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Arctic Studies Center Admin
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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 4 days ago 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 5 days ago 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 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