Trying to keep up

WRITEN ON FEBRAURY 10, 2020

I checked out the Anchorage Museum again on January 5, 2019 before the shut down due to Covid. Seeing Yupik storyknifes brought memories of no worries about getting sick. I made a few metal storyknives myself as a middle school child from barges that brought supplies – it was like finding gold! Most times we ran out of butter knifes at home ūü§£. My friends and I spent hours spitting our saliva to make smooth clay mud on the ground to tell our stories. My site is like a story knife on mud…real as can be.

I plan to make more trips to museums when the time permits.

I want to examine the artifacts with my eyes

I might bring a magnifying glass and take pictures.

April has been fabulous

It’s been a whirlwind of events this April, with weather’s teasing early spring and winter snow that doesn’t want to give up. ¬†Berry pickers understand the need for snow and rain on the ground. ¬†“It’s still April and it will snow when it wants!” is what I have been saying. ¬†April has its ups and down with spring expectations for good weather but its Alaska! ¬†We will see unexpected weather changes that will not make everyone happy. ¬†I have learned from growing up in the Yup’ik world view to see tomorrow as a time that might happen,¬†pisqutekumteggu (plural).

Recent art events gave me confidence with Alaska traditional garments especially the traditional Yup’ik parkas, Qaliq. ¬†Little words of encouragement can go a long way. ¬†At the end of March I submitted the parka I made for the Adaptation – Fairbanks Arts 2019 Spring Juried Exhibition. The Juror was Alvin Amason . See fairbanksart.com. Mr. Amason was my Native Arts instructor back in the 1990s where I carved my first Yup’ik bowl. ¬†At the last minute I made a cloth material parka with left over materials from qaspet and some fur. ¬†It was a one week after work project! ¬†I got it done and rushed over to the Bear Gallery to submit it for the art event. ¬†I thought, I’ll just bring the actual fur parka in case they need it for comparison. ¬†Once I got there, I decided to submit it. ¬†I called the picture here, Iluungaqelriik (teasing girl to girl cousins):

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I basically measured each shape same excepted added 1/4 inch for sewing machine space. ¬†The hard parts were the small piece that required angle sewing. ¬†The fun parts were the fast pace sewing that didn’t take me four months. ¬†I had my heart set on the material parka to be picked. ¬†I had no idea, like a fish out of water that the fur parka would be selected:

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Having never done this kind of fun event, I was surprised, “what does this mean?!” ¬†The night before the open house, I went to the Bear Gallery to hear Mr. Amason speak about his arts and adventures. ¬†It was absolutely encouraging to hear a passionate Alaska Native artist talk about his work. ¬†I want to share his words about the arts that were submitted;

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Leaves are plenty and they are growing indeed! ¬†Never give up what creativity comes from the heart and mind. Another mind blowing event happened to three of my poems, they got published! ¬†Yes, it was another last minute submission, this time to Alaska Women Speak. ¬† ¬†The theme was Trajectories. ¬†I sent three poems with the main title, “Letters to the Tundra” – Take me to the Tundra, Magnetic Snow and Duck Soup in Spring. ¬† Over fifteen years ago I had one published with Ice Floe, called “Tuberculosis.” ¬†So far, four have been published. ¬†There is room for growing and the leaves are plenty, even storm clouds seem overwhelming, don’t forget there is sunshine and Alaska has plenty of it.

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I have another style I want to make that my mom started for my younger sister, just need to gather all the materials and study the style, Quliitaq.  Quliitaq will have a drum design and made similar to Qaliq but slightly different.  One of the reasons I have been happy about winter not completely being over, I had a fur project that needed to be done.  It was done once snow really started to melt;

Pisqutekumteggu! Piurci!