Object: Snow beater

Snow beater
North America: Arctic: USA or Canada
Unknown date
Materials: Wood

Snow beaters, also known as tiluqtut or anautaq, were used throughout the Arctic to remove snow and ice from shoes, clothing, and sometimes even the inner surfaces of dwellings. These tools could vary in size and the level of carved detail but were usually made of bone, antler, ivory, or wood, like this example at the Sam Noble Museum. Snow left to melt on clothing or shoes would cause fur and leather items to become stiff, promote decay, and would reduce their insulating capabilities. For these reasons snow removal and drying tools like snow beaters were important for cold weather survival.

Other examples of snow beaters can be found in the Marischal Museum, the McCord Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and others.

The following video illustrates some other traditional arctic tools, made by the Inuit peoples.

[Kathryn S. (Barr) McCloud]

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Ethnology @ SNOMNH is an experimental weblog for sharing the collections of the Division of Ethnology at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.


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