Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



qil.aun “drum”
Language: North Slope Iñupiaq

Those [dances] were done away with before I was born. But my dad was there, when he was a young man. There were ceremonial dances and all kinds of fancy clothes to go with that.

—Jacob Ahwinona, 2001

Ceremonies and festivals are accompanied by drumming, singing, and dancing. Tambourine drums like this one are made of animal skins stretched tightly over bent willow wood frames. Iñupiaq drummers hold the backs of their instruments toward the audience, striking the rims with wood or ivory wands to make a deep, booming sound.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Northwest Alaska
Village: Point Hope
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Length drum 50.1cm, stick 59.7cm
Accession Date: 1906
Source: John Hackman (collector)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 008469.000