Toddler Atkuk

I started this child parka several years ago but I didn’t have enough Arctic Ground squirrels to finish the atkuk. Atkuk is the type of fur parka that is a pull over similar to the qaspeq made out of material for causal or professional use. Before I go any further on this subject piece, I had a surprise visit last Saturday from one of the authors of “Edible and Medicinal Plants of Southwest Alaska” – Ann Fienup-Riordan, a Cultural Anthropologist. Another special surprise, I have been blessed to examine and measure an Atkupiaq or an Alngaq sent by Kwethluk relative, Margaret Ayapan. I’ve been encouraged by these opportunities to learn more about the Yup’ik atkut in different forms or styles. I was finally able to restart the “Toddler Atkuk.”

Books and start of a new Women’s Alngaq

Here is a time line of the Toddler Atkuk:

Selected several good Squirrels for the arms and hood
cutting squirrels for the arm and hood
close up of main body
thinking, hood or collar

I initially added a sea otter collar but removed it and so glad I add the hood.

Inside of the Arctic Ground Squirrel Atkuk
Close up of hood and front
Mikelnguum Atkua

The last sewing to add are tassels with beads. Piurci, Tuingunrituq.

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, 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

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