Storytelling with Ivory

IMG_20160617_104615932I found myself drawn to this Yup’ik “Hunting Scene” told through ivory figurines (gifted from R.A. Jones II-A-3366). It is attributed to the Yup’ik on the Western Coast of Alaska dating back to 20th century. Every angle seems to draw the eye further into the scene.  I could imagine creating a stop motion film with these characters. It would be great to hear the story that goes along with this scene from a traditional Yup’ik storyteller.  At the very least, I am hoping to find a story in the archives that goes along with this scene.  Is this a particular epic story? What lessons are being passed on? Did the children play with these figurines acting out the hunts of their fathers and uncles?

It would be a fun project to create a short movie by moving the figurines around and capturing the action of the hunt with the voice over of an Elder telling the story along with sounds of the ocean in the background. Even at the museum, I found myself carried away with camera angles and the allusion of movement. The little figures pack a big punch!

2 thoughts on “Storytelling with Ivory”

  1. Tyler-

    A stop motion movie would be awesome Tyler. I can see student’s imaginations going wild. With the right music and narration it would be fantastic!

  2. Love this one. I kind of glanced at this artifact at the museum, but because I’m already a Yup’ik, I walked by trying to find something else that had to do with the other regions. And now that you’re talking about it, I would like to know more about the background of this artifact.

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