Objects on display
Outer parka (anuraaq)
Boots made from caribou fur for winter wear. The shoes were worn over fur boots. One pair is made from caribou fur, the other from seal skin.
Mittens made from seal skin, caribou fur and polar bear fur. The caribou is for warmth, the seal skin is waterproof and the polar bear fur adds a touch of style.
Snow goggles (iggat)
Snow goggles. These are made of wood but they could also be made of horn or antler. They prevented snow blindness.
Snow knives (pana)
Snow knives made from antler were used to cut blocks of snow to build igloos.
Snow probes (habgut)
Snow probes were used to check if snow was suitable for building igloos. They were also used to search for seals’ breathing holes in the ice.
Stone lamps (uqsuq – spekk)
Stone lamps provided light and warmth in the igloo. The Netsilik had plenty of blubber for fuel so they made big lamps. The wicks were made from moss or Arctic cotton.
Blubber pounders (uqsuq – spekk)
Blubber pounders were used to get the oil out of frozen blubber.
Blubber bag (uqsuq – spekk)
This bag, used to hold blubber, was made from a single ringed seal pelt.
Tools (needles etc.)
Needle case: Inuit women made all of their family’s clothing. Needles were valuable items and were carefully stuck in a leather thong and kept in a bone case. The end of the thong is attached to a thimble holder.
Metal needles were highly prized objects.
The alternative was the wing bone of a gull.
Thimble made of seal skin.
Thimble made from bone.
Awls and bone folder made from antler.
The ulu was an woman’s most important tool. The crescent shaped knife was used for a variety of tasks, such as butchering animals, preparing food and making clothing.
Harpoons were used in winter to hunt seals at their breathing holes in the ice. The line attached to the harpoon head made it possible to haul the seal up onto the ice. The hunter used the ice pick at the end of the harpoon to enlarge the hole.
Leister fish spears (kakivak)
Leister fish spears. These were used to catch salmon in fishing weirs during summer and autumn.
Kayak with wooden frame covered with seal skin. The Netsilik mainly used kayaks on lakes during caribou hunts in late summer and autumn.
Sledges were used for general winter transport and to move to new hunting sites. This small model was probably made as a toy. The sledges were pulled by dogs.
The Netsilik take their name - the people of the seal - from the animal that means most to them: the netsik (ringed seal). Every part of the seal was used: the blubber for light and heating, the meat for food, and the skin for clothing. Seal skin is particularly useful for ropes and waterproof clothing and equipment.