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

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Training to be a Good Hunter
Photo: Ann Fienup-Riordan

Wassilie Berlin using the shovel to clear a path through imaginary snow.

Ciunerkiurutekluku yuum ellminek, qanikciurun aturluku, pitetullerkani umyuaqluku; uksurpak qanikcamek caliarluni, nunani enet, amiiget carrirluki. Makugtallermini qanikciurun aturluku, qanruyutet atungnaqluki, maliggluki pillermikun ellminek tua-i nukalpiamek aprumayugngallerkaminun yuk tekiutellriatun ayuqetulliniluni.

A person clears his future path by using the shovel, hoping to be a successful hunter in the future; all winter long he'd work on snow and dig out pathways from the entrances of homes. Working hard using the shovel, trying to follow the teachings, can bring a person to the time when he can be called a successful hunter and provider.

--Paul John, Toksook Bay


Boys received a moral as well as technical education in the qasgi. There they were expected to take on all manner of chores to prepare themselves both mentally and physically for adulthood.

Among their most important tasks were clearing porches and pathways of snow, acts said to remove obstacles from their path while hunting in the future.

Qalun DipperDipper


Water consumption was also carefully regulated in the qasgi, and boys only drank using a dipper, never their cupped hands. These restrictions were said to ensure that their bodies grew tough and strong.


H- 4 1/4 in
W- 9 1/4 in
H 5 1/2 in


Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology,
Harvard University 49993

Anguarun Single-Bladed PaddleShovel


Snow shovel used in the rigorous training of youth known as cilkiaryaraq, when a person underwent harsh daily training to become a good hunter and better person.


W- 12 1/2 in
H- 33 1/2 in
D- 7 1/2 in


J. A. Jacobsen, 1882, Ethnologisches Museum Berlin IVA4342

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