Alaska Native News, January 15, 2021
“With a $32,578 grant from the US Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak and the Alutiiq Museum are collaborating on a tool that will help people locate, view, and study Alutiiq objects in the world’s museums. The Amutat project, which started this month, will begin developing a database of ancestral Alutiiq objects linked to the museum’s website. Visitors to the page will be able to search and study a wide range of Alutiiq tools, clothes, and ceremonial pieces assembled in one place.
“Examples of our ancestors’ tools are part of numerous museum collections spread across the United States and the world,” said Executive Director April Laktonen Counceller. “Large collections, like those in France, and Finland are relatively well known. But there are many smaller collections. For example, the Logan Museum of Anthropology in Wisconsin has an embroidered sewing bag, the Rochester Museum and Science Center in New York holds a pair of historic whaling lances, and the National Museum of Scotland cares for at least six Alutiiq items collected on Kodiak. These items are hard for our community to find and access. The database will create a central place for people to see and study Alutiiq objects. Amutat, the Alutiiq word for cod, also means ‘things to pull’. Here, it refers to pulling objects from collections so they can be studied.”