Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
Alutiiq Word of the Week
 
Alutiiq Word of the Week: Whale blubber
Kiimaq: Whale blubber Akgua’aq kiimartullriakut.: We ate whale blubber yesterday. Blubber, the thick layer of fat that lies between a whale’s skin and its muscles, has important biological functions. Like all mammals, whales must maintain a warm body temperature. While swimming in icy waters, blubber keeps them warm by reducing the outward flow of heat; the colder the water, the thicker the layer of fat needs to b...
May 17, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: Godparent
KRaasnaaq: Godparent KRaasnaat ag’inartut.: Godparents should be respected. Russian colonists introduced godparenting, a relationship between adults and children that has become second in importance only to parent-child bonds in Alutiiq communities. KRaasnaaq comes from a Russian word meaning “godparent.” Some Alutiiq speakers further differentiate between godmother and godfather with the alutiicized terms maamasi...
May 10, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: Bat
Keneryaq: Bat (animal) Aliktaanka keneryat.: The bats scare me. Bats are not widespread in Alaska. There are just five species of these small flying mammals found mostly in forested areas of southeast and south central Alaska, where trees provide good roosting places. The most common Alaskan variety is the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), which lives year round in the Kodiak region. Little brown bats live in s...
May 03, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: Namesake
Aalukaq : Namesake Aalukaalitkiinga. : They named that person after me. In classical Alutiiq society, people accumulated names over their lifetimes, adding new titles to commemorate a deed or reflect a change in their social standing. Many babies were first named for a relative—a namesake—a practice that continues today. In Alutiiq communities, children often bear a parent’s name. Fathers and sons have identical n...
Apr 26, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: April 19
Nuus’niik; Anarwik: Outhouse Cuumi llami nuus’ningq’rllrit.: They used to have outhouses outside. In prehistoric times, going to the bathroom was a less private matter than it is today. Alutiiq families kept large wooden tubs near the doors of their houses to collect urine. Valued for its cleansing properties, Alutiiq women used urine to process hides. The ammonia in the urine broke down fat, leaving animal skins ...
Apr 19, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: Tree pitch
Angeq : Tree pitch Angermek aturtaakait nept’staliyakameng. : They used pitch to make glue. Alutiiq people used every part of the spruce tree, from its wood and roots to its needles and sticky pitch. When the bark of a spruce is ripped or cut, sap collects at the site of the injury. Alutiiqs recognize two different types of pitch, soft and hard, that form in a variety of colors: clear, white, yellow, pink, and eve...
Apr 12, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: Port Hobron
Masriluq : Port Hobron Masrilumi arwarsurtaallriit. : They used to hunt whales at Port Hobron. Today the derelict hull of a wooden ship, rusting tanks, and building remnants are all that remain of the whaling station at Port Hobron. Nestled against the shore of Port Hobron Bay, a narrow fjord on the northern coast of Sitkalidak Island, the now-abandoned station was an active commercial enterprise run by the Alaska...
Apr 05, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: Easter
Paas’kaaq : Easter Ugnerkami Paas’kaartaartukut. : We have Easter in the spring. Orthodox Easter is a central holiday in Alutiiq communities. Like Russian Christmas, it combines cultural traditions. Forty days of Lent precede Easter, creating a period of reflection and sacrifice. The Alutiiq faithful live simply, eating fish and vegetables, as no animal products are allowed. This period of fasting mirrors spring i...
Mar 29, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: March 22
Kuicaaq : Waterfall Olga Bay-mi kuicaaq et’uq egkum akiani. : In Olga Bay there is a waterfall across from Egkuq. Kodiak’s rugged topography and its wet weather combine to create many small waterfalls. Heavy rains saturate the ground, providing runoff for streams that spill down mountainsides and plummet over cliffs. Some waterfalls are seasonal, fed by spring rains and melting snow, while others drain steep slope...
Mar 22, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Alutiiq Word of the Week: March 15
Unigkuaq : Legend Unigkuarsngutaartut. : They always like to tell legends. In the English language, the word “story” is a broad term that can be used to describe many different types of tales, from fairy tales to newspaper articles. Not so in the Alutiiq language, where there are distinct terms for story and legend. In the Alutiiq world, a story — quliyanguaq — is a tale that recounts historical events. An Alutiiq...
Mar 15, 2013 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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