This is Arctic Studies Center Admin's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Arctic Studies Center Admin's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Arctic Studies Center Admin
Recent Activity
At first glance, it isn’t obvious what this object might be used for. This tool, affiliated with the Innu (then known as the Naskapi) cultural group, served as a painting stick to decorate robes and other clothing. This particular paint bone was collected from Ungava Bay, Quebec, Canada by Lucien... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Magnetic North
Intrepid explorer Captain Charles Francis Hall collected this Inuit drinking tube, carved from a narwhal tooth during one of three Arctic research expeditions he conducted during his lifetime. There are a number of objects in our collections that are made of or contain narwhal ivory. The material is very versatile... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2017 at Magnetic North
These three tools fit together to make a drill! The thin object with the metal nib (like a drill bit we might use today) is placed point-down on the object to be drilled, the fiber of the bow implement is wrapped around the drill bit, and the larger wooden piece... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at Magnetic North
We know from the catalogue information that this incredible painted, wooden box was collected not just from the Yukon River Delta, but specifically from Pastolik. It was collected and donated by Edward Nelson and accessioned in 1897. Candace Greene, a North American ethnologist at NMNH, informed us that these boxes,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2017 at Magnetic North
This delicate wooden object is a child’s game described in the catalogue information as a “Jumping-Jack”, made of carved wood and rope made of sinew, gut, or baleen. You can make Jack jump by pulling apart the two long handles and bringing them back together quickly to make the small... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Magnetic North
This very beautiful doll was collected by Edward Nelson in Kaialigamut in the Kuskokwim Delta and accessioned in 1879. It is impressively carved and beautifully adorned in a small outfit of calico and fur that is also intricately beaded. The dolls in our circumpolar collections vary greatly in size and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2017 at Magnetic North
By Chelsi Slotten and Nicholas Parlato The Ninth International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences took place earlier this month in Umea, Sweden, in the southernmost part of Sapmi, the ancient homeland of the Sami. The five-day event was attended by eight hundred people from twenty five different countries, with 204... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at Magnetic North
This item from our collections perhaps seems unfamiliar at first, but if you take a closer look you might recognize a familiar object. It’s a shuttlecock! Shuttlecocks, also referred to as “birdies”, are what get batted back and forth during a game of badminton. This shuttlecock has a head made... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2017 at Magnetic North
The Alaska Office of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center has produced two new interdisciplinary curricula available as free downloads from the Sharing Knowledge Alaska website: Salmon Give Life: Learning from Alaska's First Peoples Gifts from the Land: Lifeways and Quill Art of the Athabascan Peoples Sourced from free, online resources... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at Magnetic North
Join us next week Tuesday - Wednesday for the Solstice 2017 celebration UTC+5 at International Date Line (June 20) (12 am East Coast/South America, 6 am Central Europe/Africa, June 21) To all Solstice celebrators: We're writing to you today with some last minute news regarding the 2017 Solstice celebration, which... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2017 at Magnetic North
This is one of several beautifully painted wooden spoons in our collections from Alaska. This particular spoon was collected by J.H. turner and donated to the museum on March 9th, 1894 by the Bureau of American Ethnology. Many Circumpolar objects with varying shapes and uses have decorations in this style!... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2017 at Magnetic North
Snow-goggles, most often made of carved wood, are a common object across a number of groups represented in the circumpolar ethnology collections. Snow-goggles are meant to be positioned on the face, over the eyes, and secured to the wearer’s head with a strap of skin or hide. The small opening... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2017 at Magnetic North
This small bag, made of wood or reeds and dressed animal skin, was donated to the museum in 1931! Though the catalog card does not identify a collector, we know it was donated by The Museum of the Academy of Sciences, Leningrad, Russia. Collected near the Aldan and Lena Rivers... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2017 at Magnetic North
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 May 19, 2017 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 May 17, 2017 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 Arctic 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