Ciuliamta Akluit / Things of Our Ancestors
Yup'ik Elders Explore the Jacobsen Collection at the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin
- PUBLISHED: January 2005
- SUBJECT LISTING: Anthropology, Native American and Indigenous Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 448 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 66 photos
- ISBN: 9780295984711
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
In the 1880s, the Norwegian-born traveler Johan Adrian Jacobsen spent a year in Alaska and amassed an unprecedented collection of Yup'ik material culture that eventually made its way to Germany’s most prominent ethnographic museum. More than a century later, a delegation of Yup'ik elders and educators from Bethel, Alaska, joined cultural anthropologists and museum professionals at the Berlin Ethnologisches Museum to examine and interpret Jacobsen's collection, one of the world’s largest and most impressive Yup'ik collections.
Things of Our Ancestors is a record of this unusual meeting of minds and cultures. Evoking the stories and experiences that the cultural artifacts embody, the Yup'ik elders examine and discuss these objects made by their ancestors, reclaiming knowledge on the verge of being lost. For this Yup'ik-English bilingual book, anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan has chosen stories and accounts of the Berlin exchange that best describe the collection and the visit. The narrative is accompanied by 66 photographs of this unusual episode of cultural revival.
This book will prove a treasure for Yup’ik readers, linguists, folklorists, anthropologists, and historians, and will hold much interest for anyone concerned with Native American oral tradition.
Authors & Contributors
Marie Meade is a Yup'ik Eskimo raised in Nunapitchuk, Alaska. She has worked as a translator and Yup'ik language expert and presently teaches classes inYup'ik language and culture at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Ann Fienup-Riordan is the author of numerous books on the peoples of Alaska, including Yup'ik Elders at the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin, The Living Traditions of Yup'ik Masks and Freeze Frame: Alaska Eskimos in the Movies. She and Marie Meade previously collaborated on Agayuliyararput / Our Way of Making Prayer.
Quyanarpiitli--With much gratefulness and merit
Introduction: Pioneering visual repatriation
Ayagniqarraallemteni: Imarpigmi pissurcuutet--First day: Tools for ocean hunting
Unuaquani: Pissurcuutet, anguyagcuutet urluvret pitegcautet-llu--Second day: Bows and arrows for hunting and for war
Pingayuatni erenret: Cali psssurcuutet neqsurcuutet-llu--Third day: More tools for hunting and fishing
Cetamiitni erenret: Muriit akluput--Fourth day: Our things made out of wood
Tallimiitni erenret: Qemaggviit--Fifth day: Containers
Arvinelgatni erenret: Calissuutet--Sixth day: Tools for working on things
Malrunlegatni erenret: Enemi aklut calissuutet--Seventh day: Household tools
Pingayunelgatni erenret: Kenugutet, uyat-llu--Eighth day: Personal adornment and human figures
Qulngunrita'ariitni erenret: Arnat minqessuutait, naqugatait-llu, angutet-llu nacait--Ninth day: Women's sewing tools and belts and men's hats
Qulngurtellratni erenret: Yurarcuutet--Tenth day: Dance regalia
Qula ataucimek cipluku ernengluku: Kegginaqurluni yuralleq--Eleventh day: Singing and dancing with masks
Qula malrugnek cipluku ernengluku: Naanguat pinetutaciirutet-llu--Twelfth day: Toys and games of strength and skill
Qula pingayun cipluku ernengluku: Aturat--Thirteenth day: Clothing
Akimiarunrita'arnek ernengluku: Ellam qaralii caqtaaryarat-llu--Fourteenth day: Designs of the sky and annual ceremonies
Akimiaratnek ernengluku: Ellaitnek ukveqkanillerkaatnek neryuniurutengqertua--Fifteenth day: I have hope that they gain more faith and knowledge of who they are
Yugtun igautellrit Kass'atun-llu mimigtellrit--Yup'ik transcription and translation
Taken together, Fieldwork Turned on its Head and Things of Our Ancestors are extremely well done, both as products and as examples of a successful collaborative research effort. For those with an interest in northern indigenous communities and cultures the two books are moving accounts of a research partnership that joined indigenous knowledge bearers with academic and museum professionals, the result of which was to place indigenous knowledge at the center rather than at the periphery of the research enterprise and the resulting volumes.- Museum Anthropology Review
The Yup'ik delegation transformed anthropological material culture into moral teachings, ceremonial songs, hunting lore, dance steps, and vehicles for cultural pride. ..This book would be a valuable addition to any applied anthropology, material culture, or indigenous knowledge course and should encourage others to participate in collaborative museology.- American Anthropologist