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

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Bethel, AK 99559
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Fish trapsFish Trap

Romig Collection, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, PA.

Bethel fish trap, 1896. Wassilie Evan noted: "Nets were rare long ago. Back in those days those wooden fish traps caught different kinds of fish."

Apa'urluma waten mikcuaraulua ayautellranga, nalluluku, piyuasciiganii. Taluyanun cunaw' ayautellinikiinga.
Qanrutaanga waten, "Una wani kuigilnguq anluarvigkaqan. Pikaqan elpet anglirikuvet."
Tamana tamaa-i, umyuaqluku piamku elliin pillra, cali wiinga iluperanka maa-i ayautetuanka ekluki snukuumun taluyanun, wangtun llu pinrilameng ciuqlirmi tutgaraanka tangvagtellua pirraarlua (apa'urluma pillranek qanrutaqluki).

My grandfather took me with him when I was a boy, and I couldn't walk yet and had no idea where we were going. He apparently was taking me with him to check his fish trap. He said, "This spot here without a river will be your fishing hole in future. This hole will be yours when you are an adult."
Remembering what he did for me, I also put my great grandchildren onto my snowmobile and bring them to my fish traps, and after I let them watch me, I'd say to them what my grandfather said to me.
--John Phillip, Sr., Kongiganak

Taluyarpak Large Fish Trap

Fish Trap

Anchorage Museum Association Acquisition Fund, Anchorage Museum 2007.027.001

Large fish trap made of split spruce bound with spruce roots by Nick Andrew, Sr. of Marshall and Timothy Myers of Pilot Station in 2006. Note the flat end for easy removal of fish.

Nick Andrew said: "They set their large fish traps for burbot. They caught lots when I was a boy, and they looked like piles of cordwood."

Wood for Traps

Straight Wood

Unarciaq/Straight-grained wood from which thinner and thinner lengths of spruce were split, first using a wedge and then using the blunt end of a crooked knife.

Spruce Strips

Cigyiit/Split spruce strips laid the length on the trap.

Wood Strips

Nemiarutkat/Short strips of green wood, encircling the lengthwise strips. Note the center cut, adding to the strip's flexibility.

Spruce Roots

Nekevraarcinraat/Spruce roots soaked in water, split, and used to bind the trap.

Qenuirissuun Dipper



Dipper used to remove ice from a fishing hole as well as fish from a fish trap.
Wassilie Evan noted: "If one removes fish from the trap with one's hands, they will freeze."


Phoebe Apperson Hearst Museum of Anthropology,
University of California, Berkeley 2 4501


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