This bilingual volume focuses on the teachings, experience, and practical wisdom of expert Native orators as they instruct a younger generation about their place in the world. In carefully crafted presentations, Yup’ik elders speak about their "rules for right living"—values, beliefs, and practices—which illuminate the enduring and still relevant foundations of their culture today. While the companion volume Wise Words of the Yup'ik People weaves together hundreds of statements by Yup’ik elders on the values that guide human relationships, Yup’ik Words of Wisdom highlights the words of expert orators and focuses on key conversations that took place among elders and younger community members as the elders presented their perspectives on the moral underpinnings of Yup’ik social relations.
The orators in this volume—including Frank Andrew from Kwigillingok, David Martin from Kipnuk, and Nelson Island elders Paul John and Thersea Moses—were raised in isolated Yup'ik communities in southeastern Alaska and were educated much like their parents and grandparents.
Translated, edited, and organized for a general audience, this bilingual edition is for those who want to know not only what the elders have to say but also how they say it.