explores the relationship between art, science and ethnography within
the Yup'ik way of life
Yup'ik people have no word for science yet their tools were so well
designed that they allowed the Yupiit to live in a land no one else
would inhabit. The exhibition "Yuungnaqpiallerput (The Way We Genuinely
Live): Masterworks of Yup'ik Science and Survival" presents remarkable
19th and early 20th century tools, containers, weapons, watercraft
and clothing in an exploration of the scientific principles and
processes that have allowed the Yup'ik people to survive in the
sub-arctic tundra of the Bering Sea coast. The exhibition is on
view Feb. 3 through Oct. 26.
Featuring "masterworks" ranging from a needle made from
a crane wing bone to elegant bentwood hunting hats, The Way We Genuinely
Live elucidates the science behind the design and technology of
these objects. Coming from the collections of 13 museums in the
U.S. and Germany, more than 200 exhibition objects are the legacy
of the intelligence and ingenuity of this ancient culture and illustrate
the intimate relationship between humans and their environment.
The exhibition is based on knowledge shared by Yup'ik elders and
takes visitors through the seasonal cycle of activities, showcasing
tools and materials. At interactive science stations, visitors can
engage in hands-on activities that show how and why things work.
Video and audio programs document traditional activities as well
as the construction of traditional Yup'ik tools. Not just a science
exhibit, The Way We Genuinely Live is compelling in its presentation
of the unique marriage between art, science and ethnography. At
the exhibition's core is the recognition that the Yup'ik way of
life both past and present is grounded in deep spiritual
values and scientific principles.
by cultural anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan, The Way We Genuinely
Live is a joint project of the Anchorage Museum and the Calista
Elders Council, developed with the guidance of Yup'ik elders, scientists,
and educators and with major support from the National Science Foundation.
In 2009-2010, the exhibition will travel to museums in Fairbanks,
Juneau, and Washington, DC. It premiered in September 2007 at the
Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center and Museum in Bethel, Alaska.
The exhibition was designed by Presentation Design Group of Eugene,
Oregon. Video and audio programs were produced by KYUK of Bethel,
and the interactive science stations were developed by the Oregon
Museum of Science and Industry with advice from Yup'ik elders, staff
from Anchorage's Imaginarium Science Discovery Center and national
experts in the field of informal science education. The Imaginarium
also will host several sessions on Yup'ik Science during its 2008
Summer Science Camps.
National Museum of Natural History
Location: Second Floor
Exhibit: April 17, 2010 July 25, 2010
- The Way We Genuinely Live
The Yup'ik people have no word for science, yet their tools were
so well designed that they allowed the Yupiit to live in a land
no one else would inhabit. The exhibition Yuungnaqpiallerput/The
Way We Genuinely Live: Masterworks of Yup'ik Science and Survival
presents remarkable 19th and 20th century tools, containers, weapons,
watercraft, and clothing in an exploration of the scientific principles
and processes that have allowed the Yup'ik people to survive in
the sub-arctic tundra of the Bering Sea coast.