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St. Lawrence Island Yupik Lessons: Language and Culture

The Alaska Office of the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center hosted a St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture seminar in January 2012, bringing together seven fluent speakers: John Apassingok, Lydia Apatiki, Ralph Apatiki, Sr., Elaine Kingeekuk, Christopher Koonooka, Merlin Koonooka and Angela Larson. They met for five days to discuss Yupik objects in the Smithsonian exhibition Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum.

During the seminar, the St. Lawrence Island Yupik language was documented and language and culture teaching materials were written for use in schools and homes throughout Alaska and beyond. Twelve objects from the Smithsonian collections – with links below – are featured in the guide and lessons presented here. These resources pair with twelve video lessons that offer teachers, students, parents and lifelong learners access to the St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and lifeways.

Tags: Alaska, Native art, museum, education, language, Indigenous, St. Lawrence Island, Yupik, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska

St. Lawrence Island Yupik Lessons: Language Experts

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Listen & Learn SLI Yupik (1 of 12): Uunghaq (Harpoon)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Harpoon

National Museum of the American Indian

Harpoon head

National Museum of the American Indian

Listen & Learn SLI Yupik (3 of 12): Qanrak (Boat Sled)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Boat sled

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Listen & Learn SLI Yupik (4 of 12): Avleqaghtat (Bolas)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Bolas

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Listen & Learn SLI Yupik (5 of 12): Anavak (Bird Net)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Bird Net

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Toy birds

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Listen & Learn SLI Yupik (7 of 12): Atkuk (Parka)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Birdskin parka

National Museum of the American Indian

Listen & Learn SLI Yupik (8 of 12): Kaamget (Boots)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Boots

National Museum of the American Indian

Ceremonial gut parka

National Museum of the American Indian

Listen & Learn SLI Yupik (10 of 12): Qaghpa (Headdress)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Headdress

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Dancing Gloves (1 Pair)

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

Listen & Learn SLI Yupik (12 of 12): Saguyak (Drum)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska

Drum

National Museum of the American Indian