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Art and Archaeology

September 2, 2013

Ivory linksNew ivory linksQuinhagak elder John Smith, our camp manager Mike’s grandfather, is a very skilled carver and artist. Knowing this, when Carly found her ivory links, she asked if John could make a replica of them for her. It took John only two days before he had them finished. Charlotta in her turn happens to be a great admirer of owls, so when the first owl was found at the dig she thought she should ask John if he could make her an owl. OwlugglaNot a replica, just an Alaska owl inspired by the archaeological find. He made her a snowy owl in only a day. John also made a beluga-pendant for Lindsey, inspired by her find of a little ivory beluga. Over the years John Smith has been a great asset to the project, sharing his knowledge on traditional technology as well as his expertise as a wood and ivory craftsman with us, and helped us understand the artefacts and ancient techniques. John is also full of stories about the old days, memories of hunting as a boy with his grandfather, or how they used to throw spears, and play games. All these stories are connected to the different kind of artefacts that we find at the site, and it is inspiring to se how archaeology, memory and art reinforce each other.


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