Spring Break poetry

A while ago I wrote a poem with no title but today it’ll have a title; Snared and Don’t be Snared!

How it began; I was learning to trap Arctic Ground Squirrels in the fall. I was enthusiastic in the beginning and exhausted at the end! I was contemplating on my experience with trapping and thinking of spring how I get excited for it and ready to enjoy the melting of the snow but then I forget to rest. As the snow slowly melts away my energy to enjoy the more sunlight get shot up. It takes time to say no to overwork but it’s hard for the body that is genetically inclined to start gathering for survival kicks in. At the end of these pictures you will find the poem.

Here are some latest pictures of the parka squirrel project;

The fur that began early and gathered at end for the completion-like a circle that connects to parka.

I have sewed in the beads matching the shield beads.

I have added the brown and tan leather that matches my parka by measurements and color. I added the beads;

Tassels are added with red yarn;

I also dyed the back side of the tassels with Thai tea 😳;

Looks like red Ocher;

Here is something that is not sewed in my parka that was suggested by various seamstresses I have talked with – thank you Aunty Bernice and my friend Val’s mom Teresa – quyana for sharing 🌸

This is the back side of the ruff that will help shine the ruff like the sun. I used a baby seal skin that was gifted to my mother from relatives in Togiak that have roots from Kwethluk. I shaved the fur to lessen the fluffiness.

March 16, 2018 – I think I will be finished with Qaliq parka ❤️🌸.

Snared and Don’t be Snared

In pursuit – setting up trap near fresh silty dug out whole

                In labor for safety and hid all my seeds and roots

                Cold arriving, climbing down deep whole away from darkness into darkness

Intrigued by my curiosity-hand snapped shut by rusty trap near turmoil

                Can’t get loose, Oh someone is coming!  I need to be still or make a move!         

                Stick is holding me down my neck and I panic!

Don’t put your fingers thru the trap – set it up from underneath! 

Piurci! Enjoy spring while it lasts before summer sunshine!

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/.

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