Knives with blades hafted in bone, antler or wood handles were an indispensable tool. Knives traditionally had blades made of stone, but iron was favoured for blades after it became available through trade.
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"At the bedside of every male Eskimo, be he only seven or eight years old, is a knife. This weapon accompanies the Eskimo wherever he goes (…) With that he eats, cuts up game (…) builds his snow hut (…) in many cases the Eskimo has several of them." (Émile Petitot, quoted in Savoie, 1971: 150)