the Closest I'll ever get to a polar bear!

Anchorage Travel Blog

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Southeast Village site of the Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian

Continuing with our day we stopped and toured the Alaskan Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. Upon entering, there was a theatre called the Gathering Place where a lady talked about the Polar bears and how they are coming more inland. (Geez, maybe there was one in Skagway!) hehe We could either take a guided tour or a self tour, we opted for the latter. We got to see all 5 of the village sites that circle Lake Tiulana, starting with the Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. They are a southeast village site with a fire pit with a smoke hole  in the middle of their home and 20-50 people could live in each house. The 2nd village was the south and southwest ALEUT and ALUTIIG Village site with the rafters covered with grass & sod and were single room.

Tlingit totem pole
The Aleut homes were also called Ulax while the Alutiig houses were called ciqlluaq. These homes had seal intestines skylight windows which let the light in like a screen.

 Third was the Inupiaq and St. Lawrence Island Yupik who live in the north & northwest region and their homes had tunnel entrances that were underground. These usually hold 8-12 people. Bernie kept saying, "I'm sorry Kerry" when we entered and saw a Polar bear skin on display. At first I was a bit mad but I did get to touch the fur on it. I will probably never get to touch a Polar bear again (dead or alive), so that was probably the closest I'll ever get to one, besides in a zoo. I had Bernie take my picture petting it sadly.

The 4th settlement was Yup'ik and Cup'ik who are southwest where males live in a qasgiq or men's house with the woman making and bringing the food to them.

Aleut house or ulax
Also ceremonies took place in the qasgiq. Woman & children live in an ena which was half the size of the qasgiq. These also had the removable skylight windows made from seal or walrus intestine.

The 5th village on display was the Athabascan who use different traditional house types. They were mostly on the interior of Alaska but also live in the lower 48 states. In the home, there was otter, seal and red fox fur on display. That completed the outside display so back inside we went. Inside the center is the Hall of Cultures that displays exhibits, and a theatre that shows movies all day about the cultures. And of course the infamous gift shop where I purchased yet More Scrapbooking items including an Alaskan kit, die-cuts and postcards. I didn't know much about the native Alaskans but seeing the Heritage Center increased my knowledge of them and their traditions.

inside the southeast village site

We arrived in Anchorage around 3pm and our hotel was the Captain Cook Hotel and it was a beauty. There are 3 towers and we were on the 7th floor & had a great view of the Cook Inlet and also the silt. We walked around and ended up going to the 5th Avenue Mall so Bernie could mail her postcards & I needed to buy a $15 lithium digital camera battery. Then we found a gift shop called Polar Bear Gifts and I bought even more scrapbooking items: embellishments & postcards. We got our picture taken with the big fake bear outside. Anchorage seemed to be a clean, safe city (from the parts we walked). We then attempted to go to the Glacier Brew House upon recommendation from the bus driver & the young guy at Radio Shack.

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Southeast Village site of the Eyak…
Southeast Village site of the Eya…
Tlingit totem pole
Tlingit totem pole
Aleut house or ulax
Aleut house or ulax
inside the southeast village site
inside the southeast village site
This sunroof of the ulax is made f…
This sunroof of the ulax is made …
describing the Ulax or Long House
describing the Ulax or Long House
gray whale exhibit at the Inupiaq …
gray whale exhibit at the Inupiaq…
more of the gray whale exhibit at …
more of the gray whale exhibit at…
grey whale bones at the Inupiaq si…
grey whale bones at the Inupiaq s…
Inupiaq village
Inupiaq village
skinned Polar bear in the Inupiaq …
skinned Polar bear in the Inupiaq…
this is the closest Ill ever get …
this is the closest I'll ever get…
Such a beautiful face
Such a beautiful face
Yupik and Cupik village
Yup'ik and Cup'ik village
Rites of Passage. This is $1,000.00
Rites of Passage. This is $1,000.00
Tlingit and Tsimshian dancers
Tlingit and Tsimshian dancers
view from our window at the Captai…
view from our window at the Capta…
sunset of the Cook Inletfrom Capta…
sunset of the Cook Inletfrom Capt…
Cook Inlet
Cook Inlet
Cook Inlet
Cook Inlet
one of the nicest public bathrooms…
one of the nicest public bathroom…
our room at Captain Cook
our room at Captain Cook
morning view
morning view
we could see the Chugach mountains…
we could see the Chugach mountain…
Bernies picture - Bernie petting …
Bernie's picture - Bernie petting…
Anchorage
photo by: anupa_rk