Saquleggpakat: An Abundance of Birds
Date(s) - 01/10/2014 - 03/13/2014
The Valdez Museum on Egan
Opening reception Friday, January 10th at the Valdez Museum, 6 PM – 8M
This exhibit and associated programs look to nature’s influence on art making and Native tradition and practice. It will wed “Saquleggpakat: An Abundance of Birds,” Native heritage kit and exhibit, developed by Chugachmiut, Inc. with the VMHA’s newly acquired collection of Native art. This includes a bentwood cedar hunting visor created by Peter Lind, Jr, Andrew Abyo’s “Ancient Messenger” yellow cedar mask and Mike Webber’s Eyak-styled ceremonial paddle. Visitors to the museum will see firsthand, examples of remarkable contemporary Native artists’ work.
Chugachmiut heritage kits have been developed on a variety of topics that teach about Alutiiq history and come replete with an exhibit and a rich array of hands-on art activities borne out of Native people’s seamless relationship with their natural surroundings. The kit, “An Abundance of Birds,” will provide both local students and museum visitors with the opportunity to learn the importance that migrating and indigenous birds have to the people of the Chugach Region. Birds, the annual dietary staple of the people, were and still are used for their skins, feathers, beaks, talons, and bones in the making of tools and in the design and embellishment of clothing and art. The latter is clearly in evidence in the bird-shaped Alutiiq hunting visor created by Peter Lind, Jr that resides in the museum’s collection. The heritage kit emphasizes the importance of birds in material culture and offers lessons on using beaks, feathers and bones in tool construction, mask-making, dance rattles, and clothing adornment.