Education and programs

Yup'ik & Cup'ik

The Alaska Native Heritage Center collection showcases all of the indigenous cultures in Alaska. There are tools, watercraft, clothing, pieces of art, drums and more. See these Items on display in the Hall of Cultures.

Yup’ik / Cup’ik

1. 2001.003.005-Parka

Created by:  Elena Ayagalria
Culture:  Yup’ik/Cup’ik
Materials:  Fur, Skin, Yarn, Cowhide

Description:  Elena Ayagalria, Yup’ik/ Cup’ik artist, created this mini fur parka that is made from a variety of fur and skins. Soft gray and white rabbit fur is around the hood, and the body of the parka is made from brown muskrat fur. Tufts of white fur with red and green yarn add the design element to the parka:  three on the front, two on each sleeve, and one on the hood. The tufts are made with both brown and white fur..  The bottom of the parka is complete with cowhide trim, decorated with blue and orange beads, and the bottom of the edge has brown beaver fur.

2. 2001.005.016A-B-Basket

Created by: Rita Blumenstein
Culture: Yup’ik
Materials: Grass, Pigment, Stones? (inside handle)

Description:  The handle for the basket lid is a rattle.  The artist’s initials, "R.B.L" 1985, are stitched on base of object.

3. 2001.002.001A-B-Mittens

Created by: Annie Pleasant
Culture: Yup’ik
Materials: Seal Skin, Leather, Cloth and Fur

Description: Annie Pleasant created these seal skin and leather mittens, which are designed for larger hands. These mittens keep would keep one very warm, as they are lined with fur. Black leather is used on the thumb and finger pads, and there is a leather strap attaching the mittens to one another. 

4. 2004.018.001-Sculpture

Created by: Rosalie Tepp
Culture: Yup’ik
Materials:  Glass, Glass Beads, Ivory, Metal

Description:  Rosalie Tepp, originally from Hooper Bay, created this contemporary stained glass piece. The abstract image was inspired from the artist’s memories of ice fishing and dancing. The piece has a dimensional affect, as two ivory fish dangle from two brightly colored fishermen.  Rosalie does not name her pieces. The artist now resides in Homer, Alaska.

5. 2005.025.002-Headdress

Created by:  Unknown
Culture: Yup’ik
Materials: Spotted seal skin (adult- dark, pup-light) wolverine, muskrat, fabric, beads, thread, and 2 metal pins

Description:  This rare headdress is designed for an adult and is created with a variety of materials.  There are 15 rectangular shaped seal skin pieces, two seal skin strips, one strip of wolverine and one strip of muskrat.  A touch of color is added to the seal skin rectangles with red, white and blue beads. The seal pup is beaded with black and red beads.

6. 2002.002.003A-B-Basket

Created by:  Ria Unin
Culture: Yup’ik
Materials: Grass, Pigment

Description:  Ria Unin created this traditional coiled grass basket with lid.  Purple and rustic orange dyes decorate this creation. The purple knobbed lid completes the piece with alternating colored strips streaming down. The rim of the lid hangs over the basket..  There are both geometric and snowflake designs on the body of the basket, consistently alternating in color.

 7. 2001.001.012-Goggles

Created by:  Moses Wassilie
Culture: Yup’ik
Materials: Wood, Sinew

Description:  Moses Wassilie, a Yup’ik artist, created these traditional goggles. The Yup'ik and Cup'ik people employed snow goggles to alleviate the glare of the sun off the snow packed terrain.  Snow goggles were made out of available driftwood and sinew, which was used to fasten the goggles to the owner.  Goggles were used for traditional hunting and traveling in the winter. To ensure their efficiency, they were fitted to the individual owner.