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Arctic Studies Center Admin
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The 14th Annual Mongolian Studies Conference, co-hosted by the Mongolian Cultural Center, the Embassy of Mongolia to the U.S., the Mongolian National University of Arts and Culture, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, is being held on February 7-9, 2020, at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, in Washington... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2020 at Magnetic North
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Here at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, our volunteers do some amazing work. For Volunteer appreciation month, we’d like to highlight Gina Reitenauer who has been working with us on preparing materials for publication. She has assisted with bibliographic formatting, acquiring image permissions, and putting together our yearly field report.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2019 at Magnetic North
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By Mary Gay This qulliq/kudlik (oil lamp) affiliated with the Inuit Native group from Baffin Island, Nunavut was collected and donated by Lt. William A. Mintzer, and accessioned into the museum in 1876. Blubber would be pounded up in the concave part of the stone to access the oil and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2019 at Magnetic North
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By Mary Gay These Kamiks (boots) and removable socks are affiliated with the Western Greenland Inuit Native group. The boots are made of red and white depilated sealskin (skin with the hair removed), with brown sealskin soles, and the socks are made of sealskin with fur on the inside. At... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2019 at Magnetic North
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By Mary Gay This object is affiliated with the Inuit Native group in Labrador, Canada. It was created by Garmel Riche, who is originally from Bluff Head Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, in 1986-1987. It is a work of basketry using the coiling technique, and sewing, made from beach grass with... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2019 at Magnetic North
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The Alaska office of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum has completed a new YouTube channel, presenting videos from its programs, where you can learn from Alaska Native elders, culture bearers and artists about their languages, arts and lifeways. Playlist subjects include Dena’ina, Iñupiaq and St. Lawrence... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2019 at Magnetic North
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By Mary Gay This mat is affiliated with the Western Greenland Inuit Native group and was collected in 1927-1928 by Paul Oscanyan on the west coast of Greenland. A young, unnamed Inuit girl made and gifted it to Oscanyan in gratitude for him teaching her brother navigation. The mat is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2019 at Magnetic North
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By Emily Cain and Haley Bryant with Krista Zawadski, with support from the Government of Nunavut and the Dept. of Anthropology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History This ulu (semilunar knife) was collected by Lt. William A. Mintzer near Kangiqtualuk (the Cumberland Gulf) during his expedition to find graphite veins... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Emily Cain and Haley Bryant with Krista Zawadski, with support from the Government of Nunavut and the Dept. of Anthropology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History In 1974, this hunter and his kayak (qajaq) were carved from grey soapstone by Dick Kilikavioyak (1902-1982). Collected the same year they were... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at Magnetic North
The Circumpolar Ethnology Imaging Project (CEIP), now in its third year, has successfully digitized nearly 50% of the vast Arctic and Subarctic ethnological collections in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History. Starting this month, we are photographing objects from Nunavut, the largest and northernmost Territory... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Tiffany Priest This object was donated by Dr. John Cooper at the Catholic University of America and acquired by the museum in 1956. The bone flesher was a gift of Mrs. Geo. Rbt Norn in 1931 and was collected from Ft. Resolution near the shore of Great Slave Lake... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Tiffany Priest This weight, made from plumbago, also known as graphite, and carved in the image of a bowhead whale, was donated by Edward Nelson in 1882. It was collected from Sledge Island in Alaska. The catalog record notation says, “Used on line to be passed over the flukes... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Tiffany Priest This object was collected by Dr. C.E. Folk Jr. and acquired by the museum in 1995. This bottle opener is affiliated with the Inupiat (Eskimo), an Alaska Native group. The bottle opener was designed by “Nuguruk”, which is indicated by the artist’s signature in the lower right... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Tiffany Priest These gloves were collected by Edward Nelson, an explorer who was stationed on the Bering Sea coast of Alaska from 1877 to 1881. These gloves are made from bird skin and are affiliated with the Inupiat (Eskimo) Alaska Native group. The gloves were collected from the Diomede... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Tiffany Priest This object was collected by Dr. Aleš Hrdlička, the founder of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, near King Island, Alaska, and was accessioned into the museum in 1926. This object is affiliated with the Inupiat (Eskimo) Alaska Native group. It is 53 cm long and 4.5... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Haley Bryant Gut skin is a common material found in circumpolar collections and was used commonly for clothing items. Most gut skin items, like this kapitaq or parka, are made from seal intestine that has been processed and stitched together with sinew thread to form a water-tight seal. Gut... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Haley Bryant Seal hunting has historically been a large part of the economy in Arctic and Subarctic communities. As you may imagine, hunting seals comes with all sorts of challenges! Communities throughout the Arctic have had to innovate some ingenious methods of pursuing, killing, transporting, and processing seals such... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Haley Bryant The attire this carved doll is wearing is pretty different from many of the dolls, such as this one, in our collections which are often wearing parkas and robes very similar to typical full sized garments. According to Yup’ik elders, doll outfits tend to mimic the styles... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Haley Bryant The basket-like head of this mitiŋŋiun, or “Ice Scoop”, would have likely been fastened to a long wooden handle and served as an important fishing tool. After trekking out onto the ice, fishermen carve holes in order to fish through the ice. This ice scoop would be... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Tiffany Priest To the untrained eye, this object may at first look like it is made from part of a plant. In fact, I thought it looked similar to raw vanilla beans. However, it is made of muskrat tails and sinew! The catalog indicates that muskrat tails and sinew... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Emily Cain On November 29, 1927, this pair of dance mittens came to the museum from Tununak, Nelson Island. While they are made mostly of hide which has been painted red, they are also completely covered in loose hanging seal claws, puffin beaks, and feathers. You may think these... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2018 at Magnetic North
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By Tiffany Priest Can you guess what pulled this type of sled? This model of a Mahlemut sled, which is only six inches long, was collected by Edward Nelson at Sledge Island in Norton Sound, Alaska and came to the museum in 1880. The object, affiliated with the Mahlemut, an... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2018 at Magnetic North
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For more information or to request a visitor badge contact RecoveringVoices@si.edu Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2018 at Magnetic North