Doll News Summer 2015 - (Page 52)

NATIVE ALASKAN DOLLS by Sharon C. Zerkel A map of Alaska shows the location of the five Native Alaskan groups discussed in this article - three Eskimo sub-groups (Inupiat, Yup'ik, Siberian Yup'ik), Athabaskan and Tlingit. I n discussing Native Alaskan dolls it is helpful to know a little bit about the great state of Alaska, the northernmost state of the United States of America. The United States bought Alaska from Russia on April 4, 1864 for $7.2 million. That is approximately 2 cents per acre. The name Alaska may have come from the Aleut people meaning "great land" or "shores where the sea breaks its back." It is the largest state. Alaskans like to say 'if you cut Alaska in two, then Texas would be the third largest state." Alaska became the forty-ninth state on January 3, 1959. We will look at five different Native Alaskan peoples and their dolls: three Eskimo sub-groups (Inupiat, Yup'ik, Siberian Yup'ik), Athabaskan, and Tlingit. Eskimo is a term used in Alaska and the rest of the United States. In other parts of the world 'Inuit' is the term used. Eskimo means "eater of raw meat." It is not considered offensive to the Native Eskimo people in Alaska. Many young Alaskan 52 SUMMER 2015 Eskimos prefer the more specific terms: Inupiat or Yup'ik to the general word Eskimo. This article will focus on children's, tourists', and collectors' dolls. The art of making dolls has been practiced for at least two thousand years. Native-made dolls are popular souvenirs for visitors to Alaska. The growing presence of non-Native teachers, nurses, and government employees had nourished this interest in Native dolls. Most of today's dolls are made to sell to collectors, museums, and tourists. The young Natives usually play with commercially manufactured dolls. The Inupiat are located in the northern part of Alaska. Inupiat means "the real people." There are several very well known Inupiat doll makers. We will look at three in particular: Ethel Washington, Dolly Spencer, and Eva Heffle. Ethel Washington (1889-1967) from Kotzebue, popularized portrait style dolls with realistically carved wood faces and

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Doll News Summer 2015

From the Editor
UFDC Offi cers and Regional Directors
President’s Message
Conference Calendar
A Warm Welcome to Our Newest Members / Getting to Know You – The UFDC Club President’s Survey
Fundraising Committee Report
The Marvelous Magical Betsy McCall
Betsy Original Paper Doll
The Story behind UFDC’s Emblem – Miss Unity
Steiff ’s Timeless and Beloved “Teddy Baby” Bears
Native Alaskan Dolls
Russian Stockinette Dolls
The Mark Farmer Company Story
Dress Up Fun with Betsy McCall, a Game
Tammy – The Doll You Love To Dress
The Care of An American Icon
A Study in Aesthetics: Considering the Uncanny Doll
Maternal Love – The Dolls of Anne Myatt
Patti Playpal – A Big Doll for a Little Girl
Who Dressed Betsy McCall
Heavens to Betsy!
UFDC Region 14 Conference – Golden Memories
Club Notes
Reviewing Resources
In Our Memories
UFDC Nominating Process – 2016 Election Information for Regional Directors
MAL Form
News & Notes

Doll News Summer 2015