By: Fienup-Riordan, Ann; Rearden, Alice; Meade, Marie
Details: xiii, 467 pages. Maps, photographs.
Based on conversations with Yupʼik men and women living in the Kuskokwim River communities of Napaskiak, Napakiak, and Oscarville, this bilingual book details traditional knowledge surrounding the harvest and use of the six species of whitefish, as well as salmon, pike, burbot, and blackfish, on which people relied so heavily in the past and continue to harvest to this day. For Kuskokwim residents, successful harvesting of fish requires practical skills, including knowledge of fish migrations, when and where to set nets, and how deep to set them. Men and women must also act appropriately, both in the village and in the wilderness, to ensure a successful harvest. Although much has changed in southwest Alaska over the years, this distinctly Yupʼik view of the world remains. Elders who we spoke with firmly believe that Yupʼik youth today—as well as non-Native fisheries managers—need to understand these essential truths.