Activities Inside a Sod House

Making and Repairing Tools Illustration

Illustration by Autumn Downey (PWNHC)

Making and Repairing Tools


Men and boys spent much of their time in winter making and repairing tools and hunting weapons.

Watch a harpoon being made.

Pitikserak, or a 'bow' for a drill (niuqtuun)

A drilling tool known as a bow drill was made from a curved piece of wood or bone, such as a caribou rib. A leather thong was strung from the holes at each end, with enough slack that it could be looped around a drill shaft. The shaft was rotated by moving the bow back and forth.


Saviq, or 'knife'.

Traditional Inuvialuit knives had a stone blade and a handle made from wood. Slate, which could be shaped and sharpened with a course-grained rock, was a common type of stone used for making knife blades.

Narrorsorvik, or 'shaft straightener'.

This tool was used when making arrows to check that the shafts were straight. By running an arrow shaft along the groove and through the hole of this tool irregularities in the shaft become apparent. The irregularities could be removed with a knife or scraper.


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