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The living tradition of Yup'ik masks : agayuliyararput = our way of making prayer  Cover Image Book Book

The living tradition of Yup'ik masks : agayuliyararput = our way of making prayer / Ann Fienup-Riordan ; translations by Marie Meade ; photography by Barry McWayne.


For the Yup'ik people of southwestern Alaska, masked dancing has long been a focal point of ceremonial activity. Performed traditionally inside the qasaiq (communal men's house) during festivals, the dances feature face and finger masks that make visible the world of helping spirits and extraordinary beings, and are specially made to tell particular stories. Although masks are infrequently used today, elders still remember their powerful presence and increasingly appreciate them as touchstones of cultural pride - as agayuliyararput, "our way of making prayer." Often used by shamans to facilitate communication and movement between worlds (human and animal, the living and the dead), Yup'ik masks usually were discarded after use. Specimens first found their way into museum collections via nineteenth-century traders and collectors working along the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, and soon were displayed internationally. The Living Tradition of Yup'ik Masks brings together masks from museum and private collections all over the world and presents them in their native context. Ann Fienup Riordan describes the natural world of southwestern Alaska and the rich ceremonial life that evolved there to acknowledge and honor the many beings that made possible the sustenance of human life in a precariously balanced environment. Chapters arranged geographically describe the world's major Yup'ik mask collectors and collections and the circumstances that made each unique. The voices of Yup'ik elders are present throughout the text, recounting stories, describing traditional Yup'ik life, and responding to particular masks.

Record details

  • ISBN: 0295975016 (cloth : alk paper)
  • ISBN: 9780295975016 (cloth : alk paper)
  • ISBN: 0295975237 (paper : alk. paper)
  • ISBN: 9780295975238 (paper : alk. paper)
  • Physical Description: 320 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 31 cm
  • Publisher: Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1996.

Content descriptions

General Note:
"In association with the Anchorage Museum of History and Art and the Anchorage Museum Association."
Published in conjunction with an exhibit organized by the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 309-314) and index.
Subject: Yupik masks > Exhibitions.
Yupik art > Exhibitions.
Yupik Eskimos > Religion > Exhibitions.
Yupik (volk)
Masques inuits > Catalogues d'exposition.
Art inuit > Catalogues d'exposition.
Inuits > Religion > Catalogues d'exposition.
Alaska > Antiquities > Exhibitions.
Alaska (États-Unis) > Antiquités > Catalogues d'exposition.

Available copies

  • 1 of 3 copies available at Homer Library. (Show)
  • 1 of 3 copies available at Homer Library System. (Show)
  • 1 of 3 copies available at Homer Public Library.


  • 0 current holds with 3 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library AK 731.75 FIE (Text) 000103758 Alaskana -- Nonfiction Checked out 07/20/2024
Homer Public Library AK_DUP 731.75 FIE (Text) 000150089 Ask Staff -- Duplicate In process -
Homer Public Library REF 731.75 [AKA] FIE (Text) 000103759 Reference -- Alaskana Available -

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