Diary & Unalakleet Monthly
Appraised Value: $5,000 - $10,000
IMAGE: 1 of 2
A viewer's recent email regarding an appraisal of an Inupiaq cribbage board prompted us to review past appraisals that mentioned Eskimo culture.
It is ANTIQUES ROADSHOW's intention to use culturally respectful terms when discussing the history of items being appraised on the show. We acknowledge that terms that describe a person or group’s identity regarding race, ethnicity, religion, etc., can change over time or have different meaning to different people. "Eskimo" is a word that has different connotations depending on where you live in the Northern Hemisphere.
In Canada and Greenland, "Eskimo" has negative connotations and is no longer an accepted term. "Inuit" is preferred, but that term is not commonly used in the United States. In the U.S., "Eskimo" is not considered to be derogatory and is in common usage. "Eskimo" is used when speaking of two main indigenous cultural groups collectively: "Yupik" (a culture group from Western Alaska) and "Inupiat" (a culture group from Northern Alaska and St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea). When one of these groups is being referenced, "Yupik" or "Inupiat" is favored over "Eskimo" by Alaskan Natives.
The term "Alaskan Natives" includes all indigenous peoples of Alaska: Eskimo, Unangan (Aleut), and American Indian, and is also considered broadly acceptable.
Appraisal Video: ()
Books & Manuscripts
Senior Vice President & International Department Head of Printed Books and Manuscripts
GUEST: Well, this is a... sort of a diary that my grandfather had written. He was a teacher, a missionary, educator in Unalakleet, Alaska, back around the turn of the...
APPRAISER: My grandmother had sort of chased him down to Alaska-- decided that she wanted to marry him and she tracked him down.
GUEST: She went pretty far, right?
APPRAISER: She went to the end of the earth; he couldn't go any further so she kind of had him. This is a diary that he wrote when my grandmother and mother and two brothers had left him for a while. So he's recounting his time alone. He writes some text, and then he even drew some pictures to amuse them. Here's a picture of Daddy with my Uncle Bill, my mom, Ruth, and Elmer, the youngest one.
APPRAISER: Oh, that's incredible. And he's named who they are. You can see your mom there, your uncles. And what brought him to Alaska? Was he...
GUEST: He was a minister, and I think he just thought it was something that he should do. I'm certain it was a government program, because some of the documents suggest that he was on the government payroll for a while.
APPRAISER: So he was working, teaching... That would explain why this other item is... is here with me, you brought in. And this is, uh, a magazine that... that he edited, correct, when he was up there?
GUEST: Yes, I think he created it and everything. It's his idea.
APPRAISER: He created it and probably illustrated it, called “Northern Light.” And the very interesting thing here is the fact that to establish any kind of printing in Alaska-- this remote area that you talked about-- is... is... would not be an easy undertaking. And to get the equipment to do it was quite a commitment. And he brought it to the Eskimo children, and he had them actually publish the magazine. So he actually taught them to publish and produce this... this magazine, this newspaper for themselves, and to educate them. It says, "It is our plan by the help of pupils to publish the paper monthly at Unalakleet in the interest of the schools of Alaska." There's about two years' worth of them bound in here. It's only a few pages each, but it gives interesting talk of what's going on, recipes, local news, school news. But it is a really very professionally done and organized newspaper. And again, something like this is very ephemeral and would disappear and not likely be seen if you hadn't brought it here to the ROADSHOW. It even says, uh, in there that this is the only, uh, Eskimo newspaper in existence.
GUEST: I saw that, yup.
APPRAISER: And that may very well be true. And that, with the diary, and you had other papers related to his travels.
GUEST: He had kept detailed expenses, so you can find out what reindeer meat cost on June 13, 1913.
APPRAISER: Reindeer meat? The cost of reindeer meat. Altogether, for insurance value, I would easily put this at $5,000 to $10,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: The combination, I mean-- it is such a fabulous story, very interesting man and you're very lucky to have that history in your family.
GUEST: It's wonderful to have in our heritage.
APPRAISER: Thank you for bringing it in.
GUEST: Well, thank you very much.
APPRAISER: Thank you.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.