Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Elders Talk

The Smithsonian website has Unangax elders talking about the sax, and a picture of the sax that is in the Smithsonian. The elders say the Unangax people would wear this type of parka year around, on land and sea. At sea, men would wear saxs under their kamleikas which is a waterproof parka made form strips of sea lion intestines. The elders were able to tell that the parka in the Smithsonian was made for a woman, from 50 King Eider Ducks. The cuffs are made from sea lion, and the parka is sewn with really fine sinew thread.
Traditionally, these parkas were used for everyday survival, now they are used mainly for dance performances. Unangax people used many different kinds of birds to make saxs, horned puffins, tufted puffins, murres, cormorants, oldsquaw ducks, and ravens. Unangaxs would gather a large number of puffins in their underground nests by using string snares or whale baleen snares.

Here is a link to see the picture and website about the sax in the Smithsonian http://alaska.si.edu/record.asp?id=169

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