Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Tobacco bag

qantaqusiq “man’s tobacco bag”
Language: St. Lawrence Island Yupik

This one is a man’s tobacco pouch. They carry it on their belt like that, all the time. Later on, we used to make shell bags for the men like that.

—Estelle Oozevaseuk, 2001

Siberian and St. Lawrence Island Yupik tobacco bags were decorated with geometric designs made from strips and patches of bleached, alder-dyed, and black skin. A similar type of bag was used to hold gun cartridges for hunting. Estelle Oozevaseuk said, “That is shaven skin. They tried to use a thin hair seal, shaved it, and made it into these. Again there are those stitches. We called them siklapegtaq [stitching in a toothlike pattern].

Culture: St. Lawrence Island Yupik
Region: St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
Object Category: Tobacco
Dimensions: Length 30cm
Accession Date: 1913
Source: Dr. Riley D. Moore (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E280164