Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Curved knife

miłghaq “carver, curved knife”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Yes, that’s to make bowls, spoons, or buckets. I have one of these at home that belonged to my dad. This is what you call a miłqhaq.

—Oscar Koutchak, 2001

Men made their own tools including the curved or ‘crooked” knife. Its blade was shaped from scrap metal or an old worn out file. The crooked knife is still favored by contemporary artists for all kinds of carving and finishing. Sharpened beaver and porcupine teeth set in wooden handles were used before metal arrived.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Norton Sound, Alaska
Village: St. Michael
Object Category: Tools
Dimensions: Length: 26.2cm
Accession Date: 1878
Source: Edward W. Nelson (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E032882