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Anchorage exhibit includes Anaktuvuk Pass masks

November 24th, 2012 | Carey Restino Print this article   Email this article  

On display this winter at the Anchorage Museum is a collection of rare objects, many of which originate from the Arctic.

The collection, called the "Recent Acquisitions" display, opened Nov. 16 at the museum and will remain on display through Feb. 10. The display includes unique skin masks made by the Nunamiut people of Anaktuvuk Pass. The masks are made by casting wet caribou skins on wooden molds and staining them with caribou liver, a release by the museum said.

The masks were collected by the late state soil conservationist Weymeth Long and his wife, Vivian. All 16 were made by Inupiaq artist Jane Rullard Young. The Long family donated the masks to the museum, and they are now part of the facility's permanent collection.

Also on display is an Inupiaq harpoon made by Ted Mayac, Sr. under the instruction of Paul Tiulana. The harpoon, which took three months to complete, is made of cedar, walrus, ivory, walrus bone, seal hide, caribou antler, jade, baleen and sinew.

In addition to the additions to the collection from the Arctic, several other highlights include a collection of photographs taken by teacher Etta Jones, who was a teacher on Attu island when it was invaded by the Japanese in 1942. Jones was allowed one suitcase when she was taken to a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp, where she stayed for three years. She took the photographs, which show life on Attu Island, as well as a collection of baskets.

A child's parka made by Vera Roberts Giese of Unalaska, was also donated and is on display.

More information about the exhibit, visit


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