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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.

Iñupiaq / St. Lawrence Island Yup’ik

1. 2001.001.004A-C-Qayak Model
 Qayak Model

Created by:  Leon Kinneeveauk
Culture: Inupiaq/ Yup’ik
Materials: Driftwood, Baleen, Ivory, Sinew, Walrus Stomach, Seal Fur

Description:  This qayaq was created by Inupiaq/Yup’ik artist, Leon Kinneeveauk. Traditionally the qayat, plural for qayaq, were used by the coastal Inupiaq for hunting expeditions.  This particular piece shows the double-paddle blade that was used for steering.  This model also includes a spear that was used to strike walrus, seal, and in some cases, caribou.


 2. 2001.004.001-Mask

Created by:  Dora Umara Buchea
Culture:  St. Lawrence Island Yupik
Materials:  Caribou Skin, Hair, Ink, Spotted Seal, Calf Skin, Beads, Shells, Sea Otter, Polar Bear, Wolf

Description:  Caribou skin, human hair, ink, spotted seal eye lashes, calf skin eyebrows, beads-trade beads and shell buttons.  Ruff is Sea otter, Polar bear and wolf, face is bleached caribou.

This beautiful mask was created by Inupiaq artist, Dora Umara Buchea. The symbolic representations on this mask are very strong for the Inupiaq people. The three lines represent her children, and the two dots represent her only daughter. The designs on the cheek, spider webs, symbolize a story she was told on St. Lawrence Island. Dora was told about the reincarnation of souls. She was to take care of all things even spiders, “it might be your nunaq!”

3. 2004.004.001-Box

Created by:  Bernard Toolie
Culture:  St. Lawrence Island Yupik
Materials:  Bone, Ivory

Description:  Bernard Toolie, a St. Lawrence Island Yupik artist, created this whale vertebrae box, with a designed whale tail created from ivory.  The box was carved with a shop lathe; three-prong holes can be found in the bottom of the bowl where the bone was attached to the lathe. 

 4. 2001.005.003-Mask

Created by:  Kobaluk
Culture:  Inupiaq
Materials:  Whale Bone, Wood, Pigment

Description:  This whale bone mask is designed with a face, carved out of wood and painted red.

5. 2001.002.036-Scrimshaw

Created by:  Tony Henry
Culture:  Inupiaq
Materials:  Baleen

Description:  Tony Henry created this baleen piece, which is incised with an engraved image of a bear at the edge of a body of water looking out at a bowhead whale. Mountains are behind the bear, and a moon and clouds hang in the sky. 

6. 2004.020.001-Sculpture

Created by:  Susie Silook
Culture:  St. Lawrence Island Yupik
Materials:  Ivory figurine and Alabaster stand

Description:  Susie Silook created this female figurine, which is set on a removable alabaster stand.  This piece has a variety of materials, helping to create a graceful feminine image. Antlers decorate the top of the head, wood forms the arms and hangs from the left knee.  Baleen eyes are drilled through the outer edge of the upper pelvis and throughout the palm of the left hand.  The thumbs of this piece were intentionally omitted.

7. 2002.004.001-Bracelet

Created by:  Unknown
Culture:  Inupiaq
Materials:  Ivory, Baleen, Elastic, Pigment

Description:  This ivory and baleen bracelet is designed with carved animals, adding a dimensional affect.  The ivory and baleen pieces alternate, the ivory pieces being larger, 3/8”, than the baleen, 3/4”.  The first animal on the bracelet is a seal, the second animal is a  fox, and the third animal is a walrus  Each animal is carved on the bracelet twice; however, the positioning of the animals head changes. All the animals have black eyes, noses, and nails.