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The Ulu Knife, A Cut Above

Posted by Man Crates on


We’ve all been there. You’re halfway through slicing up that delicious roast and the knife, suddenly dulled and bored by the job it was created to do, just refuses to make a clean cut. It’s painful to watch and frustrating to live through. That once perfect piece of carnivorous goodness, instead of being evenly sliced, now looks like it’s been chewed up by a herd of coyotes. No one wants that, except the coyotes. This slicing struggle is not something new. Humanity has been craving the perfect cut ever since the the first caveman struggled his way through a piece of mammoth with a less-than-sharp river rock.

Way up north, in the land of tundras, snowshoes and frostbite, the Alaskan Inuits felt the pain, too. After a successful hunt, basic cutting tools of the day were just not cutting it. They needed something sharper and better. And that’s where the world was introduced to the Inuit ulu knife.

Its handle was made of caribou antlers or walrus ivory, if they had some laying around, which was not uncommon in those days. The blade itself was crafted from flat stones or rocks and sharpened to perfection. Some styles even had a jade blade, if they were feeling extra fancy. The rounded shape of the blade made cutting through meat, bones and animal hide quite the breeze. Later, through the advance of whaling ships and access to the outside world, steel became a preferred blade material for the Inuits.

While cutting meat was the most common use, the ulu knife was used for many other daily tasks, too. It was a prime tool for removing animal skins and dividing up the seal blubber. Oddly enough, it also served as a hair trimmer. Though probably frowned upon nowadays, in Inuit Alaska, it wasn’t uncommon to get the latest hairstyle using an ulu knife.

Aside from haircuts though, the ulu knife is truly the sharpest of the gifts that keep on giving. The Inuits passed it down from generation to generation, and for thousands of years their cutting has been on point. And even though finding the perfect knife gift can be troublesome, nothing says “I care,” like telling him his serrated days are over.

With our Wild Alaskan Jerkygram, you can take part in a razor-cut tradition of giving that dates back to a simpler time. One where the hunt was a daily task and sledding to work was normal. With two flavors of sausages cured in the harsh Alaskan climate and its own ulu knife, the Wild Alaska Jerkygram truly transports humanity back to the tundra. And since the Inuits were a tribe of excellent sharers, don’t be surprised if you get to use the bladed glory of the ulu knife, too.