Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

Related Objects

Boat sled

qanrak “boat sled”
Language: St. Lawrence Island Yupik

They use two small sleds under the boat, one at each end. The little sleds were only about a foot-and-a-half long and about the same width. They used ivory for runners, which was very slick on ice.

—Roger Silook, 1976, from “Stories the Old People Told on St. Lawrence Island”

The people of St. Lawrence Island use large skin-covered boats (angyapiget) to hunt walrus and whales. Hauling boats across the frozen ocean to open water where the hunting takes place is a strenuous job, especially when the ice is broken and piled up into pressure ridges. Crews clear a pathway for the boats and pull them on top of small sleds like this one, which has runners made from whole walrus tusks. The holes at the front are for attaching a pull rope.

Culture: St. Lawrence Island Yupik
Region: St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 46cm
Accession Date: 1882
Source: John J. McLean (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E063587