Alaskan Eskimo Series

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8 videos in this collection

At the Time of Whaling
Gambell, Alaska is a Yupik-speaking community on St. Lawrence Island on the Bering Sea. Here, as on the coast, sea mammals are still the major source of food. During their…
From the First People
This is a film about change and contemporary life in Shungnak, a village on the Kobuk River in northwestern Alaska, 75 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Life in this…
In Iirgu's Time
Iirgu is an elder from the Siberian Yupik Eskimo village of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. As two grandchildren listen, Iirgu recounts events in Gambell from the time the first…
Joe Sun
Immaluuraq ("Joe Sun" in English) grew up moving among seasonal camps in the Kobuk River region of Alaska now resides in Shungnak. In this film, he describes the life of…
On the Spring Ice
Walrus as well as whales are hunted by the Eskimos of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. As the film opens, an old man tells of the dangers of moving ice,…
The Reindeer Thief
Like many St. Lawrence Island legends, this story is set in Siberia where Chukchi, the Reindeer People, live. Pelaasi, an elder from Gambell, speaks Siberian Yupik. His mythical story, about…
Tununeremiut - The People of Tununak
Four sequences, filmed over a two-month period, portray aspects of the lives of the people of Tununak, a village on the south-western coast of Alaska. In the first, the villagers…
The Drums of Winter (Uksuum Cauyai)
This feature-length documentary explores the traditional dance, music and spiritual world of the Yupik Eskimo people of Emmonak, a remote village at the mouth of the Yukon River on the…

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Netsilik Eskimo Series
Filmed over a period of three years, from summer 1963 to the late winter of 1965, and released in 1967 as a part of the widely used elementary social studies curriculum, Man: A Course of Study, these films reveal the live reality of traditional Eskimo life before the European acculturation.…
Joe Sun
Part of the Series: Alaskan Eskimo Series
Immaluuraq ("Joe Sun" in English) grew up moving among seasonal camps in the Kobuk River region of Alaska now resides in Shungnak. In this film, he describes the life of the earlier Kobuk settlements. He talks about women being isolated from the village when they are menstruating or when they…
Full Circle
In the summer of 2001, under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, a totem pole in the Peabody Museum at Harvard University was returned to its original owners' ancestors, a Tlingit community in Southeast Alaska. The journey of the pole began a hundred years ago when it was…
Qallunaat! - Why White People are Funny
What's so funny about white people, otherwise known as Qallunaat to the Inuit? Well, among other curious behaviours, Qallunaat ritualistically greet each other with inane salutations, repress natural bodily functions, complain a lot about being cold and seem to want to dominate the world. This docucomedy is a collaboration between…
Through These Eyes - Anthropology, The Netsilik People & Politics
An American elementary school program from the 1970s. Man: A Course of Study (MACOS), looked to the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic to help students see their own society in a new way. At its core was The Netsilik Film Series, an acclaimed benchmark of visual anthropology from the National…
On the Spring Ice
Part of the Series: Alaskan Eskimo Series
Walrus as well as whales are hunted by the Eskimos of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. As the film opens, an old man tells of the dangers of moving ice, how people used to drift on such ice and never return. A cluster of men stand on a snowy rooftop,…
Tununeremiut - The People of Tununak
Part of the Series: Alaskan Eskimo Series
Four sequences, filmed over a two-month period, portray aspects of the lives of the people of Tununak, a village on the south-western coast of Alaska. In the first, the villagers evacuate their homes and camp on higher ground, fearing that a Nuclear test on Amchitka Island, 1000 miles away, may…
At the Time of Whaling
Part of the Series: Alaskan Eskimo Series
Gambell, Alaska is a Yupik-speaking community on St. Lawrence Island on the Bering Sea. Here, as on the coast, sea mammals are still the major source of food. During their three-week Spring migration through the Bering Channel, whales are hunted using a combination of traditional organization and recently introduced technology…
At the Winter Sea Ice Camp, Part 4
Part of the Series: Netsilik Eskimo Series
Part 4, color, 35 minutes A bitter wind blows and the dogs huddle in the snow. In the igloo, the children scratch in the rime on the ice window. A man takes out his tool-pouch and drills the stone trough he is making, using bow and spindle. Children play with…
At the Spring Sea Ice Camp, Part 2
Part of the Series: Netsilik Eskimo Series
Part 2, color, 27 minutes The men are hunting seal through the sea-ice in the bleak windy weather. The wind disturbs the "tell-tales," made of eider down or a hair loop on a bone, that signal when a seal rises to breathe. A hunter strikes, kills and drags his catch…
Group Hunting on the Spring Ice, Part 3
Part of the Series: Netsilik Eskimo Series
Part 3, color, 33 minutes The men are moving about on the sea ice, probing for unsafe ice and watching for seals. The snow cover is nearly gone now, and the breathing holes have widened. The men sit and wait. One makes a strike with his harpoon and others come…
Building a Kayak, Part 2
Part of the Series: Netsilik Eskimo Series
Part 2, color, 33 minutes As the kayak takes shape there are more ribs to be split and shaped to fit, more soaking, bending and binding, more skins to soak and scrape and soak again before stretching them tightly on the frame and sewing them in place. Now the outer…