Museums and the Web 1999

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Published: March 1999.


The Living Tradition of Yup'ik Masks CD-ROM

Timothy Peters , University of Michigan, USA

Session: Demonstrations 2

The Agayuliyararput (Our Way of Making Prayer): The Living Traditions of Yupik Masks exhibit brought together Yupik Eskimo Masks from museums around the world and the stories of these masks from Yupik elders. The exhibit was a ground breaking collaboration between the Yupik community, anthropologists and the museum community. The website and CD-ROM developed from this exhibit provide a digital version of the masks and the elders' stories which make up the exhibit. It also provides educational learning activities for students from around the world in the section entitled Online Ecology. In the Online Ecology section, the Yupik masks' embodiment of the ecologically grounded worldview of the Yupik people is used as a springboard to scaffold students in learning about their own local ecosystems and then sharing what they have learned about where they live and their culture on the web, while learning the same from other students around the world who have also participated in this endeavor. Finally, the website and CD-ROM include a fourth section where more information about Yupik masks and their significance is shared by celebrated Yupik artist Chuna McIntyre, and participants are given the opportunity to follow Chuna's 'blueprint' to design their own Yup'ik mask.