Activities Inside a Sod House

Heat and Light Illustration

Illustration by Autumn Downey (PWNHC)

Heat and Light


Oil-burning lamps were used inside the sod house for light, heat, and for cooking.

Qulliq, or 'lamp'

Inuvialuit used lamps made from soapstone or clay for light, heat, and for cooking. Fat from a seal or whale was used as fuel. A wick made from moss was laid along a ridge inside the lamp. The wick soaked up fat, and burned when lit.


Uqsumun kautaq, or ‘blubber pounder’

Fat, or 'blubber', from a seal or whale was used as fuel in a lamp. The blubber was pounded to start oil seeping from the fat. Once the lamp was lit, heat from the flame kept oil flowing from the blubber.


Tatqiqsuun, or 'wick trimmer'

The size of the flame could be controlled by adjusting the height of the wick with a wick trimmer.


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