Inuit Broadcasting Corporation

A window to the arctic

Unaaq (Harpoon)

The Unaaq (Harpoon) has many uses for the Inuit, two main uses are for harpooning a catch such as seals at their breathing holes, walruses, whales and other sea and land animals such as caribou. This ancient weapon was also used to make sure the ice is safe, by harpooning the ice you will step on. For many years Inuit made this tool from animal bones and used dried walrus intestines cut up to make rope. Today, Inuit make their harpoons from what is readily available in modern technology such as steep rods for the fore shaft and their heads, the arrow from brass, steel or aluminum. A hunter from Iqaluit, Jerry Ell will take us through the many steps to make a modern harpoon and he will also show us the way he makes an arrow.


Duration: 22:00

Series: Uakallanga

Channel: Inuit Broadcasting Corporation

Tags: Inuit IBC Canadian Arctic Traditional Knowledge Inuit Broadcasting Corporation History Culture Inuk Nunavut unaaq harpoon seal walrus ancient weapon breathing hole Jerry Ell