Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

Related Objects

Tobacco box

tilaammaayuun “snuff box or small bag”
Language: North Slope Iñupiaq

They’d take a piece of that tobacco, a big leaf, and they’d take ashes and they put them on there, fold it up, and they’d chew it for long time.

—Oscar Koutchak, 2001

Men crafted attractive small boxes to store tobacco, this one carved from bone in the image of a caribou fawn resting on the tundra. Both men and women used tobacco, which was smoked in pipes, chewed together with ash made from birch tree fungus, or snorted as a powder. Tobacco first came to Alaska through trade with Chukchi and Siberian Yupik peoples in Siberia.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Northwest Alaska
Village: Point Barrow
Object Category: Tobacco
Dimensions: Length 15cm
Accession Date: 1883
Source: Lt. P. H. Ray (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E056512