The collection consists of 124 drawings made by Native Alaskan artists. A few of the drawings are signed by the artist, Stephan Ivanoff; the majority of the drawings are unsigned and the artists have not been identified. The drawings depict scenes of Native Alaskan life, including hunting and fishing, reindeer herding, trade, sledding, games, and ceremonies. The drawings were collected by the United States Bureau of Education for exhibition purposes.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
The drawings are arranged in order by inventory number. The inventory numbers roughly following the thematic organization in Alaskan Eskimo Life in the 1890s as Sketched by Native Artists. Some drawings have been rehoused in conservation mounts and are stored out of sequence.
Stephan Ivanoff was born in Unalakleet, Alaska to a Yu'pik mother and Russian father. He filled various roles as a translator, deacon of the Swedish Covenant Church, and teaching assistant at the Swedish Evangelical Mission School at Unalakleet around the turn of the twentieth century.
The Bureau of Education, also known as the Office of Education or Department of Education, was a unit within the United States Department of the Interior from 1867 to 1972.
USNM Accession 51115
NAA MS 260447
Collection previously titled "Scenes of native life including hunting, sledding, games, animal husbandry and ceremonies."
Almost all drawings were published in:
George Phebus, Jr., Alaskan Eskimo Life in the 1890s as Sketched by Native Artists, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972.
St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture video lessons Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution ; designed & written by : Lauren Shutt ; written & edited by : Dawn Biddison ; translations & editing support by : Christopher Petu Koonooka ; videos edited by : Zachary Lasiter, Brandon McElroy ; project director : Dr. Aron Crowell
Listen and learn St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture video lessons
Saint Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture video lessons
Listen & learn St. Lawrence Island Yupik language and culture video lessons
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Access to the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections is by appointment only. Visit our website for more information on scheduling a visit or making a digitization request. Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival records: 1984 Festival of American Folklife, Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution.