Wolverine

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Wolverine

Scientific Information

The wolverine (Gulo gulo) is the largest member of the weasel family. The wolverine is a covered with brown fur and has yellow stripes down along its sides. Since it's fur is long, dense and does not retain much water, it is resistant to frost. This frost resistance makes it popular in the arctic as a lining on parkas, hoods and hats.

Wolverines are carnivores and typically feed on leftovers killed by larger predators. Wolverines have been known to kill animals as large as a moose before.

Cultural Information

Shaktoolik

Name

Relevant Site Information

Spoken Name

Shishmaref

Name

Qappik

Relevant Site Information

The wolverine is a prized animal by local people. Hunters must be very stealthy or lucky to catch a wolverine. The animal is brought home and the hide is tanned and used to make ruffs for parkas. The fur is oily and thus has a property that keeps condensation from freezing around the wearer's face. Spiritually the wolverine is an animal with strong powers and is very revered.

There is also a traditional value that when a hunter is stalking a "big toothed" animal like a wolverine it is theirs even if someone else ends up killing it.

Traditionally when a hunter took a wolverine, the family would invite community members to their home and they would celebrate by Eskimo dancing.

Spoken Name

Unalakleet

Name

Relevant Site Information

Spoken Name

Saint Lawrence Island

Name

Qafsik

Relevant Site Information

There aren't any wolverines on the island, but they are on mainland Chukotka. Their fur may have came on the island by trade. UPDATE!: One animal was caught late January 2009 on Saint Lawrence Island, southeast of Savoonga, AK.

Spoken Name

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