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Snuff box

Snuff box, c. 1900, Yup’ik, Alaska, Wood, ivory, and leather, Gift of Louis Phillip Wulff, 1949.4.199.

Yup’ik people traditionally carved these boxes to hold iqmik, a snuff made of tobacco mixed with ash. This box, hand carved and painted with red ochre, features ivory circles inlaid in a style common in Yup’ik carving. According to elder Paul John, “Back in those days, people really cherished tobacco. They finely crafted their tobacco boxes.”

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