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aklegaq “barbed harpoon with float”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Makuciq tua-i waten tuskuni seal-amun, nengkuni mana wani, pugtauqaan maliggqurararkauluku camaanlengraan. (When this part [point] hits the seal, this [cord] will unravel, and you can follow the part that is floating even when the seal is below the water.)

—John Phillip, Sr. 2002

The barbed point of this hunting dart is tied to the shaft by a length of braided sinew line. When the dart was thrown and hit a seal, the point slipped out of its socket and stuck beneath the animal’s skin. The line then unrolled from around the shaft until the whole weapon turned and dragged crossways in the water, slowing the wounded seal as it tried to swim away. A float made from animal intestine is attached to the dart to make it more buoyant, with a wooden nozzle and stopper for inflation.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Bering Strait, Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length: 137.2cm
Accession Date: 1917 (collected ca. 1900)
Source: D. F. Tozier Collection
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 069030.000