Yuungnaqpiallerput - The Way We Genuinely Live - Masterworks of Yup'ik Science and Survival

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TobaccoElders examine Tobacco BoxCourtesy, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, L2263,
Dr. Leuman M. Waugh, 1935


Theresa Moses and Peter John examine a tobacco box at the Smithsonian Museum Support Center, 2003. Ann Fienup-Riordan


Iqmitulriit imkut ilait angtuanek iqmitullruut. Una cillayakqerluni. Qanteng-llu mecangcugtaqluki ugaan assiilim.
Nererraarluteng waten yuurqerraarluteng pinritesciiganateng tua-i. Tua-i-ll' aitarrluteng cakneq iterrluku amlleq.


Some who chewed tobacco used to have huge wads in their mouths. The bottoms of their lips would hang open. They would smack their lips together with enjoyment.
After they ate or drank tea they would really want to chew and couldn't go without it. They would open their mouth wide and put lots in there.

--Frank Andrew, Kwigillingok



Science panel: Tobacco mixed with ash

Ash alone has no known physiological effect, but when mixed with tobacco it dramatically increases the speed with which nicotine reaches the blood stream, by increasing the freebase form of nicotine that crosses biological membranes. Ash raises the pH level in the mouth, enhancing delivery of nicotine to the brain. The dizziness some feel is a symptom of nicotine poisoning.




Iqmiutaak Tobacco Box Tobacco Box

Tobacco Box

Tobacco was used in southwest Alaska before the Russians arrived in the early 1800s.

Men and women chew iqmik (tobacco mixed with ash) to this day.

Dimensions

H x W

Credits

E. W. Nelson, 1879, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution 37539



Iqmiutaak Tobacco BoxTobacco Box

Tobacco Box

Willie Kamkoff remarked: "Since they are old you can see that someone used a metal blade to scrape out fragments of tobacco from the inside. They said that when they ran out of tobacco that was what they did."

Dimensions

H x W

Credits

E. W. Nelson, 1879, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution 35956



Iqmiutaak Tobacco BoxTobacco Box

Tobacco box carved in the shape of walrus.

Paul John enthused: "I'm sure that this was made by a walrus-eating person. Back in those days people really cherished tobacco. They finely crafted their tobacco boxes, too. Gosh, this tobacco box is so nice. I wish I could have it as my tobacco box."

Dimensions

H x W

Credits

J. A. Jacobsen, 1882, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin IVA4648



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