Inuit Harpoon

Published on August 26, 2011 by Amy

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Metal & stone Inuit harpoon heads
Metal & stone Inuit harpoon heads

Inuit Harpoon
Modern technology has replaced numerous traditional tools that the Inuit people used to survive in the Artic. However, one chief tool used by the Inuit people which is still in use today and has not been replaced is the Inuit harpoon. The Inuit harpoon is a spear and is used as a hunting weapon by the Inuit (Eskimo) people. It is designed to lock in and strike a specific detachable point or head to an animal or prey.

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The Inuit harpoon has a large worldwide distribution; however, the most complicated pre-developed types of harpoons were developed among the Inuit people.

Main Use of Inuit Harpoons
The Inuit peoples major use of the Inuit harpoon was to hunt sea mammals located at breathing holes in the sea ice as well as in the open water. There were also times when the Inuit harpoon was used in certain arctic areas to hunt for fish as well.

Customarily, the Inuit harpoon is displayed in a variety of structures. The essential components of the Inuit harpoon consist mainly of the shaft, head and line. Other devices were added and the harpoon was further developed in a numerous ways in order to make the Inuit harpoon more appropriate for hunting in certain circumstances.

Archaeologists verify that Inuit harpoon technology has been recognized in the Arctic for thousands of years. In these many years, there have been substantial changes made in harpoon machinery.

Modern Day Inuit Harpoons
Todays Inuit harpoons characteristically have iron or steel rods as fore shafts and their heads are made from brass, steel or aluminum. Hockey sticks are occasionally recycled as shafts for light harpoons, and two-by-fours are frequently cut down for heavier artillery. It is typical of Inuit traditions to amend age-old customary harpoon technology in order to adapt to a changed atmosphere and it explains how the Inuit culture has been able to survive into the modern period.

Source: indians Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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