Find more of Golga Oscar’s work on Instagram @quki92. Photo courtesy Golga Oscar.

Golga Oscar, 23, is an artist from Kasigluk who studies his Yup’ik heritage and uses what he learns to create pieces of art that blend traditional and contemporary materials. Over a month during the pandemic, he made a sealskin medicine bag.

“I wanted to explore my creativity and what tradition really means, especially with this forgotten technique that I’ve incorporated in my bag, which is the fancy stitches. In our language it’s called Keluggkat. It’s where we use leftover reindeer fur and incorporate that reindeer fur stitching onto the skin. That really encouraged me to produce the medicine bag as a way to revitalize ancestral art. Hardly no one knows about that technique. I feel like revitalizing it opens up a lot of people’s minds to what they can use their leftovers on.”

Author

Alexander Deedy is the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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