On the Mu­seum

An Event Score for Ko­diak Alu­tiit 1 (He­len Sime­onoff )1

Inuit Art Quarterly - - COMMENT - Tanya Lukin Linklater

An Alu­tiiq per­son en­ters and says

This event score is longer than most. My job is to tell. Your job is to lis­ten. Lis­ten to the quiet around the words. Lis­ten for the sparse and melan­cholic.2

Then

Alphonse Pi­nart col­lected Alu­tiiq masks on our is­land in 1872 and took them to France.

Then

Over a cen­tury later He­len Sime­onoff, our rel­a­tive, trav­elled from Ko­diak Is­land to the masks held in a col­lec­tion in France. She was the first.

Then

Many Alu­tiit trav­elled from Ko­diak Is­land to the masks held in a col­lec­tion in France. They tell us that when they touched the masks, they wept.

Then

The Alu­tiiq masks even­tu­ally trav­elled back to Ko­diak Is­land but only be­cause we had an Alu­tiiq Mu­seum to ex­hibit them and only if we promised to never repa­tri­ate the masks.

Then

The prom­ise was made and vit­rines were built.

Then

We looked at the masks be­hind glass. Some masks we quickly looked away from. Which masks were we sup­posed to see? Mostly we looked at the texts along­side the masks that at­tempted to tell us what the masks meant.

Then

We felt the masks when we looked at them.

Then

We felt the masks when we touched them.

Then

We think about the text rem­nants left by Alphonse Pi­nart and all that was held in our peo­ple be­fore he ever trav­elled to our is­land to col­lect.

Then

We ex­ceed the text rem­nants in Pi­nart’s trans­la­tions of our songs and dances from Alu­tiiq to Rus­sian to English to French and back again.

Then

We ex­ceed the Alphonse Pi­nart col­lec­tion of Alu­tiiq masks.

An Event Score for Ko­diak Alu­tiit 2 (To Ale˘s Hrdli˘cka)

An Alu­tiiq per­son en­ters and says We ex­ceed the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site.

Then

We ex­ceed the dis­ci­pline for­ma­tion of An­thro­pol­ogy.

Then

We ex­ceed the struc­tures im­posed on us.

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