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



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

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."


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


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

Taqukaruak - Seal masks


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.


Diameter - 6 in


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


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