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Ladle

ipuun “ladle”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Also called:
spoon

If you steal food, if you’re hiding and eating, your hands will get a mouth.

—Virginia Minock, 2002

This painting on this ladle shows a red hand with a mouth hole in its palm, rimmed with sharp teeth. It may be a reminder that a thief’s hands will eat stolen food before he can put it in his mouth. Or the design may represent itqiirpak, a legendary sea creature that grabbed noisy boys from the men’s house.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Kuskokwim River, Alaska
Object Category: Housewares
Dimensions: Length 33cm
Accession Date: 1879
Source: E. W. Nelson (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E038506