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

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Things made from grass
Things Made from Grass
Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA


Theresa Moses recalled: "In fall, people travel in boats and pick coarse seashore grass. They look for good ones for sewing grass baskets. Those who don't gather are in need and don't have grass.".

Wangkuta tukuutekaqaput gguq caranglluut. Wangkuta maa-i teguyaraput Yup'igni. Tukuutekluki.

They say these grasses are our riches. We Yup'ik people constantly used them for something. They are our wealth.

--Theresa Moses, Toksook Bay

Grass Bag
James H. Barker


Clara Akagtak stores dried herring in an issrallugpak (large grass storage bag) she made quickly from nearby grasses, Umkumiut fish camp, 1976.

Can'get - Grasses had different uses.

Taperrnat - Coarse seashore grass, harvested after fall freeze-up and in the spring, was twined into mats and baskets.

Kelugkaat - Coarse grass was picked in late summer and made into tomcod storage bags and grass socks.

Iitaat - Tall cottongrass, gathered in abundance from the edges of tundra ponds, was ideal for lining boots and mittens.

Talun Comb



Comb from Sabotnisky for preparing grass, decorated with hair.

Peter John said that they always combed coarse grass before braiding it.


E. W. Nelson, 1878, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University 50137

Twined Basket

Twined basket from Nushagak.

Annie Blue remarked, "When I was little, I was surrounded by twiners." 1890s, Sheldon Jackson Museum IIA14

Twine Basket
Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center and Museum 80.6.1

Issran Pack Basket



Pack basket made by Alice Pitka of Toksook Bay to be used as a backpack.

Frank Andrew said, "They made them small so they wouldn't be hard to lift."

1970, UA Museum of the North 70 053 0023


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