Appeasing the Spirits:
Alaskan Coastal Cultures
Opened May 13, 2004 and on display until September 2005
This exhibition explored the creative adaptation of the gifts of land and sea which Alaska's Eskimoan peoples have made the centre of their material, spiritual and cultural life for thousands of years. An exciting component of this exhibition were the artifacts on loan from the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, Russia, many of which had never been seen outside the country.
Collected when Alaska was in Russian possession, these rare artifacts told the story of first European contact. Highlights included impressive Aleutian bentwood hunting hats, finely woven Aleutian grass socks, Central Yupik fish skin and bird skin clothing, and Point Hope footwear made for whaling festivals.
The voices of contemporary Alaskan seamstresses also added a layer of meaning to the public's understanding and appreciation of Eskimoan material culture.
The exhibition catalogue is available through the
Appeasing the Spirits: Rare Alaskan Artifacts Direct from Russia at the Bata Shoe Museum
Adobe PDF file, 100Kb, prints onto letter-sized (8 1/2 x 11") paper.
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