Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

Kal’unek-from Karluk

Kodiak Alutiiq History and the Archaeology of the Karluk One Village Site

Karluk One is a remarkable archaeological site. For six hundred years, the Alutiiq built houses upon houses, preserving layer after layer of their ways of life. When fresh water from a nearby pond seeped through the deposit, the massive mound of cultural debris became suspended in time. Yet the site’s location at the mouth of a once-salmon-rich river meant it could disappear at any moment. Working together, researchers and community members recovered more than 26,000 items made of wood, bone, ivory, baleen, antler, and leather before the meandering river finally shifted and washed away the site forever.
Kal’unek—From Karluk fully explores the ancient site and its contents to create a picture of prehistoric Alutiiq life. Beautifully photographed, the book also features essays by community members and scholars as well as a ground-breaking glossary of Alutiiq terms developed for the artifacts by Kodiak Alutiiq speakers. No other collection has figured so centrally in building awareness of Alutiiq history or promoting an accurate view of the richness of Kodiak’s Native past. And no other book illuminates these extraordinary finds as brilliantly as Kal’unek—From Karluk.

398 pages | illustrated in color throughout | 9 1/2 x 11 1/2 | © 2015


Native American Studies

University of Alaska Press image

View all books from University of Alaska Press


“Interspersed with photos and essays from local elders, teachers, and researchers at the site, Kal’unek From Karluk allows readers to consider the project from multiple viewpoints and adds a personal warmth. . . . Those who love archeology, history, and Native culture will find this book to be a rare and worthy discovery.”

Alaska Magazine

“Copiously illustrated by relevant artifacts from the site. Highly Recommended.”


"A concise, powerful, and illuminating description of Shishmaref's experience as a community, as a media magnet, as the object of extensive planning and discussion, and as an exemplar of climate change."


"I recommend this book. The photos are good. It is well-written and researched, reads easily, and is an eye-opener in many respsects. The essays are a major plus, covering many of the issues that crop up when doing archaeological research."

Alaska History

Table of Contents

Foreword by Gordon Pullar

1. The Karluk One Site and Its Role in Community Change on Kodiak
It Started in Karluck - Allen Panamaroff, Elder
From Little Things, Big Things Grow - Colleen Lazenby, Senior Associate, Jude Monro and Associates
Tidelines: Re/Visiting Karluk - Katharine Woodhouse-Beyer, Lecturer, Rutgers University
Rescue Anthropology Invites Fresh Perspective in School Lessons - Cheryl Heitman Meunier, Educator and Alutiiq Descendant

2. Settling the Karluk River
Pollen Studies in the Karluk River Region, Alaska - Robert E. Nelson, Professor, Colby College
The Storm the Changed Everything - Ronnie Lind, Karluk Elder
First Survey, First Steps: The Beginning of the Karluk Achaeological Project - Kevin P. Smith, Deputy Director/Chief Curator, Haffenreffer Museum, Brown University
Archaeological Conservation in the Twenty-First Century - Matthew VanDaele,Enviromental Scientist, Koniag, Inc.
Adversity in Archaeology - Mark A. Rusk, Alutiiq Archaeologist
3. Kal’ut - Karluk Village
How Old is Karluk One? - Catherine F. West, Research ASsistant Professor, Boston University
Give and Take - Gerald Sheehan, Educator, Kodiak Island Borough School District
Seven Years as an Archaeologist - Philip McCormick, Student, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Going to School at Karluk One - Ben Fitzhugh, Associate Professor, University of Washington
4. The Karluk One Collection
Caring for Karluk One - Elizabeth Pontti Eufemio, Archaeologist
Voluneering with Benefits - Pat Kozak, Tribal Member and Alutiiq Museum Volunteer
Working with Twenty-Six Thousand Pieces - Marnie A. Leist, Curator of Collections, Alutiiq Museum
Conservation of Karluk One Artifacts - Ellen Carrlee, Conservator, Alaska State Museum
5. Economic Life
How the Animals Came to be Created - A legend collected in Karluk, Alaska, February 7, 1872 by Alphonse Pinart; Translated by Céline Wallace
Tough Tools: Bone and Antler Implements from Karluk - Amy V. Margaris, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Oberlin College
Learning from Fish Bones - Catherine F. West, Research Assistant Professor, Boston University
Looking at Kayaks - Alfred Naumoff Jr., Alutiiq Artist
6. Household Life
Sorting Out the Sods - Patrick G. Saltonstall, Curator of Archaeology, Alutiiq Museum
Carving Alutiiq-Style Oil Lamps - Sandee Drabek, Artist
Ingenuity in Artifacts - Sven D. Haakanson Jr., Curator of Native American Anthropology, University of Washington, Burke Museum
7. Social and Spiritual Life
Faces from the Past - Christopher Donta, Senior Principal Investigator, Gray and Pape, Inc.
A Piercing Question - Amy F. Steffian, Director of Research and Publication, Alutiiq Museum
Sharing Knowledge Through the Looking Both Ways Exhibition - Aron L. Crowell, Alaska Director, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center
A Love of Old Things - Coral Chernoff, Alutiiq Artist
Glossary: New Words for Old Things
Appendix I: Sources of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Ethnographic Information on the Kodiak Alutiiq People
Appendix II: Karluk Region Archaeological Research Projects and Crew Members
Quyanna - Thank You
About the Authors

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press