Child's toy beaded moosehide yoyo

Beaded on the upper and lower ends of the weights. Simple flower design beaded on the sides. Hide is brown in colour, beading done in blue and white.

Children's games generally emulated adult life. Most of their toys were essentially smaller versions of adult gear such as toboggans and snowshoes. Girls mainly played with dolls while boys played with small bows and arrows. Playtime was devoted to developing the skills that the child would need for later life.

The toys that were simply playthings, such as the yo-yo, helped improve the dexterity of children. The yo-yo is played with by holding the string somewhere close to the middle. It works better if the string is held off center. The object of the game is to get one of the weighted balls to spin in a circle around your hand clockwise and get the other one to spin counter-clockwise at the same time. The yoyo seems to have originated in the north, with most examples named as an "Alaskan Yo-Yo". It has been suggested that yo-yo's in this region were made as a souvenirs for white travelers and explorers. However, there are many fine examples that have been collected as early as 1935.

This recreational Southern Tutchone toy was made by elder Jessie Joe.


Kluane Museum of History, Burwash Landing

Accession Number


rollover rollover