• A Descriptive Analysis Of Yakutat Tlingit Musical Style.

      Morrison, Dorothy; Johnston, Thomas F. (1988)
      Ninety-nine songs from Yakutat, Alaska were analyzed in an effort to determine a musical style of the Gulf Coast Tlingit. Songs were grouped into seven categories from which general trends of style were deduced. Analysis, which was based on the transcriptions of David P. McAllester, included interval distribution, range, tone systems, weighted scales, melodic contour, tempo, duration and rest values, drumming patterns, formal structure, and song length. The transcriptions and data for drumming patterns, formal structure and song length were provided by McAllester in "Under Mount Saint Elias: The History and Culture of the Yakutat Tlingit," by Frederica de Laguna, 1972, Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, Volume 7, Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press. Stylistic differences in the areas of interval distribution, range, tone systems, weighted scales, melodic contour, and tempo were discovered between the two largest categories, the traditional Sib Potlatch songs and the songs of more recent composition called Haida Mouth songs. <p>
    • A Maritime Sense Of Place: Southeast Alaska Fishermen And Mainstream Nature Ideologies

      Brakel, Judith T.; Schweitzer, Peter (1999)
      This thesis portrays Southeast Alaska fishermen's 'senses of place' on the sea, elicited through interviews. The distinctiveness of a fishing culture, and the demands and opportunities of the occupation and environment, result in a relationship to place different from the majority society. Themes discussed include being at home on the sea, the environment as a basis for occupational choice, territorial flexibility, preference for wild nature, and wild nature produces exploitatable surpluses. The variability of the environment affects patterns of learning, models of nature, and values in inter-personal interactions. Relationship to 'place' is found to be central to the culture, but as the area becomes identified by outsiders as "wilderness," national environmental organizations and others regard fishermen as 'out of place'. Differences from modern Western society in relationship to 'place' and 'nature', highlighted by the Glacier Bay National Park case, are proposed to explain negative perceptions of these fisheries. <p>
    • Alutiiq ethnicity

      Partnow, Patricia Hartley; Black, Lydia T.; Dauenhauer, Richard; Morrow, Phyllis; Schneider, William S.; Ellanna, Linda J.; Leer, Jeff; Stolzberg, Richard J. (1993)
      In this project I consider how Alaska Peninsula Alutiiqs (Pacific Eskimos) maintain and express a sense of continuity with their past and how in today's world they use their understanding of the past to renegotiate and reenact their ethnic identity. I do so through an ethnohistorical reconstruction of Alutiiq ethnic identity from precontact days to the present and through a consideration of the role oral tradition and community ritual play in the constant reformulation of Alutiiq identity. I discuss the symbols considered most diagnostically Alutiiq (i.e., those which make up the Alutiiq identity configuration) and explore their meanings as Alutiiqs utilize and manipulate them in a variety of settings. Originally based on a common language, the Alutiiq identity developed into a full-blown ethnicity over a period of 200 years of contact with non-indigenous peoples, first the Russians and then the Americans. As Alutiiq identity became more uniform and pervasive throughout the Alaska Peninsula, its uniformity was balanced by a cultural tendency toward emphasis on local society. Today's Alutiiq identity configuration is characterized by ties to the land, a belief in a shared history with other Alutiiqs, acknowledgement of Alutiiq as the ancestral language, adherence to some level of subsistence lifestyle, and a kinship link to Alutiiqs of the past. For this study I undertook both archival research and fieldwork, the latter focusing on folklore transmission and performance (particularly ethnohistorical narratives and ritual performances). I discuss how verbal and dramatic folklore performances, considered in historic, social, and cultural context, serve as a vehicle for defining, reconceptualizing, and reinforcing ethnicity. I employ a situational (in contrast to a group-with-boundaries) model of ethnicity in conjunction with ethnohistoric and folklore analysis to illuminate the processes which have led to today's Alutiiq identity configuration. I further consider the ramifications the Alutiiq case has for general ethnicity theory.
    • Continuity And Change In The Wiseman Area Of Alaska: A Look At Land And Renewable Resource Use Over Time

      Scott, Carol Patricia (1993)
      Land and renewable resource use by residents of the Wiseman area in the central Brooks Range of Alaska was investigated in 1991-1993. The study documents current and historic land and renewable resource use patterns of local residents, records resident and agency management concerns regarding these uses, and analyzes opportunities and constraints that exist for rural Alaskan communities in utilizing renewable resources. The research was accomplished through resident interviews, participant observation of community activities, and review of other community studies. Conclusions include: (1) the Wiseman community exhibits characteristics of a mixed subsistence/cash economy; (2) residents rely on resources harvested in the various local federal, state, and private land management units; and (3) the establishment of the nearby National Park, and the construction of the Dalton Highway, have significantly affected local resource use. The study also demonstrates how community involvement in research effectively allows comprehensive documentation of land and resource use. <p>
    • Distance Activism And The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

      Raymond-Yakoubian, Julie M.; Gladden, James (2002)
      The growing phenomenon of distance place attachment and distance activism can be seen in the extensive network of non-visitors involved in the protection of places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. This type of activism is not an anomaly, but rather an increasingly significant global phenomenon, which has gone largely unexamined by researchers of environmentalism, activism, wilderness, and place attachment. Distance activism encompasses the standard definition of activism, with the addition that distance activists must not have had physical contact with the natural environment for which they are being active. I argue that distance activists' actions and beliefs can be understood, in part, in terms of the conceptual frameworks of geopiety, topophilia, and place attachment. Furthermore, I argue that distance activism deserves a proper place in place attachment theorizing. Distance activism on behalf of the Arctic Refuge is examined as a case study of this important phenomenon. <p>
    • Dynamics of the fur trade on the middle Yukon River, Alaska, 1839 to 1868

      Arndt, Katherine Louise; Black, Lydia T. (1996)
      This study examines the Russian-era fur trade of the middle course of the Yukon River, that section of the river which extends from Fort Yukon down to Nulato, Alaska. For a period of just over twenty years, 1847 to 1868, the Russian-American and Hudson's Bay companies maintained rival establishments at opposite ends of this stretch of river and vied for the trade of the Native populations living in the region between. After reviewing the events leading up to the establishment of the first European posts in the region, the study focuses on the dynamics of the competition between the rival posts and the changing nature of Native, Russian, and British participation in the middle Yukon trade. Most historical summaries of the early (pre-1867) fur trade of the Middle Yukon rely upon a small number of published sources, resulting in a truncated and rather inaccurate version of the region's fur trade history. This study seeks to overcome that problem through utilization of two major archival collections, the records of the Russian-American and Hudson's Bay companies. Together, these sources make possible an account that is more even in temporal coverage and more balanced in its treatment of Russian, British, and Native trade activities. One of the striking features of the early Yukon drainage fur trade is the pivotal role of the Native traders in determining its spatial patterning. Though regional patterns were characterized by a certain overall stability in the period 1830 through 1868, they also underwent marked change. This study examines those changes with regard to the middle Yukon drainage and discusses the influence of material and social factors upon them.
    • Indigenous Television In The Canadian North: Evolution, Operation, And Impact On Cultural Preservation.

      Neuheimer, William Joel (1994)
      Indigenous television broadcasting in the Canadian North has evolved as a successful response to help mitigate the cultural domination imposed over the aboriginal people in the Canadian North via television which originates in the Canadian South and other dominant television producers such as the United States. I have concluded, based on my research and the results from a survey of indigenous people in the Canadian North, that the evolution of indigenous television in the Canadian North has enabled the indigenous people of the Canadian North to achieve greater cultural stability within the increased political empowerment and self-determination that their television programming has been able to afford them. A brief discussion of the evolution of indigenous television in Australia compares the evolution of a similar system in another context and emphasizes the success of the Canadian experience. <p>
    • Masked rituals of the Kodiak Archipelago

      Desson, Dominique; Black, Lydia T.; Pierce, Richard A.; Schweitzer, Peter P.; Morrow, Phyllis; Leer, Jeff (1995)
      The traditional culture of the Alutiiq speakers of the Kodiak Archipelago is not well known, and information on their spiritual and ritual life has been lacking. In this thesis I use ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and iconographic materials to investigate the Koniag traditional world view and belief system and some aspects of the Koniag ritual system. Specifically, I analyze the individual, private masked rituals associated with whaling and the public masked rituals performed during the winter festivals. In the second part, I examine a large sample of surviving Alutiiq masks in order to determine aesthetic canons evident in the work of 19th and 20th century Koniag carvers. Visual preferences in mask making in terms of construction, volumes, shapes, colors, and designs are defined and differences in those preferences between the three Alutiiq speakers' groups of the Kodiak Archipelago, Prince William Sound, and the Alaska Peninsula are discussed.
    • Mediated Identity And Negotiated Tradition: The Inupiaq Atigi, 1850--2000

      Martin, Cydny Brynn; Lee, Molly (2001)
      The Inupiaq parka and associated activities constitute an unbroken practice from the prehistoric to modern times. The overall form and use of the garment remains constant while materials and technology evolve. Inupiaq parkas, often categorized as art because of their craft, creativity, and aesthetic appeal, also serve as tangible reminders of cultural abstractions. When considered within the age-old Inupiaq subsistence system, the position of women and the role of parka sewing suggests that both are critical to the maintenance of the human/animal relationship central to Inupiaq culture. The Inupiaq parka is seen to mediate between the physical and spiritual relationship of humans and animals and, in contemporary times, to make tangible the dialectic between tradition and modernity that defines Inupiaq identity today.
    • Reconstruction Of Neets'Aii Gwich'In Land Use: A Methodological Study.

      Peirce, John Carl, Jr. (1995)
      This thesis attempts to determine to what extent land use patterns for the Neets'aii Gwich'in of Alaska can be spatially reconstructed from existing sources. Written narratives are reviewed, such as those related by explorers, missionaries, traders and prospectors, for information on land use. Also reviewed are data that give a broad array of subsistence, demographic, geographical or other relevant information concerning land use, including biological and geological reports, economic studies, census reports, Neets'aii Gwich'in oral narratives, archaeological studies, ethnographic studies, place name studies and maps, and land use and occupancy studies. Methodological models for gathering land use data are reviewed to establish a foundation from which the land use data discussed in this thesis can be compared. Finally, an analysis of the extent to which Neets'aii Gwich'in land use can be reconstructed using historic sources is applied to various conceptual levels of understanding Northern hunter and gatherer land use. <p>
    • Returning: Twentieth century performances of the King Island Wolf Dance

      Kingston, Deanna Marie; Morrow, Phyllis (1999)
      In 1982 and again in 1991, the King Island (Alaska) Native Community revived the Wolf Dance, which is a complex ritual involving songs, dances, feasts, competitive games and an exchange of goods. The object of this dissertation is to discover why they chose to revive the Wolf Dance, rather than the Polar Bear Dance which was their most significant ritual in the early twentieth century. Archival sources and other literature pertaining to Inupiaq and Yup'ik ceremonialism were consulted in order to interpret the meaning and purpose of the Wolf Dance. In addition, contemporary King Island community members were interviewed in order to obtain their interpretations. Videotapes of both the 1982 and 1991 performances were viewed in order to gain information not obtained in either written or oral sources. Finally, archival sources were again searched to understand the interactions between King Islanders and members of Western society, including missionaries, tourists, public folklorists, and agents of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This dissertation concludes that the Wolf Dance was revived for reasons that served both individuals and the community. Organizers of Wolf Dance performances desired to enact either their own or a family member's return to the community. The King Island community performed the Wolf Dance either to create peace or to encourage youth to return to traditional activities. Although particular meanings of the Wolf Dance changed through time, the basic themes of the Wolf Dance (returning, reciprocity, friendship/enmity, and danger) were maintained in contemporary performances. Finally, because the Wolf Dance embodied the cultural value placed on balancing, rather than resolving, tensions and contradictions, this ritual mirrors their perceived need to balance traditions with new influences of Western society. Catholicism was balanced with traditional beliefs, the use of Western resources (such as funding) was balanced with the need to counteract Western forces, and the need to be interdependent with mainland Natives was balanced with their need to be separate from them. Thus, the Wolf Dance reflects not only basic themes of their social order, but also their history of interaction with Western society.
    • Technological development and culture change on St. Lawrence Island: A functional typology of toggle harpoon heads

      Lewis, Michael A. (1995)
      Our understanding of the culture history of the Bering Strait region is based on the chronology of St. Lawrence Island toggle harpoon heads proposed by Henry Collins in 1937. Subsequent attempts to develop harpoon head typologies from other parts of the Bering Strait are built on Collins' stylistic classification, which does not account for the full range of variation in St. Lawrence Island harpoon heads. The resulting confusion of harpoon head categories has clouded the interpretation of patterns in the material remains and has perpetuated a unilineal theory of culture change in Bering Strait Eskimo groups. This dissertation critically examines previous investigations and interpretations of archeological sites on St. Lawrence Island and Punuk Island. A contextual analysis of radiocarbon dates from these sites serves to evaluate the currently accepted chronology of occupation. The typology of St. Lawrence Island toggle harpoon heads proposed is based on a structural analysis of the raw materials and a functional analysis of the components of the harpoon head. The concept of functional strategies explains variation in harpoon head styles and gives meaning to the statistical analysis of attribute associations. A series of dendrochronological dates from the Kukulik site is compared with radiocarbon dates from other sites and combined with the harpoon head typology to develop a chronology of St. Lawrence Island occupations. The harpoon head typology reveals the presence of two distinct culture groups co-resident on St. Lawrence Island and the Bering Strait region from approximately 1600 to 1000 cal C-14 B.P. The Old Bering Sea/Birnirk group, associated with a generalized Eskimo subsistence adaptation, was present from 1600 to 1300 cal C-14 B.P. The Okvik/Ipiutak group, focused on sea mammal and whale hunting, is undated on St. Lawrence Island. Based on comparison with date ranges in other Bering Strait sites, the Okvik/Ipiutak group is assumed to be roughly contemporaneous with the Old Bering Sea/Birnirk group. The interaction of these two groups on St. Lawrence Island, interpreted by Collins as the Punuk culture, was present from 1300 to 1000 cal C-14 B.P.
    • The Akulmiut: Territorial dimensions of a Yup'ik Eskimo society

      Andrews, Elizabeth Frances; Ellanna, Linda J. (1989)
      This monograph is an ethnohistoric and ethnographic study of 19th and 20th century land and resource use of the Akulmiut, a Yup'ik-speaking Eskimo society that occupied the inland tundra region between the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers of western Alaska. The study examines the relationship between the patterns of spatial organization and wild resource utilization and resource distribution. Ethnographic studies have shown there is considerable variability in socioterritorial organization, which according to one recent theory, applied to this study, can be accounted for by examining the distribution of critical food resources in terms of density and predictability. The Akulmiut were selected for this study because of their unique situation among Alaskan Eskimos in terms of their subsistence economy and geographic location. With an economy based on fishing, utilizing non-salmon species of the low, marshy moist and wet tundra ecosystems, the adaptation of the Akulmiut is distinct among Alaskan Eskimos. Using data for the Akulmiut, this study tests the hypothesis that a territorial system occurs under conditions of high density and predictability (in time and space) of critical resources. Between groups or societies, the Akulmiut exhibited a territorial system of land use and occupancy as predicted when critical resources are dense and predictable. The study found that the key resource species of whitefish (Coregonus sp.) and northern pike (Esox lucius) exhibited resource distribution parameters characterized as predictable in time and location and were abundant or dense. Spatial organization showed that all primary villages and storage and processing facilities were situated where pike and whitefish could be readily intercepted during their annual migrations. The Akulmiut maintained exclusive use through overt defense, but also by means of cultural principles of land and resource use, ceremonial activities, and naming conventions. Dispersion of the population at other times ensured maintenance of a broader area for use in harvesting another key resource, blackfish (Dallia pectoralis). Dispersion was an efficient means of signaling areas used by the group, but also served to monitor incursions throughout the territory. This type of analysis was found to hold promise for explaining the diversity of socioterritorial organization among Alaskan Eskimos.
    • The universal duty to alleviate inflicted suffering: An ethical grounding for Siu's new discipline of Panetics

      Amerson, Russell Doyle; Krejci, Rudolf W. (1997)
      Dr. Ralph G. H. Siu has challenged the intellectual community with a call for a new academic discipline that he calls Panetics (from the Pali word paneti meaning 'to inflict'). Panetics is the study of humanly engendered suffering, its causes and methods of alleviation. Suffering is measured in units called dukkhas (from the Pali word dukkha meaning suffering), which are the product of the intensity of pain and the amount of time the pain is endured. The result will be in terms of units of suffering, i.e. the dukkha. Dr. Siu has argued that this new academic discipline is not a forum for the discussion of theoretical ethics nor is there any implied moral precept which prescribes moral action. It will be shown that not only are there prescriptions for moral action embedded in panetic talk but that the entire discipline rests on moral presuppositions. In addition, a normative ethic is implied in the purpose of the Panetic Calculus, and this will be clarified. It will be shown that Dr. Siu's approach to the "New Utilitarianism" constitutes a form of negative utilitarianism, which may provide an 'ethical ground' upon which to rest what will be called the Principle of Least Inflicted Suffering. It will be argued that this Principle can be universalized because the 'ethical ground' upon which it rests is composed of a human universal (viz, human suffering), a component of all human 'forms of life.'
    • Twentieth century Inupiaq Eskimo reindeer herding on northern Seward Peninsula, Alaska

      Simon, James Johnson Koffroth; Schweitzer, Peter P. (1998)
      Domesticated reindeer were introduced to Alaska from the Russian Far East at the end of the nineteenth century as a project in social engineering designed to assist in the assimilation of Alaska Natives into Euroamerican society. Most previous discussions of Alaska Native reindeer herding have focused on reindeer introduction as an agent of culture change associated with culture contact and economic modernization. This diachronic study of more than a century of Bering Strait Inupiaq reindeer herding, however, demonstrates that reindeer herding was incorporated into traditional Inupiaq culture and society to the extent that it now helps to maintain and reproduce traditional Inupiaq values and social relations. Inupiaq reindeer herding emerged as a result of the previous experience the Bering Strait Inupiat had with the intercontinental trade of Chukchi reindeer herding products prior to reindeer introduction. Bering Strait Inupiat were already aware of the economic potential of reindeer herding, such that reindeer herding was incorporated into traditional Inupiaq conceptions of property, wealth, prestige, social organization, subsistence, and land use practices. This incorporation provided the opportunity for the Bering Strait Inupiat to improve standards of life during a period of rapid social change associated with increasing Euroamerican influences. Furthermore, it also provided a means to maintain Inupiaq cultural identity through the emergence of reindeer umialiks and through the importance of reindeer herding in maintaining traditional social relations. In effect, reindeer herding became part of Bering Strait Inupiaq traditional culture through its importance to Inupiaq cultural reproduction.