Monday, November 29, 2010

"Yukutkaak" Becomes An Art

            Over time Yukutkaak (snow goggles) weren't just used for hunting purposes, their usage began to extend, and became commonplace in the living quarters as well. As snow goggles were being adapted into the village culture, more emphasis were placed on their physical appearance, as people began to pour out their creativity, and imagination, into making their own pair of snow goggles, and thus Yukutkaak developed not only as a fashion but as an art form as well.
             As mentioned in an earlier post I analyzed about six pairs of snow goggles at the Anchorage Museum originating from the Norton Sea area. I noticed that no two were exactly alike. One pair would resemble an owl, another looked like a hollowed out box, and some resembled the "perfect" pair I've previously discussed. All of them were different from one another, they may have carried certain similarities such as thin slits for their eyes to peer out of, but even that "similarity" wasn't on all of the goggles. What I found very intriguing was that one of the informative descriptions supplied by the museum mentioned that, "the goggles were just as individual as the people that made them."
            Snow goggles were no longer just tools, used for survival, but they also held a very strong role in Inupiat culture as well, as an art form, for individual expression.

Josey, J. (2010). Becoming art. Snow goggles (pp. 3).

The author  lives in the state of Alaska, and as a student of the local university he has been given the opportunity to learn about things the typical textbook is not able to teach. Though he attends college, Josey considers himself as a student of life, and it is the examples given to him in life that he tries so passionately, to learn and to apply. The excerpted piece of literature above comes from his personal collection of writings, regarding some of his more personal thoughts and ideas. Originally this piece was a part of a larger compilation of writings entitled “Snow Goggles” which was an assignment assigned in his English class. The piece entitled “Becoming Art” really helps bring out the point Josey was trying to relate to his audience, in regards to the craftsmanship that was being applied to the goggles as they were being made.


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