Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Sled (model)

khwtl “sled”
Language: Lower Tanana

We’d go to the fish wheel about twice a day. In the morning [we’d go] and in the evening, it’s full again! That’s how much fish there was on the Yukon. So we didn’t have a problem feeding dogs; you could have as many as you wanted.

—Phillip Arrow, 2004

This model shows a style of double-ended sled that the Tanana and other Alaskan Athabascan peoples used for hauling meat and freight before they adopted dog-drawn sleds in the nineteenth century. Hand sleds continued to be used in times of hardship when food was scarce and dogs could not be fed. Women often pulled the sleds, using lines that went around their shoulders; men pushed from behind.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Tanana River, Alaska
Object Category: Travel
Dimensions: Length 89cm
Accession Date: n.d.
Source: Edward W. Nelson (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E049111