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Yup'ik elders of southwest Alaska recall, “Our ancestors were never heavy with a tool kit.” They carried in their minds what they needed to live rich lives in the harsh environment of the Bering Sea coast. Frank Andrew, Sr. (1917-2006), was one of the few elders to bring this knowledge into the twenty-first century.

Not only did Frank Andrew possess knowledge and wisdom--he shared it. For five years before his death he worked tirelessly with Yup'ik translators Alice Rearden and Marie Meade and anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan to document his knowledge of life on the Bering Sea coast. What he shared is specific to the Canineq (lower coastal) area at the mouth of the Kuskokwim River. When he talked about kayak building, tomcod fishing, or bird hunting, it was based on his own experience in the area surrounding Kwigillingok, where he spent his life. His unprecedented depth of knowledge and eloquent storytelling inspired this book.

Paitarkiutenka / My Legacy to You is the bilingual companion volume to Yuungnaqpiallerput / The Way We Genuinely Live: Masterworks of Yup'ik Science and Survival, which gives readers a sense of the complexity and variety of Yup'ik tools and technology. Paitarkiutenka offers greater detail about working with wood, kayak construction, and coastal hunting. Stories and information on seasonal activities in the Canineq area appear here for the first time. This book acknowledges the enormous amount of information and remarkable skills that each individual needed to live life on the Bering Sea coast; it is Frank Andrew's legacy to us all.
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