Unangax̂ Culture

Our ancestors worked together to adapt and create community. They constructed ulan (homes), learned to sew iqyan (skin boats), to weave aygaĝasin (grass baskets), to fish, hunt, harvest, to practice qaqamiigux̂ (subsistence), and create qignax̂ (fire). They spawned a culture rich in art and oral traditions, including aygaĝasin (grass baskets), sleek iqyan (skin boats), and beautiful chagudan (bentwood visors). They raised families on this island home, and as they became Elders, continued passing down generations of knowledge to their children’s children. The lands and waters of Unalaska have nourished the Unangax̂ for more than ten thousand years.

Our Unangax̂ culture predates Russian settlement in this region by millennia. Russian contact and colonization in the mid-1700s marked a period of decline for the Alaska Native population due to introduced illnesses, slavery, marine resource exploitation, and genocide. You can find additional educational resources to learn more about these events on the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska’s website here, or through the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association’s website here

Museum of the Aleutians

Explore more Unangax̂ culture, lands, and history at the Museum of the Aleutians. Visit their website at aleutians.org.