DER Documentary

In Iirgu's Time

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From the Alaskan Eskimo series
by Katrina Waters
Executive producers and creative consultants Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling
color, 20 min, 1988

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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.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
American Film Festival Red Ribbon
VITAS Folklore Film Festival, Best of Festival

other films from the Alaskan Eskimo series:
At the Time of Whaling
The Drums of Winter
From the First People
Joe Sun
On the Spring Ice
Reindeer Thief

Related Resources
Study Guide

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts