I missed posting of October rains. Snow has lightly fallen and it’s staying on the ground. I have just finished an order of pikuguq that was ordered via my website- I was excited to hear and worked on them right away; I have two other piluguqs to work on, ciuqalek piluguq and a child piluguq;
My mom and I have made several trips to a material store to compose some fantastic qaspet (qaspeq plural);
I am going to precut arctic ground squirrels my mom gave to me to reuse that she had sewed years ago for her simple parka. I’ll be keeping you informed of the progress as time allows.
Winter is here and so keep on being who you are! “Piurci!”
I don’t have regrets to over work on a short season of wild Alaskan harvesting season. I still have more to go before the snow crashing down. Here are some delightful photos of my adventures, a few artsy projects I have completed and an amazing story;
I wrote a poem and it’s all about the drive of harvesting what Alaska has in a short season of growth.
My great grandma and her ancestors before her lived solely off the land. Her name was Lizzie Lomack. Last weekend I meet her brother’s two of many grandchildren from Dillingham area. His name was Qugcuun. Qugcuun hiked over to Dillingham area from Kuskokwim River over the mountains in pursuit of food. Growing up I heard we had a big extended family up river and over the mountains to the south. It’s amazing how God introduced us in a peculiar way, in our very pursuit of berries we just love to gather.
I am not crazy enough not to ignore the nature that nourishes our body.
I see the outdoors a time to renew my relationship with the one who created me – and I just want to simply enjoy his creation. I met my dear relatives and I am just so happy to know we are still gathering like our forefathers.
I have not left the cyber world – it’s just a busy work life and harvesting time in Fairbanks Alaska. I have carved out zucchini from my front yard garden, walked the tundra searching for blues and black berries – and accidentally finding cloud berries aka salmon berries and finding eatable mushrooms here and there. I won’t say from where these items were found thru the media but I will tell you to come along. Here are some picturesque adventures I have taken;
Always searching for winter supplies and rain on the horizon.
Searching for berries everywhere and find flowers instead.
Berries I normally don’t pick were found.
Mushroom hunting unintentionally. Berries on my mind but couldn’t resist picking this good one.
Road more traveled but not by me .
Treasures in blue and orange!!! Mmm!
Roots perfected by pressure!
My tools gifted by my father in law in 1999. My art teacher advised me, “Don’t let your husband use them!” I love my husband and he is not allowed to use these what so ever!
Adventures to mountains and flats is worth aches and back pains for mouths to feed. So many reasons to absorb everything about Alaska!
Summer is outdoor every day event in Alaska! The other day, my lunch consisted of wild rhubarb right out of the interior forest, peel and eat! Picking Labrador Tea is a must!! Tea is especially great after a good home cooked food. After a busy day of work; in office or any outdoorsy event – look out the window with a cup of tea is peaceful.
I have been extremely busy not sewing-I feel disconnected from my tasks of sewing but the call of the wild outdoors Alaska is tempting and can’t be ignored. Thanks to my Ilung, Letha- she insisted my mom and I pose for a picture of our hand made Yup’ik traditional parka;
I am on my way to my extended family on the Kuskokwim River. I am looking forward to seeing friends and family – cut fish with them and go out to the tundra to harvest berries and greens. I am bringing with me some ingredients for home made soap to mix with healing plants. I am also bring organic zucchini to make akutaq with black berries with non organic crisco and sugar – 🤣!
Every year I plant zucchini in my front yard. This year I won’t wait til they are humongous to harvest them.
Just yesterday, my mom picked tea and left them in my Tacoma truck. We stepped out for little bit and entered the truck. I tell you, it was an amazing aroma! I would say better than any store bought deodorizer!
Wild Rhubarb is another eatable plant that is a must pick green!! I saw one right in the city limits of Anchorage!
I am looking forward to rain, sunshine, tundra, the smell of delicacy Yup’ik food and seeing family!! Summer means a whole lot more then outdoors-it’s means subsistence til the sun goes down and maqiq til wee morning. Piurci! 🌸
The sewing is calling again with the forest fire in the air. I am aiming with a needle to sew this weekend; qaspeq or atkucuaq (little fur parka). I plan to cut out a pattern with materials and measure out my fur parka.
Before the heavy smoke was blown this way from the southwest of here, I had the opportunity to get out into the wild 😜.
Before stores or ships with western goods arrived to AK, we already had a chewing gum, spruce sap. While on the trail or out and about – vegetables were a hand pick away, fireweed. Soup was never far with a hand made wooden bowl – burl.
With this smoky air, I will imagine as a snow storm and I shall do my sewing!!
The center is the back of an Arctic Ground Squirrel and sides are the belly part of the squirrels.
The fur fashion purse is no where to be found. The lost fur craft item has stolen my creativity to sew – actually summer is here a short time and its time to harvest fish and eatable plants. Spring hunting was a success for my extended family on the Kuskokwim River. We are grateful for opportunities to gather and pass on the traditional subsistence lifestyle to our children.
Eatable greens have come out of the frozen ground and are defrosted into our body in need of vitamins and fiber. First the fiddle heads are happily gathered. The smelts and hooligans are dipped out of the rivers. The salmon are swimming their way into the rivers to be hung on racks and smoked to preserve. The migratory birds have layed their eggs. On the coast of Alaska, herrings are harvested and halibut are fished out of the sea. The small and big mammals have gained their offspring. The Arctic ground squirrels are running around like no tomorrow; my thought have been trapping for them. These are a glimpse of what Alaska is!
I have been attacked by the pollens – making no fun under the Fairbanks hot sun. We are happy when rain comes down!
Yesterday evening my mom, sister, niece, nephew and I went out to pick the first of our summer harvest: wild rubarhb!
In Yup’ik we call them “Angukat” plural. I make them for dessert, mix in yogurt and hand full of tundra blueberries and sugar to your taste.
We pick them when they are a foot or so tall before the stems harden. Every part of the plant is eatable, unlike the domestic rhubarb.
We separate the leaves and stems. We boil the leaves and you can add the chopped stems to the boiling pot.
I store a half quart ziplock bags and freeze for winter food. For lunch we had fresh greens for dessert;
I have not furgotten the toddler parka: and updated progress will be posted soon.
We are enjoying the summer and there are more day and night lights to enjoy! Piurci!
I was just about to sew my latest fur fashion purse but no sight of it in the place I left it last 😢😡😢 – emojis sad and mad and sad again!
I hope it’s only lost in my corner pile. I will have to re-search the area I thought I had it last. I won’t give up until it’s either found half eaten, in tack or a pile of poop – you guest it, a husky dog poop 💩!!!
If I was in Alaska Native Art class I won’t be fooling my teacher. There are Alaska Native art classes available within the University of Alaska and many local schools in Alaska. I might take a class in something art this fall. I think it’s always good to do something you enjoy doing and learn new techniques of art. Here is a piece of lost art that may or may not be found again;
If it’s not found there is an opportunity to improve the second fur fashion purse.