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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
Shaman's Whistle:

LOCATION: Ugashik (Uggásaq), Alaska Peninsula, 1885-1886

REFERENCE: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution (NMNH 127807)

DIMENSIONS: 5 cm long.

DESCRIPTION:
"We had to be very careful, even how we played . don't whistle and things like that .. And somebody way up the Koyukok River told me they have the same belief, that the spirits speak in whistling" (Martha Demientieff, Alaska Peninsula Elder, 1997). Whistling was used by shamans to call the spirits. Today, maskalataq dancers blow whistles to imitate spirit voices. Parents caution children not to whistle, especially at night.


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