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William Van Valin's Films of Pt. Barrow, Alaska

Collection Creator:
Van Valin, William B., 1878-  Search this
1 Videocassettes (Betacam) (black-and-white silent)
Archival materials
Videocassettes (betacam)
Scope and Contents:
Footage shot by William Van Valin as leader of the John Wanamaker Expedition to Pt. Barrow, Alaska for the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Footage known under the title TIP TOP OF THE EARTH: ARCTIC ALASKAN ESKIMO EDUCATIONAL SERIES. Includes subtitles and intertitles explaining shots. Cassette includes sections of films entitled "Eskimo Reindeer Industry", "Eskimo Seal Hunting", "Eskimo Whaling, part II", and "Scenes of the Midnight Sun". Depicted are activities associated with reindeer herding such as building an "ice pen" (coral) in which to rope, count, and tag animals; butchering reindeer; scenes pertaining to seal hunting by solitary hunters; seal retreived with a line after being shot with rifle; difficulties of returning over ice ridges with prey; dog team pulling beardedter being shot with rifle; difficulties of returning over ice ridges with prey; dog team pulling bearded seal from water's edge; women skinning seal with ulu; removing blood and intestines from seal; sledding whale meat to ice cellars; drying measevere weather; scenes around a whaling encampment; butchering a whale at water's edge; removing the jaw of whale to extract baleen; removing and cleaning baleen strips to be used as trade goods; whaling spot--nela-ka-tuk--tossing people on stretched walrus hide. Views of archeological excavations at Pt. Barrow showing sketal and cranial remains. which illustrate differences in communal life; Eskimo with dog team and sleds; the Pt. Barrow community gathered around their church; dances performed by men to dramatize everyday events; man paddling a kayak and demonstrating technique of the "eskimo roll"; children's games and walrus hide toss; Various activities associated with whaling.

Legacy Keywords: Dogs as means of transportation Alaska ; Sleds as transportation Alaska ; Guns used in seal hunting Alaska ; Boats use in hunting Alaska ; Hunting guns Alaska ; Food quest hunting fishing whaling Alaska ; Food preparation butchering drying Alaska ; Food preservation techniques of Alaska ; Dancing drumming ; Ecology seasonal movements Alaska ; Dancing drums Alaska ; Food communal distribution Alaska ; Animal husbandry reindeer Alaska ; Herding reindeer Alaska ; Whaling butchering Alaska ; Hides preparation of use of Alaska ; Sewing of hides Alaska ; Corrals reindeer herding ; Division of labor by sex ; Work groups butchering of whales ; Games children ; Language and culture
Local Number:
HSFA 1986.5.1 - 2
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Please contact the archives for information on availability of access copies of audiovisual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.
Collection Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Tip top of the Earth: Arctic Alaskan Eskimo Educational Series, Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Tip top of the Earth: Arctic Alaskan Eskimo Educational Series
Archival Repository:
Human Studies Film Archives

MS 2925 Report of the Northern Alaska Exploring Expedition

Stoney, George Morse, 1852-1905  Search this
Eskimo -- birth  Search this
Eskimo -- Boats  Search this
Eskimo -- Dwellings  Search this
Eskimo -- Clothing  Search this
Eskimo -- Hide preparation  Search this
Eskimo -- anthropometry  Search this
Eskimo -- Folklore  Search this
Eskimo -- Trade  Search this
Eskimo -- Medicine  Search this
Eskimo -- Children  Search this
Eskimo -- puberty  Search this
Eskimo -- sledge  Search this
Eskimo -- deer drive  Search this
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
April 13, 1884-November 9, 1886
Scope and Contents:
This published account follows the manuscript in the main, with minor editorial changes, especially in the paragraphing and in arrangement of the sections. However, there are some paragraphs and several entire sections in the manuscript which do not appear in the published account. Manuscript page number 160-163. "Boats." Includes drawing of oomiak, kayak, and birchbark canoe, page 161. 163-165. "Houses." Includes drawing of ground plan and cross-section, page 164. 165-167. "Clothing." 167. "Tanning Skins." 167-168. "Thread, Rope, etc." 168-169. Line drawing and description of Malemute sledge. 175-179. "The Second Expedition. ...lists of the provisions, small stores and clothing, outfit, and trade articles of the expedition." 180-199. "Aurora." Observations, August 25, 1885-May 31, 1886. 200-207. "Explorer, Engines and Boiler; Particulars and Dimensions." 208-209. "First Expedition. Stores taken in stem cutter Helena on her survey trip." 210-216; Measurements of Uneluk, Putnam River Malemute, male, aged 32; [217-219] Apaucuk, No-to-ark River, Malemute, male, aged ca. 42; Tatantuk, Norton Sound Malemute, age unknown. [220-238] "Meteorological Observations," including original data sheets.
Manuscript page Number 8. Paragraph concerning native village, N.W. side of Nunivak Island. 10. Paragraph concerning native village, S.W. side of Sledge Island. 60. "Ground plan of hut showing interior." Ink diagram of hut described in published text, page 40. 82. "Section of hut showing interior." Diagram of hut described in published text, page 46. 121-22. "The Chipp or Ik-pik-puk River." 122-122 1/2. "The Colville or Kinyanook River." 127. "Puberty" and "Birth." (Published version lists "Parturation" in contents, but does not treat it in text.) 129. Native population figures. 134-35. Last paragraph of "Doctors" section, describing cure for petty illnesses, using shaman's belt and a stick. (Last 3 paragraphs in published version under "Doctors," pages 90-91, are not in Manuscript.) 139. Diagram of deer drive. 152-157. Legends." (Published version lists in Contents, "Native Legends as Chap. XIII, but this chapter is not in text. Chap. XIV of the Contents, "All Aboard for Home," is not in the published text, nor is it in the Manuscript.) 157-60. "Trade." Gives "articles most in demand," and "price list obtained from the traders" with value of trade goods in terms of number of skins.
Local Numbers:
NAA MS 2925
Local Note:
See Lt. George M. Stoney, Naval Explorations in Alaska; An Account of Two Naval Expeditions to Northern Alaska, with Official Maps of the Country Explored, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland, 1900, 105 pages, 3 maps, 7 plates. line drawings.
Boats -- Eskimo  Search this
Dwellings -- Eskimo  Search this
Clothing -- Eskimo  Search this
Hide preparation -- Eskimo  Search this
Anthropology, physical -- Eskimo  Search this
Folklore -- Eskimo  Search this
Trade, gifts and exchanges -- Eskimo  Search this
Medicine -- Eskimo  Search this
Children and childbirth -- Eskimo  Search this
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Manuscript 2925, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives

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