Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge


Men’s community house (model)

qasgiq “men’s community house”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Tua-I uum qasgim wangkuta yuuyararput tamalkuan tegumiaqaa. (The qasgiq is the center of our way of life. It holds everything.)

—John Phillip, Sr., 2002

The model shows drummers, dancers, and singers during a winter ceremony in the men’s community house, or qasgiq. All communities had at least one qasgiq where men engaged in athletic contests and dances, storytelling, fire-baths (saunas), and crafts. Women came to this space to bring men food and to participate in festivals. The qasgiq was metaphorically related to the universe, with its central skylight open to the upper world of spirits.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Kuskokwim River, Alaska
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Length: 20.5cm
Accession Date: 1919 (collected 1905-1909)
Source: A. H. Twitchell Collection
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 093577.000