Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



nasqurrun “dance headdress”
Language: Central Yup'ik

So in the fall they sent two messengers to other villages. They told what the family wanted at that dance.... They would all gather when the time came. They invited them and had a real dance.... They used a dance stick, and there was a song leader in the middle of the men’s house.

—John Phillip, Sr., 2002

In coastal villages of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, men who led ceremonial “asking songs” during Kevgik (the Messenger Feast), wore caribou-hair headdresses like this one. They directed the drumming and singing with feathered enirarautet (pointing sticks or dance sticks). Women wore similar headdresses, which remain a part of modern Yup’ik dance regalia for both sexes. Some villages carry on the tradition of Kevgik today, although the details have changed.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Togiak River (mouth), Alaska
Village: Togiakmute
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Length 87cm
Accession Date: 1886
Source: Sgt. Samuel Applegate (donor, collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E127329