This type of Tug-o-War game appears to be unique to Inuit culture. A length of soft leather is looped around each contestant’s ear and as the stone cut illustrates, the players may start in the same position.
This type of Tug-o-War game appears to be unique to Inuit culture. A length of soft leather is looped around each contestant’s ear and as the stone cut illustrates, the players may start in the same position.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

Stonecut

This is a stonecut from Cape Dorset, Baffin Island, created by Soroseelutu Ashoona and titled "Nusutinquatut" or Ear Tugging.

Soroseelutu Ashoona
West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

© 1975 West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative, Cape Dorset, Nunavut


In this version of the game, contestants sit on the ground facing one another, legs straight, with their feet placed against the opponent’s feet. The intent is to pull the opponent up off the ground.
In this version of the game, contestants sit on the ground facing one another, legs straight, with their feet placed against the opponent’s feet. The intent is to pull the opponent up off the ground.

© 2009, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

"Tugging game"

This stonecut was purchased by the Museum from an art dealer. It was created in Quebec.

University of Waterloo

© University of Waterloo


Photograph of men playing Inuit "Tugging" game

This photo from the National Archives of Canada illustrates a type of Inuit "Tugging" game, known as Ac Sa Raq

Archives nationales du Canada

© Archives nationales du Canada


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe the origin and nature of the Inuit tug of war games, including variations

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