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Home >> From 1867 to Present Day >> Identity, Culture & Communities >> Artifacts

Daily life and challenges for the various groups involved in the fur trade.

Image 1
Creator: Inuit; Western Arctic; Yukon
Year made: Early 20th Century
Dimensions: 75 cm long
Location: The Manitoba Museum, Artifact HBC 1074
Copyright Holder: The Manitoba Museum

(M13) Inuit Hunting Bolas

The bolas is a hunting weapon used by many Aboriginal peoples throughout North America. This Inuit example is made from carved antler, cotton cord, hide and bird quills. The bird quills are tied together to form a handle.

Other Related Material
What other methods used for hunting can you find on this website? (Hint: There are four.)

Check the Beaver Index - e.g., type in 'Inuit,' 'hunting,' etc.

Did You Know?
The sling, a stone-throwing device made from a strip of hide with two long strings at either end, was used to kill birds.

The bolas is actually an elaborate version of the sling, -- a “compound” sling, in effect.

A hunter whirled the bolas over his head and threw it up into the air at low flying waterfowl such as ducks and geese. The birds became entangled in the strings of the bolas and the weight of the balls would bring down the birds.

The bolas is effective for hunting birds at altitudes of up to 46 meters. When the hunter was searching for game, he would wind the bolas around his forehead for easy transport and to keep the lines from entangling.