By Wendell H. Oswalt
Characteristically the Kuskokwim Eskimos of southwestern Alaska valued restraint, modesty, and deference—traits for which they followed the English notice bashful. although, because their first stumble upon with Western tradition 200 years have handed, and other people are not any longer prepared to defer to Westerners.Bashful now not, in keeping with Russian-American corporation files, writings of investors, missionaries, and explorers, newspaper money owed, and fieldwork performed by way of the writer, records and describes tradition swap one of the Kuskokwim Eskimos as first the Russians after which the americans settled between them.Fur investors and missionaries have been the particular brokers of switch through the years of early ancient touch. The authoritarian and assertive capability through which those invaders quite often completed their ambitions decreased the energy of Kuskokwim Eskimo culture.In the 1st half the 20th century Eskimo existence used to be more and more disrupted and Americanized, first via the coming of prospectors, then by means of the devastating results of influenza and measles epidemics, the ravages of tuberculosis, and the social-welfare courses brought on the finish of worldwide struggle II.In the Nineteen Sixties, although, the Kuskokwim humans reassessed their place and steadily grew to become way more assertive. within the early Eighties they prepared the local Alaskan sovereignty flow, not just to reaffirm their id as Eskimos yet within the wish of regaining their past autonomy. the way forward for this cultural renaissance is hard to foretell, yet something is bound: whilst intercultural clash reached a serious point of their lives, the Kuskokwim Eskimos, in a miles attaining collective reaction, turned bashful not.
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Extra info for Bashful No Longer: An Alaskan Eskimo Ethnohistory, 1778-1988 (Civilization of the American Indian Series)
Late in the day but well before dark, men who returned from hunting or fishing went directly to the qasgiq while their wives unharnassed the dogs, secured the sleds, and either stored or began to process the take. A woman had full control over the harvests delivered by her husband. A man usually ate the morning meal at the house of his wife and then returned to the men's house, perhaps to go back to her dwelling later. Material Culture The Upriver Eskimos could obtain locally all the raw materials required for their artifacts, but they sometimes preferred materials and manufactures from elsewhere.
How have Westerners of the region reacted to Eskimo reluctance or failure to cooperate? Finally, in considering the goals of Eskimos as they have affected the ethnohistory of the region, what have their creative responses been to the presence of Westerners, and why have these responses emerged? In sum, my approach to Kuskokwim Eskimo ethnohistory is to examine it in light of differential access to the region by Westerners and differential goals of various groups of Westerners. The concluding chapter centers on a comparison of ethnohistorical developments on the Kuskokwim with those among other Eskimos and Indians in the general region.
After the Russians opened their trading station at Nushagak, Kuskokwim Eskimos could travel south to do their trading directly, but apparently few chose to do so because of the distance involved. Courtesy of the Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pa. land are well illustrated by their garments. Upriver People did not wear fitted parkas, and they depended rather heavily on fish skin as a raw material. Here, unlike on the coast, both sexes wore the same style of loose-fitting, ankle-length frock. It most often was made of ground squirrel skins sewn together, with the tails and paws left dangling as ornamentation.
Bashful No Longer: An Alaskan Eskimo Ethnohistory, 1778-1988 (Civilization of the American Indian Series) by Wendell H. Oswalt