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Arctic Studies Center


Found in: arts; science; social studies; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Arctic Studies Center (ASC) presents the history of northern peoples, cultures, and environments and issues of current importance to northern residents. Resources include text, images, and video. Featured are the Ainu, Vikings, Yup’ik masks, Alutiiq dance, Yamal, arctic wildlife, and more. The ASC can supplement grade 4-9 social studies, science, and art classes.

Arctic Wildlife Portfolio covers birds and land and sea mammals. Among the six birds highlighted is the Tufted Puffin. The entry includes a description, photo, and watercolor by naturalist Edward W. Nelson. A brief biography of Nelson (1855-1934), who was the first to identify many arctic birds, is included. An Arctic Wildlife Glossary defines commonly encountered terms.

Crossroads Of Continents highlights Northeastern Siberia and Alaska cultures in a virtual museum. The Hall of People presents four Siberian group and four Alaskan groups. Enyter the museum and click a mannequin to learn about a culture. For example, click the Amur River figure to meet a Nanai family group who lived in the Lower Amur basin. Links provide more information on the Amur people today. Move on to the Hall of Masks which features eight masks made of wood, leather, and other materials. The Hall of Masks includes a video introduction. The final hall is an Ekven Burial chamber, a 2,000-yearold woman shaman's tomb with artifacts that were preserved in permafrost in Siberia. Click the tomb to explore the artifacts. An introductory video and audio file of a Siberian chant are included.

Ainu: Spirit of A Northern People examines the origin of the Ainu of northern Japan and their relations with the Japanese. The Ainu are descended from the ancient Jomon of Japan and differ from the Japanese and other Asians. The seven rooms in the exhibit explore the physical appearance of the Ainu, their past, religion, dwellings, culture, relations with the Japanese, and the resurgence of their culture. Each room features 2-D and 3-D images artifacts with text, and videos.

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