Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Inupiat Ulu

The Inupiaq Ulu is an Inupiaq all-purpose knife traditionally used by women. It is utilized in applications as diverse as skinning and cleaning animals, cutting a child's hair, cutting food and, if necessary, trimming blocks of snow and ice used to build an igloo. Traditionally the ulu was made with a caribou antler, muskox horn or walrus handle and slate cutting surface, due to the lack of metal in the Arctic. The size of the ulu would tend to reflect its usage. An ulu with a 5 cm blade would be used as part of a sewing kit to cut sinew. An ulu with a 15 cm (6 in) blade would be used for general purposes. Occasionally, uluit can be found with blades as large as 30 cm (12 in). Because the rocking motion used when cutting on a plate or board with an ulu pins down the food being cut, it is also easier to use an ulu one-handed (a typical steak knife, in contrast, requires a fork).
Reference: Wikipedia Contributors(2009) Ulu.Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

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