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Bird dart

nuusaarpak “large bird spear”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Also called:
nuusaaq “bird spear with three points”
Language: Central Yup'ik

These are for spearing birds.... They say they would spear them when they had no shotguns. They used them when there were many of those king eider ducks flying in a big flock.

—Neva Rivers, 2002

This bird dart has a long barbed point as well as side prongs designed to ensnare flying or floating ducks by the neck or wing. The weapon could be thrown directly at a target or side-armed to skip it across the waves. When launched into a flock, it could take several birds at one time.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Southwest Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 148cm
Accession Date: 1964
Source: Marion Eppley (donor)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 233931.000