Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

Related Objects


k’ì’ “arrow”
Language: Gwich'in

Caribou antlers or moose – the way they did it, they put it in lake water for a certain time, maybe a month…They took it out, and then next summer, same thing… That antler just become like ivory, even inside, [it became] harder. They treated it for [making] that arrow point.

—Trimble Gilbert, 2004

This Gwich’in arrow was made for small game such as ground squirrels, ptarmigan, and grouse but could even be effective against a moose or caribou if it struck the animal’s soft belly. The arrow is fletched with hawk feathers and has a blunt point made from water-hardened antler. Red ocher, an iron mineral, was used to paint the zigzag lines.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Yukon River (upper), Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: 74 cm
Accession Date: 1892
Source: I. C. Russell (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E178643B