Dancing Man Knives & Ulus   Maynard Linder - Homer, Alaska

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About the Knives & Ulus

About The Ulus:


  The ulu was developed thousands of years ago in the Arctic regions of Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland by Eskimo women for processing the animals and fish brought home from the hunt by their men.

  Our ulus, considered by many Eskimo women to be the best made, are used to cut up and skin any type of fish, from herring to halibut.  In the kitchen, an ulu can be used to slice, dice, or chop any vegetable, spice or nut.  We also make small sewing ulus for traditional skin sewing tasks.


  Dancing Man ulus are handmade in Homer, Alaska, to the exacting specifications of dozens of Eskimo ladies who, over the years, have advised us on the proper design and construction of true traditional ulus.

  All of our ulus are made from carpenters' hand saw steel with a high carbon content.  This type of steel is preferred for its lightness, flexibility and ability to take and maintain a razor sharp edge.

  Over half of our ulus are made from antique, turn-of-the-century hand saws.  These antique saws have the higher quality steel desired by traditional Eskimos. 

  Our handles are made of wood, moose deer or caribou antler, ivory, oosik, extinct Steller's Sea Cow bone (Mermaid BoneTM) or musk ox horn.  The handles are bedded in epoxy and riveted completely through themselves and the blade with brass rivets for a lifetime of service and stability.

Sharpening Styles

  Our Inupiaq style ulus such as the Barrow or Fish River are available sharpened on only one side, in the Northern Eskimo tradition.  We find this style of sharpening to be exceptional for filleting or stripping fish, processing meat, skinning animals, or fleshing and splitting walrus hides.

  Learning to use an Inupiaq ulu takes a little practice but is well worth the effort.  Our Yup'ik style ulus such as the Bristol Bay, Nunivak, or Savoonga are sharpened on both sides lake a regular European knife.

Blade Care

  Your ulu can be sharpened with a diamond steel, or a medium fine Arkansas stone.  Old Eskimos use flat beach rocks.  Clean and dry your blade after every use or it may rust.  A light coating of olive or vegetable oil will ward off rust.  Incidental rust can be removed with steel wool.

  If you use your ulu enough to become comfortable with it, it will become one of your most useful kitchen utensils.

About The Knives:

   Our Dancing Man Eskimo knives carry on a tradition stretching thousands of years into antiquity.

  Our blades resemble the ancient slate-side and end-hanted styles preferred by the ancient people of Alaska.

  In addition to the traditional Eskimo style knives, we also have a full line of paring, skinning, and fillet knives.

  The handles are made of caribou, moose or deer antler.  Other handle materials are fossil walrus bone, extinct Steller's Sea Cow bone (Mermaid BoneTM), wood, and sometimes Musk Ox horn.  The blades are made of antique handsaw blades, two-man crosscut saws, or bandsaw blades.  We prefer this type of steel for its flexibility and its ability to take an edge fast and hold it well.  All of our steel and handles are 100% recycled.


  Since our steel is high carbon, it can rust and must be taken care of.  Dry the blade immediately after use.  Rust can be removed with steel wool.  A light coating of almost any food-safe oil will prevent rusting.



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