Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



iglax^ “dart, spear”
Language: Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Aleut dialect)

If they threw it to a bird…the bird’s neck got stuck in the three prongs.

—Mary Bourdukofsky, 2003

Kayak hunters carried darts for catching seabirds, and threw them with the aid of a board. The weapon has a serrated bone point for striking birds and side prongs to hook their necks and wings. Red paint made from volcanic minerals and blood was used to color hunting weapons, as seen on the shaft of this dart, because the color was believed to attract game. Dart shafts were made of cedar wood, which drifts ashore in the islands, because it is very light but strong.

Culture: Unangax (Aleut)
Region: Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 145.5cm
Accession Date: 1925
Source: Frederick W. Skiff (seller)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 138594.000