Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Snow goggles

yukłuktaak “snow glasses, snow goggles”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Yukłuktaak [snow goggles] ... I got snow blind once, and I had to stay in the house for three days.... If you get snow blind, you’re worthless. It’s painful.

—Oscar Koutchak, 2001

Ultraviolet light reflected from snow and ice can burn the retinas of the eyes, causing severe pain and temporary blindness. Snow blindness is a threat particularly during the late northern spring, when the sun’s rays grow stronger and more direct. Goggles with narrow slits reduce incoming light but still provide a wide range of vision.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Norton Sound, Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 15cm
Accession Date: 1867
Source: Lucien M. Turner (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E024340