The tunics worn by the nine men in this drawing resemble those worn by the indigenous people of Eastern Siberia, some of whom were brought to the Kingigan area by the federal government to share their reindeer herding expertise with Inupiat apprentice herders. Many of the hats worn by the men in this drawing are decorated with small animals that might be reindeer, and the objects in the mens’ hands (possibly knives in engraved ivory sheaths) have similar decorations. The indigenous peoples on the west coast of the Bering Sea have historical and cultural ties to the Inupiat and these herders may have participated in the Messenger Feast.
Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870
Place of Origin:
Alaska, United States
1 drawing ; 6 3/8 x 9 3/8 in. (16 x 23.7 cm)
Pencil and red and black ink on paper
The Bush Collection of Religion and Culture
This drawing is part of a set made by the Inupiat people to document their ritual traditions. They likely were commissioned by missionaries, and the drawings were made on the backs of prints derived from children's books and educational manuals.