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

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Kaigaluteng cat amlleresqelluki - Requesting abundance
Photo: Alfred Milotte, Alaska State Museum

Masked Dancers perfoming in Qissunaq, 1946.

Cama-i Dance Festival
Photo:James Barker

Theresa Charles, Cama-i Dance Festival, Bethel.

Cauyam qasiartellran quyungqavkallrui ciuliaput.

The reverberation of the drum kept everyone together.

--Frank Andrew, Kwigillingok, August 2003

Dances and songs give thanks to animals and plants at the end of one year and request their abundance in the next. This song asks for driftwood in the spring:

Yuugiiyamaa [My spirit],
Look toward the upper Kuskokwim River.
It is layered with logs.
Yuugiiyamaa, look toward the upper Yukon River up there,
It is getting piled with driftwood.



Cauyaq - Drum
Drum

Cauyaq - Drum

Frank Andrew noted:
"The drum is indeed most important. Our ancestors used it to give thanks for the things they harvested starting from January, and they were joyous.
All villages used the drum in dancing.
Our ancestors kept the drum's sound alive, using it to uphold customary ways."

Dimensions

L- 20 1/2 in
W- 12 1/2 in
H- 6 1/2 in

Credits

I. A. Lee, Cape Vancouver, 1905, Peabody Essex Museum 13084


Taqukaruak - Seal masks
Mask

Description

Used both to celebrate the seals' personhood and request their return in the coming year.
Worn in enactments of past spiritual encounters, the masks had the power to evoke such encounters in the future.

Dimensions

Diameter - 6 in

Credits

I. A. Lee, Cape Vancouver, 1910, Peabody Essex Museum 13081, 13082


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