Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Website Home (Menu del Dia)
Previous Alaska Home Next

NANA Museum of the Arctic - Eskimo Native Artifacts

Various tools used by Alaska natives. Most were made from stone, sealskin and whale bone. Perhaps the most recognized are the ulu knives in the lower right quarter. Ulu knives have a rounded blade with a handle on top and are used by rocking the blade back and forth. Ulus are good for chopping and dicing because having the handle so close to the blade makes them extremely easy to guide.

Native (I resist using "Eskimo"; although accurately used here, it's frequently erroneously used when referring to any northern-dwelling Native American, which has distorted the meaning for many people) parkas are widely recognized for their beauty and warmth. While I'm on the misuse of "Eskimo," I'd like to dispel the igloo myth. No native people anywhere in the world are known to have lived in igloos or any dwelling made from ice. People in the north do make emergency shelters by piling snow or finding a snowdrift to tunnel into, and that's as close to an igloo as it gets.

Ceremonial masks.

Waterproof undercoat on the left and fur parkas on the right. The undercoat is made of sealskin, and as pictured here, is stiff like parchment. I'm not sure if body heat or perspiration make it soft and pliable when worn or if it's always like that. The sealskin repels water while allowing perspiration to evaporate and pass through. The synthetic material Gore-Tex was modeled after the properties of sealskin.

Website Home (Menu del Dia)
Previous Alaska Home Next

Questions and comments email