The revival of gut skin parka production among the Siberian Yupik

Author(s): Vera Solovyeva; Amy Tjong

Year: 2017


The Siberian collections at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) are one of the world’s most important collections of cultural artifacts from Northeast Siberia. These artifacts were created as a result of the historic Jesup North Pacific Expedition (1897-1902) which sought to study the cultures framing the Bering Sea. In 2014, the Conservation Department at AMNH began a two-year project to stabilize and rehouse 100 items from this collection, including 14 gut skin parkas attributed to the Siberian Yupik people.

The project involved research of gut skin properties to understand processing and manufacture, and to develop suitable treatment methodologies. Consultations regarding material processing and cultural significance of the parkas and gut skin were conducted during a visit to source communities in July 2016. Information sharing about the current state of the Siberian collections and research was also a vital part of the work.

Due to political and ecological factors in the region, the tradition of manufacturing gut parkas is at risk of disappearing. There is an expressed interest among local community members to revive the technology. Access to the AMNH collection and outreach as a result of the Siberia project play a key role in the revival.

Cite this Record

The revival of gut skin parka production among the Siberian Yupik. Vera Solovyeva, Amy Tjong. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431454)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -178.41; min lat: 62.104 ; max long: 178.77; max lat: 83.52 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17630