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Found 693 Collections

 

MicroObservatory: A guide to Observing the Universe

MicroObservatory is a network of automated telescopes that can be controlled over the Internet. In this collection, students will learn how they can control these telescopes themselves, using many of the same technologies that NASA uses to capture astronomical images by controlling telescopes in space. After gathering their very own images of space, students will learn the steps professional astronomers take to process the astronomical masterpieces so often seen from NASA, and then have the opportunity to create their very own!

Erika Wright
6
 

Circles of Fun: Hula Hooping

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring hula hoops. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about Oprah (the reader), read articles about hula hoop history, and watch hoop dances performed by native people. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers
21
 

Sharks: Friend or Foe?

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring Sharks. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about sharks, read articles about sharks, and listen to the read aloud Clark the Shark. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers
30
 

Mexican Art & U.S. History: Carmen Lomas Garza

This collection will provide an opportunity for students to analyze artwork, read background information, and connect art with historical events. At the heart of this activity is artwork created by Latino artist Carmen Lomas Garza. These paintings reflect the experiences of Garza's family and Latino life in 1980s America. In addition to image analysis, teachers could extend an opportunity for students to identify and discuss connections between Garza's art and the Mexican American experience from the 1960s to the present. This collection includes:

  • A timeline of U.S.-Mexican American relations
  • Video/audio of Reagan signing the 1986 Immigration Reform Control Act
  • And an overview of immigration reform via ABC-CLIO (requires subscription). 

#ethnicstudies #LISDSS

24A describe how the characteristics of and issues in U.S. history have been reflected in various genres of art, music, film, and literature;

Amanda Blake
24
 

All That Jazz: An Introduction

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring Jazz. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about jazz, read articles about Jazz, and listen to the read aloud Rent Party Jazz. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers
28
 

SAAM Family Day Crafts

Art-making activities for at-home fun. Join us for family days when the time comes!

Elizabeth Dale-Deines
9
 

Fort Tejon

The Native Americans who lived in this area prior to the establishment of Fort Tejon are generally referred to as the Emigdiano. They were an inland group of the Chumash people. Unlike their coastal relatives, however, the Emigdiano avoided contact with European explorers and settlers, and were never brought into one of the missions or even incorporated into the Sebastian Indian Reservation. Once Fort Tejon was established, the Emigdiano often worked as independent contractors for the army, providing guides for bear hunts and delivering fresh fruits from their fields for sale in officers row. 

In 1852, President Millard Fillmore appointed Edward F. Beale to the position of Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California and Nevada, and sent him to California to head off further confrontation between the Indians and the many gold seekers and other settlers who were pouring into California. After studying the situation, Beale decided that the best approach was to set up a large Indian reservation at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley and to invite displaced Indian groups to settle there. 

In order to implement his plan, Beale requested a federal appropriation of $500,000 and military support for the 75,000 acre reservation he had selected at the foot of Tejon Pass. Colonel Ethan Allen Hitchcock, commander of the Pacific Division of the U.S. Army, supported Beale's plan and agreed to set up a military post on or near the Indian reservation. The army was eager, in any case, to abandon Fort Miller (near Fresno, California) in favor of a more strategically advantageous site in California's southern San Joaquin Valley. 

In August 1854, Major J.L. Donaldson, a quartermaster officer, chose the present site in Canada de las Uvas. The site was handsome and promised adequate wood and water. It was just 17 miles southwest of the Sebastian Indian Reservation, and it was right on what Major Donaldson was convinced would become the main route between the Central Valley and Southern California. 

For almost ten years, Fort Tejon was the center of activity in the region between Stockton and Los Angeles. The soldiers, known as Dragoons, garrisoned at Fort Tejon patrolled most of central and southern California and sometimes as far as Utah. Dragoons from Fort Tejon provided protection and policed the settlers, travelers and Indians in the region. People from all over the area looked to Fort Tejon for employment, safety, social activities and the latest news from back east. 

Lori Wear
63
 

Introducing Hokusai: Mad about Painting

This Learning Lab Collection introduces three themes from the Hokusai:  Mad about Painting exhibition and provides works of art, classroom activities, and discussion questions associated with each theme. 

Tags:  #AsiaTeachers; Be a Reporter; customs; daily life; dragons; Edo; Great Wave; Hokusai; Japan; nature; New Year; personification; poetry; power; Project Zero; Mount Fuji; See Think Wonder; Step Inside; symbols; thunder; woodblock print

About the exhibition:

Hokusai:  Mad about Painting
November 23, 2019–November 8, 2020
Freer Gallery of Art, galleries 5–8

The Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) is widely recognized for a single image—Great Wave Off the Coast of Kanagawa, an icon of global art—yet he produced thousands of works throughout his long life. Charles Lang Freer recognized the artist’s vast abilities before many other collectors, and he assembled the world’s largest collection of paintings, sketches, and drawings by Hokusai. In commemoration of the centennial of Freer’s death in 1919, and in celebration of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, the Freer Gallery presents a yearlong exploration of the prolific career of Katsushika Hokusai. Works large and small are on view, from six-panel folding screens and hanging scrolls to paintings and drawings. Also included are rare hanshita-e, drawings for woodblock prints that were adhered to the wood and frequently destroyed in the process of carving the block prior to printing. Among the many featured works are Hokusai’s manga, his often-humorous renderings of everyday life in Japan. Together, these works reveal an artistic genius who thought he might finally achieve true mastery in painting—if he lived to the age of 110.


Freer and Sackler Galleries
26
 

Journey through an Exploded Star: An Online Interactive

In this collection, students will explore the life cycle of stars and learn about the connection between elements and space. They'll explore real data that provides evidence for the dispersal of several elements produced by the explosion of massive stars, specifically through the Cassiopeia A supernova. Then they’ll put their knowledge into practice by navigating the remains of the supernova in the online interactive “Journey through an Exploded Star.”

  1. The activity begins with “DISCOVER." The students will go through a series of slides, learning first how the visible spectrum of light is only a small part of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, about the different telescopes scientists use to view the electromagnetic radiation across that spectrum, and finally how they've used that data to form a composite view of our universe, specifically through a 3D model of the Cassiopeia A supernova.
  2. In the "EXPLORE" activity, students examine the 3D visualization of data, compiled by astrophysicist Tracey DeLaney, to understand how and why scientists study supernovas such as Cassiopeia A: to gain a comprehensive picture of the cosmos.
  3. The “PLAY” online interactive then takes the students on a first-person flight through the center of this exploded star. The interactive is split into two parts: The first part is a 2 minute guided fly-through, where Kim Arcand, project lead of the original 3D visualization found in the collection, explains the different forms of light and the elements that are traceable under those spectrums. The second is a free explore option, where students are able to manipulate the different spectrums by adjusting filters as they choose. Both parts of the interactive reinforce what they’ve previously learned within the collection about light across the EMS. This interactive works across browsers and requires no software downloads. Also included is a 360 video tour that works on mobile devices and Google Cardboard.
  4. Finally, three extension activities are included. The first allows students to take photographs using real MicroObservatory robotic telescopes located at Smithsonian Observatory sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Amado, Arizona to create their very own authentic astrophotographs. They’ll use specialized image processing software to bring out visual details from images of objects like the Moon, Sun, star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies. The second, "Recoloring the Universe," is a suite of resources that use astrophysical data to teach basic coding. The third resource, "How to Be a Scientist: Careers in Astronomy" highlights the career and data visualization work of astronomer Kimberly Arcand. 

This online activity could be used to augment study about the forms of radiation light can take, learning about supernovae and what happens after a star explodes, as well as learning about some of the different careers in science that are available (astrophysicists, astrophotographers, engineers, and visualization experts). As with all Learning Lab collections, it is built to be freely modified and adapted to fit your specific needs. 

Jessica Radovich
22
 

MicroObservatory: A guide to Observing the Universe

MicroObservatory is a network of automated telescopes that can be controlled over the Internet. In this collection, students will learn how they can control these telescopes themselves, using many of the same technologies that NASA uses to capture astronomical images by controlling telescopes in space. After gathering their very own images of space, students will learn the steps professional astronomers take to process the astronomical masterpieces so often seen from NASA, and then have the opportunity to create their very own!

Jessica Radovich
6
 

ACCESS SERIES | Galaxy Quest

IMPORTANT: Click on the "i" for information icon and the paperclip icons as you move through the collection.

Have you ever wondered what's going on out there in the universe? Would you like to discover exciting things about planets, stars, and galaxies? Today, we will go on a GALAXY QUEST to EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE!

RATIONALE | Digital technology has transformed how we explore the Universe. We now have the ability to peer into space right from our homes and laptop computers. Telescopes, photography, and spectroscopy remain the basic tools that scientists—astronomers and cosmologists—use to explore the universe, but digital light detectors and powerful computer processors have enhanced these tools. Observatories in space—like the Hubble Space Telescope—have shown us further into space then we have ever seen before.

EDUCATORS | For the LESSON PLAN of the original "Galaxy Quest" << CLICK HERE >>

Lesson Objectives:
1. Process and save at least one digital image of a galaxy or space image (with caption)
2. Create a three-dimensional astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)
3. Create a digital astronomy sculpture (galaxy or other space body, space alien, plant, animal)
4. Visit the Explore the Universe exhibition at NASM and identify Hubble parts (mirror, lens, spectroscope)

Learning Objectives:
1.     What a galaxy is
2.     What a space telescope is
3.     Learn how to open an image on the computer and process it
4.     Socialize well in the museum setting


Tags: decision-making, self-determination, access, disability, accessibility, neurodiversity, special education, SPED, out of school learning, informal learning, cognitive, social skills, engagement, passion, creativity, empowerment, All Access Digital Arts Program 


Jessica Radovich
77
 

AFRICAN COSMOS

Put the ARTS in STEM - From Egypt to South Africa, take a brief tour of the African Cosmos  and have your students discover the intersection of Art and Astronomy in the southern hemisphere.   Explore constellations only seen on the African continent.  See why the Goliath beetle became a symbol of rebirth for the Egyptian scarab.  Learn about celestial navigation by people and animals. 

Create Your Own Constellation!  Request Activity sheets for your classroom.

Submit your class constellations to our Student Gallery and be a part of your own school's online exhibition!


Jessica Radovich
73
 

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring rain. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about weather, the water cycle and thunderstorms. Families can also read articles about rain, learn about how native peoples interact with rain, and listen to a read aloud in the hopes to keep families from feeling bored. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers
50
 

Exploring Ava DuVernay's "Selma": History as Visual Culture

The guiding questions of this Learning Lab are

  • What is visual art’s connection to historical events? Why is it important that we recognize these connections?
  • What does studying art add to our understanding of historical events and time periods?

The goals of this Learning Lab are

  • Bridge the gap in understanding between art analysis and historical analysis
  • Explore the inherent ties between art pieces and their surrounding historical context
  • Introduce the foundations of formal art analysis and develop close looking skills for visual art pieces

If you are new to Learning Lab, visit https://learninglab.si.edu/help/getting-started to learn how to get started!

#NPGTeach


Special thanks to National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the National Museum of American History (NMAH), Smithsonian Folkways, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) for inspiring this learning lab and for their resources.

Keywords: Portraiture, African American, American, Selma, Alabama, visual art, Civil Rights Movement, United States, visual literacy

Ashleigh Coren
46
 

Abstraction Methods

Artists can abstract people and objects in many ways. Which methods of abstraction can you identify in these artworks?

  • Simplify
  • Fragment (or explode; break into pieces)
  • Multiply 
  • Rearrange (move the parts around)
  • Magnify (change the scale)
  • Distort (change the shape) 
  • Morph (change into something else)
  • Arbitrary Colors

Art making prompt: arrange some objects to draw. Then choose an abstraction method to create an artwork based on the objects you see.

Jean-Marie Galing
21
 

Human Figure: Abstract vs. Realistic

Look at the artworks and decide which are realistic and which are abstract. Play the sorting game and put the images in the right folder.


Jean-Marie Galing
19
 

Contemporary & Historic Architecture

How does the past influence the present and future? Compare forms in contemporary architecture with those of buildings from ancient and Renaissance times. What similarities can you find?

Jean-Marie Galing
34
 

Bats: One Magnificent Mammal

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring my favorite animal, bats. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about bats, read articles about bats, and listen to the read aloud Stellaluna. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers
29
 

Key Moments in WWII: What makes you say that?

Using the Project Zero Visible Thinking routine "What makes you say that?," students will investigate two photographs, taken from different angles, of Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and General Yoshijiro Umezu aboard the USS Missouri as they signed the surrender that would officially end WWII.

Keywords: world war 2, world war ii, general macarthur, carl mydans, primary source, ww2, japanese instrument of surrender, potsdam declaration, inquiry strategy, japan

#visiblethinking

Tess Porter
4
 

¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert

This collection features bilingual Create-It! STEM activities from ¡Descubra!, the Smithsonian Latino Center's national public education program for kids, teens, and families. These activities can be recreated with materials found at a local grocery or hardware store at home or in the classroom. These bilingual resources can serve teachers in grades 2-5, 6-8, and high school science. 

The activities help participants place themselves in the role of scientist as they work on a STEAM-H project. Through active learning and problem solving, students are fully engaged and better able to understand the concepts being presented. This collection also includes interviews with science experts as well as note cards featuring profiles of U.S. Latina/os that have made notable contributes to STEM fields.

¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert promotes STEM education for youth, with a specific focus on Latino youth, by showcasing Latino role models in STEM fields and discussing career paths and different interests in these areas.

Smithsonian Latino Center (SLC)
16
 

Going for the Gold: The Olympics

I created this collection for families to do together while schools are closed. I will be making a collection a day while we are out of school. Today we will be exploring the Olympics. The idea is for families to look at the items in the collection and consider what they see in the objects and paintings, what they think, and what they wonder. Families can also watch a free Brainpop video about the Olympics, the Special Olympics and athletes who competed. Families can also read articles about the Olympics, learn about the first Olympics, and explore the amazing athletes who have competed to be the best. At the end of the collection I have provided a few ideas for families about what to do next.

If you want to learn more about more about See Think Wonder you can click here to see a video of a teacher using the routine in her classroom.

Ellen Rogers
58
 

Zoomorphic Creatures in Ancient Chinese Art

What can we learn about ancient China by studying artifacts?  What does the intricate detail of works of art suggest about values and beliefs in ancient China?  In this Learning Lab Collection, students will study ancient Chinese works of art via Project Zero Thinking Routines.  Working in groups, students will be assigned to either research ancient Chinese bronze bells or ancient Chinese bronze vessels and make inferences about ancient Chinese values and beliefs based on their research.  Then, inspired by taotie, mask-like design patterns of ancient Chinese bronze objects, students will etch their own zoomorphic creatures into metal foil.

This Learning Lab Collection contains a lesson plan, images to research, Thinking Routines, design worksheet, and sample final artwork.  Download the pdf Lesson Plan located in the "Teacher Materials and Lesson Plan" section first for instructions and art materials needed.

Tags:  metalwork; etch; repoussé; vessels; bells; ritual; Shang; Zhou; dynasty; China; composite animals

Freer and Sackler Galleries
45
 

Grade 4 Beliefs Unit - Science, Art, Humanities and Engineering - Museums Go Global

Welcome to the Grade 4 Beliefs Unit Collection. Please enjoy. Below there is information about:

- How the lesson was used specifically at Washington International School (WIS) in Washington DC in 2019 
- The role of STEAM at WIS

Additionally, within the collection, the markers will help guide the teacher through each component. The collection is broken up into: Educating the teacher team (preparing for the unit), STEAM teacher resources, Student activities, and Student learning extensions. 

Enjoy and all feedback is welcomed. 

About: 

Washington International School is an International Baccalaureate (IB), Primary Years Program (PYP). I am the STEAM Specialist who integrates 21st century skill inquiry projects, hands on science and engineering, and digital tools/technology. This collection is to support many teachers who will contribute to content for this unit. The Language specialists, art teacher, design technology, STEAM Specialist and physical education.

STEAM at WIS:

My role will be to host an experience that role-plays early civilizations and their interactions with sun, moon, and stars. Students will interpret their experience and create a piece of art that demonstrates their translation of the experience. The follow up will be to help the students connect their experience with ancient cultures. Then, the conversation will further develop to challenge the students to think how science changes our understanding of our universe. The overall theme is to encourage students and give them confidence to explore various belief systems, challenge their own understanding of the world through their beliefs, experiences, and science. 

These exercises scaffold learning to align student inquiry to the Social Studies standards: 

  • Distinguish between personal beliefs and belief systems (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)
  • Define the elements of a belief system (creed, codes of behavior, rituals, community.) (AERO CC+ G5 p22 4.5.f)
  • Identify the major religions of the world in terms of their beliefs, rituals and sacred texts. (referenced: AERO CC+ G6 p30 4.8.f)
  • Reflect upon how beliefs affect the individual and society (PYP Scope and Sequence Pg. 29)

Important to know: The teachers at WIS took the students on two days of field trips to visit various areas of "worship" in the DC/MD/VA area: Buddhist Temple, Mosque, Jewish Temple, Catholic Church, and African American Christian Church. Students had worksheets to complete for each location that included observations of icons, the use of shapes in the visual devotional symbols, and to draw the various religious icons. After, they engaged in discussion about their experiences. If your school does not have the ability to do an elaborate field trip like this, we recommend having devotional leaders and/or parents visit as subject matter experts to demonstrate their systems of faith, icons, devotions, and symbols. 


STEAM Project: 

  • I used this collection to train the teachers about the new thinking routines (Beginning slides)
  • There are samples from students learning about Sun, Egyptian use of sun in their beliefs (art and architecture) 
  • Students looked at Egyptian sun use and modern NASA sun data to inspire them for their STEAM Challenge
  • Their STEAM Challenge was to create a pyramid (cardboard) with a devotion (clay), and decorate with sun symbols (crayons/markers). 
  •  Our students just completed a cardboard challenge (Cain's Arcade - check out on Youtube) so they were cardboard construction "experts". Therefore, they only had 40 minutes for their challenge. You will need to either have a lesson on cardboard construction before, or give them more samples and/or time. Hypothetically, this could be a 1/2 day project for students. 
  • The goal is then for students to look at other cultures and other NASA data (Incas (or other Native American tribes)  African Tribes, and/or Australian Aborigines, etc. and have them do the same STEAM challenge (format) by creating a model structure decorated by symbols inspired by both indigenous symbols and modern NASA data (sun, stars, planets, or Earth's Moon). Therefore, they will have a "Maker Collection" that demonstrates various engineering styles as well as belief systems. 


International Baccalaureate Transdisciplinary Unit of Inquiry:  Who we are.  Beliefs - An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships, including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human. 

Central Idea: Humans have common beliefs that attempt to answer life’s big questions. 

            - The main line of Inquiry this collection will align with is: Global religious beliefs and practices

The following subject teachers plan to do the following:

           - Art = Beliefs and metaphors with clay

           - Digital Technology = Building sacred structures 

           - STEAM = Engineering and Science of sacred structures globally and historically

Global thinking routines: Step In, Step Out, Step Back; Beauty and Truth; Unveiling Stories

STEAM Challenge:  Students can further their inquiry from ancient beliefs with their experiences with modern organized religion into modern spirituality by analyzing the exhibition for Burning Man Festival. Students will complete a STEAM Challenge to build their own sacred structure that honors their own belief systems. 

#GoGlobal 

Sandra Vilevac
82
 

The Iñupiaq People and Their Culture

By Beverly Faye Hugo (Iñupiaq), 2009

(This is shortened version of a longer essay from the Smithsonian book Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska.)

Sea, Land, Rivers

There’s ice and snow, the ocean and darkness – darkness in the winter and twenty-four hours of daylight in the summer. Barrow was originally called Utqiaġvik (meaning, “the place where ukpik, the snowy owl, nests”). That’s where my people, the Iñupiat, have survived and lived, and I am doing as they have done. On the Arctic coast you can see vast distances in all directions, out over the ocean and across the land. The country is very flat, with thousands of ponds and lakes, stretching all the way to the Brooks Range in the south. It is often windy, and there are no natural windbreaks, no trees, only shrubs. Beautiful flowers grow during the brief summer season. The ocean is our garden, where we hunt the sea mammals that sustain us. Throughout the year some seasonal activity is going on. We are whaling in the spring and fall, when the bowheads migrate past Barrow, going out for seals and walrus, fishing, or hunting on the land for caribou, geese, and ducks.

Whaling crews are made up of family members and relatives, and everyone takes part. The spring is an exciting time when the whole community is focused on the whales, hoping to catch one. The number we are permitted to take each year is set by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the International Whaling Commission. Whaling is not for the faint of heart. It can be dangerous and takes an incredible amount of effort – getting ready, waiting for the whales, striking and pulling and towing them. But the men go out and do it because they want to feed the community. Everyone has to work hard throughout the whaling season. People who aren’t able to go out on the ice help in other ways, such as buying supplies and gas or preparing food. You have to make clothing for them; they need warm parkas, boots, and snow pants.

We believe that a whale gives itself to a captain and crew who are worthy people, who have integrity – that is the gift of the whale. Caring for whales, even after you’ve caught them, is important. After a whale is caught and divided up, everyone can glean meat from the bones. Each gets his share, even those who don’t belong to a crew. No one is left out.

We are really noticing the effects of global warming. The shorefast ice is much thinner in spring than it used to be, and in a strong wind it will sometimes break away. If you are out on the ice, you have to be extremely conscious of changes in the wind and current so that you will not be carried off on a broken floe. We are concerned as well about the effects of offshore drilling and seismic testing by the oil companies. They try to work with the community to avoid problems, but those activities could frighten the whales and be detrimental to hunting.

 

Community and Family

Iñupiaq residents of Barrow, Wales, Point Hope, Wainwright, and other coastal communities, are the Taġiuqmiut, “people of the salt.” People who live in the interior are the Nunamiut, “people of the land.” The Nunamiut used to be nomadic, moving from camp to camp with their dog teams, hunting and fishing to take care of their families. They packed light and lived in skin tents, tracking the caribou and mountain sheep. My husband, Patrick Hugo, was one of them. For the first six years of his life his family traveled like that, but when the government built a school at Anaktuvuk Pass in 1959 they settled there.

My parents, Charlie and Mary Edwardson, were my foremost educators. They taught me my life skills and language. When I came to awareness as a young child, all the people who took care of me spoke Iñupiaq, so that was my first language. Our father would trap and hunt. We never went hungry and had the best furs for our parkas. Our mother was a fine seamstress, and we learned to sew by helping her. My mother and grandmother taught us to how to care for a family and to do things in a spirit of cooperation and harmony.

I was a child during the Bureau of Indian Affairs era, when we were punished for speaking Iñupiaq in school. My first day in class was the saddest one of my young life. I had to learn English, and that was important, but my own language is something that I value dearly and have always guarded. It is a gift from my parents and ancestors, and I want to pass it on to my children and grandchildren and anyone who wants to learn.

 

Ceremony and Celebration

Nalukataq (blanket toss) is a time of celebration when spring whaling has been successful. It is a kind of all-day picnic. People visit with friends and family at the windbreaks that the crews set up by tipping the whale boats onto their sides. At noon they serve niġliq (goose) soup, dinner rolls, and tea. At around 3:00 P.M. we have mikigaq, made of fermented whale meat, tongue, and skin. At 5:00 they serve frozen maktak (whale skin and blubber) and quaq (raw frozen fish). It’s wonderful to enjoy these foods, to talk, and catch up with everyone at the end of the busy whaling season.

Kivgik, the Messenger Feast, was held in the qargi (ceremonial house). The umialgich (whaling captains) in one community sent messengers to the leaders of another, inviting them and their families to come for days of feasting, dances, and gift giving. They exchanged great quantities of valuable things – piles of furs, sealskins filled with oil, weapons, boats, and sleds. That took place until the early years of the twentieth century, when Presbyterian missionaries suppressed our traditional ceremonies, and many of the communal qargich in the villages were closed down.

In 1988, Mayor George Ahmaogak Sr. thought it was important to revitalize some of the traditions from before the Christian era, and Kivgik was started again. Today it is held in the high school gymnasium. People come to Barrow from many different communities to take part in the dancing and maġgalak, the exchange of gifts. You give presents to people who may have helped you or to those whom you want to honor.  Kivgiq brings us together as one people, just as it did in the time of our ancestors.

Tags: Iñupiaq, Inupiaq, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska, whale, whaling, human geography

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
20
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