Tengautuli Atkuk / The Flying Parka
The Meaning and Making of Parkas in Southwest Alaska
- PUBLISHED: October 2023
- SUBJECT LISTING: Native American and Indigenous Studies, Art History / Native American and Indigenous Art, Pacific Northwest / Art and Culture, Anthropology
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 320 Pages, 7 x 10 in, 157 color illus., 14 b&w illus., 2 maps, 2 tables
- ISBN: 9780295751740
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Parkas are part of a living tradition in southwest Alaska. Some are ornamented with tassels, beads, and elaborate stitching; others are simpler fur or birdskin garments. Although fewer fancy parkas are sewn today, many people still wear those made for them by their mothers and other relatives. "Parka-making" conversations touch on every aspect of Yup'ik life—child rearing, marriage partnerships, ceremonies and masked dances, traditional oral instructions, and much more. In The Flying Parka, more than fifty Yup'ik men and women share sewing techniques and "parka stories," speaking about the significance of different styles, the details of family designs, and the variety of materials used in creating these functional and culturally important garments. Based on nearly two decades of conversations with Yup'ik sewing groups and visits to the National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of Natural History, this volume documents the social importance of parkas, the intricacies of their construction, and their exceptional beauty. It features over 170 historical and contemporary images, full bilingual versions of six parka stories, and a glossary in Yup'ik and English.
Authors & Contributors
Ann Fienup-Riordan is author of numerous books on the Native peoples of Alaska, including Ellavut/Our Yup'ik World and Weather: Continuity and Change on the Bering Sea Coast, coauthored with Alice Rearden, who is primary translator for Calista Education and Culture. Yup'ik language expert Marie Meade has worked with the CEC team for many years and teaches classes in Yup'ik language and culture at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
"A truly original piece of the Yup'ik people's history worth sharing with the world. The information, stories, and photographs are great examples of collecting historical and modern-day artifacts to connect the past and present."- Walkie Charles (Yup'ik), University of Alaska Fairbanks
"A fascinating treasure trove of priceless information from women who watched their relatives work raw materials into clothing for their families and learned to do it themselves."- Susan A. Kaplan, Bowdoin College
"A true marvel of Yup'ik Elders' knowledge, voices, and spirit, this book is an inspiration to Native Alaska readers and eye-opening material for anthropologists, museum professionals, artists, and clothing designers around the world."- Igor Krupnik, Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
"Tengautuli Atkuk/The Flying Parka is a gift of ancestral knowledge and wisdom, celebrating the vitality of Arctic clothing design as an essential, richly enduring core of Yup'ik mythology, oral history, cultural practice, and contemporary life."- Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad, Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution