Artifact: telling a story

Seagull Mask by Sam Hunter (Yup’ik), 1945-6, Hooper Bay, Naparyaarmiut-  courtesy of Alaska State Museum – Juneau

Explore their web-site to see more: http://museums.alaska.gov/asm/asmhome.html

Yup’ik culture includes a vast amount of ceremony, dance, and costumes. The masks have always helped the Real People to see through the eyes of the animals, and they are used in ceremonies to tell a story.

 According to the Yup’ik story of the beginning, the first humans emerged from pods of beach grass. The animals saw the first humans as vulnerable creatures so they would offer themselves to the Human hunters, who could use their skins as clothing in the winter and consume their flesh as food. In return the Real People showed Respect, Gratitude, and Humility towards the animals.

 I choose this artifact because it tells a beautiful story about the strong connection between Yup’ik people and animals.

 

1 thought on “Artifact: telling a story”

  1. Ioana,

    Most cultures do find an importance in song, dance, and clothing. They are common expressions of culture. Any culture could identify a song, a dance, and a certain type of clothing. Some cultures share similar styles, but each culture participates in each of these three topics. As for the creation story, I found that interesting and thankful that I read your post. It is something that I have never heard before and I always enjoy learning about creation stories or myths.

    Thank you for your post,
    Mason Shearer

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