Pasuy are among the most important ceremonial tools for the Ainu people. They are believed to have the power to make up for deficiencies in the words humans use to pray.
Many feature carving on the surface believed to be inspired by the surrounding natural world, but the great variety of designs on display also express the creator’s individuality.
Otcike are lacquered wooden serving trays introduced to Ainu culture from Japan’s main island through trade and cultural exchange.
The four tuki aligned atop it are used to hold alcohol dedicated to the kamuy. For celebratory ceremonies, such items are lacquered red inside.
At kamuynomi ceremonies, a ceremonial drinking stick called tukipasuy is placed on top of the the otcike and tuki. When sacred alcohol is poured into the tuki, the end of tukipasuy is placed in it to offer it to the kamuy.
In addition to the ikupasuy, which are for regular daily use, versions include the tukipasuy used in the kamuynomi ritual, and the kikeuspasuy used in ceremonies to send off the spirits of bears.