Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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qantaq “bowl, plate, dish”
Language: Central Yup'ik

Ilait wani qaralimegnek nunat kingunermegni nunat qaralingqelartut waten ayuqenrilngurnek. Nunat, nunami tuani wani qaralingqerraqluteng tuaten ayuqellriamek. Wangkuta-llu cenarmiuni allakamta cal’ qaralirluta. (Some have designs from their home villages that are different. They have designs like that in their village. We from the lower coast have different designs.)

—John Phillip Sr., 2002

On this solid wood Yup’ik oil dish the handles are carved human faces with glass beads for eyes. The painting inside depicts a creature with four limbs, a short tail, and the head of a crested bird. Like many Yup’ik paintings the image shows the creature’s internal organs. Men carved bowls for their families and the designs they painted inside – often representing animal spirits – were handed down from father to son. Black paint was made from charcoal, gunpowder, or coal, and red from red ocher; both were mixed with seal blood.

Culture: Yup’ik
Region: Alaska
Village: Big Lake
Object Category: Housewares
Dimensions: Length 35.6cm
Accession Date: 1879
Source: Edward W. Nelson (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E038677