AuthorLyon, Jolene D.
traditional Yup'ik Piluguks
Yup'ik Style Mukluks
Contemporary Yup'ik Mukluks
Alaska Style Hardbottom Mukluks
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe Art of Mukluk Making has been dwindling for the past 50 years in my lifetime; with the passing of the elderly women within the Yup’ik community, they took this skill’s expertise with them. Today only a tiny handful of elders are alive to share their proficiency. Those interested in the traditional role want to learn to preserve the knowledge to make them for their children and family members; others want to make them for the challenge of wanting to learn, and some for the simplicity of keeping the culture alive. No matter how it is perceived, teachers and experts in this skilled craft have passed on, leaving only a few with the knowledge to teach others; some try to decipher the remaining tweaks and balances of getting the boot just right. The research of this project has shown a need to teach others how to make the boots, preserve the teachings through internet technology and data sharing, and enable others to learn the skill and begin the Art of Mukluk Making. Using a social platform, the YouTube channel, The Art of Mukluk Making, provides clear instructions and demonstrations on how to make contemporary-style piluguk, also known as mukluks.
DescriptionA Project Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE in Project Management
PublisherUniversity of Alaska Anchorage
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The Yup'ik relationships of qiluliuryaraq (processing intestine)Carrlee, Ellen; Schweitzer, Peter; Koester, David; Lee, Molly; Hill, Erica; Plattet, Patrick (2020-12)This project explores multiple Native cultural contexts that intersect in the use and understanding of intestine. Gut (tissues of internal organs including stomach, intestine, bladder and esophagus) as a raw material was historically used by many circumpolar cultures to make items like drums, raincoats, hats, windows, sails, containers, and hunting floats. These items are abundant in museum collections, but rarely seen today in cultural practice or the art market. Intestine is a natural material that was replaced by synthetic materials, but its dual physical properties of protection and permeability are the only features replicated by plastics. Examination of intestine as an obsolete material reveals both changes and resilience in different kinds of relationships. Emphasizing the meaning and materiality of gut over analysis of artifacts made from it emphasizes interactions among human, animal, and spiritual beings over formalistic approaches privileging object interpretations. Preferential investigation of a raw material over finished artifacts focuses the study on actions and values in Native places. Fieldwork components for this study include documentation of indigenous gut processing, sewing and repair workshops in museum contexts, processing fresh intestine in the Yup'ik village of Scammon Bay, and discussion of gut with Yup'ik cultural experts. The theoretical approach uses Actor-Network Theory (ANT) as a foundation, animated with practice theory and relational ontology. Since ANT creates space for human, animal, and object agency, reciprocal relationships among these actors will be explored through frameworks of materiality, object biography, gender studies, animal personhood, and the gift. This endeavor may promote a new model for the use of material culture to illuminate Native values. In the case of intestine, its decline in use connects to changes in technology and spirituality while resilience and revitalization of gut technology promotes identity and demonstrates traditional values.
Iliamna Lake ethnogeography: Yup'ik place names and sense of placeKugo, Yoko; Charles, Walkie; Ehrlander, Mary; Holton, Gary; Koskey, Michael; McCartney, Leslie (2021-05)This dissertation explores Iliamna Lake ethnogeography, the physical and mental understanding of the landscape, by researching Yup'ik place names and stories about these places from Iliamna Lake Yup'ik perspectives (Yupiit iingitgun). Many Yup'ik place names were forgotten after Euro-Americans arrived and introduced modern education in the early twentieth century. Some Iliamna Lake Yup'ik Elders remember Indigenous place names even though the subsistence resources in the places have declined or they no longer travel there due to environmental and cultural changes. Prompted by the declining population of Iliamna Lake Yup'ik speakers, along with their knowledge, the Iliamna Lake communities requested this study of Iliamna Lake Yup'ik place names and narratives about the places. Using two methods, oral history and a community-based participatory approach, the community participants and the author recorded 219 Yup'ik and over 100 contemporary place names during eight ethnographic field trips conducted from 2016 to 2019. This dissertation used two analytical methods--grounded theory and mindful inquiry--to categorize place names in themes that are relevant to Iliamna Lake community perspectives. This research revealed that place names and stories about these places illustrate community histories, lifeways, and cultural ethics and practices that are grounded in the people's intimate relationships with their homeland. Telling and retelling these stories enables the people to visualize their landscape, while affirming and reinforcing the knowledge and practices that have enabled the Yup'ik people to survive and thrive in the region for many generations. Ethnogeography addresses how these cultural landscapes intertwine with local histories and changes in land use from insider perspectives. Yup'ik names and stories related to these places act as mnemonic pegs or mental landmarks that assist the people in commemorating and continuing to navigate within their homelands. Maintaining their place names with accounts about these places supports Iliamna Lake residents in continuing to share their geographic knowledge, cultural practices, Yugcetun (Central Yup'ik language), and community histories, thereby enhancing community cohesiveness, which in turn promotes community and ecological well-being.
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