Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



qitguyaq “bow”
Language: Koniag Sugpiaq (Alaska Peninsula dialect)

My dad made his bow out of bear sinew…He made a braided sinew string and used eagle feathers for the arrow…And they’d color their bows with berry juice to make colors and designs.

—Mary Peterson, 1997

Wooden bows backed with sinew cord were powerful and accurate weapons. Hunters carried them on their kayaks for sea otter hunting and on land for taking bears, caribou, mountain goats, and other game. Images of many different animals are painted on this bow: caribou, bear, beaver, whale, and some not easy to identify. The entire bow is reddened, perhaps with berry juice.

Culture: Sugpiaq (Alutiiq)
Region: Alaska Peninsula
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 129cm
Accession Date: 1867
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E002528