The Alutiit/Sugpiat

A Catalog of the Collections of the Kunstkamera

Edited by Yuri E. Berezkin

The Alutiit/Sugpiat

Edited by Yuri E. Berezkin

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

Translated by Lois Fields and Katherine Arndt
440 pages | 654 color plates | 9 1/2 x 11 1/2 | © 2012
Cloth $50.00 ISBN: 9781602231771 Published October 2012

This beautifully photographed book catalogs the collection of nearly five hundred Alutiiq cultural items held by the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, or the Kunstkamera, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Gathered between 1780 and 1867, many of the artifacts are composed of fur, feathers, gut, hair, and other delicate materials, which prevent their transport for display or study.

To document these artifacts for the public, the Kunstkamera collaborated with the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak, Alaska. Together, anthropologists and members of the Alutiiq community combined the collection records with cultural knowledge and high-resolution digital imagery and worked to name objects, describe their uses, and detail the materials used in their construction. As a result, this book will provide the Alutiit, Alaskans, Russians, and the global community with lasting access to one of the oldest, most extensive ethnographic collections from the central Gulf of Alaska.

The Traditional Culture of the Alutiit
The History of the Formation of the Kunstkamera’s Alutiiq Collection

The Katmais
    Weapons and Hunting Equipment
    Household Utensils
    Ceremonial Paraphernalia
The Kodiak Alutiit
    Hunting  Equipment and Weapons
    Household Utensils
    Clothing, Decorations, and Symbols of Power
    Cult Objects
The Chugach
    Hunting Equipment
    Household Utensils
    Ceremonial Paraphernalia

Sugpiaq Collections of the Kunstkamera: A Sugpiaq Perspective
Collectors and Explorers of Russian America
Review Quotes
James Brooks | Kodiak Daily Mirror
 "[T]he University of Alaska Press has released a catalog of the richest of troves - the Alutiiq collections of the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg, Russia. . . . Each artifact in the catalog is pictured on a white background in images clear enough to allow crafters to see how a hat is woven or a kayak constructed. Most images are accompanied by translated source documents that explain what the artifact was used for. . . .To an outside observer, this might seem just like a history lesson. To the Kodiak Alutiiq, it’s an instruction manual."
Zachary R. Jones | Alaska Journal of Anthropology
“Offers readers a microhistory of a nationally recognized ethnographic museum, insights into historic Russian actions in Sugpiaq country, and striking visual documentation of Sugpiaq material culture. Aesthetically speaking, this catalog ranks among the most beautiful Alaska Native art history catalogs ever published.”
Mike Dunham | Anchorage Daily News
“[This] gorgeously illustrated 400-page book from University of Alaska Press is stunning in several respects, a contender for the title of the most beautiful volume of Alaska ethnography ever published.”
Sven Haakanson, director of the Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Repository
"When you go through this catalog, it’s breathtaking to see the pieces, to actually be able to understand how they were made, from the spruce root hats to the kayaks, anyaks and masks." 
For more information, or to order this book, please visit
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from University of Alaska Press. RSS Feed