Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Snowshoe frames were carved from driftwood or small tundra trees, and leather thong for the netting came from bearded seals or reindeer. Short, rugged shoes like these, called “crow’s feet,” were best for uneven ground or ice. As an alternative, the Chukchi and eastern Siberian peoples used skis with reindeer leg skins on the bottom. The hair pointed backwards so the skier could get purchase on the snow going uphill, yet still slide along easily when going downhill or on level ground.

Culture: Eastern Siberian
Region: Cape Waukarem, Alaska
Object Category: Travel
Object Type: Snowshoes
Dimensions: Length 54cm
Accession Date: 1882
Source: John J. McLean (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E063603