Elevated Eating : Bentwood Serving Dish
The Yup’ik of the Alaskan Southwest were masters of making wooden bowls or kantag, and the bentwood rim with red pigment was a common style. These Alaskan natives relied heavily on marine resources for food, and bentwood serving dishes were typically used to hold meals of boiled fish. These wooden dishes were also utilized to hold seal or whale blubber in which people could dip dried meats from summer hunts. Although frequently used for everyday meals, painted bentwood bowls also held significance in ritual contexts. Yup'ik ancestors were often said to be present in ceremonial practices, and this dish includes the painted face to bridge sustenance with spirituality.