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Arctic Studies Center Admin
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This cribbage board, made from a single walrus tusk, is beautifully decorated with scrimshaw—carving on whale bone or ivory which is colored with pigment! Cribbage, a card game invented in the 1600s, is historically a British invention and pastime, though it found its way to American shores on board ships... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Magnetic North
In August 2017 we will be opening a new exhibit Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic legend and are currently in the process of recruiting volunteers to interact with visitors in this exhibit and the Sant ocean hall. We will provide all the training necessary to prepare volunteers in September and they... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Magnetic North
From a distance, this object looks like a relatively unremarkable, woven, lightly decorated bag. However, upon closer inspection you might notice that the bag is actually made of both sealskin and fish heads that have been stitched together (look for their eyes). Talk about unexpected materials! This is just one... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2017 at Magnetic North
Carving this diminutive ivory walrus, used as a belt ornament, must have been very difficult—check out some of the amazing details former project photographer, Brittany Hance, was able to capture. This belt ornament, shaped like a walrus, is so tiny! This object is one of many collected by Edward W.... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at Magnetic North
What is this particular weaving going to be when it’s finished? A coiled basket, perhaps like this one (E424170)! While many of the objects in the arctic ethnology collections were made a century, or more, ago there are a number of objects made and collected much more recently that have... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2017 at Magnetic North
By Chelsi Slotten with Emily Cain and Haley Bryant Starting in 2015, we began a joint effort with the Anthropology Collections Management Unit to photograph and make digitally available the entire NMNH Arctic Ethnology collection which contains over 20,000 objects. As you might imagine, this is a huge undertaking. This... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2017 at Magnetic North
By Chelsi Slotten The Society for American Archaeology will be hosting its 82nd annual meeting in Vancouver Canada this week (March 29- April 2). Over five days’ thousands of scholars will convene to talk about their research, discuss important questions facing the field, and plan for the future. This year,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at Magnetic North
By: Chelsi Slotten It’s been quite a year here at the Arctic Studies Center. We started off with a workshop on animal crashes in the Arctic in early January and have kept busy ever since. Scholars from across the US, Canada, and Europe joined us to look at how human-climate-animal... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at Magnetic North
By Dawn Biddison The Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center’s Sharing Archival photo from Material Traditions: Sewing Gut. Kwigillingok, 1931, Courtesy of the Anchorage Museum. Knowledge Alaska website offers educational and instructional videos -- some with teacher’s guides and lessons -- from its Anchorage Museum exhibition programs. With assistance from NMNH website... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2016 at Magnetic North
By: Schuyler Litten and Chelsi Slotten Last Tuesday, October 25th, we had the pleasure of hosting the Artic Fulbright open house in the Ocean Hall of the National Museum of Natural History. We welcomed 17 Fulbright Arctic Initiative Scholars from Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Norway, Sweden and the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at Magnetic North
By Amy Phillips-Chan, Director of the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum. Originally Published in the ASC Newsletter, No. 23. 55-57 For almost 50 years the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum has perched a few yards from the icy coast of Norton Sound on historic Front Street in Nome, Alaska. In... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2016 at Magnetic North
By Emily Cain and David Rosenthal. Originally published in the ASC Newsletter, No. 23. 40-41 Emily Cain (left) and Brittany Hance (right) in the Department of Anthropology's Imaging Lab at the Museum Support Center. The summer of 2015 saw the beginning of the Department of Anthropology’s Collections Management Unit’s Arctic... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2016 at Magnetic North
Location: Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum Date: Thursday, September 1 at noon Carpenter turned positive rap musician, motivational speaker and community activist, Samuel Johns (Ahtna Athabascan) talks about his work, which includes founding to help the homeless reconnect with their families. This event is sponsored by the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2016 at Magnetic North
Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum: Thursday August 4th at noon In 2015, the Anchorage Museum brought Greenlandic tattoo artist Maya Jacobsen together with Iñupiaq artist Holly Nordlum to collaborate around traditional tattoos. Join Nordlum for an update on this project and accompanying documentary about skin-stitching cultural heritage. This... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2016 at Magnetic North
Location: Anchorage Museum lawn Date: Friday, July 8th at 1-5pm See murals in the making, inspired by Alaska Native heritage represented in the Smithsonian and Anchorage Museum collections. Arizona artists Dwayne "Dwayno Insano" Manuel (Onk Akimel O’odham) and Rene "Strike 1" Garcia (Tohono O’odham) with Alaska artist Arielo "Bisco" Taylor... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2016 at Magnetic North
CLICK HERE for a preview of Material Traditions: Sewing Gut – a set of educational videos from the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center artists' residency at the Anchorage Museum and community workshop at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel. Featuring artists Mary Tunuchuk (Yup'ik), Elaine Kingeekuk (St. Lawrence Island Yupik)... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2016 at Magnetic North
Climate Days brought together 158 Arctic specialists to share with one another the current knowledge of ice conditions and climate change in the Arctic. The primary venue for the conference was Ilulissat’s Hotel Arctic. Sponsors who made this conference possible include Denmark’s National Space Institute, the Nordic Council of Ministers,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2016 at Magnetic North
By Chelsi Slotten with Ann Fienup-Riordan The Bering Sea coast is a sparsely inhabited bit of the sub-arctic Tundra. Despite this, the Yup’ik people have made their home there for centuries. The sophisticated design of their tools allowed the Yup’ik people to live in an area that no one else... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2015 at Magnetic North
By: Chelsi Slotten with William Fitzhugh Ask most people who the first Europeans in North American were and they would probably answer Christopher Columbus. They would also be incorrect. The first Europeans to land in North America were actually a group of Vikings sailing under Leif Eriksson almost 500 years... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2015 at Magnetic North
By: Chelsi Slotten with William Fitzhugh Ainu means “human”- Ainu means “us”. These powerful words are the beginning of a journey to understand the indigenous population of northern Japan-the Ainu. In the exhibit Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People, we meet a 10,000-year-old culture. Through select objects and artworks the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2015 at Magnetic North
Date: Thursday, November 5th at 7pm Location: Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum D. Roy Mitchell, research analyst for the Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council, discusses the causes of language loss including involuntary boarding school programs in the past to ongoing economic and political domination, and the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2015 at Magnetic North
What would you do if you found a woven spruce hat in a retreating glacier? For master weaver Delores Churchill, it was a chance to connect the past to her present. The National Museum of Natural History will host a screening of “Tracing Roots: Delores Churchill and the Hat of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2015 at Magnetic North
Date: Sunday, October 11th at 2pm Location: Anchorage Museum auditorium, FREE Documentary shorts about Alaska Natives, including Harvest: Quyurciq featuring Peter Paul Kawagaelg Williams (Yup'ik) of Sitka. Other films are A Way of Making Life Beautiful: Yup'ik Art Between Two Worlds, Trapping at 15 Below, and The Story of NANANordic.... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2015 at Magnetic North
Voices from Cedar: Carved Whistles and Rattles of Southeast Alaska Whistles, rattles, and clappers summon spirits and echo their voices during the dances and ceremonies of Southeast Alaska. Carved from red or yellow cedar, these traditional instruments blend distinctive musical sounds with complex beauty of form. Master carvers John Hudson... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2015 at Magnetic North