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The Inuinnaqtun Bow Making Tradition

 

 

Building and Talking About Bows

Pitikhiit - The Bows

Pitikhiliuqtiit -Building the Bows

 

Hanavik - The Working Place

 

Taluaqturvik -  The Caribou Drive

 

Inuinnaqtun Bow Glossary

Glossary of Bow and Hunting Terms

The following glossary of Inuinnaqtun terms was compiled from information given by the Elders of Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk during two bow building workshops.

Bow Terms

 

Ihualik – Three piece recurve bow with two horns or siya connected to the grip portion by splices joined by old blood, sinew, and antler splints.  The bow was backed with braided sinew and this backing was called kujaaq.

 

Ihuin’ngaqtaq – One piece “D” bow

 

Ihuanga – Horn or siya of the three piece recurve bow called Ihualik.

 

Kujaaq – braided sinew backing.

 

Qiqtaq – Splint.

 

Ipiringniq or Ipiqqiq – Splice.

 

Nuqaqti – bow string

 

Ajagvik – grip or handle

 

Qilujuq -  drawing the bow string

 

Ulurianaitqut or Qarhuitqut – Finger protectors put on the two fingers on either side of the nock of the arrow.  These are pieces of wet mumiq (peeled from caribou skin) that is wrapped around the fingertips.  Inuinnait used a split finger draw using three fingers.

 

Tajarmiaq – Wrist guard.  A piece of caribou skin tied to the wrist/forearm with sinew or leather thongs to protect against the slap of the nuqaqti (bow string).  The tajarmiaq could also be made from the parts of the sealskin where it has been pegged out to dry.  This atungaq or weathered skin that has turned white is made in upinngaksaq (March, April, May) and is quite stiff.

 

Hukatirut, qiputaq or qipput– sinew backing twister

 

Nuqaqhirvik – nob portion of string knock.

 

Kujaaqarvik – notches or grooves where backing is wrapped around nocks

 

Kupluruq – shoulder of nock

 

Qingaktutaq – Caribou antler shovel.  Used to make arrow straighteners.

 

Pitikhitaq – bow case

 

Qarjuut – quiver

 

Tiguqpik – Handle for bow case and quiver.

 

Haviqarvik – Knife sheath integrated into the bow case.

 

Nangmautaq – Shoulder strap for carrying bow case.

 

Pitikhaqtuq – To shoot a bow.

 

 

Arrow Terms

 

Qarjuk – Arrow

 

Itirjuk – Nock

 

Huluk – Feather, fletching

 

Huluqutait – Grooves on the shaft for feathers.

 

Natquq – Entire foreshaft made of antler or bone and arrow head.

 

Kukik – An arrowhead fastened to the foreshaft.  Could be made of copper, other metal or even bone.

 

Nuijaaq – Bird hunting blunt arrow tip.  Tip is made of antler.

 

Natqulik – An all antler or bone foreshaft and point combined.

 

Ikhulik – When the entire foreshaft and tip is made of metal.

 

 

Bow and Arrow Materials

 

Itkiq - The red wood found in selected spruce trees.  It is usually found in trees that have grown in a curve (piringajuq) such as those found on slopes or river banks. 

 

Piringajuq - Something that is curved.

 

Akiraq - A knot in a piece of wood.

 

Pukirnaq – A piece of spruce with red ikiq and white parts is called pukirnaq.

 

Palliq – Drift wood. (Not sure about this one)

 

Qannujaq – Copper.

 

Aupak – Aged blood that was eaten and used as a glue in splices and joints.

 

 

Bow making tools

 

Nalruqhuut or piqtirut – bow wrench.  A tool for putting bends in the bow, usually after soaking the bow in hot water.

 

Pitikhiraq or ikuutaq – bow drill

 

Uqummiaq – mouth piece for bow drill

 

Haviruut – crooked knife

 

Qiuqhit – burin or groover [or Qinguhaaq – splitting instrument or burin CHECK]

 

Ingniq – flint

 

Ingnaut – end scraper

 

Qingaqtutaq – caribou shovel.  This was used to make bow wrenches (nalruqhuut).

 

Qugjaqtuut – wedge

 

Ulimaut - axe

 

 

Caribou Hunting Terms

 

Taluq – hunting blind made of stone and turf.

 

Taluaqturvik – A caribou drive.  A place where caribou are driven so that they pass by blinds (talut) where archers are hiding.

 

Pitiktarvik - A site where there are a number of talut (hunting blinds).

 

Unguuqtuq – When someone (usually a woman) drives caribou towards the taluq.  Driving the caribou towards the archers.

 

Taluliaqtut – This is said about the caribou who are being driven towards the blinds.

 

Unguuqtuq – Driving caribou towards a hunter.

 

Qaivaqhaut – Imitating an animal call to lure an animal.

 

Auqaatuq – Imitating the sound of a caribou calf

 

Tuktunguujaqtuq – When a person is imitating a caribou for the purpose of getting close enough for a shot.

 

Tirligaaqtuq – Stalking an animal.

 

Maliruaqtittuq - leading the caribou by acting like a caribou.  This is done by tuktunnguujaqtuq and also by calling or qaivaqhaijuq (qaivaqhaut).

 

 

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