Filming at Cape Alitak.
Photo Courtesy Liz O'Connell
For thousands of years, Alutiiq people lived in sod houses and hunted sea mammals, relying on special technologies, ancestral knowledge, and spiritual assistance to care for their families. The Cape Alitak petroglyphs are one of the few written records of their way of life. Pecked into Kodiak’s granite bedrock, images of people and animals preserve customs from the Alutiiq past. Museum scientists reveal this history in seven video podcasts, films of 3 to 11 minutes each.
Created by the video production company WonderVisions with assistance from the Alutiiq Museum, the films document recent archaeological research on Kodiak rock art. Viewers learn about the Alutiiq traditions while watching a field crew at work in Kodiak’s dynamic natural environment.
Alutiiq people have been wearing jewelry for thousands of years. Marnie Leist and Patrick Saltonstall discuss how labrets - lip plugs of stone, wood, or bone - helped people share their personal identity.
The Alutiiq hunters who pursued whales carried special knowledge and spiritual power. Sven Haakanson and Patrick Saltonstall discuss the art of Alutiiq whaling and archaeological evidence of this activity.
How do archaeologists know where to dig? Follow Patrick Saltonstall, Sven Haakanson, and Mark Rusk around one of Cape Alitak's ancient villages as they identify and describe the depressions made by collapsed houses.