Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



kulunguak “pair of earrings”
Language: Koniag Sugpiaq (Alaska Peninsula dialect)

The spectators consisted of native inhabitants, dressed in their finery. The women were wearing their best dresses . . . while on their arms and legs, their necks, and in their ears were as many beads as they could fit in, or all they had…

—Gavriil Davydov, from “Two Voyages to Russian America, 1802-1807”

Earrings were worn through perforations in the ear lobe or all around its rim, sometimes six or eight strands on each ear. This pair is made of 19th century glass trade beads. Women also adorned themselves with tattoos and face paint.

Culture: Sugpiaq (Alutiiq)
Region: Alaska Peninsula
Village: Ugashik
Object Category: Ornaments, jewelry
Dimensions: Length 12.5cm
Accession Date: 1882
Source: William J. Fisher (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E072465