Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another important part of the harpoon that I wanted to add was the Angyaq (Open skinned boat). In the top picture you can see a couple of elders in training, getting the urge to hunt from a young age the two are eagerly waiting to get out onto the pack ice like the youngster taking it a step further in the bottom picture. The Angyaq is a major part of the Native peoples life, as it is means of hunting and bringing food home to their families.

If you are a new comer, or are planning on visiting Alaska, I would highly encourage you to take the time to visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center off of Muldoon In Anchorage. There are buses that run back and forth from the down town museum and the Native Center. There is a unique outside display of many of the Alaskan Native traditional houses that you can walk through and feel how it was to live as a Native centuries ago.
This website give an in depth point of view of the Native people of Alaska. This is a great way to become more familiar with the culture that the harpoon is related to. This site advertises the exhibit that is open to the public from April 17-July 25, 2010. If you would like a first hand experience with the wide array of cultures in Alaska i would highly recommend visiting the wonderful hands on exhibit.

April 17 - July 25, 2010

Harpoon Throwing With Maligiaq!

Here is an example of a different type of harpoon that is propelled from a throwing board. It is the same type of shaft, but a slightly different technique when being used in the hunt. There are many different types of harpoons and hunting style can vary from hunter to hunter. As time passed lunds also known as skiffs were more commonly used also changing the way that the harpoon is used. From a kayak it is thrown from the knees usually, whereas from a lund it is lunged from a standing possition.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here is an array of harpoon heads. From top to bottom, a toggle head, barbed head, an example of different types side by side, and a smaller dart head.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Seal skin, ivory and wood are the essential matterials needed to construct a harpoon. The shaft is usually made of spruce, the lashing cut from dried seal skin, and the head and tip shapped from ivory. It takes many months to gather, process, and construct a harpoon. Lashing is ideally made from larger spotted seal skin, sometimes from two year old beareded seals as well. It really depends on the person who is constructing the harpoon on how it will end up looking.

Yuungnaqpiallerput: The Way We Genuinly Live

At the base of this link there is a picture of a contemporary harpoon with a gear oil bottle to help with flotation. If you would like an indepth overview of the Yup'ik lifestyle click on menu at the top left of the page, then clicking on introduction. This is a great source of information that shows living situations, hunting attire, and many other facts of Native life. It is quite intriguing.