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Cultural Artifact Object Analysis Activity

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Cultures +3 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

In this activity, you will explore the Yup'ik gut parka, a type of garment created from the intestines of sea mammals to protect sea hunters from wind, rain, and stormy seas. The Yup'ik, native to Alaska and coastal Canada, used these not only for hunting but also spiritual occasions, such as religious ceremonies. The gallery includes: two parkas, one for hunting and one for ceremonies; a map of the geographic boundaries of the Yup'ik before the arrival of Euro-American settlers; and a video of modern Yup'ik discussing the traditional process of creating these garments and the importance of conserving and continuing this tradtion today.

Mystery Object

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Gut Parka Informational Video

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Gutskin Parka

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.