By Carol Zane Jolles
For greater than fifteen hundred years Yupik and proto-Yupik Eskimo peoples have lived on the website of the Alaskan village of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. Their background is a checklist of relations and relatives, and of the interrelationship among those that reside in Gambell and the non secular international on which they rely; it's a heritage ruled by means of an abiding hope for group survival. counting on oral heritage combined with ethnography and ethnohistory, Carol Zane Jolles perspectives the modern Yupik humans when it comes to the iconic ideals and values that experience contributed to the community's survival and suppleness. She attracts on large interviews with villagers, archival documents, and scholarly reports, in addition to on her personal ten years of fieldwork in Gambell and the knowledge of Yupik elder consultant Elinor Mikaghaq Oozeva, to illustrate the principal value of 3 features of Yupik lifestyles: non secular ideals, devotion to a subsistence existence method, and relations and extended family ties. Jolles files the existence and livelihood of this contemporary group of marine mammal hunters and explores the ways that faith is woven into the lives of neighborhood contributors, paying specific realization to the jobs of girls. Her account conveys a robust feel of the lasting bonds among those that dwell in Gambell and their non secular international, either previous and current.
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Extra resources for Faith, Food, and Family in a Yupik Whaling Community
As the initial excitement wore off, Marina suggested that I dress warmly and proceed to the beach. The beach, it turned out, was approximately a mile from the house and was absolutely vacant. It remained so for many hours. Occasionally, an old man ventured out, stared at the horizon, and disappeared into the village. Elder John Aningayou appeared briefly on his three-wheeler and horrified me with bloody stories of harpoon gun accidents; then he went back home where it was warm. I spoke enthusiastically about the whale strike to a non-Native family enjoying the winter sun on the beach until I realized that this must be the Seventh-day Adventist minister and his family, who were vegetarians!
Sivuqaq Mountain, a bluff 614 feet above sea level, sits at the back of the village and defines the village’s eastern edge. 4. Figures are from unpublished statistics of the City Council clerk (February 1989) and the Gambell IRA (1997), and from the Alaska census (1990). 20 Where It All Takes Place: The Village of Gambell In 1987, when I first lived in Gambell, the community had no running water except at the John Apangalook Memorial High School, the elementary school, and two of the schoolteachers’ living quarters.
The postmistress and her family dragged a vacant house from its former site near the airport to its present location next to the post office. I’m not sure that’s where they wanted it to go, but that’s as far as the village tractors managed to pull it, seated on its precarious roller supports, one spring afternoon. The post office has occupied the middle of the corridor for at least ten years, but it used to sit conspicuously alone. Older men passed time in the post office when the postmaster was elder Herbert Apassingok.