Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



kaputaq “drill, awl or other hole-making device”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Sewing and the quality of stitching were really admired…The artistry was truly appreciated.

—Joan Hamilton, 2002

An awl is used to make starter holes through hide when sewing boat covers, clothing, and boots. Sewing tools were traditionally among a woman’s most prized processions and were often highly decorated. This ivory awl has a fancy carved chain with a seal’s tail on the end.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Lower Kuskokwim Bay, Alaska
Object Category: Tools
Dimensions: Length 22.5cm
Accession Date: 1879
Source: Edward W. Nelson (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E036631