The goal of Yup’ik Masks – Unfolding the Past to Our Present Generation is educate stakeholders in the YK Delta the importance of Yup’ik masks and the stories behind them. Ten (10) to fifteen (15) participants will learn to carve using both traditional and modern techniques, assembly of appendages, and stories behind certain types of masks. However, applicants and registrants will be open to the public with preference to Alaska Native and American Indian residents. Each participant will take with them knowledge they themselves can practice and pass on to others.
Two types of masks will be carved, a human spirit and owl spirit. The importance of each type and the techniques on carving each will be taught. Several assembly methods of appendages, hoops and prongs will be taught so that each student can choose their preference and individual style. Stories of why these types of masks were made will be taught to have the participants learn the meaning of such masks. Finally, they will learn, how after they are carved, why they were used and the ceremonies that made them an important part of dance and song.
By encompassing all aspects of carving from beginning to end, I hope will encourage the participant’s continuance of the Yup’ik culture and tradition. Through these traditions our culture will live on for generations to come by encouraging them to pass on what they have learned. Thus, completing the Yup’ik heritage of passing on knowledge to one another.
Funded by Alaska (April 2018)