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May Hakongak Community Library & Cultural Centre

 

23 Omingmak Street

Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

(867) 983-3009

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CARIBOU IN
INUINNAIT CULTURE

Caribou, which we call tuktu, has always been an important part of Inuinnait culture and diet. In the past, our families travelled with the caribou’s seasonal migrations. The remains of caribou drives can be seen in the long lines of inukhuit (stone cairns) and taluuq (shooting blinds) that directed the animals into places where they could be easily killed.

Caribou were hunted using bows made from wood, caribou antlers and muskox horn spliced together and strengthened with copper rivets and lashings of woven sinew. Wooden arrows had detachable points made from antler, copper, and later, steel. Caribou were also herded into rivers, where hunters waited in qajait (kayaks) to spear them with lances.

 

Today, we live in towns and own guns but still follow the caribou closely, eagerly awaiting the first signs of their return.

Caribou - Margo Neglak
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