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Entries from July 2017

Collection Highlight E2072: Drilling Apparatus

These three tools fit together to make a drill! The thin object with the metal nib (like a drill bit we might use today) is placed point-down on the object to be drilled, the fiber of the bow implement is wrapped around the drill bit, and the larger wooden piece is placed on the end of the drill bit to apply pressure and keep the bit steady. The bow is then pulled backwards and forwards rapidly so that the drill bit spins and generates friction—creating a hole! This drilling apparatus was collected by Roderick R. MacFarlane in the Northwest Territories of Canada and accessioned into the museum in 1866.

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Collection Highlight E176083: Painted Box

We know from the catalogue information that this incredible painted, wooden box was collected not just from the Yukon River Delta, but specifically from Pastolik. It was collected and donated by Edward Nelson and accessioned in 1897. Candace Greene, a North American ethnologist at NMNH, informed us that these boxes, primarily owned by men, were often used to hold tools. She also mentioned that the images painted on the inside of the lid are most likely meant to be viewed only by other men when the box is taken out on a fishing or work trip.

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Collection Highlight E260193: Child’s Toy

This delicate wooden object is a child’s game described in the catalogue information as a “Jumping-Jack”, made of carved wood and rope made of sinew, gut, or baleen. You can make Jack jump by pulling apart the two long handles and bringing them back together quickly to make the small carved figure in the middle turn flips,.  This toy was accessioned on 27th January, 1910 and was donated by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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