Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Toboggan bag

khał o¸htsuu “sled bag”
Language: Gwich'in

They used it behind the sled, and they keep their valuable things in there while traveling –whatever they need, maybe lunch is in there, or dry fish and dry meat.

—Trimble Gilbert, 2004

This tanned moose-hide pouch was made to hang from the handlebars of a traditional dog-drawn Gwich’in toboggan or “big sleigh.” A row of red, pink, and black beads forms a decorative band along the edge of the bag, and around the flap are two rows of interlocking beaded triangles, separated by porcupine quill stitching. The tassels on the flap are made from beads and wool yarn. Narrow strips of caribou hide wrapped in quills make up the outer fringe. The shoulder strap is woven from dyed quills.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Yukon River (upper), Alaska
Object Category: Travel
Dimensions: Length 45 cm
Accession Date: 1917
Source: W. O. Oldman (seller)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 036396.000