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.

Trying to keep up


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 🤣. 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.