Skip to main content

Creating a Ceremonial Gut Parka (Sanightaaq) – A Yupik Tradition

The Yupik people of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, traditionally made ceremonial parkas (sanightaaq) out of seal or walrus intestines. In this video, two Yupik women explain how the parkas were made and repaired.

In 2001, traditional scholars Branson Tungiyan and Estelle Oozevaseuk from St. Lawrence Island traveled to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to share their knowledge about ancestral objects in the Natural History Museum's collections. These discussions contributed to the Living Our Cultures exhibition at the Arctic Studies Center, hosted by the Anchorage Museum. In 2007, St. Lawrence Island Yupik artist Elaine Kingeekuk provided additional information about objects selected for the exhibition and repaired a ceremonial gut parka in the traditional way, making it ready for exhibition. Join these Alaska Native experts to learn about the ceremonial gut parka now on display in Anchorage until 2017.

Video from Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. See teens making crafts with real gutskin at Q?rius.

Topics: