than to the butt, and are then wound tightly about the shaft. Plate
LIU, drawn from a ])iiOtograph, illustrates the attitade of a St Michael
man casting a seal si)ear from a kaiak.
Figure 2, plate Liv, tVom Uualaklit, is made with the head, point,
and lashings placed upon the hafts in the usual manner, but the butt
is without feathering.
Figure -4, plate liv, a typical spear of this class, from Norton
sound, has ou the butt three feathers from a cormorant's tail, but is
otherwise very similar in its fluish to the one just described.
I'igureS, plate Liv, from St Michael, is a spear having an ivory head
fitted upon the shaft by means of a slot. The barbed ])oint is attached
to the shaft by a line about 16 inches long, fastened just above the
lashing which binds the head to the shaft.
Figure 5, plate liv, from Big lake, has au ivory head, roughly trian-
gular in cross section, with angles rounded and the butt cut down to
a smaller size and inserted in a slot on the end of the wooden shaft,
which is attached to the head by a rawhide lashing passed through a
hole in the shaft and in the adjoining part of the head. Outside of this
the usual sinew lashing holds the shaft firmly over the end of the head.
]''igure 0, plate liv, from Cape Vancouver, is another spear, with a
double-feathered butt and an ivory head carved at the end to represent
NELSON] SEAL, WALItrS, AND WIIALK Sl'KAliS 137
tbe Lciul of an otter. The iniior end of the head lias a wcdi^v sliajm
slot, in which the beveled jmint of llic siiat't is lifted: in the lia^^ nf Hi,.
head is a liole thion<rh wiiidi a rawiiide lashinj;- is ])assed and wound
tightly aronnd the piqieeting sides of the .slot, holdiu},' tlie head liiinly
against the shaft. A braided siTiew eord is also wound about the shaft
from the head to the butt, where the featherings are held in place bv a
All the suudl spears with featheriess shafts which were collected
came from the shores of Norton sound; those with single feathering
were obtained between Tiering- strait and the Kuskokwini, and those
with the double featliering from Xuiiivak island and the adjacent
mainland at Gape Vancouver. Clialitinut. and other villages of that
These spears are the lightest weai)ons of this character useil by the
Alaskan Eskimo, and serve mainly for the ca])ture of the smaller seals.
Throwing-sticks are in general use for casting them.
Figure 1, plate Liv, from Xiinivak island, is an examjjle of anoliier
style of seal spear intended to be used with a Ihrowingstick; the
head is short and thick aTid the feathered butt of the shaft has attached
to it a bladder float, over which is a light netting of twisted sinew cord.
WAI.Bl S AMI WIIAI.E SPEARS
For taking the larger and more vigorous seals, walrus, and white
whales, a spear of abont the same size and length is used in connection
with a float and tloat board. The dragging of the shaft against the
â– water, in the kind of spears Just described, is sullieient for retarding
the flight of the smaller seals after they are struck, but for the larger ani-
mals the greater resistance of a large lloat on a long line is required.
This latter style of imi)l(!nient is in use from Kotzebue .sound to Uristol
bay. The haft is not feathered, ami the head is rather longer and
slightly heavier than that on ordinary spears of the class just des('ribed.
The heads are of ivory or bone, and, in the region about Xunivak island
and tlie adjacent mainland, are connnonly carved into the conventional
forms of wolves or land offers.
Figure 7, plate liv, from Nunivak island, is such a si)ear. with (lie
end of the head carved tore])resent the head of a land otter, with blue
beads inlaid for eyes.
Figure 8, plate liv, from the h)wer Kuskokwini, is a spear with the
shaft carved to represent the conventionalized form of a wolf. The
ivory head has a wedge shajje point by wJiich it is lifted to the shaft,
and is bound firmly in place by a sju-uceroot lashing in place of tlie
usual sin(^w or sealskin cord.
Figure 10, plate Liv, from the Yukon mouth, is a spear wijli the
float line and board attached. The barbed ivory point has a triangular
iron tip inserted in a slot, and is united to the head by a rod of decr-
horu inserted in a hole in its lower end. The point is i)ierced through
the middle for the insertion of a -strong rawhide line, which passes
J 38 THE ESKIMO ABOUT BERING STRAIT [eth.ann. 18
buck and is loojx-d to tlie lower end of a strong sealskin line six to
eight falhouis lonji, connecting the spearhead with the float, which
consists of the entire skin of a seal with all of the openings closed and
having a nozzle by means of which it is inflated. A cord loop in the
front end serves to attach it to the end of the float line, which also
has a i)erm!iueiit loop for tliis purpose.
Th'' lloat-board consists of a strong, oval hoop of spruce made in two
U shape i)ieces, with the ends brought together and beveled to form
a neatly fitting. joint, which is wrapped firmly with a lashing of siiruce
root; the sides have holes by which a thin board is fastened to the
under side, the ends of which are notithed in front to form a coarsely
serrated pattern with five points that are inserted in slots cut in the
front of the hoop. The front of the board is oval, and the sides taper
gradually to the points of two ])rojecting arms, which extend four or
five inches behind the bow; between these arms a deep slot is cut,
with the inner border rouuded. The board has a round hole in the
center and a crescentic hole on each side (plate liv, 10).
On the kaiak the float-board is placed in front of the hunter, with
the arm like points thrust beneath the cross lashing to hold it in posi-
tion, and upon it lies the coil of float line with the spear attached and
resting on the spear guards on the right rail of the boat; the end of
the line is passed back under the hunter's right arm to the float which,
fully inflated, rests on the deck just back of the manhole.
When the spear is thrown the coil runs otf rapidly and the float is
thrown overboard. In some cases, when the prey is vigorous and leads
a long i>ursuit, another line, like that shown in figure !), plate liv, is
made last through the semilunar orifices in the center of the float-board,
which latter, when drawn through the water by means of this cord,
assumes a position nearly at a right angle to the course of the animal
and forms a heavy drag to impede its progress.
When hunting on the ice the float-board, with the line coiled upou it,
is carried in the left hand of the hunter and the spear in the right hand
while he watches along the borders of the leads or holes for the appear-
ance of the seal. When he succeeds in striking it, he holds firmly to
the line until the animal is exhausted, or if necessary the float-board
attached to the line is cast into the water, while the hunter hurries to
his kaiak and embarks in pursuit.
In addition to the smaller spears u.sed in connection with the throw-
ing stick and float-board, larger spears are used to cast directly from
the hand. These spears have a stout wooden shaft from four to seven
feet long, with a finger-rest of bone or ivory lashed on at about one-
third of its length from the butt. The head is of bone or ivory, rounded
and fitted to the wooden shaft by lashings in a manner similar to that of
the smaller spears. It is ])ierced near the base for the reception of the
line by which it is attached to the shaft. Several feet of this line are
wound about the shaft, so that when the point is detached the cord will
unwind and the shaft will form a drag to impede the animal in its efforts
NET.SON1 WA1>KI-S AND WirALE SI'KAK'H I39
to escape. Figure -', plute J.va. is a t.vpi.al sp,.;,,- â€žf tl.is kind ln,in
Figure 3, plate LVrt, illustrates a typical example of this kiiid of
spear whicb was obtaiiieil at Sledge island. The shaft is a little over
six feet long, tapering from tlie middle toward both ends, the uiipcr
end being the smaller. The i)rivate mark of the owner is marked on
the shaft in red aud black paint. Tiie head is held in place by a com-
bination of sinew and rawhide lashings. Spears very sinular to this
are in common use on the shores of Norton sound and I'.ering strait.
Figure 1, plate LVÂ«, from Norton sound, is an cxamplt' of the large
spear used in that locality.
Figure S, plate LVÂ«, is another sjiear of this kind, about seven feet in
length, from Port Clarence. The shaft is strongly lasiied with rawhide
in several places, the lashings being held in jjlace by small bone pins,
and a strong finger-rest in the form of a seal head is attached to one
side for use in casting; the butt has a tapering, rounded point of bone,
fastened by a rawhide lashing which passes through an .uilice in the
bone. The bone head is inserted in a groove in the wooden shaft,
against which it is held firndy l)y a rawhide lashing: an ivory rod
about seven inches in length is inserted in the top and on it is titled
the detachable harpoon point, the tip of which is slit and a triangular
piece of brass inserted to form a sharp point. The detachable i)oint
has a hole through which is passed the cord which attaches it to the
Figure 7, plate lvÂ«, from Sledge island, is a similar hnt siiorter
walrus and whale spear, having the bone head worked into an image
of a white bear's head, with pieces of blue beads inlaid for eyes.
Spears of this character were found also in use along the coast of
Kotzebue sound and northward to Point liarrow.
From St Lawrence island a similar but ruder spear of this kind was
obtained. It has a long, rounded shaft, with a snuill ivory head and a
tlugerrest at the middle: the short bone tip at the butt is shariM-ned
to a wedge-shape point. This specimen, which measures nearly eight
feet, is the longest of auj^ of the sjiears that were seen.
Figure (5, plate LVd, from Norton sound, is a s|Â»ear used for walrus
and whales, somewhat similar in general (dnu-acter to tliose already
described, but the long, slender shaft has a spur-shapi' point of bone
inserted in its upper end and fastened by a rawhide cord. This pro-
jects obliquely from the shalt instead of being in line with it, as in the
other specimens described. The usual lashings of rawhide arc aronml
the shaft, but the bone head is smaller and terminates in a knoli, in
which is inserted the bone peg on which is litted the detachaldc jmint.
This point has a flat, triangular, iron tip and a hole through the base
for the attachment of a stout rawhide cord that i)asses backward
thi'ough two grooves in the bone head and thence along the shaft to
the butt, where it is coiled and attached to a tloat.
Figure .5, plate LVÂ«, from Chichinaganiut. is lln' style of large hand
140 THE ESKBFO ABOUT BERING STRAIT [eth.ann. 18
spear used on Nuiiivak island and the adjacent mainland, between the
Yukon and the Kiiskokwini. A deeihorn peg is inserted in the side of
the shaft to serve as a tinserrest for casting. The shaft is hxrgest near
the head, round in cross section, and tapers gradually back to the
truncated ti]). A aiodilication of this style is seen in iignre 4, plate
LV(( from I'astolik. which has the finger-rest formed of a small bone
pill inserted in the side of the shaft, but with the latter oval in cross
section and tapering each way, lil^e the Xorton sound spears of this
Tiie sealskins used as lioats in connection with spears in capturing
large seals, walrus, and white whales, are taken from the seals entire
and are tanned usually witli the hair removed. To stop the holes made
in them by spears or in other ways, and to prevent their fastenings from
becoming loose and theconsequent loss of the float and the game, plugs
of wood, bone, ivory, or deerhorn are used, which are stud-like in form,
with spreading heads and a deep groove around the side. The hole in
the skin is first sewed up or patched, if necessary, leaving a very small
orifice, through which the stopper is pressed until it projects far enough
on the inside for the workman to wrap a stout lashing of thin rawhide
or sinew cord around the groove and make it fast. This work is done
through a hole left open at the muzzle of the skin, after which the
nozzle through which it is inflated is inserted and fastened by rawhide
lashings. Some of these stoppers are plain, but most of them have the
npi)er surface carved in a great variety of ornamental designs.
Figure 5, plate laVKt, illustrates a specimen of one of these stoppers
obtained at Koiiigunugumut, having the top in the form of a cone.
Figure 7, plate LviÂ«, from Xubviukhchugaluk, has a conical head
with half of a blue bead set in the top.
Figure 1, plate LVKf, from Konigunugumut, has an oval head.
Figure 4, ])late LVi a, from the same locality, has an oval head with
the raven totem sign etched upon its surface.
Figure (i, plate LVirt, also from the same locality, has around, flat top,
with two concentric circles surrounding a wooden plug set in the center.
Figure 3, jdate la'Ia, from Gape Nome, has the top surrounded by a
circle with an inlaid bead in the center and a conical base.
Figure 10, plate LVI(/, from Cape Nome, has the top in the form of a
seal's head, with the eyes, nostrils, and ears indicated by round wooden
pegs inlaid in the ivory.
Figure 14, plate LVirt, from Sledge island, is a large, round, wooden
plug, on the surface of which are three concentric incised circles.
Figure 13, plate lvia, from Cape Vancouver, has the upper surface
very slightly rounded and bearing the features of a woman in low
relief The eyes, nostrils, and mouth are incised; there are two labret
holes on each side of the lower lip, and radiating lines from the middle
of the mouth indicate tattooing.
^â– s"^'â„¢) Fr.OATS J4J
Figure 1."), plate iA'\(i, Ironi Ajiiiikclumimmt. is of ivory ;iiul lias a
liiiiiian face carved on the siuiacc of ilic Ih.ad.
Figure 9, plate LVirt. from Cape Vancouver, is an ivory phi;,', oval in
outline, with the face of a short-ear owl on its ui>|)er surface.
Figure L', plate LVI Â«, from Chalitnnit. is a small stopper with the
face of a seal in reliel' on its surface.
Figure 8, plate LVi a. from ('ape Darhy. is a stopper with a stem in the
form of a link, with its base iirojecting and pierced with a hole, through
which a crosspiece
f f ivory is inserted
to hold the lashing
in position. In the
liuli, and carved
from the same piece
of ivory, is a seal-
bead with bristles
set in by plugs of
wood to indicate the
whiskers: the eyes,
nostrils, and ears
are represented by
Figure 12. plate
LVirt, from Cape
Darby, is another
link plug, having
carved on it a seal-
bead, the nostrils
and eyes formed by
inlaid beads. The
base has the usual
but is conical in-
stead of Hattened.
Figure 11, plate
LVirt. from Sledge
island, is made like
the preceding, with
a conical base attached to the ojien link by a narrow neck. In this
link is another one, the outer end of wiiich is car\ed to rei>reseiir the
end of an iiitlated float.
Figure 1(), plate LVI '(, from Kushunuk. is a long, slender tloat with an
ivory nozzle. It is made from the intestines of a seal, and is intended
to be attached to the shaft of a hand spear. .Some of these floats
are made from the bladders or stomachs of seals and walrus, and are
usually oval in shape.
Figure 39. from Xunivak islaml. is a sealskin lloat. tanned with most
142 THE ESKIMO ABOUT BERING STRAIT. ;eth. ann 18
of tlic hair leinoved. It iias iui ivory nozzle fitted in the place of one
of file fore-fiipiiers. Tlie trout of the skin is bent downward and
wrajiped with rawhide cord, with an ivory peg stuck through to pre-
vent tlie cord from slipping. The cord has a loose end about three
feet in length with a loop for attaching it to the float line.
The nozzles for tin' smaller tloat^, which are attached to the shafts of
spears, are made usually of ivory; they are round and have a projec-
tion al oiu^ end which is pierced for the attachment of a line to bind
tlie nozzle to the shaft of the spear; an enlarged rim prevents the
lasliiiig from slipping off. In some specimens the base is not pierced,
but a jirojectiug piece is left which is concave on the lower surface and
convex on the u])i>er and serves to retain the lashing.
Figure -9, plate LVi <i, represents a nozzle or mouthpiece obtained at
Cape Vancouver. It is intended for a small float.
Figure 24, plate LVirt. is a nozzle from Cape Darby. The, projection
on the side has a single hole for the ])assage of the cord and a shoulder
on the projecting end which is grooved for the lashing.
Figure 37, plate LVi a, from Unalaklit, is another mouthpiece with a
single flattened hole through its projecting lower side.
Figure 17, plate LVir/, from Kushunuk, is a large mouthi)iece having
a raven totem mark on one side of the base, which is pierced with three
holes for the lashings.
Figure -!0, plate LVi a, from 8t Michael, has two holes through the
base for the attachment of the cord.
Figure 18, jilate LVi u, from St Lawrence island, is another nozzle, as
is also figure 111 of the same plate, from Cape Darby. Both of these are
of ivory, and the latter has etched upon its surface several raven totem
Figure 21, plate LVi<(, from the Yukon mouth, is made of deerhorn,
and has three holes along the base for the attachment of cords.
Figure 28, plate LVI a, from Cape Nome, has four holes along the base
for the attachment of cords.
Figure 25, plate LVio, from Koriigunugumut, is carved in the form
of a walrus head, the projecting tusks below forming one side of the
opening at the base for the attachment of the cords.
For the ])urpose of attaching one float line to another when greater
length is needed, or for joining lines along the shafts of spears, small
ivory blocks are used, which are made in great variety of form, and
considerable ingenuity is displayed in carving their surfaces into vari-
ous figures and patterns. One form consists of a small block with a
round hole across its length, near the underside. Another larger hole
runs from below aud extends obliquely upward, continuing on the upper
surface as a groove anrand the base of an enlarged head on the npi)er
side of the block, in which a permanent loop is inserted. When the
hunter wishes to attach another cord to lengthen his line he passes the
loojied (Mid through the hole on the underside to the upper surface and
FLOAT FLOAT PLUGS, AND MOUTH PIECES
HUNTING AND FISHING APPARATUS three-sixteenths
NELSON] COIil) ATTAClir.KS 143
slips it over the liead, wliere, it falls inio tlic sK.i or neck ami loims a
Fiiiiiie L'O. plate lvi />. reitreseuts one of ihesL- blocks. ol)iaineil at
raimut. It is carved on the underside to represent a bear, with the
fore-paws extended around in t'mnt. When this li<rnre is turned over,
the hind legs and the tail, which appear on the opposite side, arc seeti
to form the fore-legs of another bear, while the forelegs of tiie lirst
form the hind-limbs of the latter. In the space inclosed by the legs ot
the last-named bear is the tigiire of a seal-head in str(Â»ng relief, which
forms the head over which is passed tlie looji of tiie cord to be allachcd.
Figure li), plate LXi l>, from Chalitmnt. is a block having the head
carved to represent a grotescpje face.
Figure 21, plate T,vr /*, shows a specimen from Kaiallganuit, the head
of which is carved to form a human face and on the o])iiosJte end is
etched the head of a seal.
Figure 10, ])late LVI h, from vSabotiiisky, is a plain block with a deep
groove cut in the head for the permanent looji, instead of a hole side-
wise through it.
Figure 15, plate LVi b, from .St .Michael, is one of tliesi' blocks with
a grotesque face on the head. Two lawhide loops are placed in it in
l)osition to show- the manner of making the attachment of lines.
Figure 7, plate L\ih, from Nulukhtulognmnt. has a diamond shape
head projeetiug forward to a i)oint.
Figure S, jdate lAih, from Nniiivak island, has an almond-shape
head, crossed lengthwise by an incised line.
Figure 21.', plate i^xib, from St Michael, has the head decorated with
inci.sed coiu^entric circles arranged in two i>airs.
Figure 'J, plate lA'lb, from Kushiinuk, has the head cut into an ()\al
form, with a strong ridge along its top, which turns abruptly down-
ward iu front.
Figure fi, plate LVi/>, from the lower Kuskokwim. has a long, beak-
like projection for the head, as does ligure ."â€¢ of the same plate, from
Figure 23, plate LVl/>, from Askiiiuk, rei)resents a grotes(|ue counte-
nance. In it are inserted two loops to show the method of attai'hnient.
Another style of cord attacher, (lommonly used to fasten the end ol
the float line to the short loo]) on a detachable s])earhead. consists of a
bar-like piece of ivory, pierced with two holes through which is passed
the end of a rawhide loop, forming the i)ermain'nt attachni<-nt, which
projects beyond the side of the bar far enough to i)ermit aiH)tlier loop
to be run through it, passed over the bar, ami drawn back: the bar
lies across the end of the second loop and ])revents slii)ping. .Vttachers
of this kind are commonly made in the form of a double crescent joined
along one side, having two i)arallel holes for the permanent loop: the
upper sides are convex and the lower ones slightly concave.
Figure 1, plate lvi/>, represents one of these cord attachers, in the
144 THE KSKIMO Al'.OlJT BERING STRAIT [eth.ann. 18
fonii of a. wliito whale, witli the loop in position to show the method of
attach men I. It is from tln^ coast between Yukon and Kuskokwim
livcis. Fiuiire 1 1 of the same. ])late, obtained at St Michael by Mt L. M.
Turner, is in the foiin of a seal, and tigui-e 10 shows a specimen from
the Vakon nioutii. also fishioned in the form of a white whale.
Still another form of these cord attachers consists of a rounded,
upri.uiit block, pierced with two parallel holes for the attachment of the
permanent loop. Just above which is a deeply grooved constriction or
neck to receive the temporary loop.
t"i<;uie 13, plate LVifc, shows a specimen of this form of the implement,
obtained at Askinuk; on it is a human face, with labret holes at the
corners of the mouth, and a raised rim around the face representing a
fur hood. The raven totem mark is incised on the sides.
]''i^ure 12, plate L,Yib, from Sledge island, is similar in form, and has
a wi>man's countenance upon the upper surface, with two labret holes
in the middle of the lower lip.
Figure 4. plate lti/>, from Kushuuuk. has a grotesque face upon its
Figure 11, plate LVi /', fiom Cape Vancouver, has the face of an owl
upon the upper surface.
Figure 2, plate LVi/*. from Kushuuuk, has a wolf-head iipon the
The accompanying figure, 40, from Uimlaklit, is verj^ well carved to
represent a hair seal; blue beads are inlaid for eyes.
Figure 11 a shows a well carved attacker from Golofnin bay ; at one
end the nostrils of a seal are indicated by round holes, with the cord
hole tor a mouth; in the tox^ is a deep excavation, in the middle of
which stands a iirojecting knob carved to represent a seal-head, over
which the looj) of the temporary attachment is passed; on the lower
side (figure Alb) is the figure of a whale in relief.
Figure ">, plate LVi/<, from Kulwognwigumut, has the upper surface
l^lain, except for a median ridge running lengthwise across it.
F^igure 18, plate LVi6, from Norton sound, is a long, flat-head spei-i-
nieii. with a cord inserted to show the manner of attaching the loops.
F'igure 17, plate Lvift, from Cape Prince of Wales, is a handsomely
made ivory swivel for attacliment to a float line to i)revent it from
becoming twisted by the movement of the float; the block, or maia
portion, is handsomely carved in the form of a white bear's head, i.i
which fragments of blue beads are set for eyes. The swivel is formed
by an ivory rod, about an inch in length, with the head carved in the
ucli ;i liaiidlc bar witli the
sliape of a closed liiiiiiaii fist: it is phKcd in a hole in ih
the bear head and ])i()iecl.s to the rear.
The front eiidsofhirge lloats are eoniinonly provided with a eross ha
of ivory, which serves as a handle for raisinj;- them, and at tlic .saun
time is couvenieiit for looping the line.s.
Figure 20, plate i.vi a, from rnahiklit,
liead of a seal carved at eacli end.