Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 

Labret

tuutaq “ivory ornament, labret”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Mom [Anna Etageak] said she’d seen somebody from down south using those. Awatŋagmiu guuq qiniłghugaa taimana atuqman iŋilgaan (a person from down south, she’d seen her wearing that kind long ago”).

—Theresa Nanouk, 2001

Men and women traditionally wore bone or ivory labrets through piercings in their lower lips; this one for a man is decorated with half of a large blue trade bead. The flared back of the labret was worn inside the lip and rested against the lower teeth.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Norton Sound, Alaska
Village: St. Michael
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length: 3.5cm
Accession Date: 1887
Source: Lucien M. Turner (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E129259