Museum

In Iirgu's Time

directed by Katrina Waters, color, 20 min, 1988

executive producers/creative consultants Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling


Iirgu is an elder from the Siberian Yupik Eskimo village of Gambell on St. Lawrence Island. As two grandchildren listen, Iirgu recounts events in Gambell from the time the first missionaries arrived. His story is known as an ungipamsuk or true historical narrative. With ambivalent feelings, he describes more recent changes - how whaling practices have changed, how life has become easier, but also how younger generations are losing touch with the old ways.

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