Bashful No Longer: An Alaskan Eskimo Ethnohistory, 1778-1988 by Wendell H. Oswalt

By Wendell H. Oswalt

Typically the Kuskokwim Eskimos of southwestern Alaska valued restraint, modesty, and deference—traits for which they followed the English observe bashful. notwithstanding, because their first come across with Western tradition 2 hundred years have handed, and other people are not any longer prepared to defer to Westerners.Bashful now not, in keeping with Russian-American corporation files, writings of investors, missionaries, and explorers, newspaper money owed, and fieldwork performed via the writer, files and describes tradition switch one of the Kuskokwim Eskimos as first the Russians after which the americans settled between them.Fur investors and missionaries have been the unique brokers of swap throughout the years of early historic touch. The authoritarian and assertive ability wherein those invaders in general completed their objectives reduced the energy of Kuskokwim Eskimo culture.In the 1st half the 20th century Eskimo lifestyles used to be more and more disrupted and Americanized, first by way of the arriving of prospectors, then by means of the devastating results of influenza and measles epidemics, the ravages of tuberculosis, and the social-welfare courses brought on the finish of global conflict II.In the Nineteen Sixties, besides the fact that, the Kuskokwim humans reassessed their place and steadily turned way more assertive. within the early Nineteen Eighties they equipped the local Alaskan sovereignty circulation, not just to reaffirm their id as Eskimos yet within the desire of regaining their prior autonomy. the way forward for this cultural renaissance is tough to foretell, yet something is bound: whilst intercultural clash reached a severe point of their lives, the Kuskokwim Eskimos, in a miles achieving collective reaction, grew to become bashful not.

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Additional info for Bashful No Longer: An Alaskan Eskimo Ethnohistory, 1778-1988 (Civilization of the American Indian Series)

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A fishskin parka cover might provide additional protection against the cold and prevent snow from blowing into the fur. Sea mammal intestines were preferred for rainproof parkas, but fish skins were more readily available and served as an alternative material. Mittens presumably were worn, and possibly leggings. A person's feet were protected by socks made of woven grass or sewn Page 24 skin and by boots commonly fashioned from fish skins. Caribou skin boots with sealskin soles were also worn. The advantage of fishskin boots was their lightness and warmth, but they tore easily.

8'4dc2089-37036 CIP The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources, Inc. Copyright © 1990 by the University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Publishing Division of the University. All rights reserved. A. First edition. Page v In memory of: Sergie Andreanoff Anania Theodore Crow Village Sam Wasley Jones Page vii Contents Acknowledgments ix Introduction xiii 1 The Setting 3 2 The Eskimos 12 3 Russian Probes 40 4 Russian Presence 56 5 Early American Presence 74 6 Expanding Access and Altering Goals 94 7 Americanization: I 121 8 Americanization: II 152 9 Bashful No Longer 182 10 Commentary and Comparisons 203 Notes 225 References 245 Index 263 Page viii Illustrations Maps Ethnic boundaries in the Kuskokwim River region ii The Kusquqvagmiut area and surrounding populations x Figures An early illustration of Kuskokwim Eskimo men 15 A Kuskokwim Eskimo family in 1884 23 An Upriver Eskimo mask 37 Kolmakovskiy Redoubt in 1884 58 The Moravians who established the Bethel Mission in 1885 82 The Kuskokwim Commercial Company riverboat Quickstep 96 The gold rush settlement of Georgetown in 1910 103 Scene from a reindeer fair 108 A Kuskokwim Eskimo fish wheel 113 The Russian Orthodox Church built at Sleetmute in 1925 131 Edith and John Henry Kilbuck 136 Chuathbaluk in 1979 154 Bethel in 1979 178 Page ix Acknowledgments As I assembled the sources for this study, I turned to numerous persons for aid in locating pertinent materials.

Residents of a village possibly averaged 120, and all had a Page 18 strong attachment to their settlement. For a family to move away or for an individual to die elsewhere was considered unfortunate. At times entire villages were relocated because of changing conditions, but under such circumstances kinship ties were not broken. Upriver People occupied their villages in the winter, moving elsewhere to live the balance of the year. Nonetheless, the village was the setting of greatest importance since it was the only place where all the people gathered for any period of time.

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