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Crafters from Western Alaska Prepare for Gift-giving Season

In this vibrant region, two incredible women poured their heritage and craftsmanship into every piece they create as they prepared for the holiday shopping season.

Shirley (Kiparalria) Hootch, a Yup’ik jeweler from Emmonak, handcrafts exquisite earrings using caribou antler and walrus ivory sourced from her family in Point Hope. Inspired by her lineage of artists, Shirley’s creations echo the beauty of traditional Yup’ik masks. Each pair is a testament to her heritage and artistry, with no more than five pairs of the same design, ensuring every set is truly one-of-a-kind.

Nikki (Quluqaaq) Corbett, owner of “Sew Yupik” in Bethel, specializes in qaspeqs, and her pieces embody the essence of Alaska Native culture. Crafting with intention and care, Nikki infuses her creations with individuality, ensuring no two are alike. Her meticulous process begins long before the needle touches fabric, as she believes in setting positive intentions to imbue each piece with good energy.

Image at top: A photo of Nikki Corbett of Sew Yup’ik posing at her AFN table in October. She shared her booth with her sister, owner of Urban Atsaq. Photo courtesy of Nikki Corbett, used with permission.

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We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.