Story last updated at 10/7/2009 - 11:41 am
JUNEAU - Archaeologist Amy Steffian will offer a powerpoint presentation and discussion of her book, "Giinaquq: Like a Face, Sugpiaq Masks of the Kodiak Archipelago," on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 7-8:30 p.m. at Hearthside Books in the Nugget Mall.
Masks are an ancient tradition of the Alutiiq people on the southern coast of Alaska. Alutiiq artists carved the masks from wood or bark into images of ancestors, animal spirits, and other mythological forces; these extraordinary creations have been an essential tool for communicating with the spirit world and have played an important role in dances and hunting festivities for centuries.
"Giinaquq: Like a Face" presents full-color images of these fantastic and eye-catching masks, which have been preserved for more than a century as part of the Pinart Collection at the Château-Musée de Boulogne-sur-Mer in France. These masks, collected in 1871 by a young French scholar of indigenous cultures, are presented for the first time in their complete culture context. This captivating and revealing book will be an essential resource for anyone interested in indigenous art and culture.
Amy F. Steffian, a member of Giinaquq: Like A Face exhibition team, serves as Deputy Director of Kodiak's Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Repository. Steffian's current research focuses on tracking the changing relationships between fishing, food storage, and settlement in Kodiak prehistory.