Arctic Indian Cultural Artifacts

Are you interested in learning about Arctic Indian cultural artifacts? Do you want to gain cultural insight into the lives of Arctic Indians through artifacts? Read our guide for more facts and information…


The scraper is an artifact that was used by the Arctic Indians as a tool to assist in their everyday tasks. The artifact was fashioned out of whale bone and formed through patience and hand carving. Scrapers are blunt edged tools with a straight and dull blade. This style allowed the Arctic Indians to use the tool for skin preparation of game as the scraper pressed excess water out of the hair of washed seal skin. The scraper also features a thick end to end grip and includes a central section that is grooved allowing an easy hold for fingers. The scraper is a cultural artifact of the Inuit in the Arctic. The tool has been found in many locations around the world but particularly in the arctic region of Baffin Island in Canada.

Snow Knife

The Arctic Indians also have an artifact known as the snow knife. The snow knife was an important cultural tool as it allowed the population to create homes in the cold and snowy arctic environment. The tool is formed of bone, often whale bone, and is molded into a crescent shape through carving. The snow knife is a fairly lengthy tool at about twelve inches in length. The Arctic Indians used the snow life in the construction of their homes also known as snow houses or igloos. The knife allowed the Indians to cut snow blocks from the snow banks. The intact snow blocks were used by the Indians like bricks to construct their homes.

Snow Shovel

Another important cultural artifact is the snow shovel. The snow shovel was utilized by the peoples of the arctic not only during snow house construction but also in maintenance of their homes as the tool could shovel loose snow. The snow shovel was usually about two feet in length and the artifact required a fair amount of work to create. The Arctic Indians fashioned the snow shovel through the processes of carving, lacing and pegging. A triangular frame was first designed out of antlers or bones and these pieces were lashed together with sinew and secured through pegging bone pieces. The frame of the snow shovel was then covered with hairless skin harvested from hunted animals such as Caribou.


The Arctic Indians also created lamps which are now regarded as cultural artifacts. The lamps were carved out of soapstone blocks. Once the carving was complete a shallow bowl was formed which held the oil utilized for burning. On the edge of the bowl the Arctic Indians fastened a wick of moss.  The lamp was important to the culture as the tool was the only source of heat and light within the snow house and it allowed the people to be able to cook inside their homes.

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