Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
Meet the People
Maria Turnpaugh

Maria Turnpaugh

Maria Turnpaugh was born in 1927. She was a speaker of Unangam Tuunu, the Unangax^ (Aleut) language and resided in Unalaska. Mrs. Turnpaugh passed away October 20, 2013. Her grandfather was Alexei Yachmanoff, a traditional chief and a warden in the Russian Orthodox Church. Mrs. Turnpaugh learned to speak Unangax^ from her mother, who was also fluent in English and Russian. She learned basket-making from renowned weaver Anasia Hodikoff. She and her family were forced to evacuate Unalaska Island after it was bombed by the Japanese in 1942, returning in 1945 from an internment camp in Southeast Alaska. [Last updated in 2013]