Survival in the harsh subarctic environment requires great resourcefulness and ingenuity. The Yup'ik people of southwest Alaska meet the challenge by using traditional technology and by following a philosophy that recognizes the personhood of all living things and the environment. Their use of nature's resources is a testament to the mutual respect and generosity that exists between humans and the animals, plants, land, and sea that sustain them. from hunts and harvests: seal guts became warm, waterproof, and breathable parkas; the skins of fish were fashioned into waterproof mittens, while their heads and entrails were stored in naturally refrigerated pits as insurance against future famine. Dried grasses became anything from insulating socks to bedding to sled rope, or even goggles to protect against snow blindness; rancid seal oil mixed with tundra moss became Yup'ik epoxy for caulking and gluing; and driving snow was manipulated to provide a defense against its own dangers. traditional harvesting activities, using these new means to accomplish distinctly Yup'ik ends. In Yuungnaqpiallerput / The Way We Genuinely Live, Yup'ik elders examine tools and daily-use items, explaining how they were made and for what purpose. Just as Western science relies on the testing of hypotheses, Yup'ik science developed its technologies through systematic trial and error, yielding ingenious and effective solutions to life's challenges. The elders also delve beyond the practical aspects of these artifacts to elucidate the ways in which their creation and use are part of Yup'ik cosmology and traditional spiritual values. Every item carries special significance, and the actions associated with each should be undertaken with awareness and deliberation, for nothing goes unnoticed by the consciousness of the surrounding universe. following the seasonal cycle of harvests and ceremonial renewals, a journey revealing the beauty of these artifacts that extends beyond the aesthetic surface to connect with the living pulse of the universe.
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THE MORAL FOUNDATIONS OF YUPTK SCIENCE
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akutaq Alaska Andrew June 2003 animals Annie Blue arrows bearded seal birds blackfish blade bone boots bowl burbot called caribou catch Chris Arend coastal dance described designs dogs dried elders Elena Charles Fienup-Riordan fish traps fish-skin float Frank Andrew February Frank Andrew January Frank Andrew June gathered harpoon harvest hole Hooper Bay hunters hunting Hurlbert inside ivory kayak Kevgiq Kotlik Kuskokwim Kuskokwim River Kwigillingok Museum negcik Nelson Island nets Neva Rivers Nick Andrew Nick Andrew March Nick Charles Nightmute NMAI NMNH noted ocean paddle parka Paul John April person piece pull qasgi recalled removed salmon sea mammals seal oil seal-gut sealskin sewing side sinew skin snow snowshoes spear spruce stitches Theresa Moses things Toksook Bay told twined grass urine village walrus Wassilie Evan March waterproof weather women wood wooden young Yukon Yukon River Yup'ik