Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Net shuttle

nuvil.l.aun “net needle”
Language: Malimiut Iñupiaq

Usually there’s a hole right in the middle where you can tie the string. You just keep going around there until it’s filled up [demonstrating how line is wound onto a shuttle]. Then you start making nets.

—Oscar Koutchak, 2001

Net shuttles made of ivory, bone, wood, or antler hold cord for making fish and seal nets, and are used to pass the cord through the mesh as knots are tied. This ivory shuttle is the right size for tying small fish nets and the cord is made of twisted willow bark.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Kotzebue Sound, Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 30cm
Accession Date: 1910
Source: U.S. Department of Interior (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E260163