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A Journey To What Matters- Soapstone Carving Using Denaakk’e & Inupiaq

Soapstone Carving Using Denaakk'e & Inupiaq Story by Dewey Hoffman

My partner Marjorie Kunaq Tahbone and I cohosted a 90 minute workshop on carving soapstone with Elders and Youth Participants in October 2019.

We integrated words, phrases and commands in both Denaakk’e (Koyukon Athabascan) and Inupiaq languages. It wasn’t quite long enough in length, but students were able to have a hands on experience carving and working with their hands to cut, contour and smooth their pieces. One of the highlights was hearing a student say “I can’t do it!” while cutting a stone, but with persistence eventually was able to complete that step in the process. The Alaska Native Arts Studio at UAF helped by donating the use of carving tools.