In the 1880s, the Norwegian-born traveler Johan Adrian Jacobsen spent a year in Alaska and amassed an unprecedented collection of Yup'ik material culture that eventually made its way to Germany's most prominent ethnographic museum. More than a century later, a delegation of Yup'ik elders and educators from Bethel, Alaska, joined cultural anthropologists and museum professionals at the Berlin Ethnologisches Museum to examine and interpret Jacobsen's collection, one of the world's largest and most impressive Yup'ik collections.
Things of Our Ancestors is a record of this unusual meeting of minds and cultures. Evoking the stories and experiences that the cultural artifacts embody, the Yup'ik elders examine and discuss these objects made by their ancestors, reclaiming knowledge on the verge of being lost. For this Yup'ik-English bilingual book, anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan has chosen stories and accounts of the Berlin exchange that best describe the collection and the visit. The narrative is accompanied by 66 photographs of this unusual episode of cultural revival.
This book will prove a treasure for Yup'ik readers, linguists, folklorists, anthropologists, and historians, and will hold much interest for anyone concerned with Native American oral tradition. 66 photos