Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Drop spindle

Drop-spindles with stone weights were used to twist mountain goat wool into yarn for the weft (cross strands) of woven blankets. The spinner attached a starter-piece of yarn to the wooden shaft, let the tool dangle in the air, and then spun the circular stone weight. She kept the spindle turning as she gradually added new fibers into the yarn, skillfully drawing out a twisted strand of the length she needed.

Culture: Tlingit
Region: Southeast Alaska
Village: Sitka
Object Category: Tools
Dimensions: Length 54cm
Accession Date: 1885
Source: John J. McLean (donor, U.S. Signal Service)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E074950