Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Bird net

anavak “bird net”
Language: St. Lawrence Island Yupik

Also called:
anaavaataq “bird net”
Language: St. Lawrence Island Yupik

So thick going around [were] the auklets; on a sunshiny day they come just like a shadow, covering the sun.

—James Aningayou, 1940, from “Akuzilleput Igaqullghet: Our Words Put to Paper,” 2002

Men and boys hid in hunting blinds among boulders at the base of seaside cliffs, waiting for flocks of crested auklets to fly by so they could snare them in long-handled nets. Nets with short handles like this one were for capturing auklets as they emerged from their nests among the rocks. The seabirds are an important food source and the skins traditionally served for making warm parkas.

Culture: St. Lawrence Island Yupik
Region: St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 1m
Accession Date: 1913
Source: Riley D. Moore (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E280233