Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Halibut hook

naxw “fishhook”
Language: Lingít

Also called:
náxw “halibut hook”
Language: Lingít

Our people did not just go anywhere; they knew exactly where the halibut beds are. I fished with my grandfather and my grandmother and we had to watch the point, and my grandfather would say, “When the point is about one fourth out, you’re going to throw the anchor in.” And when you put your halibut hook down, as soon as it hit the bottom you could feel a fish was already on.

—Anna Katzeek, 2005

This is a southern style of halibut hook, used occasionally by the Tlingit but more commonly by the Haida and other Northwest Coast peoples as far south as Washington. It was made from a single piece of bent wood, with an iron barb and spruce root lashings.

Culture: Tlingit
Region: Southeast Alaska
Object Category: Fishing
Dimensions: Length 18.2cm
Accession Date: 1912
Source: John G. Brady (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E274572