[SKIP NAVIGATION]


LOOKING BOTH WAYS: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People of Southern Alaska

Introduction
About the People
Alutiiq Villages
About this Project
Supplemental Reading

Object Categories
Ancestors
Our History
Our Way of Living
Our Beliefs
Our Family


IMAGE
Ivory Amulets:

LOCATION: Napartalek, Bristol Bay, 1887-1893

REFERENCE: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (both NMNH 168626)

DIMENSIONS: left 7 cm long; right 10 cm long.

DESCRIPTION:
According to traditional Alutiiq belief, sea otters (ahnat) were formerly human beings. A story from Prince William Sound tells of a man who was trapped on the beach by a rushing tide. To save himself, he cried "I wish I might turn into a sea otter!" Designs show the animal's ribs and spine. The bones of killed otters were returned to the sea so that the animals would be reborn.


[SKIP BOTTOM NAVIGATION AND FOOTER]
About this Project | Supplemental Reading


End of Page