My shield

When I think of the shield on the parka, I think of God’s words, “You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” Palm 119: 114.  I found that the word, ‘shield’ is used in the Bible many times.  


I am encouraged today – even when I am not walking in full armor in my daily life, Jesus is my refuge.  

Today, I cut up the patterns for the shield but slightly changed the height to avoid the black spots of the calf skin.  In the old days they used caribou as the shield.  Perhaps, next time with the child parka I’ll use caribou skin as a shield.  


I am searching for caribou hide for the hair strips.  I am thinking of using caribou or moose sinew to sew the strips on.  I am getting more excited about sewing them together.  It’s easier than I thought.  If you already hand sew – this too is possible!!!  I encourage you as the Word of God encourages me – take on a challenge and learn with me.  You can contact me for ideas – I like sharing what I am learning.  


The swan feets are both dry.  They turned out great!  I think I may have to find caribou by way of hunting for them.  

Talking about hunting, I actually went trapping for Arctic Ground Squirrels and caught three 🙂.  Thanks to Harry and Sharon Alexie and their children and Sargent and his son George Guy for showing me the ropes of squirrel trapping – I learn a wealth of knowledge within an hour or two to trap and the proper way of taking care of the meat.  Quyana cakneq!!!  It took a lot of courage for me to step into the trapping experience- it’s harrowing to do it alone for the first time – thank God my daughter was with me.  Stay tune for more stories with pictures!  
Have a wonderful week!  Piurci!

Author: Nasek'taq

Merna Wharton “Nasek’taq” is Yup'ik from Akiacuaq (Akiachak) lives in Anchorage Alaska. Merna is an Alaska Native artist, poet, traditional and contemporary seamstress, carver, gatherer of greens and berries, and loves the outdoors of Alaska! Merna enjoys finding art in natural elements and shares her experiences through her website, nasektaq.com. Merna crafts to preserve her culture and art and shares her worldview from a remote village Yup’ik girl’s perspective with a glimpse of life in Alaska in her writing and poems. More information about her art can be found at https://www.rasmuson.org/49writers/artist-profile/merna-wharton/.