The land

The tools of our survival

annuraat: clothing made of caribou skin, sealskin, or eider, dog or other animal skins.

igimak: the head of a harpoon that sticks into the animal. Used for walrus, beluga and bearded seals, in winter and summer.

kakivak: fish spear (a type of harpoon) with a central point flanked by two arched pieces of ivory tipped with barbs. Once the fish was impaled on the central point, the arched pieces kept it from slipping off.

nuiq: a kind of carefully crafted trident used to hunt birds.

panak: snow knife used for making igloos.

qaaq: a very warm mattress made from caribou skin.

qajaq: a kayak, used in summer to travel anywhere on the water. Paddled by a single man.

qamutiik: sled pulled by a dogteam, it could pull very heavy loads.

qipiik: blanket made of caribou skin.

qulliq: lamp made of stone, fed with oil from marine mammals. Used to make hot drinks, dry clothing and heat the igloo.

umiaq: large boat made of sealskin or walrus skin, usually manoeuvred by women. It was used for transporting dogs, tents and equipment when moving camp. It was also used for hunting.

unaaq: harpoon used for seal hunting, summer and winter.

The Inuit had many work tools, made from ivory, caribou antler and stone. Women’s tools were different, and were used for preparing sealskins and scraping caribou hides. There were too many tools to mention them all here. These were the objects that allowed our ancestors to survive. Without them, there would not have been many of us. It is fascinating to contemplate these objects in museums.