Guide: Parts Six and Seven

Guide to Various Subjects Mentioned in Ivory and Paper




Page 167: She has a bundle of feathers from the rosy finch tied with a special grass for magic.

This is fictitious although there were belts of special power that were woven from grass and tied with mysterious knots while incantations were said. (Veniaminov, Notes on the Islands of the Unalashka District, 1984:222). The rosy breasted finch was featured in the story of the Chuginadak Woman (Bergsland and Dirks, Aleut Tales and Narratives, 1990:449.)


Page 170: The lemming said, “I’m on this island quite accidentally.”

Lemmings are found on Unalaska and Umnak Islands, but not in the Islands of Four Mountains or on any of the islands to the west.


Pages 190-191: For information on Aleutian volcanoes, explore the website of the Alaska Volcano Observatory.



Page 194 and 200: The story of the Sister-of-the-Moon taking her son to visit his uncle (her brother) is told in Bergsland and Dirks Aleut Tales and Narratives, 1990:148-155.


Page 200: Its [a ptarmigan’s] eyes were like fire.

See “Piercer” in Bergsland and Dirks, Aleut Tales and Narratives, 1990:219.


Page 198: At the very end came men who for an instant were sea lions… and women and men who, for moments quicker than sparks, were killer whales.

For men changing into sea lions, see Bergsland and Dirks Aleut Tales and Narratives, 1990:228-231. For men changing into killer whales, see Aleut Tales and Narratives, 1990:241-243.


Page 203: The acrobatic entrance of guests down an arrangement of poles inside a barabara was seen by Gavrilo Sarychev in 1790 or 1791. Sarychev, Account of a Voyage of Discovery, 1806:61.