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Lillian Lliabon
Lillian Lliabon

Lillian Lliabon was interviewed on November 18, 2004 by William Schneider, Shawna Williams, Louann Rank, and Karen Brewster at the Akiak School Library in Akiak, Alaska. Lillian grew up hearing the story of how Akiak was started from her mother, Maggie Japhet, so she tells this story in English, as well as telling a story about how the specific style of trim on Akiak parkas came to be.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2004-07-21

Project: Akiak
Date of Interview: Nov 18, 2004
Narrator(s): Lillian Lliabon
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
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1) Her family history, her grandparents and their children.

2) The story and legend of Akiak.

3) The role of the parka and its design, the brown bear puppet dance, and thoughts about cultural similarities.

4) The role and stories of the parka and its designs.

5) The meaning of Akiak, both the new and old village, and briefly talks about the history of Akiak’s location and the people who lived there.

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Section 1: grandparents -- names of\ Williams, Helena\ Williams, Waska\ Williams, Waska -- brother\ Helper Nick\ marriage\ siblings\ brothers -- different last names\ missionary -- renaming of others\ grandmother -- Qavarliaq\ (Yup’ik)\ grandmother -- siblings\ Kawagley family -- family tree\ Kawagley brothers -- names of\ mother -- daughter of Helena Williams\ Lliabon, Lillian -- siblings|

Section 2: Akiak story -- grandparents telling of\ elders\ Akiak story -- old village\ Akiak -- how it began\ married couple -- childless\ man -- hunter\ brown bear cub -- raised by couple\ old village -- feared brown bear\ village elders -- request to couple\ married couple -- relocation of\ Akiarmiut -- “people on the other side”\ Akiak story -- legend|

Section 3: mother -- dancer\ Eskimo dance\ villages -- invited to dance\ Akiak -- celebrations\ parka -- background\ design -- identification of\ Akiak story -- brown bear\ celebration of \ dance\ stories\ mother -- stories during dance\ celebration -- location of\ igloo -- smoke hole\ puppets -- uncommon\ brown bear puppet -- creation of\ Eskimo dance\ music\ brown bear puppet -- use of\ mother -- dancer\ children -- dance\ cultural similarities\ Golden Rule\ respect|

Section 4: mother -- head dress\ brown bear claw\ head dress -- identifies a community\ parka -- purpose of the design\ songs -- purpose of\ parka -- design\ trim -- purpose of the design\ Akiak parka -- origin of\ Kwethluk\ parka design -- story of\ man -- prisoner\ man -- big\ fed -- caribou fat\ caribou fat -- reasons for\ man -- escaped from prison\ man -- fell ill\ stomach sickness\ puked\ parka design -- patterns of the puke\ parka -- other designs\ Lillian’s parka -- original and rare\ coastal parka -- description of\ double design\ parka trim -- description of\ great-grandmother -- birthplace\ parka design -- of the birthplace\ mother -- made parkas\ memory\ parkas -- not common today\ parka design -- ancestral meaning of|

Section 5: Akiak -- meaning of\ Akiarmiut -- “people on the other side”\ Akiak -- the other side\ old village -- name of\ Qalirneq\ old village -- location and closure of\ people -- relocation based on culture\ Laplanders\ white people\ older village -- not visible\ cultural rules|