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Three inaw on display at the East-West Center Gallery in Honolulu

Inaw are offerings used in Ainu rituals. Made from sticks of dogwood or willow that have been shaved, they are seen as messengers to the kamui (spirits), and are also used in combatting or exorcising evil spirits. Only men are traditionally involved in their carving.

The inaw are believed to transform into silver and gold in the spirit world.[1]


  • Gallery labels, "Ainu Treasures," East-West Center Gallery, Feb 2013.[2]
  1. Gallery labels, "Master - An Ainu Story," photo exhibit by Adam Isfendiyar, SOAS Brunei Gallery, Fall 2018.[1]
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