Item Records

This page shows all the information we have about this item. Both the institution that physically holds this item, and RRN members have contributed the knowledge on this page. You’re looking at the item record provided by the holding institution. If you scroll further down the page, you’ll see the information from RRN members, and can share your own knowledge too.

The RRN processes the information it receives from each institution to make it more readable and easier to search. If you’re doing in-depth research on this item, be sure to take a look at the Data Source tab to see the information exactly as it was provided by the institution.

These records are easy to share because each has a unique web address. You can copy and paste the location from your browser’s address bar into an email, word document, or chat message to share this item with others.

  • Data
  • Data Source

This information was automatically generated from data provided by National Museum of Natural History. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


A sinew cable-backed bow.Source of the information below: Inuvialuit Pitqusiit Inuuniarutait: Inuvialuit Living History, The MacFarlane Collection website, by the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre (ICRC), Inuvik, N.W.T., Canada (website credits here ), entry on this artifact , retrieved 1-8-2020: Sinew-backed recurve bow made from a single piece of wood, probably spruce. The bow stave is elliptical in cross section along its entire length. It has knob-like projections at each end for holding the bowstring, which is of braided sinew. The braided sinew backing is attached to the back of the bow by a series of hitches at each of the lateral bends, and with sinew lashings at the midpoint and several points between the midpoint and the lateral bends. A bone or antler bracing has been inserted between the sinew backing and the stave at the midpoint, either to hold the backing in place or to provide added strength to the stave. More information here: Bows with sinew backing were one of the most sophisticated hunting weapons of the Inuvialuit. The bow stave was often made from a single piece of spruce somewhat more than a metre in length, with a continuous piece of braided sinew laid along the back of the stave in several strands that wrapped around each end. The sinew strands were attached to the stave near each end with a series of hitches, and between these hitches the strands were twisted into two tight cables. The sinew backing added strength and elasticity to the bow. There were two main types of these bows. Simple bows when strung curve in an arc from one end to another. They were often used when hunting small animals and birds. Recurve bows are constructed so that the centre of the strung bow curves towards the archer then bends away at each end. The recurve shape together with the sinew backing made this type of bow a powerful tool for hunting large animals. Bowstrings were made from braided sinew.

Item History

With an account, you can ask other users a question about this item. Request an Account

With an account, you can submit information about this item and have it visible to all users and institutions on the RRN. Request an Account

Similar Items