Annie Blue models the grass goggles at the National Museum of the American Indian, 1997.
KakivikGrass Sewing Kit
Grass sewing kit from the Lower Kuskokwim River.
E. W. Nelson, 1879, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution 38819
CaaniiguaqGrass Tea Kettle
Grass tea kettle from Nushagak, made as a trade item. Martina John remembers selling coiled baskets for twenty five cents or a yard of cloth. Now these same baskets sell for hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
T. Riggs, 1907, Alaska State Museum IIA2370
UskuraqGrass Dog Harness
Grass dog harness
John Phillip recalled: "In our village they hung tomcod to dry by braiding grass and threading the strands around the fishes' necks. Once they were dried we would remove all the fish heads, leaving the braided grass. After freeze up in fall, when we boys wanted to drive dogs, we connected the braids and made them into harnesses."
Made by Paul John of Toksook Bay, 2007. AFR
Theresa Moses, Peter John, and Frank Andrew examine a grass dog harness, spread out, during a visit to the Smithsonian Museum Support Center, 2003.
TaluyaruaqGrass Fish Trap
Grass fish trap made by Neva Rivers out of coarse seashore grass in 1977, to set in nearby streams and catch needlefish.
Neva Rivers recalled: "Those who lived long ago used grass, and they didn't even mind using it. They weren't proud and they even lived longer."
Anchorage Municipal Acquisition Fund, Anchorage Museum 1977.017.001
Tegumiak Wall' TaruyamaarutekDance fans
Dance fans made of coiled grass and caribou throat hair by Catherine Moore of Emmonak, 1997.
Naparcilluk Grass Storage Basket
Grass storage basket made by Sophie Nick of Nunapitchuk in 1970.
Theresa Moses remembered: "We would get ready at freeze up with twined grass, and I would help make bags like these. The completed ones would have two braided sections at the base. They said we were making it 'legs' to help carry the bag when filled."
Purchase, Alaska State Arts Council Grant, Anchorage Museum 1971.097.007