugrua near the
hill Nuasu´knan. (See map, Pl. II.)

The people from Nuwŭk travel straight across Elson Bay to the south
till they reach nearly the same region. Some parties from Nuwŭk also
hunt in the rough country between Kulugrua and Ikpĭkpûñ. 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, 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.[N370] It is certain, at all
events, that the people of Utkiavwĭñ did not hunt on the Ikpĭkpûñ with
the men of Nuwŭk. 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 Ikpĭkpûñ. (See above, p. 58.)

    [Footnote N370: 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 Journal, vol. 52, p. 323.]

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
generally hunted by chasing them on snowshoes, in the manner already
described, 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 another. The natives have generally very good success in this
spring hunt. Two men who were hunting on shares for the station killed
upward 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 playing with these fetuses, which they set up as
targets for their blunt arrows.

Before starting for the deer hunt the hunters generally take the
movable 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 attracting 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 baggage, make flying trips to the village,
usually to get a fresh supply of ammunition or oil, and at the end of
the season a lucky hunter almost 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 Nuwŭk
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.[N371]

    [Footnote N371: Northwest Passage, Appendix, p. 387.]

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 6 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 find no mention of it except at Repulse Bay,[N372] 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.”[N373] Lieut. Ray
was informed by the natives that the “Nunatañmiun” 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 similar method was practiced by the natives of Norton Sound.[N374]
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 previously 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.

    [Footnote N372: Rae, Narratives, etc., p. 135.]

    [Footnote N373: Klutschak, “Als Eskimo,” etc., p. 131.]

    [Footnote N374: Dall, Alaska, p. 147.]

_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 capture is one of the most necessary pursuits at Point
Barrow, and is carried 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 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

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 _una_, 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
confined to the period between the middle of October and the early
part of January.

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 season 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 Utkiavwĭñ
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 Nordenskiöld, who observed a
similar custom at Pitlekaj, was informed that it was to keep the leads
from closing.[N375]

    [Footnote N375: Vega, vol. 2, p. 130. Compare the custom observed
    in Baffin Land, of sprinkling a few drops of water on the head of
    the seal before it is cut up, mentioned by Hall, Arctic
    Researches, p. 573.]

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 netting 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.

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 not 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 Utkiavwĭñ, 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 season 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 communicating with the water. These are undoubtedly the
same as the snow burrows described by Kumlien,[N376] which the female
seal builds to bring forth her young in.[N377] They are curious
constructions, looking astonishingly like a man’s work. The natives
told me that nets set at these places were for the capture of young
seals (nĕtyiáru). 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, sometimes 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.

    [Footnote N376: Contributions, p. 57.]

    [Footnote N377: Hall, Arctic Researches, pp. 507 and 578, with

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.[N378] 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 observe this method of netting until considerably later.

    [Footnote N378: Hooper, Corwin Report, p. 25.]

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
fœtida), 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, 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 the 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
especially 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 harpoon 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 Eskimo.

_The whale._--The pursuit of the “bowhead” whale (Balæna 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 umialĭks
(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 kû´dyĭgĭ, where it is consecrated by
a ceremony consisting of drumming and singing, perhaps partaking of
the nature of an incantation.

Capt. Herendeen was the only one of our party who witnessed this
ceremony, which took place at Utkiavwĭñ on January 9, 1883, and he did
not bring back a detailed account of the proceedings. During part of
the ceremony all the umialĭks 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 return in the
spring they begin getting ready for the whales, covering the boats,
fitting lines to harpoons, and putting gear of all sorts in perfect
order. Every article to be used in whaling--harpoons, lances, paddles,
and even the timbers of the boats--must be scraped perfectly
clean.[N379] This work is generally done by the umialĭk himself and
his 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 paddle 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.

    [Footnote N379: Compare Egede, Greenland, p. 102. The whale “can’t
    bear sloven and dirty habits.”]

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 umialĭks hire their
crews, paying them a stipulated price in tobacco and other articles,
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 Utkiavwĭñ, 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 exceedingly 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 Imê´kpûñ 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 informed me as early as April 1 that it would be necessary for
them to move up to Imê´kpûñ, adding that the ice abreast of the
village was very heavy and would move only when warm weather came.
This prediction 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 (nígyǝ) 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 middle beats a drum and sings 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 addressed to a tuaña or spirit, requesting him to make
the desired wind blow.[N380] It does not appear to be necessary that
the man who delivers the invocation should be a regular magician or
“doctor.” A succession of unsuccessful attempts were made in 1882,
some of them by men who never to our knowledge practiced incantations
on other occasions. During 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.[N381] It is interesting to find that at Norton Sound, where
the whale is not pursued, this superstition has been transferred to
the salmon fishery, one of the most important industries of the year.
Mr. Dall[N382] says: “While the fishery lasts no wood must be cut with
an axe, or the salmon will disappear.”

    [Footnote N380: 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.]

    [Footnote N381: Compare Rink, Tales, etc., p. 55: “To the customs
    just enumerated may be added various regulations regarding the
    chase, especially that of the whale, this animal being easily
    scared away by various kinds of impurity or disorder.”]

    [Footnote N382: Alaska, p. 147.]

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
sleeping 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 Imê´kpûñ and Utkiavwĭñ, where people were constantly traveling
back and forth. When the boats are out no woman is allowed to sew, as
was noticed by Dr. Simpson.[N383] To carry the umiak out over the ice
it is lashed on a flat sled and drawn by dogs and men. A description
of one of these boats which I accompanied for part of its journey 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
sled and brought back and harnessed to the flat sled on which the
umiak was lashed. The party, which consisted of five men and two
women, one of whom 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 off 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, five or six in number, the whale
harpoon, and whale spades, and ice picks were carried in the boats.

    [Footnote N383: Loc. cit., p. 261.]

A whaling umiak always carries a number of amulets to insure success.
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 Nĭkawaalu 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.[N384]

    [Footnote N384: 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.”]

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 blackskin
he or she can cut off. The same custom was practiced in Greenland, and
is to this day in eastern Siberia.

While they are very particular in all superstitious observances
regarding the whales, they are less careful about certain things, such
as loud talking and firing guns at seals and fowl when they are
waiting 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 Capt. 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

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. C. 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 casually
pursued elsewhere with fleets of kaiaks or umiaks manned by volunteer

    [Footnote N385: See Egede, Greenland, p. 102; Crantz, History of
    Greenland, Vol. I, p. 121; Parry, 2d. Voy., p. 509 (Iglulik);
    McClure, Northwest Passage, p. 92 (Cape Bathurst).]

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 hundred, 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 four or five miles below Utkiavwĭñ, and most of
them fly up along the smooth shore-ice to Pernyû or Point Barrow. Some
flocks always fly up among the hummocks of the land floe, and a few
others turn eastward 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
themselves among the latter. They take but little pains to conceal
themselves, frequently sitting out on the open ice-field on sealing
stools or squares of bearskins. The ducks generally keep on their
course without 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, however, 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.

Rather 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 Pernyû, where the natives assemble
in large numbers to shoot them as well as to meet with the
Nunatañmiun. All the people who have been scattered along the coast in
small camps gradually collect at this season at Pernyû, and the
returning 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 Pernyû 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 natives 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 Imêkpûniglu.

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 intention
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 coast in places where the ducks are
in the habit of flying in and out from lagoons over low bars.[N386]
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,
and are sometimes found in the two little village ponds (Tûseraru).
The shooting at Pernyû usually lasts till the middle or end of
September, during which month the natives also shoot a good many gulls
(Larus barrovianus and Rhodostethia rosea) as they fly along the

    [Footnote N386: Von der Lagune aus pflegten jeden Morgen und Abend
    grosse Entenschaaren über den Ort hinweg nach dem Meere zu
    fliegen. Dann wurden durch Pfeifen und Schreien die Thiere so
    geängstigt, dass sie ihren Flug abwärts richteten und nun durch
    die mit grosser Sicherheit geworfene Schleuder oder durch
    Flintenschüsse erreicht werden konnten. (East Cape), Krause
    Brothers, Geographische Blätter, 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, the natives would utter a long, peculiar cry,
    and the flock would turn instantly to one side and sweep by in a
    circuit, thus affording the coveted opportunity for bringing down
    some of their number.” (Cape Wankarem), Nelson, Cruise of the
    Corwin, p. 100.]


_Hooks and lines._--The streams and lakes in the immediate
neighborhood 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 (Boreogadus saida) and small sculpins (Cottus
quadricornis and C. decastrensis), with the hook and line. The tackle
for this fishing consists of a short line of whalebone, provided with
a little “squid” or artificial bait of ivory, and fastened to a wooden
rod about 18 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 complete 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 0.1
inch wide, fastened together with what appear to be “waterknots.” Two
of these strips are of black whalebone, respectively 4½ and 9 inches
long; the other two are of light colored whalebone and 15½ 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 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, 14½ inches long. The body of the lure
is a piece of walrus ivory 1½ 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 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 lure is made of old brown walrus ivory.
These lures are 1 inch to 1½ 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. 266_a_, No. 56609 [153], from Utkiavwĭñ).

  [Illustration: FIG. 264.--Tackle for shore fishing. 3/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 265.--Knot of line into hook.]

The hook is usually of the shape described but is sometimes simply a
slightly recurved spur about ½-inch long as in Fig. 266_b_ (No. 56610
[160], also from Utkiavwĭñ). It is usually of brass or copper, rarely
of iron. Two peculiar lures from Utkiavwĭñ, are No. 56705 [150_a_ and
150_b_]. 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 grayling in the rivers in summer. No. 89554 [950], Fig.
267_a_, from Utkiavwĭñ, is perhaps intended exclusively for this
purpose, as it is larger than the others, (1.9 inch long) and highly
ornamented with beads. Fig. 267_b_, No. 89783 [1007], is one of these
beaded lures (2½ inches long), with an iron hook, undoubtedly for
river fishing, as it belonged to the “inland” native, Ilû´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 and one red one.

  [Illustration: FIG. 266.--Small fishhooks. 3/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 267.--Hooks for river fishing. 1/2]

No. ----[N387] [151] Fig. 268, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 small plain ivory
lure of the common pattern, and the 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 reeled in the usual manner
on the rod, and the hooks caught into notches on the sides of it. The
small lures are called nĭ´ksĭñ.

  [Illustration: FIG. 268.--Tackle for river fishing. 1/8]

    [Footnote N387: 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 iɐkqlûñ,
which is baited with a piece of whitefish. There are two forms of this
hook, which is from 3 to 5¼ inches long. One form differs in size only
from the small nĭ´ksĭn, but is always of white ivory and not beaded
(Fig. 269, No. 89550 [780] from Utkiavwĭñ, which is 4½ 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. 89553 [764] from
Utkiavwĭñ, which has a body of walrus ivory 4 inches long and a copper
hook. Of 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
Utkiavwĭñ. 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 ¼ inch beyond the tip of the latter. The
ring of the hook has been bent open and the end sunk into the body.
The hook is held on by two lashings of sinew, one at each end of the

  [Illustration: FIG. 269.--Burbot hook, 1st pattern. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 270.--Burbot hook, 2d pattern. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 271.--Burbot hook, made of cod hook. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 272.--Burbot tackle, baited. 1/6]

No. 56594 [32] from Utkiavwĭñ is like the preceding, 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 hook. This is probably to hide the point when
the hook is baited. No. 56594 [167] from Utkiavwĭñ, has the hook
fastened to the back of the body instead of the flat side. The manner
in which these hooks are baited is shown in Fig. 272, which represents
a complete set of burbot tackle (No. 89546 [946]) brought in and sold
by some Utkiavwĭñ natives, just as they had been using it in the
autumn of 1882 at Kuaru or Kulugrua. A piece of whitefish, flesh and
skin, with the scales removed is wrapped round the hook so as to make
a club-shaped body 4½ inches long and is sewed up along one side with
cotton twine. The copper spur projects through the skin on the other
side. This hook would not hold the fish unless it were “gorged,” but
the voracious 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, 4¾ inches long. There is
another eye at the large end of the sinker, for the attachment of a
leader of double sinew braid 5½ inches long connecting the hook with
the sinker.

The reel, which serves also as a short rod, is of yellow pine 19½
inches long. When the line is reeled up, the hook is caught into the
wood on one side of the reel. No. 89545 [946] is a similar set of
baited tackle, bought from the same natives, differing from the
preceding only in proportions, having a longer line--9 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 Utkiavwĭñ) has a whalebone line 14
feet long, and a roughly octahedral sinker of walrus ivory 3 inches
long and 1½ 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 Utkiavwĭñ, 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]) represents one of these sinkers (kíbica), 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 filled in with
black refuse oil.

  [Illustration: FIG. 273.--Ivory sinker. 1/2]

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 Utkiavwĭñ). This is of white walrus
ivory, 2⅛ inches long and ⅜ in diameter at the largest part. The two
slender hooks are of copper and are secured by wedges of whalebone.
This makes a contrivance resembling the squid jigs used by our
fishermen. These jiggers are sometimes made wholly of copper, which is
scraped bright.

  [Illustration: FIG. 274.--Ivory jigger for polar cod. 3/4]

This fishery begins with the return of the sun, about the 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
field of the season’s ice, 3 or 4 feet thick, inclosed by hummocks,
and they sometimes occur in very great numbers. In 1882 there was a
large field 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
whalebone 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 the barbless 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 abundance 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 1882.

Jiggers of this pattern appear to be used at Pitlekaj, from
Nordendskiöld’s description[N388], but I have seen no account either
there or elsewhere 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,[N389] 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.[N390]

    [Footnote N388: Vega, vol. 2, p. 110.]

    [Footnote N389: “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 Collections which contain many whalebone lines from the
    Mackenzie and Anderson rivers, collected by MacFarlane, and from
    the whole western region, collected by Nelson.]

    [Footnote N390: “Instead of a bait, they put on the hook a white
    bone, a glass bead, or a bit of red cloth” (when fishing for
    sculpins). History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 95.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 275.--Section of whalebone net. 1/3]

_Nets (Kubra)._--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 (Coregonus kenicotti, C. nelsoni, and C. laurettæ.) The
collection contains three specimens of these nets, two of whalebone
and one of sinew. No. 56754 [147], Fig. 275, is a typical whalebone
net. It is long and shallow, 79 meshes long and 21 deep, made of fine
strips of whalebone fastened together as in the whalebone fishing
lines. Most of the whalebone is black, but a few light colored strips
are intermixed at random. The length of the mesh is 3¼ inches, and the
knot used in making 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
Utkiavwĭñ), 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 3½
inches. Fig. 276 (unit of web) is a net (No. 56752 [171] from the same
village) of the same mesh and depth, but 284 meshes (60 feet) long and
made of twisted sinew twine.

  [Illustration: FIG. 276.--Mesh of sinew net. 1/2]

I had no opportunity of seeing the method of setting these nets under
the ice, but it is probably the same as that used in setting the seal
nets. When in camp at Pernyû 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 whitefish, 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 expeditions, 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
Kûñmûd´lĭñ) sold his party “some fine salmon trout, taken in a seine
of whalebone, which they dragged ashore by means of several slender
poles spliced together to a great length.”[N391]

    [Footnote N391: Narrative, p. 115.]

An Utkiavwĭñ native told us that he found trout (Salvelinus malma) so
plentiful at or near the mouth of the Colville, in 1882, that he fed
his dogs with them.

  [Illustration: FIG. 277.--Fish trap. 1/23]

Fig. 277 is a peculiar net or fish-trap (No. 56755 [190]) from
Utkiavwĭñ, the only specimen of the kind seen. It is a conical,
wide-mouthed bag, 8 feet 4 inches long and 5½ feet wide at the mouth,
netted all in one piece of twisted sinew, with a 2¼-inch mesh. This
was brought over for sale at an early date, before we were well
acquainted with the natives, and we only learned that it was set
permanently for catching fish. Unfortunately, we never saw another
specimen, and through the press of other duties never happened to make
further 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 contrivance is called sápotĭn, which corresponds to the
Greenlandic saputit, a dam for catching fish.

From all accounts, the natives east of the Anderson River region were
ignorant of the use of the net before they made the acquaintance of
the whites,[N392] though they now use it in several places, as in
Greenland and Labrador. The earliest explorers on 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 invention. At the present day, nets are used all
along the coast from the Mackenzie and Anderson rivers (see
MacFarlane’s Collection) as far south at least as the Yukon
delta.[N393] I have not been able to learn whether gill nets are used
in the delta of the Kuskoquim. Petroff[N394] mentions fish traps and
dip nets merely. That the natives of Kadiak formerly had no nets I
infer from Petroff’s statement[N395] 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 Nordenskiöld[N396]
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.[N397]

    [Footnote N392: The Greenlanders used a sort of sieve or scoop
    net, not seen at Point Barrow, for catching caplin (Mallotus
    villosus). Egede, Greenland, p. 108; and Crantz, vol. 1, p. 95.
    John Davis, however, says of the Greenlanders in 1586, “They make
    nets to take their fish of the finne of a whale.” Hakluyt’s
    Voyages, etc. (1589), p. 782.]

    [Footnote N393: Dall, Alaska, p. 147; and Petroff, Report, etc.,
    p. 127.]

    [Footnote N394: Op cit., p. 73.]

    [Footnote N395: Op cit., p. 142.]

    [Footnote N396: Vega, vol. 2, p. 109.]

    [Footnote N397: See the writer’s paper in the American
    Anthropologist, vol. 1, pp. 325-336.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 278.--Fish spear. 1/8]

_Spears._--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 Utkiavwĭñ, which was newly and rather carelessly made
for sale, but intended, as we were told, for spearing fish. This has a
roughly whittled shaft, of spruce, 21½ inches long, armed at one end
with three prongs. The middle prong is of whalebone, 4⅓ inches long,
inserted into the tip of the shaft, which is cut into a short neck and
whipped with sinew. The side prongs are also of bone, 9 inches long.
Through the tip of each is driven a sharp, slender slightly recurved
spur of bone, about 1½ 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 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.[N398] The name,
kăki´bua, is very nearly the same as that used by the eastern natives
(kākkĭe-wĕi, Parry, and kakívak, 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.

    [Footnote N398: Kumlien’s description (Contributions, p. 37,
    Cumberland Gulf) would apply almost word for word to this spear,
    and Captain Parry, (Second Voyage, p. 509) 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 probably 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 Dr. Rink as “Mit einem
    in brittischen Columbien vorkommenden identisch,” was found in
    east Greenland (Deutsche Geographische Blätter, vol. 9, p. 234).
    See the description of the spear found by Schwatka at Back’s Great
    Fish River (Nimrod in the North, p. 139), also described by
    Klutschak (Als Eskimo, etc., p. 120).]


These people still retain the art of making flint arrow and
spearheads, and other implements such as the blades for the skin
scrapers to be hereafter described. Many of the flint arrowheads and
spear points already described were made at Nuwŭk or Utkiavwĭñ
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 instrument consisting of a short, straight rod of
some hard material mounted in a short curved haft. We collected nine
of these tools (kĭ´gli) of which two have no blades. No. 89262 [1223]
figured in Point Barrow Report, Ethnology, Pl. III, Fig. 7, has been
selected as the type. The handle is of walrus ivory, 7.8 inches long,
straight and nearly cylindrical for about 4½ 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 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. 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 Utkiavwĭñ) has a blade of iron of the
same shape but only 2 inches long. No. 89264 [1001] also from
Utkiavwĭñ, Fig. 279_a_, has a short blade of black flint flaked into a
four-sided rod 1½ 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 279.--Flint flakers. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 280.--Haft of flint flaker. 1/2]

Two specimens (Nos. 89260 [794] Fig. 279_b_ and 89261 [1216] both from
Utkiavwĭñ) have blades of the peculiar Nuɐsuknan concretions
previously described. Each is an oblong pebble wedged into the groove
and secured by a lashing as usual. No. 89260 [794] has a haft of
antler. This is rather the commonest 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 Nuwŭk) 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 remains 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 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 ornamentation
consists of an incised pattern on the upper surface of the butt,
colored with red ocher which has turned black from age and dirt.

Fig. 281 (No. 89782 [1004_e_]) is one of these tools, very neatly
made, with a haft of reindeer antler and a bone blade, secured by a
whipping of seal thong which belongs with the “kit” of tools owned by
the “inland” native, Ilû´bw’ga. Mr. Nelson collected a number of
specimens of this tool at various points on the northwest coast from
Point Hope as far south as Norton Bay, but I can find no evidence of
its use elsewhere.

  [Illustration: FIG. 281.--Flint flaker with bone blade. 1/3]


_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
instrument was still in use at least as late as 1837,[N399] 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.[N400]

    [Footnote N399: “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.)]

    [Footnote N400: Dr. Simpson, op. cit., p. 242.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 282.--Fire drill with mouthpiece and stock. 1/6]

A native of Nuwŭk one day brought down for sale what he said was an
exact model of the ancient fire drill, nióotĭñ. 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 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.[N401] The point of the drill 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 fire.

    [Footnote N401: Compare Nordenskiöld’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 mouth but in the left hand.]

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.[N402]

    [Footnote N402: Bessels, Naturalist, vol. 18, pt. 9, p. 867,
    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 manner: he took a piece of a boord, wherein was a
    hole halfe thorow: into that he puts the end of a roũd sticke 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 fire 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 Iglulik 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 Method of 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 Pieces of Wood one against the
    other, this Motion soon sets them on fire.”--Ellis, 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).

    Rae 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 Nordenskiöld’s account (Vega, vol. 2, p. 121) the fire drill
    seems to be 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.]

Among most Eskimo, however, a bow is used to work the drill. The only
exceptions to this rule appears to have been the ancient Greenlanders
and the people of Hudson Bay (see the passages from Hakluyt, Crantz,
and Ellis, just quoted.) Chamisso, however,[N403] 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.[N404]

    [Footnote N403: Kotzebue’s Voyage, vol. 3, p. 260.]

    [Footnote N404: Contribution to N. A. Ethnology, vol. 1, p. 82.]

I had no opportunity of seeing this drill manipulated, but I have
convinced myself by experiment that the stick or “light-stock,” to use
Nordenskiöld’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 perhaps
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
(kĭlĭăksagan) were eagerly begged, but they did not appear to care
enough for them to purchase them. Our friend Nĭkawáalu, 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
píñmût, ánma píñmût”[N405]--they used to get “great fire” by striking
together two pieces of iron pyrites. Dr. Simpson speaks[N406] 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 only 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[N407] and Lyon mentions the use of two
pieces of the same material, with the same kind of tinder, at
Iglulik.[N408] Willow catkins are also used for tinder at the
Coppermine River.[N409]

    [Footnote N405: Compare this with Dr. Simpson’s statement, quoted
    above, that stones for arrowheads were brought by the Nunatañmiun
    from the Ku´wûk River.]

    [Footnote N406: Op. cit., p. 243.]

    [Footnote N407: Naturalist, vol. 18, pt. 9, p. 867.]

    [Footnote N408: Journal, pp. 210 and 231.]

    [Footnote N409: Franklin, First Exped., vol. 2, p. 188.]

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 kĭmmiuru, 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].)


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 Fig.
283, No. 89465 [962], from Utkiavwĭñ. The pieces of this set are
perforated and strung on a piece of sinew braid, 4 inches long, with a
knot at each end.

  [Illustration: FIG. 283.--Set of bow-and-arrow tools. 1/3]

_The Marline spike._--This is a flat, four-sided rod of walrus ivory,
5-6 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 284.--Marline spike. 1/2]

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 on any 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 4½ 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. 89463 [836] Fig. 284, from
Utkiavwĭñ has the crossbar carved very neatly into the figure of an
Amphipod crustacean 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 sometimes a large round eye, as in Fig. 285 (No. 89464
[842] from Utkiavwĭñ, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 285.--Marline spike.]

_The twisters_ (No. 89465 [962]) 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[N410] is for twisting the strands of
the sinew backing after it has been put on the bow into the cables
already described. 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 between 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 employed in playing a game of the
nature of pitch-penny. (See below, under games and pastimes.)

    [Footnote N410: See the writer’s paper on Eskimo bows, Smithsonian
    Report for 1884, pt. 2, p. 315.]

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 4½ inches long. The commonest width is 0.4
inches, the narrowest being 0.3 and the widest 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 [249] from Utkiavwĭñ). These are 5.4 inches long,
neatly made and quite clean. All the others show signs of age and use.

  [Illustration: FIG. 286.--Twister for working sinew backing of bow.

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,” “bow string 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 vocabulary, 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 (kaputɐ) means simply a “twister.”

_The feather-setter_ (_ĭ´gugwau_) (No. 89465 [962]) is a flat,
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 to the nock. Fig. 287 is a similar tool
(No. 89486 [1285] from Utkiavwĭñ) also of walrus ivory, 6 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 find this
tool mentioned by previous observers, nor have I seen any specimens in
the National Museum.

  [Illustration: FIG. 287.--“Feather-setter.” 1/2]

Fig. 288 (No. 89459 [1282] from Utkiavwĭñ) represents an unusual 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,
ornamented with a pattern of incised lines and bands, colored with red
ocher, and was perhaps a marline spike for working with sinew cord.

  [Illustration: FIG. 288.--Tool of antler. 1/2]


_Scrapers (ikun)._--For removing bits of flesh, fat, etc., from a
“green” skin, and for “breaking the grain” and removing the
subcutaneous tissue 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 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 289.--Skin scraper. 1/2]

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 details. 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, 1.1 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
excavated 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 fingers rest upon the upper

  [Illustration: FIG. 290.--Skin scrapers--handles only. 1/2]

No. 89320 [1171] from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 hollowed 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 Utkiavwĭñ,
which has no blade). This is of fossil ivory, thicker and more
strongly arched than the type described, deeply excavated 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 specimen is very
neatly made and polished, and all the edges are rounded off. One-half
of the handle (lengthwise) and the outer quarter of the other half are
stained with age and grease a beautiful amber brown. This specimen was
said to be as old as the time when men wore but one labret.

  [Illustration: FIG. 291.--Skin scrapers. 1/2]

The only essential difference between this subtype and the preceding
is that the former has deep grooves or hollows for the thumb and two
fingers. We collected five specimens of this pattern, all but one with
handles of fossil ivory. The single exception, which came from Sidaru,
has a handle of walrus ivory, yellowed with age and grease. This
specimen (Fig. 291_a_, No. 89322 [1426]) has 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. 291_b_ (No. 89314 [1780]) is a nearly new
handle of this pattern, which was bought of the “Nunatañmiun,” who
came to Pernyû 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 292.--Skin scraper. 1/2]

The third subtype has the lobe separated from the body on the right
side only, leaving the left side unexcavated, except by the
thumb-hollow, as is shown in Fig. 292 (No. 89316 [1177] from
Utkiavwĭñ) which has a handle of yellowed fossil ivory and a black
flint blade. No. 89310 [1071] Fig. 293, from Utkiavwĭñ, is a rather
unusual modification of this pattern, with a wooden handle, in which
the bottom is not cut out. The thumb groove is deepened into a large
hole which opens into the excavation on the right side, while a large
oblong slot on top, opening into these cavities, takes the place of
the two finger hollows. The blade was of gray flint and rather longer
than usual.

  [Illustration: FIG. 293.--Peculiar modification of scraper. 1/2]

The last subtype which, according to my recollection, is the one most
frequently seen in use at the present day, has the butt produced
horizontally 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 Utkiavwĭñ). This specimen
has a rather large wooden 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 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 294.--Skin scraper. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 295.--Skin scraper. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 296.--Skin scraper. 1/2]

Fig. 296 (No. 89312 [1336] from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 handle 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] from the same
village is almost exactly similar. These are the only two specimens of
the kind which I recollect 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 generally 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 [1426], Fig. 291_a_), only 0.4 inch long, to
blades like No. 89612 [820], Fig. 297, from Utkiavwĭñ. This is newly
made from light gray translucent flint and is 5 inches long. The name
kibûgû, 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 1½ inches is commonly used and with the
wooden ones a considerably larger one, 2 to 3 inches in length. The
handles vary in size to fit the hands of the owners, but are all too
small for an average white man’s hand. All that we collected are for
the right hand.

  [Illustration: FIG. 297.--Flint blade for skin scraper.]

This pattern of skin scraper which appears from the Museum collections
to be the prevailing one from Point Barrow to Norton Sound, is
evidently the direct descendant of the form used still farther south,
which consists of a stone or bone blade of the same shape, mounted on
a wooden 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 (a process 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. 89651
[1295] from Utkiavwĭñ, 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, 5½ 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 Eskimo (there are specimens in the Museum
from Cumberland Gulf and Pelly Bay) have straight handles, though
shorter than this.

  [Illustration: FIG. 298.--Straight-hafter scraper.]

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.[N411] Fig.
299 (No. 89488 [1578] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a tool which we never saw in
use but which we were told was intended for scraping skins. It is
probably an obsolete tool, as a knife would better serve the purpose
of removing the subcutaneous tissue, etc., while the stone scrapers
just described are better for softening the skin.

    [Footnote N411: Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, pp. 122, and Fig. 1,
    p. 117.]

It is the distal end of the “cannon” bone or metacarpal, of a
reindeer, 6.2 inches long, with the two condyles forming the handle.
At the other end the posterior face of the shaft is chamfered off so
as to expose the medullary cavity for about 2½ 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 299.--Bone scraper. 1/2]

_Scraper cups (óhovwĭñ)._--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
transferred 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. 300_a_, 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 roughly 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_b_ (No. 89258 [1090] also from
Utkiavwĭñ) is a similar cup, but has a sharp edge only at one end
which is cut out in a concave curve.

  [Illustration: FIG. 300.--Scraper cups. 1/2]

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 2¾ wide, and the smallest, 3 by 2.1 inches. The
majority are about 3½ by 2½ inches. Five of the ten have sharp edges
at both ends, the rest at one only. Mr. Nelson brought home specimens
of this implement 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 up 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.[N412]

    [Footnote N412: 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 sun
    covered with grass several weeks, ’till the hair will come off.”
    History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 167.]

_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 antler,
hollowed out and cut into teeth on the end. This instrument probably
serves also to remove vermin, as its name “kúmotĭn” looks very much as
if derived from kúmûk, louse. I must say, however, that the natives
whom I asked if kúmotĭn had anything to do with kúmûk 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 uncommon sight in
the spring to see an old woman sitting out on the tundra, busy with
her knife cutting up old clothes.

We brought home nine of these combs, of which No. 89354 [1879], Fig.
301_a_, has been selected as the type. It is 4¼ inches long and has
sixteen teeth about 1 inch long. The small holes near the other end
are for a lanyard to hang it up by.

  [Illustration: FIG. 301.--Combs for cleaning deerskins. 1/2]

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 Ilûbw’ga, has
twenty teeth 0.6 inch long. These combs are usually about 4 or 4½
inches long. No. 89556 [1017], Fig. 301_b_, from Utkiavwĭñ 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. 301_c_ (No. 89359 [993]), from Utkiavwĭñ 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 fine 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 6 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.[N413] 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.

    [Footnote N413: Gilder describes a similar process of
    manufacturing these lines at Hudson’s Bay. (Schwatka’s Search,
    p. 176.)]

All the men do not appear able to do this fine work. For instance, our
friend Mû´ñialu had the babiche for his new snowshoes made by his
house-mate, the younger Tuñazu. When it is desired to fasten together
two pieces of the stouter kinds of thong, what I have so often
referred to as the “double-slit splice” is generally employed. This is
made as follows: The two ends to be joined together 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,[N414] however, in
describing some Eskimo implements from East Greenland, describes and
figures several splices somewhat of this nature, and one in particular
especially complicated by crossing the sides of the slits and passing
the end through several times. This method of uniting thongs is
probably very general among the Eskimo and is also common enough among
civilized people.

    [Footnote N414: W. J. Sollas, in Jour. Anthrop. Inst. of Great
    Britain and Ireland, vol. 9, pp. 329-336.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 302.--Double-slit splice for rawhide lines.]


_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
pickaxes (síkla) 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 held on by a
lashing of thong.

  [Illustration: FIG. 303.--Mattock of whale’s rib. 1/8]

  [Illustration: FIG. 304.--Pickax heads of bone, ivory, and whale’s
  ribs. 1/4]

The only complete implement of the kind which we obtained is No. 73574
[297], Fig. 303. The head is of whale’s rib, 17¾ inches long. The butt
is shouldered on the under surface to receive the haft and roughened
with crosscuts to prevent slipping, with two shallow rough transverse
notches on the upper surface for the lashings. The haft is of pine,
24½ 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 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 bight of the
standing part through this slit. The other part is of seven turns, put
on in the 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 winding the 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 16 inches long. The other, No. 89843 [1043], Fig. 304_a_, 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 blubber room at Utkiavwĭñ. 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
supposed 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. 56539_b_ [96], Fig. 304_b_, 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 3½ 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 transverse 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
having notches or grooves for the lashings instead of eyes. Fig.
304_c_ is one of these, No. 89844 [1315], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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.[N415]

    [Footnote N415: Nordenskiöld’s figures, Vega, vol. 2, p. 123.]


_Snow knives._--For cutting the blocks of snow used in building the
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 commonly used by the Eskimo everywhere for this purpose.
These are, however, more generally used for scraping snow off their
clothing, etc., at present. We brought home two of these knives, which
do not differ in any important respect from the many specimens
collected by other explorers in Alaska.

  [Illustration: FIG. 305.--Ivory snow knife. 1/4]

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), 16½
inches long. The blade is double-edged, the haft rounded on the edges
and laced along the lower edge for 3¼ 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 306.--Snow shovels. 1/8]

_Snow shovels._--The broad, short-handled snow shovel of wood with a
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
pitfalls 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 (pĭ´ksun) are all made on essentially
the same pattern, which is well shown by Fig. 306_a_, 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 groove in the top of the ivory
edge, which is 1½ 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. 306_b_, 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 8½ 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 rendering 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 prevent this by fastening to the edge a stout “strap”
of walrus ivory 4½ 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 groove.

This pattern of snow shovel is very like that from Iglulik, figured by
Capt. Lyon,[N416] but the handle of the latter is so much shorter in
proportion 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.

    [Footnote N416: Parry’s Second Voy., pl. opposite p. 548, Fig. 5.]

Fig. 307 (No. 89775 [1250] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a peculiar implement,
the only one of the kind that we saw. It is a shovel, 17 inches long,
made of a whale’s scapula, with the anterior and posterior borders cut
off straight so as to make it 13¼ 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 beveling 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 tundra moss sticking to it. It is probably an old
implement “touched up” for sale. We did not learn whether such tools
were now generally used. This may have been a makeshift or an
individual fancy.

  [Illustration: FIG. 307.--Snow shovel made of a whale’s scapula.

Fig. 308 (No. 89521 [1249] from Utkiavwĭñ) is another peculiar tool of
which we saw no other specimen. 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 1½ wide, which serves as a haft.

  [Illustration: FIG. 308.--Snow pick. 1/2]

_Ice picks._--The ivory ice pick (tu´u) always attached to the
seal-harpoon has been already described. This differs from the _tôk_
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 purposes. These are made of some white
man’s tool which has a socket, like a harpoon iron, a whale lance,
a 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 projecting corners of ice when making a path out through the ice
pack, they often use whale spades, of which they have obtained a great
many from wrecks.

  [Illustration: FIG. 309.--Snow drill. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 310.--Ice scoop. 1/12]

No. 89483 [1313] from Utkiavwĭñ, is a very old pick made of a piece of
reindeer antler, 11¼ 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 (No. 89479 [1064] from Utkiavwĭñ). This was
called kăkaiyaxion, 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 shoulder to the tip, gradually becoming 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 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 one specimen of this universal implement (No. 89903
[1696], Fig. 310). The handle is of oak, 5 feet 1¾ inches long and
elliptical in section. The rim of the bowl is a long thin strip of
antler, apparently from the “palm,” bent round into a pointed oval, 8½
inches long and 5¾ wide, with the ends of the strip overlapping about
3 inches at the broader end. The ends are sewed together with two
vertical stitches of whalebone. 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 first 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 inside of the rim into which the netting is fastened.
This is made of strips of thin whalebone, 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 hexagonal 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.

Nordenskiöld mentions and figures a scoop of almost identically the
same pattern, but smaller, in general use for the same purposes at
Pitlekaj.[N417] A smaller scoop or skimmer (ĕlauatĭn) 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, 1½ 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 3½ 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.

    [Footnote N417: Vega, vol. 1, p. 493.]

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 hoar frost from the clothing. In the
winter most of the men and boys, especially the latter, carry these
skimmers whenever they go out doors, partly for the sake of 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


_Blubberhooks_ (nĭ´ksĭgû).--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
intended 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 common all along the Alaskan coast, may sometimes be used as
boathooks, as appears 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 7¾ inches long, to the other end of which is
fastened a short crook of antler. The pole is elliptical in section.
The crook is a nearly straight “branch” of an antler with a transverse
arm at the base made by cutting 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 corresponding 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 hand from slipping off. The prong is 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 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. The
whole is old and weathered and rather greasy about the prong and the
tip of the pole.

  [Illustration: FIG. 311.--Long blubber hook. 1/30]

  [Illustration: FIG. 312.--Short-handled blubber hook. 1/6]

Fig. 312 (No. 89836 [1203] from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 handle. The prong, which is
of antler, is 7¾ inches long and shouldered 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 lashing.

_Fish scaler._--Fig. 313 (No. 89461 [1279] from Utkiavwĭñ) represents
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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 313.--Fish scaler. 1/2]


_Twisting and braiding._--We had no opportunity of seeing the process
of twisting the sinew twine, which is sometimes used 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 Utkiavwĭñ) is a little shuttle of walrus ivory, 3 inches
long and 1⅓ 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 ¼ inch apart, while those of the short ones
nearly meet. There is a small round hole in one side of the body. This
specimen was made for sale. As well as I could understand the seller,
the ends of several strands of fine sinew were fastened 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 314.--Ivory shuttle. 1/2]

No special implements for twisting have been described among other
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--kíbu´tûk 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 getting the hard-laid sinew cord used on the bows.”

  [Illustration: FIG. 315.--Netting needle. 1/3]

The sinew twine used at Point Barrow is generally braided, almost
always in a three-ply braid, usually about the size of stout
packthread, such as is found on many Eskimo implements from all
localities represented 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 braiding with four strands in distinction from
braiding with three (pidrá).

  [Illustration: FIG. 316.--Mesh stick. 1/4]

_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 handle 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 blade, round the heel
and through the mesh as usual, and drawn 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.[N418]

    [Footnote N418: We had no special opportunities for watching the
    natives at work netting, as but few nets happened 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.]

We collected thirteen needles of different patterns and sizes. No.
56570 [101], Fig. 315, has been selected as the type (ĭ´nmuvwĭñ,
mû´kutĭn.) 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 4½. This needle (No. 56574 [24], from
Utkiavwĭñ) 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 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].

  [Illustration: FIG. 317.--Netting needles. 1/2]

No. 89427 [1283], from Utkiavwĭñ, is a needle of a slightly different
pattern, being rather thick and not narrowed at the middle. It is of
reindeer antler, 8.7 inches long and 1 wide. No. 89430 [1286], Fig.
317_a_, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 317_b_, from Utkiavwĭñ,
a somewhat similar 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 consequently is not flat, but strongly convex,
on one face and correspondingly concave on the other. It is 8.2 inches
long and 1½ wide.

  [Illustration: FIG. 318.--Netting needle for seal net. 1/6]

For making the seal nets a very large needle is used. The one in the
collection, No. 56581 [102], Fig. 318, from Utkiavwĭñ, is 20½ inches
long and only 1½ wide. It is made of two nearly equal pieces of
antler, which are nearly flat, and lap over each other about 3¾ inches
near the middle. 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 319.--Netting needle. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 320.--Mesh sticks. 1/2]

A peculiar netting needle is shown in Fig. 319 (No. 89429 [1333], from
Utkiavwĭñ), 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 9½ inches
long, was said by the maker to be of the pattern used by the
“Kûñmû´d’lĭñ.” There are no specimens resembling it in the museum
collections, though it curiously suggests certain implements from
Norton Sound, labeled “reels for holding fine cord,” consisting of
slender rods of antler, terminating at each end in similar shallow
U-shaped forks.

The mesh stick (kú´brĭn) belonging to the large netting needle, No.
56581 [102], 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, 7½
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. 320_a_ (No. 89436 [1284], from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 Utkiavwĭñ, 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
Utkiavwĭñ, Fig. 320_b_) 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. 320_c_ (No. 89435
[1019], also from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 Anderson River 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 3½ 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 stretched so that one could be easily caught
at a time. On beginning the third row the first weight would be
transferred to the first mesh of this, and so on. Fig. 321_a_ is one
of a pair of these nĕpĭtaúra (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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 321.--Netting weights.]

Fig. 321_b_ (No. 89442 [899] from Nuwŭk) 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. 56582 [173] from Utkiavwĭñ 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 ending in a dot, perhaps to
represent the gill filaments. It is 4.2 inches long, and hastily made
for sale. Fig. 321_c_ (No. 56578 [201] from Utkiavwĭñ) seems to be
intended for a polar cod, and has the hole drilled through the root of
the tail. The lateral line is marked by a scratch, colored 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
sufficiently good to show what sort of a fish is meant, it is
generally a salmon or trout. Only 3 out of the 16 are of anything but
walrus ivory. These 3 are of compact whale’s bone, and one had small
blue glass beads inlaid for eyes, of which one still remains. The
shortest is 3.4 inches long, and the longest 4.3, but most of them are
almost exactly 4 inches long.

  [Illustration: FIG. 322.--Shuttle belonging to set of feather tools.

_Weaving._--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 not 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 6½ inches forms a straight blade 6½
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 described, pushing this horizontally through them
alternately 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 went under before and vice versa, so as to
open a “shed” for the next strand of the woof.

  [Illustration: FIG. 323.--Mesh stick. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 324.--“Sword” for feather weaving. 1/2]

_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 ornamental 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, tĭ´kyǝ) and sew toward them. This appears to be the
regular Eskimo method of sewing.[N419]

    [Footnote N419: See Parry, Second Voy., p. 537; Lyon, Journal,
    p. 93; Kumlien, Contributions, p. 25.]

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 (amĭlyĕrûñ) 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. Nĭkawáalu 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 comfort.

  [Illustration: FIG. 325.--Quill case of bone needles.]

No. 89389 [1191], Fig. 325 will serve as the type of these needles.
This is a case 3½ inches long, made of the butt of a large quill,
closed with a plug of walrus 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 glover’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, Nĭkawáalu’s

  [Illustration: FIG. 326.--Needles and thimbles: (_a_) large bone
  needle and peculiar thimble; (_b_) leather thimbles with bone
  needles. 3/4]

Fig. 326_a_ is a peculiarly large and flat needle (No. 89392 [1195]
from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 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 glover’s needle.
The longest is 3 inches long and the shortest 1.4 inches, but the
commonest length is about 2 or 2½ inches. Similar bone needles are
mentioned by various authors.[N420]

    [Footnote N420: 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
    pl. 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).]

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. 326_b_ (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[N421] figures two similar thimbles from Iglulik, 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.

    [Footnote N421: Parry, Second Voy., pl. opposite p. 550, Fig. 25.]

A similar thimble with the flap also not folded is used at Cumberland

    [Footnote N422: Boas, Central Eskimo, p. 524, Fig. 473 and
    Kumlien, Contributions, p. 25.]

The other pattern, of which we brought home nine specimens, is
represented 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 Utkiavwĭñ, are made 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. 326_a_ (No. 89392 [1195] from Utkiavwĭñ, 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

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. 327_a_. It is
of white walrus ivory, 4½ 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 sewing 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
(tĭ´tkĭbwĭñ) of ivory, 4.7 inches long.

  [Illustration: FIG. 327.--Needle cases with belt hooks. 1/3]

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 4½ to 5
inches. No. 89363 [1105], Fig. 327_b_, from Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 328_a_ (No. 89364 [1243] from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 chamæmorus), a fruit known to the
“Nunatañmiun” 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 sticking in the
flesh side of the strap shows how the needles are carried with the
points toward the knob.

  [Illustration: FIG. 328.--Needle cases: (_a_) case with belt hook;
  (_b_) case open, showing bone needles. 1/2]

No. 89370 [1033], also from Utkiavwĭñ, has no knob, 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
humerus of some large bird, probably a swan. The strap has usually no
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_b_ from
Utkiavwĭñ, 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 end of the strap is cut narrow, passed through the bead,
and knotted on the end. This case carries a half-dozen of the
old-fashioned bone needles, which appear to be genuine. It is 3.7
inches long and, roughly speaking, 0.4 in diameter. No. 89369 [1201],
also from Utkiavwĭñ, resembles the above, but has a wolverine’s toe
sewed to the end of the strap. No. 89371 [1276], from Utkiavwĭñ, also
has the toe of a wolverine for a knob, and has a belt hook with two
tongues made of reindeer antler. No. 89366 [1137], from Utkiavwĭñ, is
a highly ornamented case of this pattern, which has a short
cylindrical knob, also ornamented. No. 89368 [1089], from Utkiavwĭñ,
is not made of bird’s bone, but is a piece of a long bone from some
mammal, and has a brown bear’s toe for a knob. No. 89367 [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.

This 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 by Capt. Lyon,[N423] 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.”[N424] Dr. Simpson[N425]
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 pattern.

    [Footnote N423: Parry’s Second Voyage, pl. opposite p. 550, Fig.

    [Footnote N424: Ibid., p. 537.]

    [Footnote N425: Op. cit, p. 245.]

The old-fashioned ring thimbles were usually carried on the belt hook
of the needlecase, but modern thimbles require a box. These boxes
(kigiunɐ), 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. 329_a_ 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 flat
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 the
end, in through the upper, then out and in through two similar holes
in the middle of the cover, and out through a hole on the other side
of the box. Pulling the end of this string draws the cover 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. 329_b_ (No. 89405 [1335], from Utkiavwĭñ) or figures of men and
animals as in Fig. 329_c_ (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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 329.--Trinket boxes. 1/2]

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
surface 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
represented 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, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 330.--Trinket boxes. 1/2]

Fig. 330_a_ (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 unfinished flint arrow-head. No. 56505 [59] from
Utkiavwĭñ, 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.

Fig. 330_b_ (No. 89402 [1359] also from Utkiavwĭñ), 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 hollow butt of a good-sized walrus tusk,
3.2 inches long. It has a neatly fitted wooden bottom, held in with 6
treenails, two of ivory and four of wood. The box has been cracked and
split and mended with stitches of sinew and whalebone. Peculiar
conventional patterns are incised on the box and cover. A peculiar box
is shown in Fig. 332 (No. 56583 [37] from Utkiavwĭñ). This is of
compact white bone, with a flat wooden bottom. I do not recollect
seeing any other boxes of the same sort.

  [Illustration: FIG. 331.--Ivory box. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 332.--Bone box. 1/2]

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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 333.--Little flask of ivory. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 334.--Box in shape of deer. 1/2]

The most peculiar box of all, however, is shown in Fig. 334 (No. 56512
[2] from Utkiavwĭñ), the only specimen 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 connection with the attitude
and the well marked navel, lead me to believe 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 buttocks, 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 335.--Small basket. 1/2]

Rarely these little workboxes are made of basketwork. We obtained four
specimens of these small baskets, of which No. 56564 [88] Fig. 335,
workbasket (águma, áma, ipiáru), will serve as the type. The neck is
of black tanned sealskin, 2½ inches long, and has 1 vertical seam, to
the middle of which is sewed the middle of a piece of fine seal thong,
a foot long, which serves to tie up the mouth. The basket appears to
be made of fine 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 two adjacent parts of
this, each turn of the splint being separated from the next by a turn
of the succeeding tier. The other basket from Utkiavwĭñ (No. 56565
[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

  [Illustration: FIG. 336.--Small basket. 1/3]

Two baskets from Sidaru are of the same material and workmanship, but
somewhat larger and of a different shape, as shown in Fig. 336, No.
89801 [1366], and Fig. 337, No. 89802 [1427]. This was the only
species of basketwork seen among these people and is probably not of
native manufacture.

Prof. O. T. Mason, of the National 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
Tinné group of Indians of the North. The first basket collected, No.
56564 [88], was said by the owner to have come from the “great river”
in the south. Now, the name Kuwûk or Kowak, applied to the western
stream flowing into Hotham Inlet, means simply “great river,” and this
is the region where the Eskimo come into very intimate commercial
relations with Indians of Tinné stock.[N426] Therefore, in
consideration of the Indian workmanship of 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 region
between the Koyukuk and Silawĭk Rivers, and sold by them to the
Kuwûñmiun, whence they could easily find their way to Point Barrow
through the hands of the “Nunatañmiun” traders.

    [Footnote N426: Dall, American Association, Address, 1885, p. 13.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 337.--Small basket. 1/3]

The Eskimo of Alaska south of Bering Strait make and use baskets of
many patterns, but east of Point Barrow baskets are exceedingly rare.
The only mention of anything of the kind will be found in Lyon’s
Journal.[N427] He mentions seeing at Iglulik a “small round basket
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 Tinné, 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 áma applied to these baskets at Point Barrow (the other two names
appear to be simply “bag” or receptacle) corresponds to the
Greenlandic amåt, 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)--Grønlandske

    [Footnote N427: P. 172.]

No. 89799 [1329] from Utkiavwĭñ, 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 7½ inches in diameter, of a pale brownish color,
soft and wrinkled, with a mouth 6 inches wide. A small hole has been
mended by drawing the skin together and winding it round tightly on
the inside with sinew.



_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
camp along the coast. At Pernyû they are used in setting the
stake-nets and also for retrieving fowl which have fallen in the water
when shot.

According to Dr. Simpson[N428] 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
information regarding this. It is at this time, probably, that the
kaiak comes specially in play for spearing molting fowl and
“flappers”, and for catching seals with the kúkiga. 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.

    [Footnote N428: Op. cit. p. 264.]

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 Greenlanders, 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. 338_a_ 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 18½ 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 sealskins with the grain side out. The stoutest part of
the frame is the two gunwales, each 3¼ inches broad and ½-inch thick,
flat, and rounded off on the upper edge inside, running the whole
length of the boat and meeting 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 ¾-inch wide by ⅓-inch thick, flat
on the outer side and round on the inner. Their ends are mortised into
the lower edge of the gunwale and fastened 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, ¾ inch to 1 inch wide and ¼ inch 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).

  [Illustration: FIG. 338.--Kaiak.]

There is a stout keelson, hemi-elliptical in section, under the
cockpit only. This is 4½ feet long, about 2 inches deep, and 1½ 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
keelson, 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 deck 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 339.--Method of fastening together frame of

At the after end of the cockpit is an extra stout beam or thwart to
support the back, 1¾ 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 #U#-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

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
gunwale, 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 cockpit is made of a single flat piece of wood, 1¾
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 outside, 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 coaming 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

  [Illustration: FIG. 340.--Double kayak paddle. 1/12]

The coaming fits over the crown of the arch of the forward deck beam
and rests on the middle of the thwart aft, and 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 3¼ inches long, 1 inch wide, and one-half
inch thick, with rounded edges and corners. The ends are cut out
parallel 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 turned 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 6 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 corresponding 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 fit 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 person,
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 horizontally
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.[N429]

    [Footnote N429: Lyon, Journal, p. 233. See also Capt. Lyon’s
    figure in Parry’s 2d Voy., pl. opposite p. 274.]

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 balances
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 forward under the raised deck, settles himself in a proper
position for trimming the boat, and shoves off. As elsewhere, the
kaiak is always propelled with a paddle.

No. 89246 [539], 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 paddling. The shape of the blade, with rounded tip and thin
rounded edges is admirably adapted to give the blade a clean entry
into the 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[N430] 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 (páutĭñ) 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 (áñun), of the same shape as those used in the umiak but
usually somewhat 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 remarkably straight wake. The use of this single paddle
appears to be universal 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.[N431]

    [Footnote N430: 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.]

    [Footnote N431: For information concerning the last two regions I
    am indebted to Mr. L. M. Turner; for the others to the standard

Curiously enough the Greenlanders had a superstition of a sort of
malevolent spirits called kajariak, who were “kayakmen of an
extraordinary 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.”[N432] 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.

    [Footnote N432: Rink, Tales and Traditions, p. 47. See also p. 374
    for a story of the meeting of a Greenlander with one of these

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 been figured and described by many authors. It is quite as light
and 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, and are often shod with bone or
ivory. The coaming of the cockpit also is level, or only slightly
raised forward. The kaiaks used in Baffin Land, Hudson Straits, and
Labrador are of a very similar model, but larger and 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[N433] and Capt. Parry[N434] 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 western
kaiaks. The deck is flat, with the cockpit coaming somewhat raised

    [Footnote N433: Journal, p. 233.]

    [Footnote N434: Second voyage, p. 506, and pls. opposite pp. 274
    and 508.]

    [Footnote N435: There is quite a discrepancy in regard to this
    between Capt. Lyon’s description referred to above and 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.]

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 Nordenskiöld’s description, as he
speaks of the kaiaks holding two persons, sitting back to back in the
cockpit.[N436] The kaiaks of the southwestern 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.)[N437]

    [Footnote N436: Vega, vol. 2, p. 228.]

    [Footnote N437: I 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 description 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 deckbeams,[N438] 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.[N439]

    [Footnote N438: Since the above was written Boas has published a
    detailed description of the central kaiaks, in which he says there
    are only four streaks besides the keel (Central Eskimo, p. 486).]

    [Footnote N439: Dr. Kane’s description, though the best that we
    have of the flat-bottomed Greenland kaiak and accompanied 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 are 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, on Crantz’s crude section of a kaiak
    frame. (History of Greenland, vol. 1, pl. 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 running fore and aft, and a hoop round
    the cockpit. These large kaiaks weigh 50 or 60 pounds. There is a
    very good figure of the Point Barrow kaiak, paddled with a single
    paddle, in Smyth’s view of Nuwŭk (Beechey’s Voyage, pl. opposite
    p. 307).]

  [Illustration: FIG. 341.--Model kaiak and paddle. 1/4]

The double-bladed paddle is almost exclusively an Eskimo contrivance.
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.[N440] Double-bladed paddles have also been observed
in the Malay Archipelago.

    [Footnote N440: Wrangell, Narrative of an Expedition, etc.,
    p. 161, footnote.]

Fig. 341, (No. 56561 [224] from Utkiavwiñ) is a very neatly made model
of a kaiak, 13.3 inches long. It is quite accurate in all its details,
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 entrail. The
paddle is also out of proportion. Many similar neatly finished 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

_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 Greenlanders and
eastern Eskimo generally.[N441] 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. I 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 Greenland 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 oars.”

    [Footnote N441: For example: “For they think it unbecoming a man
    to row such a boat, unless great necessity requires it.” Egede,
    Greenland, p. 111. “It would be a scandal for a man to meddle,
    except the greatest necessity compels him to lend a hand.” Crantz,
    vol. 1, p. 149.]

We were unable to bring home any specimen of these boats on account of
their size, but Fig. 342, from a photograph by Lieut. Ray, will give a
good idea of the framework. These boats vary considerably in size, but
are usually very nearly the dimensions of an ordinary whaleboat--that
is, about 30 feet in length, with a beam of 5 or 6 feet and a depth of
about 2½ 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
extend 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
considerable speed when fully manned. They are very “quick” in their
motion 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

    [Footnote N442: Part of the description of the umiak frame is
    taken from the model (No. 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 importance of

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. At 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, 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. 343_a_).

  [Illustration: FIG. 342.--Frame of umiak.]

On the model they are fastened here with treenails, and this is
probably 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
were fifteen of them on Nikawáalu’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 Nikawáalu’s umiak;
the canoe photographed 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. 343_b_) 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 whalebone. These on Nikawáalu’s
umiak were each a single round pole about 2 inches in diameter. Such
long pieces of wood as this were probably obtained by trade from the
Nunatañmeun. These extend about 2½ or 3 feet beyond the stem, to which
they are fastened on each side by whalebone lashings, and 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 343.--Construction of umiak: (_a_) method of
  fastening bilge streaks to stem; (_b_) method of framing rib to
  gunwale, etc.]

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 inside
streak. The frame is still further strengthened by an outside streak
between the bilge streak and the inside streak, and Nikawáalu’s canoe
had an extra streak of “half-round” willow outside 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. Crantz’s[N443] description and diagram show that
the frame of the Greenland umiak consists of essentially the same
timbers, lacking only the two outside streaks.

    [Footnote N443: History of Greenland, vol. 1, p. 148, and pl. vi.]

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
Wainwright 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.

The cover is removed in the winter and stowed away on the cache frame
or some other safe place (Mûñialu, when preparing to start for the
spring deer hunt in 1883, carefully buried his boat cover in a
snowbank) out of reach of the dogs, and the frame is placed bottom
upwards 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[N444] 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 Pernyû, where there is usually at
least one boat set up edgewise, sheltered by which the men sit to
whittle and gossip.

    [Footnote N444: Vol. 1, p. 167.]

In the whaling camp at Imêkpûñ 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,[N445] 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.

    [Footnote N445: See Kotzebue’s Voyage, etc., vol. 1, p. 216.]

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
amidships, 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,”[N446] but as far as I can learn the Western Eskimo all
set it up as at Point Barrow.

    [Footnote N446: This is also the custom among the Central Eskimo.
    (See Boas “Central Eskimo,” p. 528, Fig. 481.)]

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
loops of thong as in the diagram Fig. 344. To keep the oar from
chafing the skin on the gunwale, they lash to the latter a long plate
of bone. No. 89696 [1197] from Utkiavwĭñ 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
custom 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.”[N447] The custom, moreover, appears to be widespread
since Lyon speaks of seeing in 1821, “two very clumsy oars with flat
blades, pulled by women,” in the umiaks at Hudson Strait.[N448] It was
practiced at a still earlier date in Greenland.[N449]

    [Footnote N447: Narrative, p. 148.]

    [Footnote N448: Journal, p. 30. Compare also Chappell, “Hudson
    Bay,” p. 57.]

    [Footnote N449: See Egedo, Greenland, p. 111.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 344.--Method of slinging the oar of umiak.]

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. Crantz 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 pl. VI) Although both oars and sails are
undoubtedly 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),[N450] 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 ago discovered. It seems to me that this is merely
another case of adhering 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.

    [Footnote N450: 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 Seale skins, with a keel of wood
    within the skinne; the proportion of them is like a Spanish
    shallop, saue only they be flat in the bottome, and sharp at both
    endes” (p. 621, 1576). 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).]

  [Illustration: FIG. 345.--Model of umiak and paddles: (_a_) side
  view; (_b_) inside plan.]

Fig. 345_a_ represents the model (No. 56563 [225] from Utkiavwĭñ),
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 proportion 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 boat cover. The frame, as is
often the case with a full-sized boat, is painted all over with red
ocher. (See Fig. 345_b_, inside plan.)

  [Illustration: FIG. 346.--Ivory bailer for umiak. 1/4]

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. 56536 [40]
from Utkiavwĭñ). It is a piece of walrus tusk 16.3 inches long. The
cavity is 1.1 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 Utkiavwĭñ) 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 kû´nnɐ, of which No. 56510
[117] Fig. 347 has been selected as the type. This is made of two
bilaterally symmetrical pieces of white walrus 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 reentering 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 347.--Ivory crotch for harpoon. 1/3]

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 ¾ 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
ornamental figures are incised and blackened.

Three of the remaining four specimens are of walrus-ivory, and of
essentially the same pattern, differing only in ornamentation and
other minor details. No. 56511 [116], from Utkiavwĭñ, 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. 89418 [1224], Fig. 348, from Utkiavwĭñ, is
otherwise of the same shape as those already described, but is lashed
together with stout seal thong, 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 inlaid in the center, and there
are two whale’s tails on the opposite face of the shank. It is 8
inches long.

No. 89419 [926], from Nuwŭk, 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 position 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 fit
between the converging gunwales. No. 8917 [1104], 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
symphysis 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 transverse hole. These beckets are roughly made of thong.
Its total length is 6.6 inches.

  [Illustration: FIG. 348.--Ivory crotch for harpoon.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 349.--Crotch for harpoon made of walrus jaw.]

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 only copies of
the jawbone 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 impossible 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
difference in the size and outward appearance. As well as can be
judged from the brief descriptions and rude figures of various
authors[N451] and various models in the National Museum (the
correctness of which, however, 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.[N452] Mr. L. M.
Turner informs me that this is the case at Ungava Bay. It was also a
larger boat. Egede says that they “are large and open * * * some of
them 20 yards long;”[N453] Crantz gives their length as “commonly 6,
nay 8 or 9 fathoms long;”[N454] Kumlien says that it required “about
fifteen skins of Phoca barbata” to cover an umiak at Cumberland
Gulf,[N455] and Mr. Turner informs me that eight are used at Ungava.
Capt. Parry found no umiaks at Fury and Hecla straits[N456] 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 Nunatañmiun who visited Point Barrow,
seemed not to differ from those with which we were familiar, except
that the latter were rather light and low sided, nor do I remember
anything peculiar about the boats which we saw at Plover Bay in 1881.

    [Footnote N451: Compare for instance Kane’s figure 1st Grinnell
    Exp. p. 422, and Lyon, Journal, p. 30.]

    [Footnote N452: 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 being sharp at both ends.” Smyth
    gives a good figure of the Hotham Inlet craft in the plate
    opposite p. 250.]

    [Footnote N453: Greenland, p. 111.]

    [Footnote N454: Vol. 1, p. 148.]

    [Footnote N455: Contributions, p. 43. Boas, however, says three to
    five skins. (Central Eskimo, p. 528.)]

    [Footnote N456: 2d Voy., p. 507.]

There is very little accessible detailed information regarding the
umiaks used in the rest of Alaska. From Dall’s figure[N457] 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 in 1883, 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.

    [Footnote N457: Alaska, p. 15.]


_Snowshoes (tûglu.)_--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 in 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.
Practically, 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 netted in 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”[N458] (_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 hunting, 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.”

    [Footnote N458: Twisted sinew is sometimes used. A pair of
    snowshoes from Point Barrow, owned by the writer, are netted with
    this material.]

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 10½ inches wide
at the broadest part, and is made of two strips about 1 inch thick and
¾ 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 horizontal 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.”

  [Illustration: FIG. 350.--Snowshoe. 1/8]

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 ½ inch. There is also an extra bar for
strengthening the back part of the shoe 10 inches from the point. It
is also of oak, 4.8 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 ½ 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 knotted once into each hole, making
a series of beckets about ¾ 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,
“stopping” the lacing in festoons to the bar, to the last hole on the
right, 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 corresponding one on the
right, and comes down and is hitched as before round the bar inside of
the starting point. This makes a series of 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_a_). 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. 352_b_). Each successive round follows the last,
coming each time about ½ 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 351.--Knot in snowshoe.]

The right shoe has fourteen longitudinal strands in each set and
thirteen transverse; the left, one less in 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
rim 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 diagram, Fig. 353_a_).
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. 353_b_). 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 regularly 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 nettings. 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 to the

  [Illustration: FIG. 352.--Point netting of snowshoe heel: (_a_)
  first round; (_b_) first and second rounds.]

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
finish 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 353.--Heel netting of snow shoe; (_a_) first
  round; (_b_) first, second, and third rounds.]

All the even rounds go to the becket at the toe and cross to the
preceding 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 26 strands
on the right shoe, and 31, 31, and 25 on the left, in each set

The foot-netting is of a very different pattern, and consists of seven
transverse and thirteen longitudinal strands, of which six, in the
middle, 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 with a “birdcage 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 under 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 standing 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 Utkiavwĭñ. 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
somewhat broader than the preceding and not so well made. They are
48.5 inches long and 11 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 the heel and brought down again to the bar as on the toe
nettings, but fastened with marling 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 354.--Small snowshoe. 1/8]

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 Utkiavwĭñ, 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 only 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 regularity, 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 sometimes 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 transverse 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 used by the writer on many short
excursions around the station during the winters of 1881-’82 and
1882-’83. They were old when purchased.

I had but one opportunity of seeing the process of making the frames
of the snowshoes. Ilûbw’ga, the “inland” native frequently mentioned,
a particularly skillful workman, undertook to make a pair of snowshoes
for Lieut. Ray 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
comparatively recent date at Point Barrow. Dr. Simpson[N459] is
explicit concerning 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 employment 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 Tinné or
Athabascan Indians (as is plainly shown by the National Museum
collections), and I am inclined to believe that the Point Barrow
natives have learned to use them from the “Nunatañmiun,” from whom,
indeed, they purchase ready-made snowshoes at the present day, as we
ourselves observed. The “Nunatañmiun,” or the closely related people
of the Kuwûk River, are known to have intimate trading relations with
the Indians, and even in Simpson’s time[N460] used the Indian shoe,
sometimes at least. The fact that in recent times families of the
“Nunatañmiun” have established the habit of spending the winter with
the people of Point Barrow and associating with them in the winter
deer-hunt, would explain how the latter came to recognize the superior
excellence of the Indian shoe.

    [Footnote N459: Op. cit., p. 243.]

    [Footnote N460: Op. cit., p. 244.]

This is more likely than that they learned to use them from the
eastern natives, whom they only meet for a short time in summer,
though the latter used the Indian style of snowshoes at least as early
as 1826. Franklin[N461] speaks of seeing, at Demarcation Point, a pair
of snowshoes netted with cords of deerskin and shaped like those of
the Indians of the Mackenzie.

    [Footnote N461: 2d Exped., p. 142.]

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.
Simpson’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 Nordinskiöld’s
figure[N462] and Mr. Nelson’s collections.

    [Footnote N462: Vega, vol. 2, p. 102 _a_.]

Simpson says:[N463] “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
crosspieces, 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 toe.”

    [Footnote N463: Op. cit., p. 243.]

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,[N464] is a rather neatly 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 described throughout the whole northwestern region.[N465]

    [Footnote N464: Alaska, p. 190, Fig. A.]

    [Footnote N465: See, also, Dall, Alaska, p. 190, and Figs. A and

Snowshoes appear to be rarely used among the eastern Eskimo. The only
writer who mentions them is Kumlien.[N466] 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.”

    [Footnote N466: Contributions, p. 42.]

The latter is apparently quite like the western snowshoes described by

_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,
support their steps with one or two staffs about 5 feet long, often
shod with bone or ivory. (The old man whom Franklin met on the
Coppermine River walked with the help of two sticks.[N467]) Fig. 355
from a photograph represents old Yûksĭña from Nuwŭk, with his two
staffs, without which he was hardly able to walk.

    [Footnote N467: 1st Exp., vol. 2, p. 180.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 355.--Old “Chief” with staffs.]


_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, kă´motĭ, 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 “upstander,” 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 fastened 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 driftwood and shod with strips of
whale’s jaw, about three-fourths of an inch thick, fastened 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
hyperborean people coat the runners of their sleds with ice to make
them run more smoothly, but this is usually only a comparatively thin
crust, produced by pouring water on the runners or applying a mixture
of snow or mud and water.[N468] Mr. Turner informs me that at Ungava
they are particular to use fine black vegetable mold for this purpose.

    [Footnote N468: 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. 66. A native 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 de glace,” which has to be often renewed. Nordenskiöld
    says 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 according 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.]

The method at Point Barrow is quite different from this. To each
runner is fitted a heavy shoe of clear ice, as long as the runner, and
fully 1 foot high by 6 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

  “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; into these they cut a groove deep enough to receive the sled
  runner up to the beam; the sled is carefully fitted into the groove,
  and secured by 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.”[N469]

    [Footnote N469: Rep. Point Barrow Exp., p. 27.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 356.--Railed sledge, diagrammatic (from

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.[N470]

    [Footnote N470: 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: “We 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 allowed to freeze,
    and when the sledge is lifted out it is shod with shoes of
    perfectly pure and transparent 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_, although Klutschak describes and
    figures a sledge made wholly of ice among the Netsillingmiut.
    (“Als Eskimo, etc.” p. 76). Also referred to by Boas (“Central
    Eskimo,” p. 533).]

We were unfortunately not able to bring home specimens of either style
of large sled. The rail sled (kămotĭ) is usually about 8 or 9 feet
long, and 2½ to 3 feet wide, and the rail at the back not over 2½ feet
high. The thick curved runners, about 5 or 6 inches wide (see diagram,
Fig. 356, 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 runners, 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

  [Illustration: 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
size. A common size is about 6 feet long, about 2½ 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,
perhaps 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.[N471]

    [Footnote N471: The word used was “kau-kau.” Perhaps it referred
    to a seal for food, as the sledge appears very like one described
    by Hooper (Corwin Report, 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 perhaps 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.”]

  [Illustration: FIG. 358.--Small sledge with ivory runners. 2/21]

One of these (Fig. 358, No. 89889 [1140], from Utkiavwĭñ), 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 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 flare 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 passing 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. Ray says he has frequently seen them drawn by one dog. The
people who came down from Nuwŭk with a small load of things for trade
sometimes used a small unía 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 permit of its
being used for any such purpose. We obtained one specimen 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 (No. 89875 [772], Fig.
359, from Utkiavwĭñ), which from its size was probably a child’s toy,
though from its greasy condition it seems to have been used for
dragging pieces of blubber. It is made of the tips of 6 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 19¼ inches long and 9¾
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 0.1 inch thick, as long
as the band. The ends of the band are knotted into rings or beckets
about 2¼ 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
Mackenzie region, but is found only slightly modified at least as far
south as Norton Sound.[N472] The sledge used on the Asiatic coast,
however, as shown in Nordenskiöld’s figure,[N473] belongs to a totally
different family, being undoubtedly borrowed from the reindeer
Chukches.[N474] 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 unía, 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 cross rail, which serve to
guide the sled from behind. Many descriptions and figures of these
sleds will be found in the various descriptions of the eastern Eskimo.

    [Footnote N472: See Dall’s figure, Alaska, p. 165.]

    [Footnote N473: Vega, vol. 1, p. 498.]

    [Footnote N474: Compare also the various illustrations in Hooper’s
    “Tents of the Tuski.”·]

  [Illustration: FIG. 359.--Small toboggan of whalebone. 1/6]

_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 Utkiavwĭñ 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
uncommon. There was, however, but one wholly black dog in the two
villages. This was a very handsome animal known by the name of Allúa

Every dog has his name and knows it. Their disposition is rather
quarrelsome, especially among themselves, but they are not
particularly ferocious, seldom doing more than howl and yelp at a
stranger, and it is not difficult usually to make friends with them.
There was 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
attachment to their masters. Considerable care is bestowed on the
puppies. 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 child.

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, “Mûlukû´lĭrua, asi´rua”, (“He is
howling[?];[N475] he is bad”), and some of the boys finally took it
out on the tundra and knocked it on the head.

    [Footnote N475: I failed to get the translation of this word, but
    it seems to be connected with the Greenlandic mâlavok, he howls
    (a dog--).]

The dog harness, ánun (Gr. 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.[N476] 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 Utkiavwĭñ and the whaling camp in 1883, will not travel unless
a woman trots along in front, encouraging them with cries of “Añ! añ!
tû´lla! tû´lla!” (Come! come on!), while the man or woman who runs
behind the sled to guide it and keep it from capsizing, urges them on
with cries of “Kŭ! kŭ!” (Get on! get on!), occasionally reproving an
individual dog by name. After they are well started, they go on
without much urging 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 back on the sled and drag back on the harness till the
team comes to a halt.

    [Footnote N476: Contributions, p. 51.]

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 Yû´ksĭña always traveled 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.[N477] The dog
whip so universally employed by the eastern Eskimo, is not used at
Point Barrow, but when Lieut. Ray made a whip for driving his team,
the natives called it ĭpirau´ta, a name essentially identical with
that used in the east. They especially distinguished ĭpirau´ta, a whip
with a lash, from a cudgel, anau´ta. The latter word has also the same
meaning in the eastern dialects.

    [Footnote N477: Compare Dall, Alaska, p. 25.]

We saw nothing of the custom of protecting the dogs’ feet with
sealskin shoes, so prevalent on the Siberian coast.[N478] Curiously
enough the only other localities in which the use of this contrivance
is mentioned are in the extreme east.[N479] 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.

    [Footnote N478: See Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 195, and Nordenskiöld,
    Vega, vol. 2, p. 96, where one of these shoes is figured.]

    [Footnote N479: See Kumlien, Contributions, p. 42.]

The method of harnessing and driving the dogs varies considerably in
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 Greenlander, shows a pattern of harness similar to that used in
Siberia and described by Nordenskiöld[N480] as “made of inch-wide
straps of skin, forming 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 Pitlekaj 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 the region about Pitlekaj,
however, the dogs are harnessed “tandem” in pairs, as is the case at
Norton Sound, where a more efficient harness is also used, which is
probably not Eskimo, but learned from the whites.[N481]
Nordenskiöld[N482] expresses the opinion that the Eskimo method of
harnessing the dogs abreast indicates that the Eskimos have lived
longer than the Chukchis 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, relieving the driver of the greater part of the care of

    [Footnote N480: Vega, vol. 2; p. 95.]

    [Footnote N481: See Dall, Alaska, pp. 163 and 166.]

    [Footnote N482: Vega, vol. 2, p. 95, foot note.]

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.[N483]

    [Footnote N483: For descriptions of the sledges and methods of
    harnessing used by the eastern Eskimo, see Bessel’s Naturalist,
    vol. 18, pt. 9, 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); Kumlien, Contributions, p. 42, and Boas,
    “Central Eskimo,” pp. 529-538 (Cumberland Gulf); Parry, 2d voyage,
    p. 514, and Lyon, Journal, p. 235 (Iglulik); Gilder, Schwatka’s
    Search, pp. 50, 52, and 66, and Schwatka’s “Nimrod in the North,”
    pp. 152, 153 (NW. shore of Hudson Bay and King Williams Land).]


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. 89424 [890]
already figured, was said to contain the actual score of whales killed
by old Yú´ksĭña. 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. 153_b_) 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 line of reindeer, indicating that such a number were
taken by shooting, while a string of deer, represented without legs as
they would appear 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 excursion are also sometimes represented. On these records the
whale is always represented by a rude figure of the tail cut off at
the “small,” and often represented as hanging from a horizontal line.

  [Illustration: FIG. 360.--Hunting score engraved on ivory.]

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. 360 (No. 89487 [1026] from Nuwŭk) 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
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 upper 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. 361 (No. 89473 [1349] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a piece of an old
snow-shovel edge with freshly incised figures on both faces, which the
artist 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’ 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 I have killed.”

  [Illustration: FIG. 361.--Hunting score engraved on ivory, obverse
  and reverse. 1/3]

  [Illustration: FIG. 362.--Hunting score engraved on ivory. 1/3]

Fig. 362 (No. 89474 [1334] from Utkiavwĭñ) is newly made, but was said
to be the record of a man of our acquaintance named Mûñĭñolu. It is a
flat 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, and
colored with red ocher. The face is 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
horizontal line by a short straight line. The record may be freely
translated 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.

  [Illustration: FIG. 363.--Hunting score engraved on ivory, obverse
  and reverse.]

Fig. 363 (No. 56517 [121] from Utkiavwĭñ) 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 on 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 slender
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
heading to the left, with a man standing on its back with his legs
straddled apart and his arms uplifted. On the reverse, there is no
border, but a single dog and a man who supports himself with a long
staff are dragging 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 those 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 marline
spikes used for backing the bow, and already described, though Lieut.
Ray says he has seen it played with any bits of stick or bone. I never
had an opportunity of watching a game of this sort played, as it is
not often played at the village. It is a very popular amusement at the
deer-hunting camps, where Lieut. Ray often saw it played. According to
him the players are divided into sides, who sit on the ground about 3
yards apart, each side sticking up one of the marline spikes for a
mark to throw the twisters at. Six of the latter, he believes, make a
full set. One side tosses the whole set one at a time at the opposite
stake, and the points which they make are counted up by their
opponents from the position of the twisters as they fall. He did not
learn how the points were reckoned, except that twisters with a mark
on them counted differently from the plain ones, or how long the game
lasted, each side taking its turn of casting at the opposite stake.
He, however, got the impression that the winning side kept the
twisters belonging to their opponents. Mr. Nelson informs me in a
letter that a similar game is played with the same implements at
Norton Sound.

No. 56532 [9], from Utkiavwĭñ, is a bag full of these tools as used
for playing this game. It contains 18 twisters, of different patterns,
and 7 marline spikes. The bag is of membrane, perhaps a bladder. It is
ovoid in shape, all in one piece, with a long opening in one side,
which is closed by a piece of sinew braid about 40 inches long. This
is knotted by one end round a fold of membrane at one end of the
mouth, and when the bag is shut up is wrapped round the middle of it.

Some of these people have learned what cards are from the Nunatañmiun,
though they do not know how to use them. They described how they were
used by the “Nunatañmiun,” however, going through the motions of
dealing cards. They told us that the latter played a great deal, and
“gave much.” This “giving much” evidently referred to gambling, for
they told Capt. Herendeen how two of the “Nunatañmiun” would sit down
to play, one with a big pile of furs and one without any, and when
they got up the furs would all belong to the other man.

Fig. 364 (No. 56531 [21]) represents some of a bunch of 25 little
ivory images which were strung on a bit of seal thong. One is a neatly
carved fox, 2.7 inches long, and the rest are ducks or geese, rather
roughly carved, with flat bellies. The largest of these is 1.3 inches
long and the smallest 0.8 inch. These were purchased at Plover Bay,
eastern Siberia, during our brief visit in August, 1881, and were
supposed to be merely works of art. I was, however, very much
interested on my return to Washington to find that Dr. Franz Boas had
brought from Cumberland Gulf a number of precisely similar images,
which are there used for playing a game of the nature of “jackstones.”
The player tosses up a handful of these images, and scores points for
the number that sit upright when they fall.[N484] It is therefore
quite likely that they are used for a similar purpose at Plover Bay.
If this be so, it is a remarkable point of similarity between these
widely separated Eskimo, for I can learn nothing of a similar custom
at any intermediate point.

    [Footnote N484: This game is briefly referred to by Hall, Arctic
    Researches, p. 570.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 364.--Game of fox and geese, from Plover Bay.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 365.--Dancing cap. 1/4]

_Festivals._--The most important festivals are apparently
semireligious in character and partake strongly of the nature of
dramatic representations. At these festivals they make use of many
articles of dress and adornment, not worn on other occasions, and even
some “properties” and mechanical contrivances to add to the dramatic
effect. All festivals are accompanied by singing, drumming, and

At the formal festivals, in the early winter, the performers are
dressed in new deerskin clothing, with the snow-white flesh side
outward, and in certain parts of the performance wear on their heads
tall conical caps covered with rows of mountain sheep teeth which
rattle as the wearer dances.

We brought home one of these dancing caps (kă´brû, käluka´) (No. 89820
[863] Fig. 365), made of deerskin with the hair inward and clipped
close. The outside is painted all over with red ocher. The front is
nearly all in one piece, but the back is irregularly pieced and gored.
It is surmounted by a thick tuft of brown and white wolverine fur
about 5 inches long, sewed into the apex. To the middle of one side at
the edge is sewed a narrow strip of deerskin with the hair clipped
close, which is long enough to go under the wearer’s chin and be
knotted into a slit close to the edge of the other side of the cap. On
the front edge is sewed a row of thirty-five incisor teeth of the
mountain sheep by a thread running through a hole drilled through the
root of each.

The series is regularly graduated, having the largest teeth in the
middle and the smallest on the ends. Above this is a narrow strip of
brown deerskin running two-thirds round the cap and sewed on flesh
side out so that the hair projects as a fringe below. Above this are
three ornamental bands about 2 inches apart running two-thirds round
the cap, each fringed on the lower edge with sheep teeth strung as on
the edge of the cap. The lower row contains 54 teeth, the middle 29,
and the upper 31. The lowest band is made of 2 strips of mountain
sheepskin with a narrow strip of black sealskin between them, and a
narrow strip of brown deerskin with the hair out; the next is of
coarse gray deerskin with the hair out; and the uppermost of brown
deerskin with the flesh side out. The cap is old and dirty, and has
been long in use.

  [Illustration: FIG. 366.--Wooden mask. 1/4]

The custom of wearing this style of cap appears to be peculiar to the
northwestern Eskimo, as I find no mention for it elsewhere. It is
perhaps derived indirectly from the northern Indians, some of whom are
represented as wearing a similar headdress.

In certain parts of the same ceremony as witnessed by Lieut. Ray the
dancers also wore rattle mittens, which were shaken in time to the
music. A pair of these were offered for sale once, but Lieut. Ray did
not consider them sufficiently of pure Eskimo manufacture to be worth
the price asked for them. They were made of sealskin and covered all
over the back with empty Winchester cartridge shells loosely attached
by a string through a hole in the bottom, so as to strike against each
other when the mitten was shaken. The five men who wore these mittens
wore on their heads the stuffed skins of various animals, the wolf,
bear, fox, lynx, and dog, which they were supposed to represent. These
articles were never offered for sale, as they were probably too highly

We collected twelve wooden masks, which we were told were worn in some
of these ceremonies, though none of our party ever witnessed any
performance in which they were used. Some of them are of undoubted
age. No. 56499 [6] (Fig. 366) has been selected as the type of these
masks (ki´nau, from ki´na, face). This is a rather good representation
of a male human face, 8.8 inches long and 5.8 wide. It is quite
smoothly carved out of cottonwood, and the back is neatly hollowed
out, being more deeply excavated round the eyes and mouth and inside
of the nose. The mouth is represented as wide open, showing the tip of
the tongue attached to the underlip, and has six small teeth which
look like dog’s incisors inserted in a row in the middle of the upper
lip. The eyebrows and moustache are marked out with blacklead, and
there are traces of red ocher on the cheeks. The holes for the strings
are in the edge about on a level with the eyes. One end of a string of
seal thong long enough to go around the wearer’s head is passed out
through the hole on the right side, slit close to the tip, and the
other end passed through this. The other end is passed out through the
hole on the left and made fast with two half hitches. A row of small
holes round the edge of the mask shows where a hood has been tacked
on. This mask is rather old and somewhat soiled.

  [Illustration: FIG. 367.--Wooden mask and dancing gorget. 1/4]

A very old weathered mask (No. 56497 [235] from Utkiavwĭñ), 7.8 inches
long, and made of soft wood, apparently pine, is similar to the
preceding, but has no tongue, and the teeth in both jaws are
represented as a continuous ridge. It has an “imperial” as well as a
moustache, marked with blacklead like the eyebrows. The cheeks are
colored with red ocher. The edge is much gapped and broken, but shows
the remains of a deep narrow groove running round on the outside about
¼ inch from the edge, and pierced with small holes for fastening on a

Figure 367 (No. 89817 [856] also from Utkiavwĭñ) is a mask much like
the preceding, 7.5 inches long, and made of spruce. It is peculiar in
having the outer corners of the eyes rather depressed, and in addition
to the moustache and imperial has a broad “whaleman’s mark” drawn with
black lead across the eyes. It is grooved round the edge for fastening
on a hood. The lower part of the face has been split off at the
corners of the mouth and mended on with two stitches of whalebone, and
a piece which was broken out at the left-hand corner of the mouth is
secured by a wooden peg at the inner edge and a stitch of whalebone on
the lower side. This mask has been for a long time fastened to an
ornamented wooden gorget, and appeared to have been exposed to the
weather, perhaps at the cemetery. The string is made of unusually
stout sinew braid.

  [Illustration: FIG. 368.--Old grotesque mask. 1/4]

The remaining four ancient human masks are all masculine, and only one
has any indication of labrets. On this mask, No. 89812 [1063], there
are two small holes in the position of the labrets. It is probable
that the wearers of these masks are supposed to represent the ancient
Eskimo, who wore no labrets. A mask which was carelessly made for sale
(No. 89814 [1056] from Utkiavwĭñ), however, has large plug-labrets
carved out. Though roughly carved this mask is a very characteristic
Eskimo face, and would almost pass as the portrait of a man of our
acquaintance in Utkiavwĭñ. The two little roughly carved human faces
on the top of this mask are probably merely for ornament. No such
things are to be seen on any of the old masks which have been actually
used. This mask seems to have been whittled out of the bottom of an
old meat tray, and has a string of whalebone. Most of the genuine
masks are of excellent workmanship, but two are quite roughly carved.
One of these especially is such a bungling piece of work that it would
be set down as commercial were it not weathered and evidently old. The
painting never goes farther than marking out the beard and eyebrows
with soot or black lead, and sometimes reddening the cheeks with
ocher. Fig. 368 (No. 89816 [1583] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a very old mask
of cottonwood, blackened with age and so rudely carved that the work
was probably done with a stone tool. It is grooved around the edge for
fastening on a hood and is 6.8 inches long.

The only female human masks seen are new and made for sale. One of
these (No. 89819 [1057], Fig. 369, from Utkiavwĭñ) is roughly whittled
from the bottom of an old meat tray, and has the hair, eyebrows, and a
single line of tattooing on the chin painted with soot. It is 8.7
inches long and has strings of whalebone.

Another (No. 56498 [73] from Utkiavwĭñ) is about the size of the
common masks and tolerably well made. It has the hair and eyebrows
marked with black lead. The last is a foot long, and like the one
figured is roughly whittled out of the bottom of an old meat tray. It
has the hair, eyebrows, and a single stripe of tattooing on the chin
marked with black lead. This came from Utkiavwĭñ (No. 89811 [1037]).

  [Illustration: FIG. 369.--Rude mask of wood. 1/4]

Another “commercial” mask (No. 89813 [1074] from Utkiavwĭñ) is very
elaborate, but roughly and carelessly made. It is almost flat, with
the features hardly raised in relief. In each corner of the mouth is
inserted a slender ivory tusk about 1 inch long, and besides the
eyebrows, moustache, and imperial, there is a broad “whaleman’s mark”
running obliquely across the right cheek from the bridge of the nose.
Six long feathers are stuck in the edge of the forehead. Curiously
enough these are the feathers of the South American ostrich, and came
from the feather duster in use at our station.

Fig. 370 (No. 56496 [258] from Utkiavwĭñ) represents, rather rudely,
a wolf’s face and ears, and is the only animal mask we obtained or
saw. It is of cottonwood, old and weathered, and is 4.7 inches long
and 6.5 wide. It is painted on the edge with red ocher and has a
streak of the same color down the ridge of the nose. The string is of
whalebone and unbraided sinew pieced together.

  [Illustration: FIG. 370.--Wolf mask of wood. 1/4]

  [Illustration: FIG. 371.--Very ancient small mask. 1/4]

Fig. 371 (No. 89815 [1050] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a mask that seems almost
too small to have been worn, being only 6.1 inches long and 4.7 wide.
It is very old, made of blackened cottonwood, and is the rudest
representation of the human face which we saw. It is simply an oval
disk, concavo-convex, with holes cut for the eyes, nostrils, and
mouth. The rough cutting about the chin appears to have been done with
a stone tool, and the mouth seems to be smeared with blood. The string
passed through the holes in the forehead to hang it up by is much
newer than the mask, being braided from cotton twine and fastened to a
common galvanized boat nail.

The more southern Eskimo of Alaska are in the habit of using in their
dances very elaborate and highly ornamented and painted masks, of
which the National Museum possesses a very large collection. The
ancient Aleuts also used masks.[N485] On the other hand, no other
Eskimo, save those of Alaska, ever use masks in their performances, as
far as I can learn, with the solitary exception of the people of
Baffin Land, where a mask of the hide of the bearded seal is worn on
certain occasions.[N486] Nordenskiöld saw one wooden mask among the
people near the _Vega’s_ winter quarters, but learned that this had
been brought from Bering Strait, and probably from America.[N487]

    [Footnote N485: See Dall, Alaska, p. 389, and contributions to
    N. A. Ethn., vol. 1, p. 90.]

    [Footnote N486: See Kumlien, Contributions, p. 43. Kumlien says
    merely “a mask of skins.” Dr. Boas is my authority for the
    statement that the skin of the bearded seal is used.]

    [Footnote N487: Vega, vol. 2, p. 21.]

The masks appear to become more numerous and more elaborate the nearer
we get to the part of Alaska inhabited by the Indians of the T’linket
stock, who, as is well known employ, in their ceremonies remarkably
elaborate wooden masks and headdresses. It may be suggested that this
custom of using masks came from the influence of these Indians,
reaching in the simple form already described as far as Point Barrow,
but not beyond.[N488] With these masks was worn a gorget or
breast-plate, consisting of a half-moon shaped piece of board about 18
inches long, painted with rude figures of men and animals, and slung
about the neck. We brought home three of these gorgets, all old and

    [Footnote N488: See also Dall’s paper in the Third Annual Report
    of the Bureau of Ethnology, pp. 67-203, where the subject of
    mask-wearing is very thoroughly discussed in its most important

No. 89818 [1132], Fig. 372_a_, has been selected as the type of the
gorget (sûkĭmûñ). It is made of spruce, is 18.5 inches long, and has
two beckets of stout sinew braid, one to go round the neck and the
other round the body under the wearer’s arms. The figures are all
painted on the front face. In the middle is a man painted with red
ocher; all the rest of the figures are black and probably painted with
soot. The man with his arms outstretched stands on a large whale,
represented as spouting. He holds a small whale in each hand. At his
right is a small cross-shaped object which perhaps represents a bird,
then a man facing toward the left and darting a harpoon with both
hands, and a bear facing to the left. On the left of the red man are
two umiaks with five men in each, a whale nearly effaced, and three of
the cross-shaped objects already mentioned. Below them, also, freshly
drawn with a hard, blunt lead pencil or the point of a bullet, are a
whale, an umiak, and a three-cornered object the nature of which I can
not make out.

Fig. 372_b_ (No. 56493 [266] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a similar gorget,
which has evidently been long exposed to the weather, perhaps at the
cemetery, as the figures are all effaced except in the middle, where
it was probably covered by a mask as in Fig. 367 (No. 89817 [855] from
the same village). There seems to have been a red border on the
serrated edge. In the middle is the same red man as before standing on
the black whale and holding a whale in each hand. At his right is a
black umiak with five men in it, and at his left a partially effaced
figure which is perhaps another boat. The strings are put on as
before, except that the two beckets are separate. The upper is made of
sinew braid, and the lower, which is now broken, of seal thong. This
gorget is 15.5 inches long and 4.7 wide. No. 89817 [855] (Fig. 367
already referred to) has a mask tied over the middle by means of the
beckets, so that the figures in the middle are much fresher than those
on the ends. The edges are painted red. In the middle is the same red
man or giant holding the whale. The other figures are painted with

  [Illustration: FIG. 372.--Dancing gorgets of wood. 1/4]

This man or giant, able to hold out a whale, appears to be a legendary
character, as we have his image carved in ivory. We unfortunately did
not succeed in learning anything more about him, except that his name
(apparently) was “kikámigo.” Hanging by the head to each elbow of this
figure is a seal, and opposite its thighs two of the usual
conventional whale’s tails, one on each side, with the flukes turned
from him. The one on his left is attached to his waist by a straight
line from its upper corner. At its right hand are a number of objects
irregularly grouped. At the top an umiak with five men towing at a
three-cornered object, which probably represents a dead whale; then a
smaller umiak containing five men and apparently “fast” to a whale,
which is spouting. A figure above this, almost obliterated, appears to
be a small whale. Below are a large seal, three of the cross-shaped
figures, four small whales, and one figure so much effaced that it can
not be made out. On the left hand of the figure are two umiaks, and a
whale with a line and float attached to him, then four crosses and a
large seal in the corner. Below are four whales of different sizes,
two bears, and a dog or wolf.

These gorgets appear to have gone out of fashion, as we saw none which
were not very old, or which appeared to have been used recently. From
the nature of the figures upon them, they were probably used in some
of the ceremonies connected with the whale fishing. Kika´mĭgo may be
the “divinity” who controls the whales and other sea animals.[N489]

    [Footnote N489: Cf. Crantz, vol. 1, p. 206.]

_Mechanical contrivances._--In one of the performances which Capt.
Herendeen witnessed, there stood in the middle of the floor facing
each other, the stuffed skins of a fox and a raven. These were mounted
on whalebone springs and moved by strings, so that the fox sprang at
the raven and the raven pecked at the fox, while the singing and
dancing went on. These animals were never offered for sale, but they
brought over a stuffed fox very cleverly mounted so as to spring at a
lemming, which by means of strings was made to run in and out of two
holes in the board on which the fox was mounted. (No. 89893 [1378]
from Utkiavwĭñ.) We unfortunately did not learn the story or myth
connected with this representation.[N490] It was the skin of an Arctic
fox in the summer pelage, with the paws and all the bones removed, and
clumsily stuffed with rope yarn, not filling out the legs. A stick was
thrust into the tail to within about two inches of the tip, so that it
was curled up over the back. The skin was taken off whole by a single
opening near the vent, which was left open, and through which was
thrust into the body a strip of whalebone 2 inches wide and about ⅛
inch thick, which protruded about 4¼ inches and was fastened to the
front edge of the hole by tying the flap of skin to the whalebone with
three or four turns of sinew braid, kept from slipping by a notch in
each edge of the whalebone.

    [Footnote N490: This very interesting specimen was unfortunately
    destroyed by moths at the National Museum after the description
    was written, but before it could be figured.]

The fox was attached to a piece of the paneling of a ship’s bulkhead,
29 inches long and 7.5 wide, by bending forward 2¾ inches of the end
of the whalebone, and lashing it down parallel to the length of the
board with four turns of stout thong, kept from slipping by a notch in
each edge of the whalebone and running through holes in the board. The
fox was thus held up by the spring parallel to the length of the board
with its head and forelegs raised. A string of sinew braid 10 feet
long was passed through a hole in the septum of the fox’s nose and
knotted once so as to leave two equal ends. These ends were carried
down through two holes, one in each edge of the board 9½ inches from
the forward end, and each was tied to a roughly-rounded bit of pine
stick round which it was reeled when not in use. By pulling these
strings together, the fox was made to dart down his head, which was
raised by the spring as soon as the string was slackened. By pulling
one or the other string the fox could be made to dart to one or the
other side of the board.

One man manipulated the fox, pulling a string with each hand. The
lemming’s holes were about 1¼ inches in diameter, one in each edge of
the board and at such a distance from the end that when the string,
which was 7 feet 4 inches long, was drawn through them, it crossed the
board just where the fox’s nose struck, when it was pulled down. The
ends of the string were reeled round bits of stick. The lemming was a
narrow strip of wolf’s fur, about 3 inches long, doubled in the
middle, with the middle of the string hitched into the bight. By
pulling the ends of the string alternately, the lemming was made to
jump out of the hole on one side, run across the board and into the
other, very much as a live lemming runs from one tunnel to another on
the tundra. It took two persons, one on each side, to handle the
lemming. The foxskin and spring appeared to be older than the rest of
the machine. The board was originally 10 inches or 1 foot longer at
each end, but had to be cut off to pack it.

Petroff mentions a similar custom among the “Nushegagmute” of Bristol
Bay, of introducing stuffed animals moved with hidden strings in their
performances;[N491] and Dall[N492] describes a festival at Norton
Sound, where a dead seal was brought in and moved about with strings.

    [Footnote N491: Report, p. 135.]

    [Footnote N492: Alaska, p. 156.]

_Description of festivals._--It is greatly to be regretted that we had
not established such intimate relations with the natives, as
afterwards was the case, in the winter of 1881-’82, since this was the
only one of the two seasons that the great winter festival was held at
Utkiavwĭñ. In the winter of 1882-’83 there had been so many deaths in
the village that the natives did not feel like celebrating any regular
festival, and only indulged in a few impromptu dances late in the
season. These were unfortunately held in the evening when the writer’s
tour of duty at the station prevented his witnessing them. Those of
the party who did go over brought back only fragmentary and rather
vague accounts of the performance. The confining nature of the work at
the station prevented our witnessing any of the celebrations at Nuwŭk
or at Pernyû, when the “Nunatañmiun” visitors were entertained.

The best accounts we have of any performance is given by Lieut. Ray.
He and Capt. Herendeen went over to Utkiavwĭñ by special invitation on
December 3, 1881, and witnessed one scene of the “wood,” or “tree
dance.” Many visitors were present from Nuwŭk on the occasion of this
dance, which lasted for two days and nights. On arriving at the
village they found a crowd of upwards of 200 people assembled round
the entrance of the kû´dyĭgĭ. In front of the entrance were drawn up
in line five men and two women dancing to the music of a drum and two

They were all dressed in new deerskin clothes, with the snow-white
flesh side turned out, and wore conical dance caps like that already
described. They kept time to the music with their feet, moving their
bodies to right and left with spasmodic jerks. To quote from Lieut.
Ray’s MS. notes:

  Each dancer in turn sprang to the front and in extravagant gestures
  went through the motions of killing seal, walrus, and deer, and the
  pursuit of the whale. Each, as he finished, took his place in the
  line, was cheered by the crowd, then added his voice to the
  monotonous chant of the singers.

After all had finished as many as could get in entered the “dance
house.” At one end of this a small space was partitioned off with a
piece of an old sail, and from the roof in the middle hung an object
intended to represent a tree. This was made of two oblong boxes about
6 inches in diameter, open at both ends, the lower about 2½ feet long
and the upper about 1½, hinged together with seal thong. At one side
hung a wolf’s skull, and on the other a dried raven. Two performers
sat in the middle of the floor with their legs extended one between
the other’s legs, with his nose touching the tree. A row of old men
beat drums and sang, while the performers chanted a monotonous song,
in which could be heard the words “rum, tobacco, seal, deer, and

Presently the bottom of the curtain was lifted and out crawled five
men on all fours, wearing on their heads the stuffed skins of the
heads of different animals--the wolf, bear, fox, lynx, and dog. They
swung their heads from side to side in unison, keeping time to the
music, uttering a low growl at each swing and shaking their rattle
mittens. This they kept up for fifteen or twenty minutes, while the
chant still went on, and the chief performer, with excited gestures,
embraced the tree and rubbed his nose against it from time to time. At
last all “sprang to their feet with a howl, and ended the dance with
wild gestures.” Similar scenes, with new performers, which our party
did not stay to witness, succeeded this, with feasting in the
different houses.

Capt. Herendeen also witnessed a small dance, lasting only one
evening, which bore a curious resemblance to some of the so-called
“favor figures” performed in the “German cotillon” of civilized
dancers. This kind of dance was performed purely for pleasure, and had
nothing religious or dramatic about it. The music was furnished by the
usual orchestra of old men, who beat drums and sang a monotonous song.
Each person who intended to take part in the dance came provided with
some small article to be given away as a “favor,” and rising in his
turn, danced a few minutes, and then called out the name of the
partner he wished to give it to. The latter then rose, and having
received the “favor,” danced a while with him, and then both resumed
their places among the spectators.

We never heard of any such elaborate “donation parties” as are
described at Norton Sound and the Yukon region, where a man “saves up
his property for years” to distribute it among his guests.[N493]
A festival, however, was held at Nuwŭk in June, 1883, which apparently
resembled the second kind described by Dall.[N494] Two men came down
from Nuwŭk to invite Lieut. Ray and Capt. Herendeen, telling them what
presents they were expected to bring. Unfortunately it was considered
that too much was asked and the invitation was declined. The
messengers carried “notched sticks.”[N495]

  [Illustration: FIG. 373.--Youth dancing to the aurora.]

Dances in which the children only take part, entirely for amusement,
sometimes take place in the kû´dyĭgĭ, and people occasionally amuse
themselves by dancing in the iglu. I have often seen the natives,
especially the children and young people, dancing in the open air, and
the dancing was always of very much the same character. The feet were
but slightly moved, keeping time to the music, while the body swayed
gracefully and the arms were waved from side to side. All the dancing
which I saw was rather quiet and graceful, but they told us that when
they got warmed up at a great dance they went at it with tremendous
vigor, throwing off their garments to the waist. The dance which
accompanies the song sung by the children to the aurora, however, is
more violent. The dancer clenches his fists and, bending his elbows,
strikes them against the sides of his body, keeping time to the song
and stamping vigorously with the right foot, springing up and down
with the left knee (see Fig. 373, from a sketch by the writer).

We never heard of any of the licentious festivals or orgies described
by Egede[N496] and Kumlien.[N497]

    [Footnote N493: See Dall, Alaska, p. 151.]

    [Footnote N494: Ibid, p. 154.]

    [Footnote N495: Compare the wand “curiously ornamented and carved”
    carried by the messenger who was sent out to invite the guests to
    the festival at Norton Sound, Alaska, p. 154.]

    [Footnote N496: Greenland, p. 139.]

    [Footnote N497: Contributions, p. 43.]

The festivals of the eastern Eskimo appear to be less formal and
elaborate than those in the west, consisting simply of singing and

    [Footnote N498: Descriptions of Eskimo festivals are to be found
    in Egede’s Greenland, p. 152, and Crantz, History of Greenland,
    vol. 1, p. 175, where he mentions the sun feast held at the winter
    solstice. This very likely corresponds to the December festival at
    Point Barrow. If the latter be really a rite instituted by the
    ancestors of the present Eskimo when they lived in lower latitudes
    to celebrate the winter solstice, it is easy to understand why it
    should be held at about the same time by the people of Kotzebue
    Sound, as stated by Dr. Simpson, op. cit., p. 262, where, as he
    says, the reindeer might be successfully pursued throughout the
    winter. It is much more likely, considering the custom in
    Greenland, that this is the reason for having the festival at this
    season than that the time should be selected by the people at
    Point Barrow as a season when “hunting or fishing can not well be
    attended to,” as Simpson thinks. We should remember that this is
    the very time of the year that the seal netting is at its height
    at Point Barrow. See also Parry, Second Voyage, p. 538; Kumlien,
    Contributions, p. 43; Gilder, Schwatka’s Search, p. 43; Beechey,
    Voyage, p. 288 (Kotzebue Sound); Dall, Alaska, p. 149 (very full
    and detailed); Petroff, Report, etc., pp. 125, 126, 129, 131
    (quoted from Zagoskin), 135, 137 (quoted from Shelikhof), and 144
    (quoted from Davidof); Hooper, Tents, etc., pp. 85, 136; and
    Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, pp. 22, 131.]


_Playthings._--Though the children amuse themselves with a great many
sports and plays, we saw very few toys or playthings in use. We
brought home six objects which appear to have no use except as

Fig. 374_a_ (No. 89806 [1189] from Nuwŭk) is a whirligig in principle
very like that made for civilized children. It is a block of spruce,
fitted with a shaft of narwhal ivory. This fits loosely in the
straight tubular handle, which is a section of the branch of an
antler, with the soft inside tissue cut out. A string of seal thong
passes through a hole in the middle of the handle and is fastened to
the shaft. This string is about 8 feet long, and about half of it is
tied up into the hank to make a handle for pulling it. It works very
much like a civilized child’s whirligig. The string is wound around
the shaft and a smart pull on the handle unwinds it, making the block
spin round rapidly. The reaction, spinning it in the opposite
direction, winds up the string again. A couple of loose hawk’s
feathers are stuck into the tip of the block, which is painted with
red ocher for about an inch. Four equidistant stripes of the same
color run down the sides to a border of the same width round the base.
This was made for sale and appears to be an unusual toy. I do not
recollect ever seeing the children play with such a toy. It is called
kai´psa (Gr. kâvsâk, “a whirligig or similar toy”).

Fig. 374_b_ is a similar whirligig from Utkiavwĭñ (No. 89807 [1356]).
The block, which is 4.2 inches long, is made of the solid tip of a
mountain sheep’s horn, and is elaborately ornamented with a
conventional pattern of lines and “circles and dots,” incised and
colored red with ocher. The shaft is of hard bone, and the line has a
little wooden handle at the end. The block is so heavy that it will
hardly spin.

  [Illustration: FIG. 374.--Whirligigs. 3/8]

Fig. 375 (No. 56491 [46] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a teetotum (also called
kaipsa). The shaft is of pine and the disk of spruce and is ornamented
with black lead marks, forming a border about one-quarter inch broad
on each face. The upper face is divided into quadrants by four narrow
lines radiating from the hole, and each quadrant is divided into two
by bands one-quarter inch broad. The order of these lines is reversed
on the under face. This is spun, like a common teetotum, with the
fingers, and does not seem to be common. I do not recollect ever
seeing anyone except the maker of this toy spinning one.

  [Illustration: FIG. 375.--Teetotum. 1/8]

The same is true of No. 89722 [1087] (Fig. 376, from Utkiavwĭñ) which
is what American boys would call a “buzz” toy. It is of pine wood, and
through two round holes in the middle are passed the ends of a piece
of stout sinew braid, which are knotted together. When the board is
placed in the middle of the string it can be made to spin round and
whiz by alternately pulling and relaxing the ends of the string. The
board is rather elaborately painted. One end has a border of black
lead on both faces, the other a similar border of red paint, which
appears to be red lead. Broad red bands form a square 1 inch across
around the holes, with lines radiating from each corner to the corners
of the board, on both faces. On the spaces between these lines are
figures rudely drawn with black lead. On one face, in the first space,
is a goose; in the second, a man with a staff; in the third, the
conventional figure of a whale’s tail; and in the fourth, a whale with
line and float attached to him, pursued by a whaling umiak. On the
other side, the first space contains a dog or wolf walking; the
second, two of these animals, sitting on their haunches, facing each
other; the third, another walking; and the fourth, a reindeer in the
same attitude.

  [Illustration: FIG. 376.--Buzz toy. 1/2]

Fig. 377 (No. 89800 [1331] from Utkiavwĭñ), on the other hand, is a
toy which the children often play with. It is the well known
“whizzing-stick” found among savages in so many widely distant parts
of the world, and often used in religious ceremonies. The Eskimo name
is ĭmĭglúta. It consists of a thin board of pine wood, fastened by a
string of sinew braid about 1 foot long to the end of a slender rod,
which serves as a handle. When swung rapidly round by the handle it
makes a loud, whizzing sound. It is very neatly made, and painted with
black lead and red ocher. The tips of the board are black for about
one-half inch and the rest is red, and the upper half of the handle
marked with five rings about one-half inch wide and 1 inch apart,
alternately black and red. This appears to be purely a child’s toy and
has no mystical signification. I never saw one in the hands of an
adult. This specimen was made and brought over for sale by a lad about
thirteen or fourteen years old.

  [Illustration: FIG. 377.--Whizzing stick.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 378.--Pebble snapper.]

Fig. 378 (No. 56687 [181] from Utkiavwĭñ) is another plaything rather
common with the boys, which takes the place of the American boy’s
“bean snapper.” It is known by the name of mĭtĭ´glĭgaun, and is a rod
of whalebone, stiff and black, 4.8 inches long and 0.5 wide, narrowed
and bent sharply up for about an inch at one end. On the upper side of
this end, close to the tip, is a little hollow, large enough to hold a
small pebble, and the other is cut into sharp teeth. This is purely an
instrument of mischief and is used for shooting tiny pebbles at people
when they are looking the other way. Mûñialu showed us, with great
glee, in an expressive pantomime, how a boy would hit a person in the
eye with a little pebble, and, when the man turned round angrily,
would have the snapper slipped up his sleeve and be looking earnestly
in another direction. The toothed end, he said, was for mischievously
scratching hairs out of a man’s coat when he was looking another way.
The “snapper” is used as follows: It is held in the left hand,
a little pebble is set in the socket, and the tip of the whalebone
bent back with the right hand. When this end is let go the elasticity
of the whalebone drives the pebble at the mark with considerable
force. As far as I can learn this mischievous toy is peculiar to the

_Dolls._--Though several dolls and various suits of miniature clothing
were made and brought over for sale, they do not appear to be popular
with the little girls. I do not recollect ever seeing a child playing
with a doll. Those in the collection, indeed, seem rather less
intended for playthings than as, so to speak, works of art to catch
the fancy of the strangers. Such an object is No. 89728 [1304] (Fig.
379 from Utkiavwĭñ.) This is a human head carved out of pine wood, and
shouldered off at the neck into a stout round peg, which is fitted
into the middle of a thick elliptical pedestal of the same wood, flat
on the bottom and convex on top. The head is dressed in a neatly made
hood of thin deerskin with the flesh side cut off round the shoulders
and exposing only the face. The face is very neatly carved, and has
bits of green oxidized copper inlaid for the eyes. The cheeks, gums,
and inside of the mouth are colored with red ocher, and the hair,
eyebrows, and beard with black lead. The top of the pedestal is
painted red and divided into eight equal parts by shallow grooves
colored with black lead. The height of the whole object is 4½ inches,
and the workmanship is remarkably good.

  [Illustration: FIG. 379.--Carving of human head.]

No. 89827 [1138] (from Utkiavwĭñ), on the other hand, is very roughly
and carelessly made. It is 18.2 inches long, roughly whittled out of a
flat piece of redwood board into the shape of a man with his legs wide
apart and holding up his hands on each side of his head. The arms are
very short and broad, with five fingers all nearly of the same length,
and the legs are simply two straight four-sided pegs rounded on the
edges. It is dressed in a hooded frock of seal gut reaching to the
knees and leaving only the face and hands uncovered, and has sealskin
knee boots on the legs. The face is rudely in relief, with two narrow
bits of ivory inlaid for eyes, and a long canine tusk of the same
material inserted in each corner of the mouth. Three small round bits
of wood are inlaid in the forehead, one in the middle and one over
each eye, and one in the right cheek above the corner of the mouth.
The gut frock is carelessly made of irregular pieces. It is trimmed
round the bottom and the edge of the hood with a strip of dogskin, but
is left with a raw edge round the wrists. The boots are rather well
made models of the regular waterproof boots, with soles of white
sealskin and a band round the top 1 inch wide of the same material.
A short peg projects from the top of the forehead. A string of stout
sinew braid about 2 feet long is passed through a hole in the middle
of the body and a knot tied in the end in front. Though the design is
elaborate the workmanship is very rude, and the clothes seem to be
made of odds and ends. The maker perhaps had in mind a fabulous man
with teeth like a walrus, about whom we heard some fragmentary

  [Illustration: FIG. 380.--Mechanical doll: drum player.]

Fig. 380 (No. 89826 [1358] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a clever, though
somewhat roughly made, mechanical doll. It represents a man dressed in
deerskins sitting with his legs outstretched and holding in his
extended left hand a drum and in his right a stick, as if beating the
drum. The arms are of whalebone, and by pressing them he can be made
to beat the drum. The doll is made of a single piece of wood--a knot
with two branches, which make the legs. (I learned this from Capt.
Herendeen, who saw this doll at the village before it was finished.)
The height of the sitting figure is 11½ inches.

  [Illustration: FIG. 381.--Mechanical toy: kaiak paddler.]

A still more ingenious mechanical toy which, however, like the
preceding, was made for sale, is shown in Fig. 381 (No. 89855 [1351]
from Utkiavwĭñ). This is a man sitting in a kaiak in the attitude of
paddling on the left side with a single-bladed paddle. His arms are of
whalebone, and by means of strings he can be made to paddle and turn
his head from side to side. The kaiak is 29 inches long, very neatly
carved from a single block of wood, and solid except at the cockpit.
The bottom is flat, to allow it to stand on the floor, but it is
otherwise precisely of the model of the kaiaks in the Museum from the
Mackenzie and Anderson region. The nation who made it called it a
“Kûñmû´d’lĭñ” kaiak. It is painted all over with red ocher, except on
the bottom. The figure has no legs and fits into the cockpit, which is
without any coaming. The head is separate and mounted on a long,
slender pivot, which is fitted into a hole in the neck just loosely
enough to allow it to turn easily. It is dressed in a hood of seal
gut. The face is very natural, though rather rudely carved, and is
lightly colored all over with red ocher, with the mouth painted deeply
red, and the eyebrows, eyes, nostrils, and beard marked with black
lead. The arms are narrow strips of whalebone, the ends of which
protrude at the wrists, and are tied to the paddle by the ends of the
strings which work it. The body is covered with a gut shirt.

  [Illustration: FIG. 382.--Kaiak carved from a block of wood.]

The paddle is of the common shape, and has the blade and the lower end
of the shaft painted red. The strings for working this contrivance are
of fine sinew braid. One string is tied into a little hole in the edge
of the hood, where the left ear would be, the other passes round the
edge of the hood, and is tied at the right ear. These strings cross
back of the head, and pass through two neat little ivory eyebolts
inserted in the deck, 1 inch abaft the cockpit, and 1 inch apart. The
strings from the hands are not crossed, but pass through two similar
eyebolts, one at each edge of the deck, 2.5 inches from the cockpit.
The ends of each set of strings are tied together. When the right pair
and left pair of strings are pulled alternately, the man makes a
stroke and looks to the right, then “recovers” and looks to the left.
Both stroke and “recovery” are aided by the elasticity of the arms.
This specimen shows a great deal of mechanical ingenuity, and was the
only finished object of the kind seen.

Fig. 382 (No. 89856 [783] from Utkiavwĭñ) is a kaiak intended for a
similar toy, which, when brought over for sale, had an unfinished
armless doll in the cockpit. This was, unfortunately, lost in
unpacking. The kaiak, which is 27.6 inches long, is not new, but has
been freshly scraped and painted on deck. It is also a foreign kaiak,
being precisely like a model brought by Mr. Nelson from Norton Sound.
It is not unlikely that this boat itself came from that region through
the “Nunatañmiun,” unless, possibly, a southern kaiak had passed
through the hands of enough people to reach a point where some Point
Barrow native might see it. As far as we know no Point Barrow natives
visit the regions where this form is used, and the model seems too
accurate to have been made from a description.

_Juvenile implements._--We sometimes saw the children playing with
little models of the implements and utensils used by their parents.
Perhaps the commonest thing of this sort is the boy’s bow. As soon as
a boy is able to walk his father makes him a little bow suited to his
strength, with blunt arrows, with which he plays with the other boys,
shooting at marks--for instance, the fetal reindeer brought home from
the spring hunt--till he is old enough to shoot small birds and
lemmings. We also saw children playing with little drums, and one man
made his little boy an elaborate kă´moti about 4 feet long. In the
collection are a number of miniature implements, spears, etc., some of
which have been already described, which were perhaps intended as
playthings for the children. As, however, they were all newly made, it
is possible that they were merely intended to catch the fancy of the

No. 89451 [1113], from Nuwŭk, is a little snow shovel 4.5 inches long,
with a blade 2.1 inches wide, rather roughly carved from a piece of
walrus ivory.

No. 89695 [1280] from Utkiavwĭñ, is a similar model of a deer lance,
7 inches long, all in one piece and made of reindeer antler.

No. 89797 [1186] from Utkiavwĭñ, is a quite well made model of the
drum used for accompanying singing and dancing, and is almost large
enough to have been used for a plaything. The stick is entirely out of
proportion, being merely a roughly whittled bit of lath, 13 inches

_Games and sports._--The men have very few sports, though I have
sometimes known them to amuse themselves by shooting at a mark with
their rifles, and I once heard of a number of them wrestling. As far
as I could learn, they wrestle “catch-as-catch-can” without any
particular system. We never heard of anything like the athletic sports
mentioned by Egede[N499] and Crantz[N500] or the pugilism described by
Schwatka among the people of King William’s Land, when two men stand
up to each other and exchange buffets till one or the other gives
in.[N501] The women are very fond of playing “cat’s cradle” whenever
they have leisure, and make a number of complicated figures with the
string, many of which represent various animals. One favorite figure
is a very clever representation of a reindeer, which is made by moving
the fingers to run down hill from one hand to the other.[N502] Another
favorite amusement with the women and children is tossing three
bullets or small pebbles with the right hand, after the manner of a
juggler, keeping one ball constantly in the air. Some of the women are
very skillful at this, keeping the balls up for a long time. This play
is accompanied by a chant sung to a monotonous tune with very little
air, but strongly marked time. I never succeeded in catching the words
of this chant, which are uttered with considerable rapidity, and do
not appear to be ordinary words. It begins “yúɐ yúɐ yuká, yúɐ yúɐ
yuká;” and some of the words are certainly indelicate to judge from
the unequivocal gestures by which I once saw them accompanied.

    [Footnote N499: Greenland, p. 162.]

    [Footnote N500: Vol. 1, p. 177.]

    [Footnote N501: Science, vol. 4, No. 98, p. 545.]

    [Footnote N502: Hall (Arctic Researches, p. 129) says the “cat’s
    cradle” is a favorite amusement in Baffin Land, where they make
    many figures, including representations of the deer, whale, seal,
    and walrus.]

In the winter the young women and girls are often to be seen tossing a
snowball with their feet. A girl wets some snow and makes a ball about
as big as her two fists, which of course immediately becomes a lump of
ice. This she balances on the toe of one foot and with a kick and a
jump tosses it over to the other foot which catches it and tosses it
back. Some women will keep this up for a number of strokes.

The young people of both sexes also sometimes play football, kicking
about an old mitten or boot stuffed with rags or bits of waste skin.
I never saw them set up goals and play a regular game as they did in

    [Footnote N503: See Egede, p. 161, and Crantz, vol. 1, p. 177.]

The little girls also play with the skipping rope. I once watched
three little girls jumping. Two swung the rope and the other stood in
the middle and jumped. First they swung the rope under her feet to the
right, then back under her feet to the left, and then once or twice
wholly round under her feet and over her head, and then began
again.[N504] They also play at housekeeping, laying sticks round to
represent the sides of the house, or outlining the house by pressing
up ridges of snow between their feet. Sometimes they mark out a
complicated labyrinth on the snow in this way, and the game appears to
be that one shall guard this and try to catch the others if they come
in, as in many of the games of civilized children.

    [Footnote N504: Compare Parry’s Second Voyage, p. 541.]

I have already spoken of the formal children’s dances. They often also
dance by themselves, beating on old tin cans for drums. One night I
saw a party of children having quite an elaborate performance near our
station. The snow at the time was drifted up close under the eaves of
the house. On the edge of the roof sat three little boys, each beating
vigorously on an empty tomato can and singing at the top of his lungs,
while another boy and a little girl were dancing on the snow waving
their arms and singing as usual, and at the same time trying to avoid
another girl about thirteen years old, who represented a demon. She
was stooping forward, and moving slowly round in time with the music,
turning from side to side and rolling her eyes fiercely, while she
licked the blade of an open clasp knife, drawing it slowly across her
lips. They seemed intensely in earnest, and were enjoying themselves
hugely. After dancing a while at the station they went over to the
village, and as they told me the next day spent the whole night
singing in a vacant snow-house.

They also amuse themselves in the winter by sliding on their knees
down the steepest snowdrifts under the cliffs. A good deal of the
time, however, they are following their parents or other grown people,
catching little fish or fetching twigs for firewood or helping drive
the dogs, though as a rule they are not made to do any regular work
until they are pretty well grown.


_Musical instruments._--The only musical instrument in use among these
people is the universal drum[N505] or tambourine (kĕlyau), consisting
of a membrane stretched over a hoop with a handle on one side, and
used from Greenland to Siberia. It is always accompanied by the voice
singing or chanting. The player holds the handle in his left hand with
the membrane away from him, and strikes alternately on each side of
the rim with a short heavy piece of ivory, or a long slender wand,
rotating the drum slightly at the same time to meet the stroke. This
produces a loud, resonant, and somewhat musical note. There appears,
however, to be no system of tuning these drums, the pitch of the note
depending entirely on accident.

    [Footnote N505: Nordenskiöld calls this “the drum, or more
    correctly, tambourine, so common among most of the Polar peoples,
    European, Asiatic, and American; among the Lapps, the Samoyeds,
    the Tunguses, and the Eskimo.” (Vega, vol. 2, p. 128).]

  [Illustration: FIG. 383.--Drum.]

We collected four of these drums, of which every household possesses
at least one. They are all of essentially the same construction, but
vary in size. No. 56741 [79], Fig. 383, has been selected as the type.
The frame is a flat strip of willow 67 inches long, 1 inch wide, and
0.3 inch thick, bent till the two ends meet, thus making a hoop 22.2
inches long and 19 inches wide. The ends are fastened together by a
strap of walrus ivory on the inside of the hoop, secured to the wood
by neat stitches of black whalebone. The handle is of walrus ivory 5.2
inches long. The larger end is rather rudely carved into a human face.
Back of this head and 1 inch from the large end of the handle is a
square transverse notch, deep and sufficiently wide to fit over both
rim and strap at the joint. It is held on by a lashing of sinew braid
passing through holes in rim and strap, one on each side of the
handle, and a large transverse hole in the latter, below and a little
in front of the notch. The membrane, which appears to be a sheet of
the peritoneum of a seal, is stretched over the other side of the
hoop, which is beveled on the outside edge, and its edge is brought
down to a deep groove 0.2 inch from the edge of the hoop and 0.3 inch
wide, running round the hoop, where it is secured by three or four
turns of sinew braid. The end of this string is crossed back and forth
four or five times round the handle, where it is fitted to the hoop
and then wrapped around it and finished off with a knot.

No. 56742 [514], from Utkiavwĭñ, is a similar drum, but somewhat
larger, the hoop being 24.6 inches long and 22 inches wide. It is of
the same materials, except that the strap at the joint is of reindeer
antler. Opposite the joint the hoop appears to have shown signs of
weakness, as it has been strengthened with two straps of walrus ivory,
one on the inside and one on the outside of the hoop, fastened
together by stitches of sinew which pass through the wood and through
both straps. The inside strap is 4.7 inches long, the outer 3.5 inches
long, and only half the width of the rim, and is let into the latter.
This strap appears to have been put on first, as at each end there is
a stitch which only runs through the wood. The handle is fastened on
as before, but has two transverse holes instead of one, and has four
deep rounded notches for the fingers. (See Fig. 384.) The joint is
tightened by driving a thin sliver of wood in at the bottom of the

  [Illustration: FIG. 384.--Handle of drum secured to rim.]

No. 56743 [31], from Utkiavwĭñ, closely resembles the type, but has a
notch for the thumb as well as for the forefinger on the handle. The
hoop is 23.5 inches long and 21 wide. No. 56740 [80] from the same
village is rather smaller than the ordinary drums, having a hoop 16.2
inches long and 14.7 wide. The handle is of antler, but has the usual
face on the large end.

We also brought home eight handles for these drums, which exhibit but
slight variations. The commonest material for the handle is walrus
ivory. Only two out of the twelve are of antler. They are usually
about 5 inches long (the longest is 5.4 inches and the shortest 4.6).
Handles with grooves for the fingers and sometimes for the thumb seem
to be quite as common as the plain handles. Fig. 385_a_ represents an
ivory handle from Nuwŭk (No. 89267 [898]), which has a groove for each
finger and a shallow one on the right side for the thumb. It is 5
inches long.

With one exception all these handles have the large end more or less
neatly carved into a human face, with the mouth open as if singing,
probably from an idea similar to that which makes the decorative
artists of civilized countries ornament the pipes of a great organ
with singing faces. This face is usually in the position shown in the
specimens figured, but No. 89266 [784] (Fig. 385_b_), a handle of
antler from Utkiavwĭñ, has the axis of the face parallel to that of
the handle. Nos. 89269 [975] and 56515 [76], both from Utkiavwĭñ, are
peculiar in their ornamentation. They are both of walrus ivory. The
former has a well-carved face at the large end with small blue beads
inlaid for eyes. In addition to this the small end has been rather
freshly carved into a rather rude seal’s head, and an ornamental
pattern has been incised round the middle. This specimen exhibits the
grooves for the fingers very well. The latter is a plain handle, but
has a little sharp tusk inserted at each corner of the mouth. The only
handle without a human face on the large end (No. 56514 [65] Fig.
385_c_, from Utkiavwĭñ) is peculiar in many respects. It is the butt
end of a small walrus tusk, with a large pulp cavity, the edges of
which are much notched and irregularly broken. The notch for fitting
it to the handle is at the smaller end, which is neatly carved into a
very good figure of a walrus head, with the tusks bent back to the
under side of the handle. The head has oval bits of wood inlaid for
eyes. None of the drums or handles in the collection are newly made.

  [Illustration: FIG. 385.--Drum handles. 1/2]

The stick employed for beating these drums is commonly a slender
elastic wand about 2½ feet long, but they also sometimes use a short
thick stick of ivory resembling that used by the eastern Eskimo.[N506]
We brought home two of these sticks, both of which belong with the
drum No. 56743 [31]. Fig. 386_a_ (No. 56540 [31]) is a roughly
cylindrical rod of ivory with a hole for a lanyard. The larger end is
ornamented by rudely incised and darkened lines which represent the
eyes and outline of the mouth of a “bow-head” whale. Fig. 386_b_
(No. 56540 [31_a_]) is a plain round stick of ivory 9.4 inches long.
It is rather roughly made and somewhat warped. The use of the long
stick is perhaps derived from Siberia, where the short thick stick
does not appear to be used.[N507]

    [Footnote N506: See, for example, Bessell’s Naturalist, vol. 18,
    pt. 9, p. 881. (The people of Smith Sound use the femur of a
    walrus or seal. Cf. Capt. Lyon’s picture, Parry’s 2d Voyage, pl.
    opposite p. 530, and Gilder, Schwatka’s Search, p. 43, where the
    people of the west shore of Hudson Bay are described as using a
    “wooden drumstick shaped like a potato-masher.”)]

    [Footnote N507: See Hooper, Tents, etc., p. 51, and Nordenskiöld,
    Vega, vol. 2, pp. 23 and 128; figure on p. 24.]

Holes in the membrane of the drum are sometimes mended with pieces of
the crop of the ptarmigan. At any rate, this is what I was told by a
native, who begged from me the crops of two of these birds that I was
skinning, saying that he wanted them to mend his drum. These drums are
always beaten as an accompaniment to invocations of spirits or
incantations. This practice is so common that some authors are in the
habit of always speaking of them as “shaman drums”. As I have already
stated, their most common use is purely as a musical instrument, and
they are used not only by the so-called “shamans” but by everybody.

  [Illustration: FIG. 386.--Ivory drumsticks. 1/4]

_Character and frequency of music._--Their music consists of
monotonous chants, usually with very little perceptible air, and
pitched generally in a minor key. I could not perceive that they had
any idea of “tune,” in the musical sense, but when several sang
together each pitched the tune to suit himself. They, however, keep
excellent time. The ordinary songs are in “common” or 4/4 time.[N508]
The words are often extemporaneous, and at tolerably regular intervals
comes the refrain, “A yáña yáña, a yáña ya,” which takes the place of
the “ámna aja” of the eastern Eskimo. Sometimes, when they are humming
or singing to themselves, the words are nothing but this refrain.
Their voices, as a general thing, are musical.

    [Footnote N508: Compare Crantz, vol. 1, p. 176.]

Like all Eskimo, they are very fond of music, and are constantly
singing and humming to themselves, sometimes, according to Capt.
Herendeen, waking up in the night to sing. Besides their regular
festivals they often amuse themselves in their houses by singing to
the drum. They are fond of civilized music, and, having usually very
quick and rather acute ears, readily catch the tunes, which they sing
with curiously mutilated words. We found “Shoo Fly” and “Little Brown
Jug” great favorites at the time of our arrival, and one old woman
from Nuwŭk, told us with great glee, how Magwa (Maguire) used to sing
“Tolderolderol.” Our two violins, the doctor’s and the cook’s, were a
constant source of delight to them.

Capt. Parry[N509] gives an excellent account of the music of the
people of Fury and Hecla Straits.[N510]

    [Footnote N509: 2d Voyage, p. 541.]

    [Footnote N510: See also the passage from Crantz, quoted above;
    Dall, Alaska, p. 16; and Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, pp. 23 and

I regret extremely that I was not enough of a musician to write down
on the spot the different tunes sung by these people. The ordinary
monotonous chant is so devoid of air that I can not possibly recollect
it, and the same is true of the chant which accompanies the game of
pebble-tossing. I was able, however, to catch by ear the song sung by
the children when they dance to the aurora. I never had the whole of
this song, which we were told had a large number of stanzas. The first
three are as follows:

  1. Kióya ke, kióya ke,
     A, yáñɐ, yañɐ, ya,
     Hwi, hwi, hwi, hwi!

  2. Túdlĭmaná, túdlĭmaná,
     A yáñɐ, yañɐ, ya,
     Hwi, hwi, hwi, hwi!

  3. Kálutaná, kalutaná,
     A yáñɐ, yáñɐ, ya,
     Hwi, hwi, hwi, hwi!

We did not succeed in learning the meaning of these words, except, of
course, that the first word, kióya, is aurora. When there is a bright
aurora, the children often keep on dancing and singing this song till
late into the night. A tune was introduced in the spring of 1883 by a
party of men from Kĭlauwĭtáwĭñ, who came up to take part in the
whale-fishing at Utkiavwĭñ. It became at once exceedingly popular, and
everybody was singing or humming it. It is peculiar in being in waltz
or 3/4 time, and has considerably more air than the ordinary tunes.
I heard no words sung to it except: “O hai hai yáña, O hai yáña,
O haíja he, haíja he.” Mr. Dall informs me that he recognizes this
tune as one sung by the Indians on the Yukon.


The artistic sense appears to be much more highly developed among the
western Eskimo than among those of the east. Among the latter,
decoration appears to be applied almost solely to the clothing, while
tools and utensils are usually left plain, and if ornamented are only
adorned with carving or incised lines.[N511] West of the Mackenzie
River, and especially south of Bering Strait, Eskimo decorative art
reaches its highest development, as shown by the collections in the
National Museum. Not only is everything finished with the most extreme
care, but all wooden objects are gaily painted with various pigments,
and all articles of bone and ivory are covered with ornamental
carvings and incised lines forming conventional patterns.

    [Footnote N511: See the various accounts of the eastern Eskimo
    already referred to.]

There are in the collections also many objects that appear to have
been made simply for the pleasure of exercising the ingenuity in
representing natural or fanciful objects, and are thus purely works of
art. Want of space forbids any further discussion of these interesting
objects. There is in the Museum sufficient material for a large
monograph on Eskimo art. As would naturally be expected, art at Point
Barrow occupies a somewhat intermediate position between the highly
developed art of the southwest and the simple art of the east. I have
given sufficient figures in my description of their clothing and
various implements to illustrate the condition of purely decorative
art. A few words may be added by way of résumé. It will be noticed
that whenever the bone or ivory parts of weapons are decorated the
ornamentation is usually in the form of incised lines colored with red
ocher or soot. These lines rarely represent any natural objects, but
generally form rather elegant conventional patterns, most commonly
double or single borders, often joined by oblique cross lines or
fringed with short, pointed parallel lines.

A common ornament is the incised “circle and dot,” so often referred
to in the foregoing descriptions. This is a circle about one-quarter
inch in diameter, described as accurately as if done with compasses,
with a deeply incised dot exactly in the center. This ornament is much
more common south of Bering Strait, where, as Mr. L. M. Turner informs
me, it is a conventionalized representation of a flower. Some of the
older implements in our collection, ornamented with this figure, may
have been obtained by trade from the southern natives, but the Point
Barrow people certainly know how to make it, as there are a number of
newly made articles in the collection thus ornamented. Unfortunately,
we saw none of these objects in the process of manufacture, as they
were made by the natives during odd moments of leisure, and at the
time I did not realize the importance of finding out the process. No
tool by which these figures could be made so accurately was ever
offered for sale.

Neither Mr. Turner nor Mr. Dall, both of whom, as is well known, spent
long periods among the natives of the Yukon region, ever observed the
process of making this ornament. The latter, however, suggests that it
is perhaps done with an improvised centerbit, made by sticking two
iron points close together in the end of a handle. While weapons are
decorated only with conventional patterns, other implements of bone or
ivory, especially those pertaining to the chase, like the seal drags,
etc., already mentioned, are frequently carved into the shape of
animals, as well as being ornamented with conventional patterns.
Carvings of animals’ heads usually have the mouth, nostrils, etc.,
indicated by blackened incisions, and often have small, colored beads,
bits of wood, or ivory inlaid for the eyes. When beads are used, the
perforation of the bead is generally made to represent the pupil of
the eye. Beads were also used for ornamenting dishes and other wooden

The harpoon blade boxes of wood carved into the shape of the animal to
be pursued have been already described. Other wooden objects, like the
shafts of lances, and arrows, paddles, boxes, dishes, the woodwork of
snowshoes, sledges, umiaks, etc., are frequently painted either all
over, or in stripes or bands. The pigment generally used is red ocher,
sometimes set off with stripes of black lead. The only case in which a
different pigment is used is that of some arrows from Sidaru, which,
in addition to the usual black or red rings, have a rather dingy green
ring round the shaft. This green looks as if it might have been
derived from the “green fungus or _peziza_,” mentioned by Dall as in
use among the ancient Aleuts.[N512] The red ocher is applied smoothly
in a rather thin coat which looks as if it were always put on in the
manner observed by Capt. Herendeen, who saw a man painting a new sled
at Utkiavwĭñ. He licked the freshly scraped wood with his tongue, so
as to moisten it with saliva and then rubbed it with a lump of red
ocher. The custom of painting wooden objects with red ocher seemed to
be rather more common among the “Nunatañmiun,” from whom perhaps the
Point Barrow people borrowed the fashion, which is not mentioned among
the eastern Eskimo. Nordenskiöld states that red is the favorite color
among the natives of Pitlekaj.[N513]

    [Footnote N512: Contributions to N. A. Ethn., vol. 1, p. 86.]

    [Footnote N513: Vega, vol. 2, p. 135.]

The painting of the arrow shafts in many cases curiously resembles the
marks used by modern archers to distinguish the ownership of their
shafts, and may have formerly served the same purpose. We made no
inquiries about the matter on the spot, and there is no certain
evidence in the series of arrows collected that these are or are not
marks of ownership. Some arrows, apparently the property of the same
man, have different marks, while arrows from different villages are
similarly marked. On examining our series of fifty arrows from the
three villages (fourteen from Nuwŭk, twenty from Utkiavwĭñ, and
sixteen from Sidaru) it will be seen that the commonest style of
painting is to have the shaft painted red from the beginning or middle
of the feathering to about one-fifth of its length from the head.
Twenty arrows are marked in this way--eleven from Nuwŭk, belonging to
at least two distinct sets, and nine from Utkiavwĭñ, belonging to
three sets. Nine have about 8 inches of the middle of the shaft
painted red, with a black ring at the middle of the feathering. Seven
of these are from Sidaru, one from Nuwŭk, and one from Utkiavwĭñ. Five
from Sidaru have a red ring round the middle, and a green one about
the middle of the feathering, and four of the same set have also a red
ring in front of the green one. Three from Utkiavwĭñ, belonging to
different sets, have the shaft painted red from the middle to the
beginning of the feathering, and three red rings 2 inches from the
nock. Seven belonging to these sets from the two northern villages are

A set of two small arrows which belong with the boy’s bow No. 89904
[786] are peculiar in their marking. About 5½ inches of the middle of
the shaft is painted red, there is a black ring round the middle, and
a black spiral running the whole length of the feathering.

The only decorative work in metal is to be seen in the pipes and their
accompanying picks and fire steel which have already been described.

In addition to these illustrations of decorative art, we brought home
a series of seventy-nine objects which may be considered as purely
works of art without reference to decoration. Some of the older
objects in this series perhaps also served the purpose of amulets or
charms,[N514] but a number of the new ones were made simply as works
of fancy for sale to us. These objects are all carvings of various
materials, sometimes very rude and sometimes very neatly finished, but
in most cases even when rudely made highly characteristic of the
object represented.[N515] Walrus ivory, usually from the tusks, but
sometimes from the teeth, is the commonest material for these
carvings. Thirty-six of the series are made of this material, which is
very well suited for the purpose, being worked with tolerable ease,
and capable of receiving a high finish. Soapstone, from the ease with
which it can be cut, is also rather a favorite material. Seventeen of
these carvings are made of soapstone, in many cases evidently pieces
of an old lamp or kettle. Other mineral substances appear to be rarely
used. Three images, all made for sale and by the same hand, are of
soft white gypsum and one tiny image of a bear is rudely flaked out of
gray flint. (There are in the collection a number of rude images of
whales, made by flaking from flint, jasper, and glass, but as these
were ascertained without doubt to be amulets, they will be described
under that head.) Eleven are made of wood, nine of bone, one of
antler, and one of the tooth of the polar bear. Twenty-three of these
carvings represent human beings, sometimes intentionally grotesque and
caricatured; twenty-one, bowhead whales; fourteen, polar bears; five,
seals; three, walruses; one, a beluga; one, a fish; and seven,
fanciful monsters. Four are ornamented objects made for sale; not,
strictly speaking, images.

    [Footnote N514: Compare Nordenskiöld, Vega, vol. 2, p. 126 and
    Rink, Tales, etc., p. 52.]

    [Footnote N515: Compare Bessels, Naturalist, vol. 18, No. 9,
    p. 880, where he speaks of finding among the people of Smith Sound
    ivory carvings representing animals and human figures “exceedingly
    characteristic.” (See also Fig. 21 of the same paper.)]

Six of the representations of the human face or figure are of wood,
and with one exception were all freshly made for sale. Fig. 387
represents the only antique specimen of this kind (No. 56496 [655]).
This was found among the débris in one of the old ruined houses in
Utkiavwĭñ by Lieut. Ray, and is very old, blackened, and dirty. The
carving was evidently done with a blunt instrument, probably a stone
tool. This specimen, which was perhaps the head of a doll, is 7.1
inches in total length, with a head 3.4 inches long. We saw no similar
object of modern construction.

  [Illustration: FIG. 387.--Ancient carving, human head. 1/2]

  [Illustration: FIG. 388.--Wooden figures.]

Figs. 388_a_ and 388_b_ (Nos. 89726 [1192] and 89727 [1193], from
Utkiavwĭñ) are a pair of rather roughly whittled human figures, a man
and woman, respectively, both without clothes (except that the woman
has a black-lead mark round the calf of each leg to indicate the tops
of the boots). They were made for sale, and are perhaps unfinished
dolls. The man (No. 89726 [1192]) is 11 inches long and tolerably well
proportioned, except about the feet, which are very clumsily made. The
eyes and mouth are incised and the hair colored with black-lead. The
woman (No. 89727 [1193]) is a very similar figure, but only 9.2 inches
long. She has prominent breasts, and her legs are shorter in
proportion than the man’s.

No. 89725 [1185], from Utkiavwĭñ, is a clumsy image of a man, rudely
whittled out of a flat, hardwood stick, 7¼ inches long. The body and
legs are long, the latter somewhat straddling, with clumsy feet. The
outstretched arms are very short and stumpy. It has been painted all
over with a thin coat of red ocher, and the legs and feet have a coat
of black lead over this. The hair also is marked out with black lead,
and a small opaque white bead is fastened with a peg to the middle of
the breast. This image was made for the market.

No. 56495_a_ [203], from Utkiavwĭñ, is of a pair of very rude images,
also made solely for the market. Each is 8 inches long, and is merely
an oblong piece of board, flat and rough on the back, roughly beveled
from the middle to each side in front. One end is surmounted by a
rather rudely carved human head, with the features in relief and the
eyes and mouth incised. The eyebrows are marked out with black lead,
and there is a longitudinal line of black lead down the middle of the

  [Illustration: FIG. 389.--Carving, face of Eskimo man. 1/2]

Fig. 389 (No. 89724 [1123] from Nuwŭk) is the face of a male Eskimo,
3.2 inches long, carved out of a fl