Download Faith, Food, and Family in a Yupik Whaling Community by Carol Zane Jolles PDF

By Carol Zane Jolles

For greater than fifteen hundred years Yupik and proto-Yupik Eskimo peoples have lived on the web site of the Alaskan village of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. Their background is a list of family members and kinfolk, and of the interrelationship among those that reside in Gambell and the non secular global on which they count; it's a heritage ruled by means of an abiding wish for group survival. hoping on oral heritage mixed with ethnography and ethnohistory, Carol Zane Jolles perspectives the modern Yupik humans by way of the iconic ideals and values that experience contributed to the community's survival and suppleness. She attracts on wide interviews with villagers, archival files, and scholarly reviews, in addition to on her personal ten years of fieldwork in Gambell and the knowledge of Yupik elder consultant Elinor Mikaghaq Oozeva, to illustrate the critical significance of 3 elements of Yupik lifestyles: non secular ideals, devotion to a subsistence lifestyles means, and kin and extended family ties. Jolles records the lifestyles and livelihood of this contemporary neighborhood of marine mammal hunters and explores the ways that faith is woven into the lives of neighborhood participants, paying specific cognizance to the jobs of ladies. Her account conveys a strong feel of the lasting bonds among those that reside in Gambell and their non secular global, either earlier and current.

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Extra resources for Faith, Food, and Family in a Yupik Whaling Community

Sample text

It is one of the oldest villages in rural Alaska and compares in age with Point Hope and certain sites in the Aleutians. Studies conducted in the 1980s indicated that household incomes were not large, and the community is, in general, lowincome (Williams 1977; Little and Robbins 1986). The 1990 census figures confirmed this pattern. Low income, however, did not mean that anyone went hungry, unclothed, or without shelter. As I helped some residents to prepare their income tax forms in 1988, I realized that the communitywide tradition of caring for family meant that many financial burdens were shared among several different related families.

One used to be open in the evening and was popular with “night folks,” those who stay up most of the night playing cards and listening to music. For several years now, the Deli, mentioned above, has sold sweet rolls, coffee, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, spaghetti, pizza, and home-baked desserts. It is successful and seems likely to become a permanent fixture. The local IRA Council, like many church organizations in the lower 48, sponsors community bingo games (four to six nights per week) and sometimes advertises stakes as high as $1,000.

It seemed to me that dipping one’s walrus or seal meat into ketchup, or, as I witnessed later, making spaghetti sauce from bowhead whale meat, was the essence of adaptability! Families either sat around the tray on the floor, often on large sections of cardboard which helped to insulate the sitter from the cold drafts along the floor, or they ate around a tray placed on a low coffee table. In the past, walrus hide floors were insulated with moss or grass to protect the sitter from the cold. Each person took what he needed from the tray, one piece at a time, dipping pieces of meat into the seasonings and sauces.

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