Alaskan Eskimo Series

Documentary Educational Resources
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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
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…

Related videos

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…
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…
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…
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,…
From the First People
Part of the Series: Alaskan Eskimo Series
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 inland community is dominated by the seasons and the river. In October, when the film begins, the Kobuk becomes filled…
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 Bering Sea coast. The Drums of Winter gives an intimate look at a way of life of which most of…
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.…
At the Spring Sea Ice Camp, Part 1
Part of the Series: Netsilik Eskimo Series
Part 1, color, 27 minutes Two Eskimo families travel across the wide sea ice. Before night falls they build small igloos and we see the construction in detail. The next day a polar bear is seen basking in the warming sun. A woman lights her seal oil lamp, carefully forming…
In Iirgu's Time
Part of the Series: Alaskan Eskimo Series
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 missionaries arrived. His story is known as an ungipamsuk or true historical narrative. With ambivalent feelings, he describes more recent…
At the Autumn River Camp, Part 1
Part of the Series: Netsilik Eskimo Series
It is late autumn and the Eskimos travel through soft snow and build karmaks, shelters with snow walls and a roof of skins, in the river valley. The geese are gone but some musk-ox are seen. The man makes a toy sleigh from the jawbones of a caribou and hitches…
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…
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…