ALUTIIQ MUSEUM  215 Mission Road, Kodiak, Alaska 99615   |  844-425-8844  |  view calendar > | search >

Future Masters


Guided by master carvers and inspired by century old Alutiiq masks, twelve young people transformed blocks of wood into faces filled with meaning. Through their work, these future masters carry Alutiiq traditions forward. They ensure the next generation will remember and revere cultural knowledge.



The Workshop

Each student began the workshop with a rough-cut piece of Sitka spruce, a canvas for a face. Unsure at first, the young artists sought inspiration from historic masks, examining the designs of their ancestors to imagine a creation of their own.

Shaping A Face

Guided by the sure hands of master carvers, each student began to chip away pieces of wood, uncovering a mask and their talents. With gouges they formed a shape, with crooked knives they revealed features, and with sandpaper they polished the surface.

Alutiiq Colors

Oil paints in traditional Alutiiq colors provided a finish–applied with brushes to cover wood grain or wiped on with rags to show the texture beneath. Ochre red, limestone white, charcoal black, and vibrant green, the color of the Alutiiq spirit world, added dimension to each carving.

Pleasing the Spirits

No Alutiiq mask is complete without decoration. Attachments beautified carvings, showing respect for the surrounding world. Like their ancestors, students bent strips of wood to create hoops for their masks. To these hoops they attached small carvings, fur, and feathers to adorn each face.

Revealing Stories

Words completed each work.  After a week of revealing their masks, students knew their story.  Each wrote a mask song, translating the verses into Alutiiq with the help of Elders.  The final step was to share their work at a family gathering.




The Students and Their Masks



Alexandra Painter

I Am Happy - Atusqaq

My heart is light. 
    Unguwatka uqegituq.
I love to smile.
    Qunukaqa englariunek.
I will try to make you happy.   
For a little while.   
    Cangcugmek (small amount).

"I am Alexandra Painter. I was born on Kodiak and have lived here all my life. I love to travel and I really enjoy making and looking at art. My experience as a Future Master apprentice was incredible. I never in my life thought I could make something like a carved mask. I am so appreciative that Sven, Perry, and Coral took the time to do this workshop."


Anastasia Painter

Singing One - Atusqaq

I sing for me.   
    Gui guamnek aturtua.
I sing for you.   
    Gui atuutamken.
Don’t ask me why I sing while I am in the outhouse.   
    Apt’nillnga qai-cali nuus’hnigmi aturtua.

"I am Anastasia Painter, I was born and raised in Kodiak, Alaska, and I am a freshman at Kodiak High School. I am an outdoors person and I really enjoy art and like carving a lot. The Future Masters Apprentice program was an experience I will never forget. I learned so much about native masks, carving, and also a little bit of the Alutiiq language. I hope in the future they will teach another class like this. A special thanks to Perry, Sven, and Coral, for making this an awesome experience."


Dylan Peterson

Akhiok - Kasukuak

We always dance using Akhiok’s mask.   
    Agnguartaartukut Kasukuam maaskaa aturluku.
All of us go hunting and fishing.   
    Tamamta pisuryartaartukut iqallugsurluta.
Ones that know help us.   
    Nallunilngut ikayurluta.

"My name is Dylan Peterson and I am sixteen years old. My heritage is Aleut and I'm from Akhiok, a little town on the South end of Kodiak Island.  In this village the population is about 55 or 60 people most of which is my family. My interests are hanging out with my friends, learning new things, working outside mostly and visiting with my family. The Future Masters Workshop experience was amazing, I loved it and hope to do it again sometime. I also enjoyed working with Sven and Perry as they were great teachers and I have learned a lot from them."

Hannah K.

Hannah Kaplan

Long Face - Takesqaq Giinaq

The birds stop singing.   
    Saqullkaanat atunirtut.
When Long Face comes.   
    Takesqaq Giinaq taiyakan (when he comes).
The sun goes away.   
    Macaq auwarciiquq.
When Long Face comes.   
    Takesqaq Giinaq taiyakan.
The children always cry.   
    Uswiillraraat qiataartut.
Whenever Long Face comes.   
    Takesqaq Giinaq taiyakan (whenever).
Nobody likes Long Face.   
    Pingaqnitat Takesqaq Giinaq.
Long Face is alone.   
    Taksqaq Giinaq kiimi et’uq.

"My name is Hannah Kaplan, I'm 18 years old. I was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, but have been living in Kodiak for the past 13 years. I am a senior at Kodiak High School and will be moving to Germany to study film after I graduate in the summer.  My greatest passions are all forms of art. I love to draw and paint but my latest hobby has been film making, which I plan on making a career. Recently I have entered one of my films in the International Film Festival in Anchorage. Future Masters was an experience I will always remember and benefit from. Not only did I learn how to create Alutiiq masks but I left the workshop knowing so much more about Alutiiq culture and language than ever before. The respect I have gained for Alutiiq art and culture has made me very proud to have grown up in Kodiak, Alaska."

Hannah P.

Hannah Pearson

One That Calls Out – Qayagausta

I’m the one who calls out (to them).   
    Gui qayagau’anka.
I call to my friends.   
    Angayunka niuqau’anka.
My friends are the animals.   
    Unguwallriat angayuksau’utaanka.

"My name is Hannah Pearson. I am 15 years old and I live in Kodiak. I enjoy martial arts, working on my book, taking care of my goats, drawing, Civil Air Patrol and collecting small knick-knacks of all kinds.  I really liked the mask making class and learning from Perry, Coral and Sven. I love hands on projects and this was the best one I've ever done. All in all it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience."


Hunter Nelson

Little Man - Nukallpiangcuk

He has no food.   
A fun class.   
    Nunanisqaq skuuluq (Southern dialect).
    Skauluq (Northern dialect).
He has new friends.   
    Nutaanek angayugnq’rtuq.
A lot of work.   
    Pektaalruu’uq (He has a lot of work).

"I am interested in Alutiiq carving, learning about my culture, and playing sports.  I am a young boy with a Dad, Mom, and Brother, who live in Kodiak, Alaska, with me.  I am 11 years old.  I had a lot of fun at the carving class and enjoyed having Perry teach me to carve with chisels.  I enjoyed my nickname Fisherman gave me - "Tweety Bird."  I was honored that Fisherman asked me to come and carve!"



Jasmine Pearson

Skeptical – Tumciyuq

The bird is almost smiling.   
    Saqullqanaq englaryumenguartuq.
The people are funny, they make him want to laugh.   
    Suu’ut englarnartut, englaryugt’stat.
He can’t keep from laughing,   
He flies away chuckling (laughing).   
    Englangnaqenituq, taumi tengluni englaruarluni.

"My name is Jasmine Pearson,  I'm 17 years old, and I live on Kodiak Island. My interests include martial arts, painting, witting, playing the guitar, and livestock husbandry. I really enjoyed the mask making class, not only did I learn a lot about wood carving in general, but the whole process of crafting the masks was fascinating."



Leona Gerlitz

Fire Woman - Kenrem Arnaa

It’s short and red,  
    Naninani kawirluni,
And swift like fire,   
    Pirarluni kenert’stun,
And is mysterious as she is beautiful,   
    Cuncunarluni allanaruarluni,
Fire woman.   
    Kenrem arnaa.

"My name is Leona Gerlitz, and I'm a student at Kodiak High. I am really into the arts; I paint, draw, sew, sculpt, make music.... basically, I'm as artsy as they come. I saw the Future Masters as a chance to explore a new medium, under the guidance of great teachers. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and had a great time learning to carve while also learning about the Alaska Native culture. I know these skills are ones I will carry with me for the rest of my art career, (so basically, all my life)"


Lucas Gerlitz

One That Blows - Cupuwasqaq

"The wind is howling.   
It is all his fault.  
    Aqllangq’rkwaraa (he made it blow).
The rivers rage (boil).   
    Kwiget qallau’ut.
The sea will not halt.   
    Imaq asingenllpiartuq.
He cannot stop.   
That is what he does.   
    Tawaten et’uq.

"My name is Lucas Gerlitz, I am 14 and a freshman at Kodiak High School. My interests are theater, dance, music, baseball, and writing. I really enjoyed the Future Masters Workshop. I have never really considered myself artistic at all until I participated in this class. I found out that I really enjoy working with wood and creating something unusual from natural materials. I made some great new friends, and really appreciated all the knowledge that Perry, Sven, and Coral shared with us. I hope that this sort of workshop will be possible again. I would definitely take part."


Tamara Swenson

We Dance as One - Allrilut’stun Agnguartukut

I dance for fun and to learn.   
    Agnguartaartua, nunaniqsarlua liillua.
I want to travel.   
We dance together so we don’t forget.   
    Agnguartukut tamamta nalluyautningaitaarpet.
After we are gone, our dances will still be here.  
    Piiyuskumta, agnguarpet etciiqut (it will be here).

"My name is Tamara Swenson, I was born in Anchorage, Alaska in 1993 to Mary Christiansen, an Alaska native Aleut, and Daryl Swenson, an Ojibwe native from the White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota.  I'm the youngest of six children, all native Alaskan, and have lived in Old Harbor, Alaska for my entire life."
"I enjoy speed reading and would like to pursue a career in writing and Japanese cartooning. I am currently learning German and have been told by my friends and Mother that I am rather fluent in gibberish.  I have been class president for the last two years and enjoy sports such as volleyball and basketball.  I joined an Alutiiq native dance group four years ago and have since participated in many native dance festivals and conferences." 

"I have learned all kinds of native arts and have tried some amateur carving before, but I haven't worked with wood to this extent before.  Participating in the Future Masters Apprenticeship was an amazing experience. As I worked on making my mask I began to marvel at how the hours of meticulous work paid off and I began to see what seemed to be a new form of life develop into a piece of beautiful artwork before my eyes.  Even at times when I felt as if I wasn't getting anywhere with the wood, we would go outside and line up all of our masks and see how much what was a plain block had begun to shape itself and develop its own personality.  The rough sketch I made at the beginning of it all paled in comparison to even what was then, the hacked up chunk of wood leaning against the building.  The Apprenticeship taught me that when you pursue something difficult with just the right technique and perspective, it can turn out more beautiful and inspiring than anyone could have imagined, (except maybe Perry)."


Wylder Clarion

Angry Raven - Kumegsqaq Qalnga’aq

While Raven was out gathering for his nest,   
    Qalnga’aq (Southern dialect)
    Qalnga’asinam (Northern dialect) elgartengnaqa  negthni,
Eagle broke his nest.   
    Kum’agyam naugtaa (Eagle broke it).
When Raven got back,   
    Qalnga’aq (Southern dialect)
    Qalnga’asinam (Northern dialect) angicami,
He saw eagle and cursed him.   
    Kum’agyak tang’rki qanlluku.
Eagle tried to calm Raven down.   
    Kum’agyam Qalnga’aq (Southern dialect).
    Qalnga’asinam (Northern dialect) nipaiyut’stengnarki.

"I am Wylder Clarion, part Alutiiq, part Russian, and many other things. Honestly, I like to do a lot of things. I like to play sports, I like to learn, and I have many hobbies, one of which is carving. The Future Masters workshop was a fun experience and I learned a lot about carving with chisels rather then the usual straight knifes and crooked knives. Learning what we did probably wouldn't have been as efficient if we had different teachers. The experience was a once in a lifetime and I'm glad I chose to do it."



Zachary McGuire

The Start (Beginning) - Araularniq

The beginning of life   
    Caqit unguwasqat arularnirtaartut (Southern dialect)
     Aularnirtaartut (Northern dialect)
    (Whatever is living has a beginning)
To the end of life   
They had to have a beginning   
    Arularniryarau’ut (Southern dialect)
    Aularniryaraut (Northern dialect)
Everything has an end, to the end   
    Caqit tarmarameng iqungq’rtut (Southern dialect)
    Iqungq’rlluteng (Northern dialect)
    Iquanek iquanun

"My name is Zachary McGuire and I am from Anchorage, Alaska. I have many interests, one of them is art, and I like too learn new skills, any skills really, and I love cars. I was so happy when I found out I was going to Kodiak to learn mask carving with a master carver and that I had ten days to make a mask. The work shop was fun I made some cool friends and everyone was very friendly. My mask turned out great and Perry showed me lots of skills.... Over all it was the best thing that happened to me all summer... Thanks a lot."

The Masters


ImageCarvers: The Alutiiq carvers led the Future Masters Workshop - Perry Eaton, Coral Chernof, and Sven Haakanson, Jr. - providing hands on instruction in every stage of mask manufacture.  

"I thoroughly enjoyed the participants. They were interested and interesting. I was particularly impressed by their attendance and focus. They were very diligent and always kept the goal of a finished mask in sight. It was rewarding for me to see each mask emerge and then watch the wonder of the student at their creation."   - Perry Eaton



Elder Advisors


: Elder Alutiiq speakers shared their knowledge of the Alutiiq culture and language with students, helping each to compose a song for their mask and translate it into Alutiiq.  Julie Knagin, Dennis Knagin, Nick Alokli, Florence Pestrikoff, Irene Coyle, Fred Coyle, Marhta Rozelle, and Phyllis Peterson provided Alutiiq translations and language apprentices Susan Malutin, Lori Harford, and Peter Boskofsky assisted with Alutiiq spellings.