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Sealing stool

nukirvautaq “three-legged stool for seal hunter at breathing hole”
Language: North Slope Iñupiaq

Sometimes a seal hunter has to wait a long time at the seal hole for the seal to surface… And he must be extremely quiet in order for a seal to come to that particular hole. Mind you, the seals have a number of seal holes. They don’t use just one.

—Ronald Brower Sr., 2002

Hunters waiting to harpoon seals at their breathing holes stood on small stools to keep their feet from being chilled by the ice. This spruce stool is thin and light, with leather thongs to brace the legs. The hole in the top was for carrying and hanging.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Northwest Alaska
Village: Point Barrow
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length: 25.5cm
Accession Date: 1883
Source: Patrick H. Ray (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E089887