Tag Archives: alaska

Eskimo Soccer

Eskimo girl with soccer ball.  Point Barrow, Alaska.  Photograph by E. A. McIlhenny, 1897-1898.

In conjunction with the 2015 Copa America, and especially the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the Penn Museum offers this photograph to the soccer world. Last year, I found this photo of soccer amongst the Eskimo of Point Barrow, Alaska, taken by ornithologist and Tabasco sauce heir, Edward Avery McIlhenny in 1897-1898. That photograph shows a […]

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Arctic Dance House Model

Kuskokwim umiak identified as “Happy Traveler Canoe.” Photo by Margaret Bruchac, with permission of Penn Museum. Museum Object Number NA1521.

Kuskokwim Dance House Object Analysis and Report for Anthropology of Museums by Michele Belluomini This Inuit (Eskimo) Model Dance House (object #NA1522) in the Penn Museum’s Arctic collections drew my attention because it seemed very mysterious, but also like something I “knew.” The more I studied it, the more I realized that much more was going on […]

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Iñupiaq Smoking and Siberian Reindeer

"Portrait of Su-Ku-Uk in Native Dress and Holding Pipe MAR 1894." William Dinwiddle, Glass Negatives of Indians, collected by the Bureau of American Ethnology. BAE GN 03099A 06510000, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

This semester, my students in Museum Anthropology conducted close examinations of objects from Arctic locales in the collections of the Penn Museum. During our object analysis of this walrus tusk ivory Iñupiaq pipe (item# 39-10-1) in the Collections Study Room, I was intrigued by the idea that it was used for smoking opium, given the absurdly small hole in […]

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Iñupiaq Pipe

Examining the Eskimo (Iñupiaq) pipe. Photo by Margaret Bruchac with permission of the Penn Museum.

Searching for Stories: Patiently Listening to an Iñupiaq Pipe Object Analysis and Report for Anthropology of Museums by Sarah Parkinson As a student intern in the American Section of the Penn Museum, part of my job involves inventorying accessioned objects. When I first started, I was curious about every object I handled. During the first few days, […]

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Alaska Harpoon Rest

Figure 1: Alaskan Harpoon Rest from the Sledge Island Van Valin Collection. Photo with permission from the University of Pennsylvania Museum

Alaska Harpoon Rest: Supported by Bears, Whales, and Chains Object Analysis and Report for Anthropology of Museums by Enika Selby This Iñupiaq (also called Eskimo or Inuit) harpoon rest (Museum Object Number: NA4796) came to the Penn Museum from Sledge Island, Alaska, a tiny island off the Western coast. It is hand carved from walrus ivory, […]

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Hot pepper and ice – and the earliest photograph of soccer north of the Arctic Circle

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup has begun in Brazil this afternoon.  Since it is being played in a tropical country this year, the Penn Museum Archives thought it fitting to show what is most likely the earliest photograph of a soccer game played north of the Arctic Circle. Taken at Point Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost […]

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Archives Photo of the Week: Happy Holidays From The Archives

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This week’s image really makes you feel the cold that December and January bring. This photograph features Eskimo children playing in the snow at 50 degrees below zero in Point Barrow, Alaska, 1917-1919.  Point Barrow is the northernmost point in the United States. The image was taken by William Van Valin, who led an expedition […]

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Tunghak Mask [Object of the Day #71]

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  This Tunghak Mask is a dance mask used to call upon pagan spirits and hosts. The design of the object is meant to be representational of visions that evoke the “other world”. The mask is surrounded by five holes that represent pathways to the spirit world. Around these holes are where birds, seals, and […]

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House Post [Object of the Day- #50]

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This 19th century house post comes from the Tlingit culture of northwest Alaska. This house post  is an excellent example of the artistry and skill of the Tlingit people. It was made for the Kaagwaantaan clan or wolf clan. It’s iconography centers on the wolf and the bear. The house post is carved of wood […]

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“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat…”

The holiday season is fast approaching and mailmen and women across the country will be taking to the streets to deliver packages. They are known for delivering through even the harshest of weather and in Point Barrow, Alaska that is no exception. This image from 1897 depicts a US mailman and his sled dog team […]

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