By: Jack L. McSherry, III
The Ulu, often improperly called "an eskimo women's knife",
is actually a utility knife widely used among northern natives. Historically
they were made of sharpened slate, sometimes with bone handles. Later as
steel became available the blades changed to the new material. The modern
ulu has changed again, and is typically designed as shown above with grip
and finger openings.
Ulus were used for may purposes, like any utility knife.
Some common uses were to cut and spit hides, skin animals, and fillet fish.
Even today Alaskans commonly market them as the tool needed in every kitchen.
This ulu has a steel blade and a fossilized walrus bone
handle and is typical of those for sale in southeast Alaska.
Note: Remember, if you are there, and want to buy souvenirs,
look for the made in Alaska sticker, or you may buy a product made elsewhere.
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