The Alutiiq museum’s new exhibit opened Friday and is called Pililuki, which means “make them” in the Alutiiq language.
Activities in the room invite people to interact with Alutiiq culture and history, not just see it.
On one side, they can contribute to a group drawing of Kodiak memories, and on the other side, make two types of hats out of paper and beads.
One of the hats is a woman’s festival headdress, which could have been decorated with amber, buttons, or even rifle cartridges, and executive director April Laktonen Counceller says the other hat was worn when hunting.
“The caguyaq, the hunting hat, those are the bent wood style hunting hats. There’s also spruce root hunting hats, but in this particular exhibit focusing on the graphic elements of Alutiiq art, we’re featuring the hunting hat. So, usually the more elaborate the hunting hat, the higher the status of the wearer.”
The hat activity is one in a handful of other interactive stations on display.
Counceller says the exhibit is an invitation for patrons to see the museum as a gathering place for the community.
“Part of moving beyond the traditional, stoic museum stereotypes involves getting people to actually see museums in a different way, where it’s not just an experience of walking through and then leaving, but a place where you can spend some time and actually contribute and participate in the creation of the exhibit.”
According to the Alutiiq Museum website, Pilikui will be up until December.