Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Bow and arrow

hlgíid, k’úngaal “bow, arrow”
Language: Haida

Geese and ducks in vast numbers frequent the country about Masset and Virago Sound in the autumn, and for a time form an important item in the diet of the natives. They now shoot them with the flint-lock trade muskets…I have seen a bow, with blunt wooden arrows, also in the canoe, to be used in dispatching wounded but still living birds, and thus to save ammunition.

—George Davidson, in his Queen Charolotte Islands journal, 1878

Hunters shot ducks and geese with blunt-tipped wooden arrows, and they continued to use the bow and arrow on some occasions even after firearms were introduced. Haida bows were made of yew wood and relatively broad in the middle, tapering to the tips. Men carried their arrows in quivers made of seal or sea otter skin.

Culture: Haida
Region: British Columbia, Canada
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 121.7cm
Accession Date: 1883
Source: James G. Swan (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E088812