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Of Kayaks and Ulus: The Bering Sea Eskimo Collection of Edward W. Nelson “The Man Who Collected Good For Nothing Things” curriculum packet: This curriculum packet contains 5 small booklets detailing the travels and discoveries of the great 19th century naturalist, Edward W. Nelson and his time with the Bering Sea Eskimos of Western Alaska (now called the Yup’ik). This packet consists of information about Yup’ik folklore and daily life as well as both primary sources from Edward W. Nelson’s letters and journals and secondary sources which put Nelson’s discoveries into a larger perspective. Throughout the packets are numerous pictures to give a visual understanding of Nelson’s discoveries as well as study questions and discussion topics to foster critical thinking and a big picture view. The packet is based on original materials in Nelson’s monographic study, the Eskimos About Bering Strait” (1899) and by the exhibition catalog, “Inua: Spirit World of the Berinjg Sea Eskimo” (1982) by William Fitzhugh and Susan Kaplan.
Art to Zoo: Of Kayaks and Ulus: This Art to Zoo (now called ‘Smithsonian in Your Classroom’) article is based on the curriculum packet above. Like the curriculum packet, it contains information on Yu’pik life and culture as well as Nelson’s discoveries and many pictures, study questions, and discussion topics to get students thinking about the material. It is much shorter than the above packet, but also contains a pull-out activity page about the art of the Alaskan Eskimos and a word search.
Teaching From Objects and Stories: Learning about the Bering Sea Eskimo People: This lesson plan and activity guide gives teachers materials and guidance for teaching students about the Bering Sea Eskimos through artifacts and stories. Working like detectives, students will be given guidance in how to learn about a culture through the everyday objects they use and the stories they tell. Great for social studies or language arts, these activities teach students about a new culture while showing them how to use primary sources and critical thinking to discover about other cultures.
Report upon the Natural History Collections Made in Alaska between the years 1887 and 1881, by Edward W. Nelson, edited by Henry W. Henshaw, prepared under the direction of the Chief Signal Officer, U.S. Army Signal Corps. 1887. (Many of Nelson’s descriptions of animals and their behavior are based on information obtained by Nelson from Yup’ik people he met at St. Michaels trading post and in his travels in the country.)
From Edward W. Nelson Himself:
Get a first hand account of the Bering Strait Eskimo by reading Selected Sections of Edward W. Nelson’s Alaskan Diaries, 1877 – 1881 where he discusses, in his own words, notes on cranes, bear hunting, the Kashim ( men’s ceremonial house), and a description of the annual ‘harvest renewal’ ceremony known as the Bladder Festival.
Check out these pictures from Edward Nelson’s Journeys
Dr. Fitzhugh would like to provide visitors with excerpts from two books:
Inua: Spirit World of the Bering Sea Eskimo, by William Fitzhugh and Susan A. Kaplan
Introduction to the reprint edition of The Eskimo About Bering Strait written by Dr. Fitzhugh.
See the Floor Plan for the Upcoming Exhibit on the Yu’pik People.