Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Bow, bow bag, quiver and arrows

yugalek, urluvrem qemaggvia, caniurtaq, pitegcaun “sinew-backed bow,” “storage bag for bow,” “quiver,” “arrow”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Yaqulget, yaqulegneng pingaqsugngaunga makut aturluki seal-amek-llu piugngalua. (Birds, I can try to catch birds by using this, and I can also use it on seals.)

—John Phillip, Sr., 2002

Before guns became widely available, men and some women used bows and arrows for hunting. They stalked caribou on the open tundra, shot bears, muskrats, and birds, and carried the weapon on kayaks for taking seals. This type of sinew-lashed, double-curved bow is more powerful than the plain wooden type. The set includes a bow case and quiver painted with hunting scenes and animal spirits. Deadly warfare with bows and arrows is recounted in Yup’ik oral tradition.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Yukon River Delta
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length bow: 125cm, bag: 118cm,quiver: 78.5cm, arrow: 62.3cm
Accession Date: 1917
Source: Fred Ford (seller)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 062346.000