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Uluaqs

November 26, 2017

It’s not only the jewelry that show fantastic craftsmanship and the artistic mindsets of the Nunalleq people. The everyday objects are beautifully crafted as well, and some of the everyday objects have been elaborately decorated. Here are some examples of uluaq knife handles.

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An ivory uluaq handle in the form of a seal. The skeletal motif used here is very ancient and can seen in artifacts from early prehistoric sites across the North American arctic. 

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A wooden uluaq handle carved into the form of the heads of two wolves. The skull of at least one wolf has been recovered from the site. Other artifacts with wolf designs have also been found in these levels; c. 1650 AD.

23517650_1720347071333554_7912629886460427917_nDetail of an ivory uluaq handle, carved into the shape of a sea mammal. The top is highly hand polished by repeated use over time. Animals were included as part of the Yup’ik social world and the geometric designs may represent facial tattoos. 

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