November 24, 2008

Giinaquq "Like a Face"

Coming on the end of this class project. I have attended many different events for the celebration of Native American History Month and after visiting the Anchorage Museum to see the exhibit I would like to say finally, at least Alaska received 34 of the masks back to exhibit.

Like African masks each Alaskan made mask has a meaning behind it and because of circumstances beyond my elders control the art of mask making is dying.

There is an artist in Anchorage who carves masks out of cedar. I have also seen traditional artists work at the Alaska Native Heritage Center to see their work visit

I still say that many of the current artists like Henry Chennault making Yup'ik masks are exploiting a tradition without really understanding what the masks meant to my people. I say that Henry never grew up in Alaska and just studying art does not make you an expert in the field. There are stories, myths, traditions and more that goes into a mask and there is a meaning to them. I do not think that Henry Chennault does not have the history.

My family and I plan on visiting the Anchorage Museum soon.

End of Blog..................

Saturday 22 November 2008 11 A.M.

Willie Templeton and his guests appeared at the Campus bookstore talking about how organizations are preparing for another "great migration" from rural Alaska to urban Alaska...namely Anchorage.

Life has become harder, living out in the villages. The gas prices this past summer went way past four dollars a gallon. With many communities getting gas when the rivers were open they paid even more this year for the gas or heating oil.

With the staples in stores also going up in price many people may make the decision to move to Anchorage where prices are high but not as high as they are in the village.

I don't know if families will make this major step because it costs money to move too.

Do I think that a great migration will happen? Yes, maybe. Look at the village of Igiugiak - they were in danger of closing their school because they did not have enough kids enrolled (10) to keep the school open. Well the village attracted a family to move there with 4 more kids - then they were able to keep the school.
What would have happened if they could not have found a family? How dependent is the school on the community? How much does the school involve the community?
I would like to know more.

Friday 21 November 2008

Too bad the Aleut's do not have a letter stating that the masks in question were only on loan.....If that were the case then Alaskan Aleuts may get their masks back.

Thursday 20 November 2008

In the News

The national news reported today about how the government of Peru is planning on suing Yale University for the return of their priceless artifacts.

The University says that even though a contract says that they were going to "hold on to and study" the artifacts that in fact they are now the owners of the priceless artifacts.

Isn't that stealing? How could the University hold onto possessions they clearly sought only to borrow?

I think that the Peruvian Government is entitled to all the artifacts - and the Yale University granted a letter thanking them for being good stewards and nothing more. If this goes to court they may lose.