What Is Musk Ox Used For?

Musk Oxen are used primarily for making warm clothes, blankets, jewelry, and some decorative art pieces. Moreover, their bones are often carved to make cutlery and utensils and obtain natural, biodegradable fertilizers.

Where the meat of Musk Oxen turns out to be a source of food for humans, its fur and bones help us obtain clothes and other necessary items. Moreover, some people believe them to have medicinal applications too.

Feeling curious? Then let’s buckle down through the details and find the top-notch uses of Musk Oxen.

What Are Musk Oxen Used For? The Ultimate Benefits

From providing humans with food to helping run a successful food chain, there are numerous benefits of Musk Oxen that help them turn into valuable creatures. A few of them are:


The skin of Musk Oxen, called qiviut, is made of two layers; the outer one is composed of large shaggy guard hairs, and the inner one is of warm fur.

musk ox

It has excellent warming and insulating properties. Therefore, it is ideal for making clothes and hats.

First, the fur is sheared from the oxen’s body, followed by processing and cleaning in yarn to get the desired property that can be knitted into fabric.


In some cultures, the qiviut is braided, dyed, and often combined with various beads and embellishments to be used as jewelry items.

Moreover, the bones and horns are shaped into antique jewelry designs.


The horns of Musk Oxen are blessed with rich properties like durability, resistance to wear and tear, can be easily carved, etc.

So, they are often carved and turned into valuable utensils like spoons, ladles, knife handles, buttons, etc.

However, one needs to be very careful while carving, as the material is

  1. Quite prone to cracking
  2. Brittle


Musk Ox meat acts as a source of food for humans. Meat is very nutritious and healthy for humans.

Musk Ox

It is rich in proteins and contains low-fat content, and thus is equally safe and beneficial for humans.

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Moreover, it has various health benefits since the meat contains vitamins, zinc, folic acid, and unsaturated fats. The benefits include:

  1. Boosted energy
  2. Better immune system
  3. Turns out to be anti-inflammatory

Art and decoration

Musk Ox are also used to make various artworks and decorative items.

Primarily, the hides of Ox are tanned and used to make wall hangings.

Moreover, the horns and bones are sculpted into unique statement pieces and room decors.

Natural fertilizers

The manure of Musk Oxen is rich in elements like potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, etc., which helps to improve soil quality, increase fertility, and thus result in more yield.

However, it is essential to compost the manure before to avoid strong odor and allow easy incorporation through tillage.

Also Read: Bison vs Musk Ox: Key Differences Explained with Photos

Moreover, Musk Ox bones are rich in calcium and phosphorus.

So, people grind and crush the bones properly and sprinkle the ultra-fine particles over the soil.

Later, the nutrients are absorbed by the soil, thus contributing to its increased fertility and reduced chances of soil erosion.

Why Is Musk Ox Fur So Popular?

Musk Ox is often known for its warmth and softness. A few traits that turn Musk Ox fur so popular among people are:

  • Dual-layer protection helps repel strong winds and water and provides insulation against temperature extremes.
  • The ultra-soft fibers turn the wool incredibly warm. It is counted among the softest and warmest wools in the world.
  • Since these are naturally occurring, anti-allergic, and clean, Musk Ox fur requires little to no chemical cleaning, thus becoming an environment-friendly option.

Spiritual Significance of Musk Ox

Different people and cultures portray Musk Oxen as having various spiritual powers.

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A few common meanings linked with their existence are:

  • Since they are adapted to live in the harsh environment of the artic, they are seen as markers of strength and courage.
  • Some indigenous cultures believe that musk oxen have spiritual powers that help them communicate with the spirit world. Therefore, they are often associated with creation and life-death cycle myths.
  • In American culture, Musk Oxen are living examples of protection, community, care, and socialism. The reason is that they prefer to live and move herds and protect themselves from predators.

Is Musk Ox Fur Better Than That of Sheep?

Although both Musk Ox fur and sheepskin have good properties that make them suited for different purposes, the former wins the race due to comparatively better qualities.

  • Musk Oxen fur is way warmer and softer than sheep fur. A comparison showed Musk Ox fur is nearly eight times warmer than sheep fur.
  • Musk Oxen fur has two layers, a soft undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. These provide more insulation than sheep fur.
  • The guard hairs of the qiviut grant more strength and resistance.
  • The fibers are hypoallergenic, thus turning out to be comfortable for people of all skin types.

What Is Meant by Musk Ox Oil?

Musk Ox Oil is a unique oil obtained from the underwool of Oxen and has been used as a fragrance source for years.

Musk Ox

First of all, the underwool is sheared. Then, it is centrifuged and cleaned to remove all the built-up dirt and debris.

After it, the wool passes through a highly pressurized environment and heat that help extract oils rich in fatty acids from the wool.

The product is then further filtered to obtain a yellowish color oil as the end product.

However, the underwool is usually sheared only once a year, and it is ensured that the animal doesn’t get hurt during the process.

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Some of the known properties of Musk Oxen oil that turned them into a valuable skincare product are:

  • Rich in fatty acids like linoleic acids, malic acids, etc., that helps hydrate skin, protect against dryness, and help keep skin soft and supple.
  • Contains various anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the skin
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals that help to nourish the skin
  • Non-comedogenic in nature that prevents clogged pores and breakouts

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Musk Ox fur similar to that of Camel?


Musk Ox fur is not similar to that of Camel.

The musk Oxen fur is softer and denser with excellent insulating properties.

Therefore, it is ideal for making clothing items like hats, coats, etc.

On the other hand, camel fur is comparatively coarser and thicker, covered with long shaggy hairs.

It is water-resistant and ideal for making floor rugs, jackets, etc.

What are the medicinal uses of Musk Ox horns?

Various anecdotal evidence claim that Musk Ox horns have been used as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agents for years.

However, not much scientific information is available to support it.

Is bull stronger than Musk Oxen?

Both bull and Musk Oxen are bulkier animals, each having specific traits that help impart strength to them.

Where bulls are heavier and more muscular, Musk Oxen have a shaggy coat and stocky build that helps them survive in extreme climatic conditions.

Therefore, comparing the two animals and making a blanket statement won’t be right.


To put it bluntly, Musk Oxen are one of the most valuable animals for humans.

They provide us with food and other things like clothes, jewelry, decorations, and many more.

However, the only problem is that Musk Oxen are native to few areas, thus being limited in access and comparatively expensive.

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