Weaving a Yup’ik Issran (Grass Carrying-Bag): Twining a Grass Bag – Making the Bottom (8 of 11)
In 2019, the Alaska office of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center partnered with Qanirtuuq Inc. of Quinhagak, Alaska, to research and document the Yup’ik tradition of weaving an issran (grass carrying-bag) in their community. Local artist Grace Anaver joined the team as lead artist, under the guidance of her older sister Pauline Beebe and assisted by her younger sister Sarah Brown. Locally harvested taperrnaq (coarse seashore grass) was gathered and processed for drying and curing in July, and grass from the previous fall was dyed. In August, Grace taught Yup’ik grass weavers and learners how to twine an issran in the Nunalleq Culture & Archaeology Center. The set of eleven videos presented here – Material Traditions: Weaving a Yup’ik Issran (Grass Carrying-Bag) – includes detailed information, instructions and demonstrations. A limited number of free DVDs are available upon request to Biddisond@si.edu or Crowella@si.edu. To learn more about Alaska Native cultures, please visit the Smithsonian Learning Lab site “Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska” at https://learninglab.si.edu/org/sasc-ak. There you will also find more video sets and educational resources for teaching at home or in a classroom.