Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Needle case

miqutit puugat “needle case, needle bag”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Also called:
miqutikuwik “place for needles”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Because there was no metal to make needles long ago, they made them out of squirrel or duck [bone]. They must always take care of their needles.

—Anna Etageak, 2001

This seal-shaped ivory tube was for storing bone or iron needles. Needles were stuck into a leather strap that pulled through the tube (not shown).

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Alaska
Object Category: Baskets, bags, boxes
Object Type: Needle case
Dimensions: Length 15cm
Accession Date: 1876
Source: Lucien M. Turner (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E024487