Synopses & Reviews
Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska
features more than 200 objects representing the masterful artistry and design traditions of twenty Alaska Native peoples. Based on a collaborative exhibition created by Alaska Native communities, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, and the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, this richly illustrated volume celebrates both the long-awaited return of ancestral treasures to their native homeland and the diverse cultures in which they were created.
Despite the North's transformation through globalizing change, the objects shown in these pages are interpretable within ongoing cultural frames, articulated in languges still spoken. They were made for a way of life on the land that is carried on today throughout Alaska. Dialogue with the region's First Peoples evokes past meanings but focuses equally on contemporary values, practices, and identities.
Objects and narratives show how each Alaska Native nation is unique—and how all are connected. After introductions to the history of the land and its people, universal themes of “Sea, Land, Rivers,” “Family and Community,” and “Ceremony and Celebration” are explored referencing exquisite masks, parkas, beaded garments, basketry, weapons, and carvings that embody the diverse environments and practices of their makers. Accompanied by traditional stories and personal accounts by Alaska Native elders, artists, and scholars, each piece featured in Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage evokes both historical and contemporary meaning, and breathes the life of its people.
andquot;Tells the story of one of the most impressive archaeological assemblages in Alaska through seven detailed chapters that each provides contextual information to help readers understand the significance of the site itself and the artifacts that were uncovered from it. But it goes beyond thisandmdash;it also tells the story of how this archaeological site and its artifacts influenced the beginning of a cultural renaissance movement on Kodiak Island.andquot;
"Companion volume to the exhibition of the same name opening at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, May 2010"--T.p. verso.
Aron L. Crowell is an anthropologist who works with indigenous communities of the north in the fields of cultural research, archaeology, oral history, and collaborative heritage. As Alaska Director for the Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center, he has curated or co-led major exhibitions including Looking Both Ways: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People, Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska, and Gifts from the Ancestors: Ancient Ivories of Bering Strait. Crowell lives in Anchorage, Alaska.
Karluk One is a remarkable archaeological site. For six hundred years, the Alutiiq built houses upon houses, preserving layer after layer of their ways of life. When fresh water from a nearby pond seeped through the deposit, the massive mound of cultural debris became suspended in time. Yet the siteand#8217;s location at the mouth of a once-salmon-rich river meant it could disappear at any moment. Working together, researchers and community members recovered more than 26,000 items made of wood, bone, ivory, baleen, antler, and leather before the meandering river finally shifted and washedand#160;awayand#160;the site forever.Kaland#8217;unekand#151;From Karluk fully explores the ancient site and its contents to create a picture of prehistoric Alutiiq life. Beautifully photographed, the book also features essays by community members and scholars as well as a ground-breaking glossary of Alutiiq terms developed for the artifacts by Kodiak Alutiiq speakers. No other collection has figured so centrally in building awareness of Alutiiq history or promoting an accurate view of the richness of Kodiakand#8217;s Native past. And no other book illuminates these extraordinary finds as brilliantly as Kaland#8217;unekand#151;From Karluk.
About the Author
"The power, creativity, and functionality of Indigenous societies is defined beautifully in this book."--American Indian Quarterly
“Richly illustrated and beautifully written, this book embraces Alaska Native art and design masterworks with insight from Alaska Native elders, artists, and scholars. It is a communal welcome, an acknowledgment of the spiritual and social meaning of traditional objects and their importance to Alaskans' lives today and to our future.”—Fran Ulmer, Chancellor, University of Alaska Anchorage
“Likoodzí (fantastic) yaa x’úx’ (this book). Tlingit is my first language, so these were the words in my mind. Haa Shaagoon aya haa eet x’eiwatán—it is as if our Ancestors have spoken to us. When community experts viewed these objects for the first time, the sacret objects awakened in them the ancestors' spirits.”—Elaine Chewshaa Abraham, Chairperson of the Board, Alaska Native Science Commission.
“Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska is a fine example of the new collaborative work that brings together Native Americans and anthropologists as equal partners. One learns so much about Alaska Native lives, beliefs, and values.”—Sergei Kan, Professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies, Dartmouth College
Table of Contents
Foreword by Gordon Pullar
1. The Karluk One Site and Its Role in Community Change on Kodiak
It Started in Karluck - Allen Panamaroff, Elder
From Little Things, Big Things Grow - Colleen Lazenby, Senior Associate, Jude Monro and Associates
Tidelines: Re/Visiting Karluk - Katharine Woodhouse-Beyer, Lecturer, Rutgers University
Rescue Anthropology Invites Fresh Perspective in School Lessons - Cheryl Heitman Meunier, Educator and Alutiiq Descendant
2. Settling the Karluk River
Pollen Studies in the Karluk River Region, Alaska - Robert E. Nelson, Professor, Colby College
The Storm the Changed Everything - Ronnie Lind, Karluk Elder
First Survey, First Steps: The Beginning of the Karluk Achaeological Project - Kevin P. Smith, Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Haffenreffer Museum, Brown University
Archaeological Conservation in the Twenty-First Century - Matthew VanDaele,Enviromental Scientist, Koniag, Inc.
Adversity in Archaeology - Mark A. Rusk, Alutiiq Archaeologist
and#160; 3. Kal'ut - Karluk Village
How Old is Karluk One? - Catherine F. West, Research ASsistant Professor, Boston University
Give and Take - Gerald Sheehan, Educator, Kodiak Island Borough School District
Seven Years as an Archaeologist - Philip McCormick, Student, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Going to School at Karluk One - Ben Fitzhugh, Associate Professor, University of Washington
and#160; 4. The Karluk One Collection
Caring for Karluk One - Elizabeth Pontti Eufemio, Archaeologist
Voluneering with Benefits - Pat Kozak, Tribal Member and Alutiiq Museum Volunteer
Working with Twenty-Six Thousand Pieces - Marnie A. Leist, Curator of Collections, Alutiiq Museum
Conservation of Karluk One Artifacts - Ellen Carrlee, Conservator, Alaska State Museum
and#160; 5. Economic Life
How the Animals Came to be Created - A legend collected in Karluk, Alaska, February 7, 1872 by Alphonse Pinart; Translated by Cand#233;line Wallace
Tough Tools: Bone and Antler Implements from Karluk - Amy V. Margaris, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Oberlin College
Learning from Fish Bones - Catherine F. West, Research Assistant Professor, Boston University
Looking at Kayaks - Alfred Naumoff Jr., Alutiiq Artist
and#160; 6. Household Life
Sorting Out the Sods - Patrick G. Saltonstall, Curator of Archaeology, Alutiiq Museum
Carving Alutiiq-Style Oil Lamps - Sandee Drabek, Artist
Ingenuity in Artifacts - Sven D. Haakanson Jr., Curator of Native American Anthropology, University of Washington, Burke Museum
and#160; 7. Social and Spiritual Life
Faces from the Past - Christopher Donta, Senior Principal Investigator, Gray and Pape, Inc.
A Piercing Question - Amy F. Steffian, Director of Research and Publication, Alutiiq Museum
Sharing Knowledge Through the Looking Both Ways Exhibition - Aron L. Crowell, Alaska Director, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center
A Love of Old Things - Coral Chernoff, Alutiiq Artist
and#160; Glossary: New Words for Old Things
and#160; Appendix I: Sources of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Ethnographic Information on the Kodiak Alutiiq People
and#160; Appendix II: Karluk Region Archaeological Research Projects and Crew Members
and#160; Quyanna - Thank You
and#160; About the Authors and#160; Index