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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Department of Anthropology

Arctic Studies Center

Hunters return home. Gambell, St. Lawrence Island, 1958.Hunters return home. Gambell, St. Lawrence Island, 1958. Courtesy of the Anchorage Museum, B83.91.101.

The Arctic Studies Center hosted a St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture seminar at the Anchorage Museum in January 2012, bringing together seven fluent speakers for five days to discuss Yupik objects in the Living Our Cultures exhibition. The goals were to contribute to documentation of the Yupik language and to create language and culture teaching materials for use in schools and homes throughout Alaska and beyond. To learn more St. Lawrence Island Yupik culture, please visit the exhibition website Sharing Knowledge at https://alaska.si.edu where you will find infomration about all Alaska Native cultures and educational materials in the Resources section.

Participants in the St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture seminar, 2012.
Participants in the St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture seminar, 2012. Left to right: Christopher Koonooka, Ralph Apatiki, Sr., Merlin Koonooka, John Apassingok, Jonella Larson White, Lydia Apatiki, Angela Larson and Elaine Kingeekuk. Photo by Dawn Biddison.

The educational materials provided here consist of twelve short videos and a teacher's guide with twelve lessons about St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture. Each is based on an historic cultural heritage object from the collections of the National Museum of Natural History or the National Museum of the American Indian. These objects range from hunting tools used for living from the land and sea to ceremonial items used at celebrations and gatherings to everyday clothing. The information shared about them and about life on St. Lawrence Island enables learners to explore the cultural traditions of the Yupik people. The videos are in St. Lawrence Island Yupik with subtitles in English and Yupik, for following along in both languages.

Videos

Listen & Learn: St. Lawrence Island Yupik Language and Culture Video Lessons (12 videos)

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