Girl Who Married the Moon
Once, long ago, when Alutiiq people lived in sod houses and traveled the world by kayak, a girl and her cousin fell in love with the moon . . .
Students in two Kodiak High School classes explored the links between art and storytelling through this classic Alutiiq story. Working with Alutiiq artist Lena Amason and teacher Bonnie Dillard, they developed characters and scenes from the Alutiiq legend The Girl Who Married the Moon for an animated film in the Alutiiq Museum's PatRiitat P’tasqat - Moving Pictures Project. Videographer Alf Pryor produced the animation with inspiration from student artwork, voice acting by Kodiak youth, and Alutiiq vocabulary. Technology students documented the artistic process under the direction of teacher Matt Beiber, creating a second film, a project documentary.
Adapted from a Alutiiq story collected on Kodiak in 1903 by Frank Golder.
The Journal of American Folklore Vol. 16 (60):28-31.
Synopsis: According to Alutiiq legend, the moon is a man who wears a different mask every night. The girl discovers this secret when she is carried to the sky world to become the moon's bride. At first, she is lonely. Her husband works every night and sleeps in the day, leaving her bored. In her new home there are no friends, just star people. These men have a single eye in the center of their foreheads and peer down to earth through the cloud. One day the girl discovers her husband's masks, hidden in a special store house. She places one of the beautiful carvings against her face and its sticks! She cannot remove it. When the moon returns, he comforts his wife and invites her to work with him lighting the night sky, a job they have done together since.
Quyanaasinaq – We Thank You Most Sincerely: Special thanks to our Alutiiq Elders, Florence Pestrikoff, Nick Alokli, Mary Haakanson, and Susan Malutin, for their assistance in developing the Alutiiq language script.