Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Dance fans

tegumiak “pair of dance fans”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Aturairluku un’ keggaacesseng angutet, kegginaqurluteng, nutaan-llu tamakut aturluki feather-alriit tava-ll’. (The boys would remove clothing from their torsos, put on masks, and use the dance fans that have feathers on them.)

—Neva Rivers, 2002

Hand-held fans accentuate the fluid movements of a dancer’s arms. Men and women danced with them in the old winter ceremonies and use them today for festival performances. Women’s traditional fans had carved and painted images of animals or spirits. This pair is carved with the smiling face of a man and the frowning face of a woman; the dots are stars in the night sky; and the four holes represent the cardinal directions.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Lower Yukon River, Alaska
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 10.3cm (max measurement)
Accession Date: 1902
Source: Isreal C. Russell (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E217808