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Snares

negat “snares”
Language: Koniag Sugpiaq (Alaska Peninsula dialect)

Before the geese got ready to fly south, they talked to the raven and told him that if he was going to come along as their brother-in-law, he would have to fly slow… But the raven paid no attention to them. Before long, the raven got weak and tired. He fell to the ground. As the geese passed him, they honked, “We told you, but you wouldn’t listen.” And that’s why ravens stay here in the wintertime.

—Herman Moonin, from “Aleksandrovsk, English Bay in its Traditional Way,” 1981

Each snare in this bundle consists of a wooden stake with a slippery loop of whale baleen. The snares were set up in a line along the grassy edge of pond where geese gathered. A bird’s foot, head, or wing might become caught in the loop.

Culture: Sugpiaq (Alutiiq)
Region: Alaska Peninsula
Village: Ugashik
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length of bundle 18cm
Accession Date: 1887
Source: William J. Fisher (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E127778