Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Throwing board

nauliġaun “thruster, spear thrower”
Language: Qawiaraq Iñupiaq

Also called:
iksisuun “thruster, spear thrower, something for throwing”
Language: Lingít

Iksisuun (“thruster, spear thrower, something for throwing”)? Nauliŋnun iksisuun (“harpoon thruster”).

—Theresa Nanouk, 2001

A throwing board added length and leverage to a man’s arm, allowing him to hurl a harpoon or dart with great speed, power, and distance. The shaft of the weapon rested in the groove along the top of the board and pivoted on the ivory piece at the end. Boards for seal hunting were equal in length to the distance between a man’s elbow and the tip of his forefinger, but longer boards were used for large animals such as beluga whales.

Culture: Iñupiaq
Region: Norton Sound, Alaska
Village: Kigiktauik
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 61cm
Accession Date: 1878
Source: E. W. Nelson (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E033897