Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Project Jukebox Survey

Help us redesign the Project Jukebox website by taking a very short survey!

Elizabeth Egoak
Elizabeth Egoak

Elizabeth Egoak was interviewed on November 18, 2004 by William Schneider, Louann Rank, Karen Brewster, and Shawna Williams along with 7th grade students Josh Hoagland and Nels Jasper at the Akiak School Library in Akiak, Alaska. Elizabeth speaks in her Native Yup’ik language and Frank Chingliak translates into English for her. In this interview, Elizabeth describes her first memories of reindeer camp and traveling with her family and the reindeer herds, getting married and moving to Akiak, and discusses how to trap ground squirrels when they come out of hibernation and make squirrel skin parkas.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2004-17-19

Project: Akiak Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Nov 16, 2004
Narrator(s): Elizabeth Egoak
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, Karen Brewster, Shawna Williams, Louann Rank
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
U.S. Department of Education, Alaska Native Education, Yupiit School District
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
There is no slideshow for this person.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) The history and name of Akiak, both the old village and the current village.

2) The history of and her family involvement with reindeer herding in the Akiak area.

3) Her childhood, reindeer herding, and Laplanders.

4) The traveling seasons and reindeer herding, and being unfamiliar with her Yup’ik name.

5) Her marriage and immediate family, how she moved to Akiak, and the names of people in photos.

6) John and Bessie Egoak, her immediate family, marriage, and the names of people in photos.

7) Spring and fall camps and ground squirrels.

8) Making a traditional squirrel skin parka.

Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.

After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.


Section 1: (Yup’ik)\ Akiak -- origination of name\ missionary -- naming of Akiak\ Moravian\ (Yup’ik)\ people -- location of\ (Yup’ik)\ Akiak -- original site\ (Yup’ik)\ villages -- erosion of\ (Yup’ik)\ Akiak -- present site\ (Yup’ik)\ Akiak -- meaning of\ (Yup’ik)\ Akiak -- former site inhabitants\ Laplanders|

Section 2: (Yup’ik)\ reindeer herding\ father -- accompanied him herding\ father -- reindeer herder\ herding -- duration of\ reindeer festivals \ (Yup’ik)\ reindeer herding -- reasons for ending\ reindeer -- die off\ wolves -- cause of die off\ (Yup’ik)\ age -- youth\ birthdate|

Section 3: (Yup’ik)\ England\ family background\ father -- family history\ herding\ Laplanders\ (Yup’ik)\ travel -- using reindeer\ moving -- frequency of\ (Yup’ik)\ reindeer -- travel with\ camp -- relocation of\ (Yup’ik)\ mother -- hardships of travel\ travel\ camping\ herding -- simplicity\ Egoak, Elizabeth -- first to speak about reindeer herding\ (Yup’ik)\ herding -- memory of \ elders -- memory of herding\ (Yup’ik)\ Laplanders -- recollection of names\ (Yup’ik)\ Laplanders -- where they lived|

Section 4: (Yup’ik)\ reindeer -- seasonal\ travel -- seasonal\ (Yup’ik)\ summer -- care of reindeer\ Yup’ik name -- unknown\ (Yup’ik)\ English name -- familiar with\ (Yup’ik)\ relocation -- after herding ended\ Kwethluk\ base camp\ (Yup’ik)\ camps|

Section 5: Kwethluk\ (Yup’ik)\ marriage -- date\ husband -- Akiak man\ Akiak -- moving to\ Egoak, Lott -- husband\ (Yup’ik)\ husband -- caretaker for parents\ (Yup’ik)\ husband -- trapline\ (Yup’ik)\ trapline -- tradition\ women -- role in trapping\ (Yup’ik)\ husband -- how they met\ husband -- reason she moved to Akiak\ Egoak, Elizabeth -- children\ (Yup’ik)\ children -- names of\ Chingliak, Frank -- story of one of her children\ children -- surviving members\ (Yup’ik)\ family -- size\ photo -- identification of\ (Yup’ik)\ Egoak, John\ Egoak, Bessie\ (Yup’ik)\ stepfather -- identification of\ (Yup’ik)\ Yup’ik name -- mother of the Owens family\ (Yup’ik)\ Egoak, John and Bessie\ Egoak, John -- husband’s father\ Egoak, John and Bessie -- raised by|

Section 6: (Yup’ik)\ Egoak, John and Bessie\ teachings\ Egoaks -- learning from\ Yup’ik customs\ (Yup’ik)\ marriage -- age at\ (Yup’ik)\ husband -- proposed to her\ marriage -- not arranged\ (Yup’ik)\ photo -- identification of\ (Yup’ik)\ Japhet, Maggie -- mother\ Japhet, Freda\ Japhet, Freda -- children\ photos\ (Yup’ik)\ photos -- at school\ photos -- Schneider’s interest in\ (Yup’ik)\ photos -- availability of|

Section 7: (Yup’ik)\ spring camp -- lifestyle\ spring camp -- mountains\ hunting -- ground squirrel\ fall camp -- Uqvigpialek\ Uqvigpialek -- location of\ (Yup’ik)\ ground squirrels -- lack of\ fall camp -- animals hunted\ beaver\ tundra\ (Yup’ik)\ spring camp -- Kuvyacuarviq\ (Yup’ik)\ fishing -- placement of net\ fishing -- white fish\ Kuiggayagaq\ white fish -- trapping of\ (Yup’ik)\ white fish -- quantity of catch\ (Yup’ik)\ white fish -- storage of\ grass baskets -- traditional uses of\ Uqvigpialek -- definition of\ willow trees\ (Yup’ik)|

Section 8: photo -- identification of\ (Yup’ik)\ Jackson, Elizabeth\ Jackson, Elizabeth -- sister\ Angilan, Lucy\ parka -- squirrel skin\ (Yup’ik)\ parka -- process of making\ squirrel skin -- number of pelts\ trim -- calf skin\ (Yup’ik)\ tassels -- wolverine skin\ (Yup’ik)\ parka -- length of time to make\ (Yup’ik) squirrels -- hunting of\ spring season\ (Yup’ik)\ squirrel trap -- location of\ snare\ travel -- type of\ travel -- break-up season|