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

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Time for Drumming

Qasgiruaq Qasgi


Qasgi Model

Qasgiruaq/Qasgi model from the Kuskokwim.

G. B. Gordon, 1907, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology NA1522

Head dress
Courtesy, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, L2251, Dr. Leuman M. Waugh, 1935

Ik'atak (Julia K. Paul), wearing a beaded head dress, accompanied by Asgiilleq and Nagyuk modeling dance headdresses topped with caribou throat hair, Kipnuk.

Nacarrluk Dance Head Dress

Beaded Cap


Anchorage Municipal Acquisition Fund, Anchorage Museum 1970.090.002

Dance headdress worn by young girls to keep their caarrluk (dust and scent) from injuring others.

Frank Andrew said: "Girls always wore those beaded hats, even though they weren't dancing. Their hair never flew around because those people were never careless, letting their hair get everywhere."

Nacarrluk Dance headdress



Dance headdress for special occasions, heavy with valuable trade beads.


Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley 2-6796

  Manumik Chest decoration

Chest decoration made of beads, box covers, and pieces of an oil lamp, worn by a woman over her parka and around her neck during dances.

Chest Decoration
J. A. Jacobsen, 1882, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin IVA5390

Modeling Ornament

Holding up the Nushagak ornament, Catherine Moore commented: "I'm looking at a manumik, my goodness. These were given to older girls. I used to hold one and rub my hands on it, wishing I could own one like it."

Cauyaq Drum



Cauyaq/Drum with bird head handle, used for dancing.

Frank Andrew explained: "When they were not using drums, they removed the walrus stomach covers and stored the rims in caches. Drums were handled with care."


Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley 2 4588

  Paplu Drum Handle

Paplu/Drum handle shaped like a fish, from Nushagak.

Collector J. A. Jacobsen wrote that a shaman might have used the small stick fastened to the handle to call his helping spirits and ask for their assistance.

Drum Handle
1882, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin IVA4549


Wassilie Berlin demonstrating the drum handle's use at the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin, 1997.

Ferdinand Drebert, Courtesy, National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution L2710

Dancers in a Bethel qasgi in the 1930s.




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