From card: "tsha-gu-jak. Wooden hunting hat, ornamented with ivory carvings, beads, and whiskers of sea lion. These hats are highly prized and natives do not like to part with them. Hats are supposed to have power of attracting sea-otters, and by parting with the hat they also part with all luck in getting these animals. Loan: Crossroads Sep 22 1988. Loan returned: Jan 21, 1993. Illus.: Crossroads of Continents catalogue, Fig. 202, p. 164." Crossroads figure caption identifies as: "This open-crown hat was influenced by three cultural traditions. The white color is a Bering Sea Eskimo (Aglegmiut) [Aglurmiut Yup'ik] trait; the beaded decor, Koniag [Sugpiaq/ Alutiiq]; and the woven grass and yarn pendants, Aleut. Its animal features include pointed ivory ears, cresentic eyes, ivory wing volutes, and on its brim, painted mouth and nostrils. The beads are Venetian, Bohemian, and Chinese, obtained from Russian and American traders." Illus. Fig. 150, p. 156 in Crowell, Aron, Amy F. Steffian, and Gordon L. Pullar. 2001. Looking both ways: heritage and identity of the Alutiiq people. Fairbanks, Alaska: University of Alaska Press.
Source of the information below: Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Alaska Native Collections: Sharing Knowledge website, by Aron Crowell, entry on this artifact http://alaska.si.edu/record.asp?id=196, retrieved 8-28-2012: Hunting hat, Sugpiaq (Alutiiq), Koniag. caguyaq "bentwood hunting hat" - Language: Koniag Sugpiaq (Alaska Peninsula dialect) Designs painted on bentwood hats that were worn by whalers and sea otter hunters summoned helping spirits that included the killer whale/wolf, raven, and giant eagle. This hat depicts a wolf's face with down-turned mouth, long snout and nostrils, and crescent-shaped eyes. Ornaments of colored yarn and thread dangle from the eyes and pointed ivory ears stick out from the back of the hat. The ivory side panels may represent a bird's wings. Sea lion whiskers attached in back are said to represent a tally of whales the owner had killed.
This object is on loan to the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, from 2010 through 2022.