Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Hunting visor

chagudax^ “open wooden hat”
Language: Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Aleut dialect)

He was a right-handed thrower. When they had hats like these they put the whiskers on the opposite side; if he’s a right-hander, his whiskers would be on the left.

—Daria Dirks, 2003

Hunters of the Aleutian Island chain shielded their eyes from sun and spray with elegant bentwood visors. Some had short bills and others were extended to conceal the face from strangers and adversaries. This visor is ornamented with bands and dots of paints that were probably made from volcanic minerals, fish bile, blood, and other traditional ingredients. Sea lion whiskers are attached on the left side, where they would not interfere with the use of a throwing board or harpoon by a right-handed hunter.

Culture: Unangax (Aleut)
Region: Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 28cm
Accession Date: 1925
Source: George Gustav Heye (seller)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 144872.000