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U

For Eskimo cooks, the ulu (or ulo), a half-moon-shaped cleaver or utility knife, has been a valuable hand tool from prehistory. A lightweight multipurpose bone, ivory, or metal knife and scraper, it suits the hand for skinning and filleting fish and boning animals, chipping ice, cutting moss to make wicks for cooking lamps, piercing duck eggs, and slicing baleen, the ten-der mouth tissue from the gray whale. To entertain young children, women use their ulus to carve toys from discarded bones and tusk.