Health, healing & spirituality
After learning that emergency healthcare interventions are not a healthcare solution, as welcome as they are, I have been on a journey to learn more about traditional healthcare among the indigenous folks in rural Alaska. I have reviewed articles and learned a bit more about the healthy aspects of the subsistence life.
The Inuit Paradox: How can people who gorge on fat and rarely see a vegetable be healthier than we are?
by Patricia Gadsby
Patricia Cochran, an Inupiat from Northwestern Alaska, is talking about the native foods of her childhood: “We pretty much had a subsistence way of life. Our food supply was right outside our front door. We did our hunting and foraging on the Seward Peninsula and along the Bering Sea.
I have been exploring the traditional art.
Agayuliyararput: Our way of making prayer
By Ann Fienup Riordan
In January 1996, fifty Yup’ik masks were flown to Toksook Bay, a community of 500 on the edge of the Bering Sea. While museum curators installed the masks in cases in the village high school, 40 planes touched down on the runway, delivering 500 guests in a single day. More than one thousand men, women, and children had come to Toksook to dance, give thanks, and celebrate.
I have been learning about the spirituality of the natural world.
According to the worldview of the Yupik Eskimo, human and nonhuman persons shared a number of characteristics. First and foremost, the perishable flesh of both humans and animals belied the immortality of their souls (“yuas”). All living things participated in an endless cycle of birth and rebirth of which the souls of animals and men were a part, contingent on the right thought and action by others as well as self.
I have found that there is a great respect for the individual- from the child to the elder who comprise the community.
Every Yup’ik Is Responsible To All Other Yup’iks For Survival Of Our Cultural Spirit, And The Values And Traditions Through Which It Survives. Through Our Extended Family, We Retain, Teach, and Live Our Yup’ik Way.With Guidance and Support from Elders We must Teach our Children Yup’ik Values:
We are so fortunate that we still have among us gifted traditional healers who are making inroads within standard health practices because holistic methods are in greater favor today.
Kimberly Corral has a wonderful website that explains much about Alaska Native Traditional healing.
Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein is a Yupik Elder and the first certified traditional doctor in Alaska. She is also an artist, a teacher, speaker and storyteller.
Lisa Dolchok is the Elder Program Coordinator for the Southcentral Foundation, a nonprofit organization that runs outreach programs for Anchorage-area Natives.
These women are living links to the culture of rural Alaska and models for using traditional culture in the changing world for the benefit of the indigenous people of Alaska.
It is not true that these arctic people are survivors of the Ice Age. Always, these people have had communication with the groups of people living to the south; and they have shared and incorporated progressive ideas of farming, hunting, and living conditions. We seek to continue in that path at anonymousbloggers . Please enjoy the links and the journey! As always comments, opinions and stories are most appreciated.
All the best,