Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Maria Turnpaugh

Maria Turnpaugh Maria Turnpaugh was a respected Unangan elder who was born in Unalaska, Alaska in 1927 to Joe and Agnes Chagin. In 1942, Maria and her family were forced to evacuate Unalaska when it was attacked by the Japanese. She spent the next three years in an internment camp in Southeast Alaska before returning to Unalaska in 1945. Maria is known for her art and commitment to preserving the history of the Aleutians. Her grandfather was a chief and a warden in the Russian Orthodox church, and as a child, she learned Unangam Tunuu from her mother. Maria was especially known for her basket-weaving, with pieces being at the Museum of the Aleutians, the Museum of Natural History in Anchorage, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. She passed away on October 20, 2012 at the age of 84. For more about Maria Turnpaugh, see her obituary on the Unalaska Community Broadcasting website.
Date of Birth:
Nov 24, 1927
Date of Death:
Oct 20, 2012
Maria Turnpaugh appears in the following new Jukebox projects: