Coming Home: The Return of the Alutiiq Masks

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Dark Mask136 years ago…
Alutiiq masks were taken
From Kodiak, Alaska
And given to France
And for a short time they are

Coming Home:
The Return of the Alutiiq Masks

A one-hour radio documentary
by Dmae Roberts, two-time Peabody-winning producer

An Earthsongs Special documentary
with Host Shyanne Beatty and
Associate Producer Clark Salisbury

"Where I go, you go, helper spirit.
You don’t know where I will come from,
The land or sea.

As I travel the universe, helper spirit,
Protect me…"

-From a song collected by Alphonse Pinart
in Eagle Harbor, March 1872

  UnartulikComing Home is a one-hour NPR-news-friendly radio documentary that interweaves oral history interviews, Alutiiq music and soundscapes. 

The documentary takes us to Kodiak, Alaska where Alutiiq peoples work to save their language, cultural traditions and heritage by unlocking the secrets of the masks collected by French explorer Alphonse Pinnart in 1872.  When he died in 1911, he bequeathed the masks to the Chateau Musee, a small museum off the coast of Northern France. There the collection survived two World Wars and were "rediscovered" by Alutiiq artists who began making pilgrimages to France in 2000 to see the artifacts of their culture. This led to an unprecedented sharing of history between two cultures, two different countries a world apart. FUNDERS
Rasmuson Foundation
United States Artistss
United States Artists – Alaska AIR
Alaska Humanities Forum
Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.
National Endowment for the Arts

Alutiiq Museum
KMXT 100.1 FM
Koahnic Broadcast Corporation
Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
Koniag Corporation
Dig Afognak
Alaska Kodiak Watercolor


  "It’s like having the key to the hieroglyphics, the Rosetta stone, all of the things that have been so defining in culture…"
                                                                       … Alutiiq Artist Perry Eaton �Ģ kohanic broadcast corporation �Ģ
©2008 Koahnic Broadcast Corporation �Ģ web design by Clark Salisbury