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aangqaq “ball”
Language: St. Lawrence Island Yupik

Kalleghtekayuguniiqegkangit aghvengenghata. (They say that this ball game is played when a whale is caught.)

—Branson Tungiyan, 2001

This hand ball is decorated stuffed with reindeer hair and decorated with patchwork designs in bleached sealskin. The ball was used for a traditional game of keep-away between men and women, played to celebrate the first whale of the season. Elders urged the young men to paddle faster on the way back from whaling so that they would not miss the game. Circular designs on the ball represent the sun.

Culture: St. Lawrence Island Yupik
Region: St. Lawrence Island, Alaska
Object Category: Toys, games
Dimensions: Height 20cm
Accession Date: 1913
Source: Dr. Riley D. Moore (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E280256