Ciulirnerunak Yuuyaqunak/Do Not Live Without an Elder

The Subsistence Way of Life in Southwest Alaska

Edited by Ann Fienup-Riordan

Ciulirnerunak Yuuyaqunak/Do Not Live Without an Elder

Edited by Ann Fienup-Riordan

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

Translated and Transcribed by Alice Rearden
400 pages | 52 halftones, 4 maps | 7 x 10 | © 2016  
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781602232976 Published October 2016
In October of 2010, six men who were serving on the board of the Calista Elders Council (CEC) gathered in Anchorage with CEC staff to spend three days speaking about the subsistence way of life. The men shared stories of their early years growing up on the land and harvesting through the seasons, and the dangers they encountered there. The gathering was striking for its regional breadth, as elders came from the Bering Sea coast as well as the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers. And while their accounts had some commonalities, they also served to demonstrate the wide range of different approaches to subsistence in different regions.
            This book gathers the men’s stories for the current generation and those to come. Taken together, they become more than simply oral histories—rather, they testify to the importance of transmitting memories and culture and of preserving knowledge of vanishing ways of life.
 
Contents
Illustrations
Acknowledgments
 
Do Not Live Without an Elder
Our land
The subsistence way of life keeps us standing
Those that are dangerous
Ones warriors named
One that is memorable
The world’s inhabitants
We must speak to our grandchildren
 
Yup’ik Transcription and Translation
 
The Subsistence Way of Life
John Phillip
Paul John
Moses Paukan
Nick Andrew
Bob Aloysius
Martin Moore
 
Dangers During Fall and Winter
Dangers of ocean hunting during freeze-up
Saltwater ice and freshwater ice
Do not be without a walking stick
Dangers on land
Do not have the same mind-set as the weather
Walking stick
Thin ice
Saving oneself with grass
One is told not to eat snow
He is told to swallow his own urine
Letting the blowing snow cover him
Observe your surroundings
Mountain streams are dangerous
Our father prepared
The condition where the lee side of large lakes gets deep
There are many dangerous areas
Women made us large mittens
Deep gullies in the ice along the side of a river
One must not quickly approach beaver dens
We who live upriver amongst trees
They told us to go outside and look at the sky
They say that first [layer of snow] is very dangerous
Be prepared
The arrival of fall is getting farther away
Technology can help a person
In the ocean during spring, they have admonishments
They say the ocean should be regarded with respect
The say the land along the Yukon River instantly caves in without warning
Fall, the middle of winter, and spring have precautions
Dangers after snowfall
He would let the blowing snow cover him
Smart dogs won’t miss
Dangerous places that don’t freeze
In spring the ocean also has instructions
Fresh water on the ocean
They say the ocean cannot be learned
 
One That Is Memorable
Mountain
Place where one goes to defecate
Little Russian Mission
Place with many gulls
Kusilvak Mountain
Snotty Slough
All Women
Emmonak
Place to butcher animals
Fish Village and St. Marys
Qaurraak
 
Places Where Warriors Once Lived
Anuuraaq River
Place with many great hunters
Arayakcaaq
That one who fell face first saved them
Maqallartuli
Kessigliq
Martin Moore’s story
How war started
Story of the end of war
 
The World’s Inhabitants
Land animals
They say [animals] are aware
Animals disappear
One that awakens and revives
Extraordinary beings
Those who throw things and those who are constantly on the move
Yuilrit and ircenrraat
Small, usually helpful creatures who imitate people when spoken to
Places where one tends to get lost
One who fled from the village of Qinaq
 
One Must Not Live Without an Elder
It is as though they brushed our way of life away
[Our elders] placed GPS devices in our pockets
They say a person’s stomach cannot change
They constantly gave moral advice to their young people
You dear boy, don’t live without an elder
 
Notes
References
Index
 
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