Inuit Blanket Tossing Games

Sorsilutoo Blanket Toss Sketch

The drawing at the left is of an Inuit blanket tossing game. It is a game often played at festivals and other Inuit celebrations and reminds one of non-Inuit contests which make use of a trampoline. This sketch is by Sorosilutoo and is titled Qumuaqataijut. This Inuit artist is from Cape Dorset on Baffin Island (Government of Canada: Ministry of Indian & Northern Affairs, 1975, #QS-8050-000-BB-A1).

Holman Island Blanket Toss Photo

The photograph at the right was taken in Canada in the Northwest Territories in 1978, and illustrates the Holman Island version of the game which has the name Nalukauq. The "blanket" for the game is usually made from seal or walrus skins and thus it can withstand the pounding that results every time a player lands back on it after a "toss". The game is often played in rounds. The winner is the player who bounces the highest. The Museum does not have the equipment required for this game in the Collection; however, the Museum does have a number of prints and photographs illustrating the game, such as the following:

Close-up of Blanket Toss Painting of Blanket Toss Game

Francis. Lower graphic courtesy of Canadian Art Prints, Inc.

Last update June 17, 2010