Yup'ik Tale: Baby Big Mouth

iknowmine staff - Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Just in time for Halloween! We present: “Baby Big Mouth”

Credit: Carving of Tupilaq, artist unknown Source: http://squeakyspooky.livejournal.com/22360.html

A long time ago there was a couple that lived in a village Akiachak, just up river from Bethel. They were a couple like any other couple. They lived in one of those old-timer, sod houses and at the top there was a window, made from seal skin, to let light in. They wanted a child and so they went to the shaman and he told them that he could help them to have a child with the help of the spirits but he warned them that: “No matter how the child looks, you must present it to the village and be proud of it or it will go badly for you.”They agreed to this thinking that any baby they had would surely be cute. After a few years of being together they had a child.

After the baby was born, they didn’t know what it was at first. It could have been a boy or girl. It had a normal mouth but also had an opening with teeth on its chest area. The opening was a gruesome mouth so large, which was already filled with teeth. As the baby grew bigger it would enjoy food just as much as anyone but would demand lots of meat. Horrified and embarrassed the two kept the child hidden in the house, and almost never looked at it. The baby got aggressive and the parents would hide the baby when they had visitors. They would hang up a drape or anything in order to hide the baby from the villagers. When the girl/boy was a little older than a toddler it started to crawl and walk.

One night the man woke up to a noise and saw that the baby was on his wife. The man thought that his child was breast feeding but it was really eating at her flesh. The man got out of bed to put his clothes on. The baby crawled back to its sleeping area and made it look like it was asleep. The man alerted the villagers at night. It was a clear full moon and the man went to everyone’s huts and gathered everyone together. They even brought the dogs in to help. The dogs knew that something was wrong.

As the man and everyone were getting ready to go, the baby woke up. They baby hollered “Naawyuu. Naawyuu!” meaning “Where are the people, where is everybody!” “Chigemucha.” “How come I’m by myself, why am I by myself.” The baby started to crawl and look for other people. As the villagers were about to go out to the end of the village, they looked back and saw that the baby was crawling out of the window and falling over. After they saw that, they walked to a different village and never returned to see what had become of the baby. The Big Mouth Baby now wonders the tundra, coming out during storms to devour herds of caribou and occasionally people as well.

Thank you to Harlyn’s granddad for the story, John Andrew, an Yup’ik Elder

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IKM Staff Member Janie Shares Story

iknowmine staff - Monday, October 15, 2012

iknowmine believes we all have a story. Here is a story from one of our staff, Janie, where she talks about the importance of the work our program does and its impacts on the Alaska Native people.

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IKM Flies to Kiana

iknowmine staff - Tuesday, October 09, 2012
In air flying to Kiana, #AK it’s beautiful here. #nature #aerial #photo #alaska (Taken with Instagram at Kiana, AK)

In air flying to Kiana, #AK it’s beautiful here. #nature #aerial #photo #alaska (Taken with Instagram at Kiana, AK)

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IKM Staff Member Janie Models Qaspek

iknowmine staff - Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Janie showing off her pretty in pink qaspek (kuspuk) that her mom made her! #cu (Taken with Instagram at ANTHC/Healthy Communities Building)

Janie showing off her pretty in pink qaspek (kuspuk) that her mom made her! #cu (Taken with Instagram at ANTHC/Healthy Communities Building)

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IKM Staff Member Jessica Attends All-Hands Meeting

iknowmine staff - Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Our new employee Jessica (Iñupiaq, family from #Barrow) attending our quarterly division all-hands meeting. It’s great to have her on board. (Taken with Instagram at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium)

Our new employee Jessica (Iñupiaq, family from #Barrow) attending our quarterly division all-hands meeting. It’s great to have her on board. (Taken with Instagram at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium)

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Program Manager Connie Meets About IKM

iknowmine staff - Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Connie meeting about our new website! (Taken with Instagram at Apokrisis)

Connie meeting about our new website! (Taken with Instagram at Apokrisis)

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IKM Goes to Kongiganak

iknowmine staff - Thursday, September 20, 2012
#Flying into Kongiganak, #AK on a six-seater plane. (Taken with Instagram)

#Flying into Kongiganak, #AK on a six-seater plane. (Taken with Instagram)

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Janie Goes to Kongiganak

iknowmine staff - Thursday, September 20, 2012
Our #plane we flew from @Bethel to Kongiganak, #AK (Taken with Instagram)

Our #plane we flew from @Bethel to Kongiganak, #AK (Taken with Instagram)

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IKM in Kongiganak - Russian Orthodox Church

iknowmine staff - Sunday, September 16, 2012
The Russian Orthodox church in Kongiganak, AK. (Taken with Instagram)

The Russian Orthodox church in Kongiganak, AK. (Taken with Instagram)

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ICCH15 Conference Highlight

iknowmine staff - Monday, August 06, 2012
Coolest thing at the #ICCH15 conference in Fairbanks. She’s a gorgeous non-releasable eagle. (Taken with Instagram at University Of Alaska Fairbanks)

Coolest thing at the #ICCH15 conference in Fairbanks. She’s a gorgeous non-releasable eagle. (Taken with Instagram at University Of Alaska Fairbanks)

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