Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Bolas

anug^dax^ “bolas”
Language: Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Aleut dialect)

We tangle this around the bird wings when they fly pretty low... A flock of king eiders, you know, they come in by the thousands just like one big solid smoke. So when we hunt, we throw something like this up in the air.

—Vlass Shabolin, 2003

Hunters whirled bolas around their heads and threw them into low-flying flocks of eiders and other ducks. Birds were entangled and fell to the ground. This set has sinew strings and weights made of walrus ivory.

Culture: Unangax (Aleut)
Region: Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Object Category: Hunting
Dimensions: Length 89cm
Accession Date: 1943
Source: Joseph Stanley-Brown (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E383279