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

MenuScheduleBooksThank YouLendersSponsorsPress Release
Calista Elders Council
570 3rd Ave # 219
Bethel, AK 99559
(907) 543-1541

Visit the Anchorage Museum
625 C Street Anchorage, AK 99501



Dance SticksDance Sticks

Photo: James H. Barker

Kotlik drummers and dance directors Pius Akaran, Ignatius Akaran, and Michael Hunt practice for the Messenger Feast in the community hall, March 2003.

Tuamtell' tauna maklagmek ugtarculria. Tekilluku waniw' narulkaqatarluku piinanermini, ukatiikun ingelran mengliikun una talliq mayulliniluni, unatet tungiinun caumaluteng, unatet. Qukaa ukinerluni unatain una. Ingna maklak capumaluku unatminek waten ukinerkun taugaam yaaggun alaitelluku. Tua i piqataamiu, taq'ivkenani narulkalliniluku tauna ukineq nall'arrluku, asaaqurra maklagmun tut'elliniluni. Niirarautni tauna qirussiutuuq, qaraliutuut.

Once a hunter went after a bearded seal on ice. Just as he reached it and was about to harpoon it, on this side of it, along the edge it was lying on, an arm came up, with the palm of a hand facing him. A hole was in the palm's center. The hand was covering the bearded seal, but the animal was visible through the hole. So, without hesitation, he thrust his spear right at that hole and hit the animal and caught it. [The story about that hunter] is usually carved on dance sticks.

--Frank Andrew, Kwigillingok

Tegumiak Wall' Taruyamaarutek Dance fans


Dance Fans

Dance fans with faces said by Jacobsen to represent "the king of salmon," peer out from feather frames representing holes in the sky.

Dancers always carried dance fans or covered their hands with gloves, as protection from spirits and to prevent their own essence from escaping.

J. A. Jacobsen, 1882, lower Yukon River, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin IVA4372

Dance Fans
Photo: James H. Barker
Stephanie Carl and Anna John of Toksook Bay perform during the Toksook Bay Dance Festival, January 1996.

Eniraraun Messenger's Wand



Messenger's Wand for the "Inviting In" feast, St. Michael. The hoops may represent the different levels of ella (the universe).

Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley 2 6481

Kuigpagmiuni Kassiyulriit Yukon dance festival
Dance Drawing
1958, Jean and Pete Kline Collection

Kuigpagmiuni Kassiyulriit Yukon dance festival drawn by Pilot Station artist Milo Minock, who described how as the song ends, the central owl was lowered on a cord and its wings moved up and down. The man at the far left was dressed as a muskrat and danced in hopes of more muskrats for people to hunt in spring.
At the end of the dance everything was given out and everyone got something to eat at home.

GiftsPreparing Gifts for Feast
Photo: James H. Barker

Rose Anna Dan Waghiyi at home in Stebbins, preparing gifts for the Messenger Feast held in Kotlik in 2003.

Giving Out Gifts
Photo: James H. Barker

Angela Hunt of Kotlik brings hundreds of gifts to Andrew Foxie of Stebbins on the first night of the Messenger Feast, March 2003.

When our dear child catches a small bird, because we are so proud, my wife and I would bring as much as we can into the qasgi. They prepared for a whole year, and when they brought that tiny catch into the qasgi, they piled a large amount of gifts onto the middle of the floor.

--Peter Jacobs




Copyright 2008-15, All Rights Reserved.
No Replication of Images or Design without Express Written Permission.