For making a museum collections database type entry I had challenges picking something that I felt that I have truly collected for many of my possessions are in storage or are simply used and not something that I had gotten for any reason other than their uses but I remembered my first purchase for a new home that I still love and would definitely say is something that I collected without intention to use for its created functionality. These snowshoes are beautiful and one of a kind as there aren’t any other makers of Athabascan snowshoes that I know of that are currently making them the old way. I grew up in Galena which is just down river from Ruby, so this item is very important to me. I used the Anchorage Museum’s Online collection ( http://onlinecollections.anchoragemuseum.org/#/ ) for my template. Funnily enough the Anchorage Museum had a pair of George’s Snowshoes already in their collection ( http://onlinecollections.anchoragemuseum.org/#/artist/165 ), so it made it very simple for me to follow since it is a similar item by the same artist. I did adapt it however for my particular snowshoes which are a bit smaller in size. I also included the acquisition information about when they were collected and where. I found it important to look up the Denaakk’e (Koyukon Athabaskan language) word for Snowshoes – Oyh and the Denaakk’e name for Ruby – Tl’aa’ologhe, so that they would have the Indigenous language data represented, if this was a real entry I imagine citation for the language information would be needed. I do not have any formal Denaakk’e language skills or I would try to use more of the terminology for the materials used to make the snowshoes. It would be lovely to have personal use data for these and a story to record about them but they have not been worn or used for their intended purpose as of yet, maybe one day I will wear them and they will feel snow on the Yukon river.
Object Name: Snowshoes (Oyh)
Title: 48 inch Racing Snowshoes
Artist/Maker: George Albert
Materials: Caribou babiche, Birch wood, Moose rawhide
Culture: Athabascan, Koyukon
Provenance & Object History: Purchased at the Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Native Arts market 2018, from Rose Albert (a relative), made by George in Ruby (Tl’aa’ologhe) on the Yukon River.
Dimensions: 121.92 x 20.96 x 2.54 cm (48 x 8 1/4 x 1 in.)
Description: Snowshoes made from birch with caribou babiche and moose rawhide footing.
Exhibit or Storage: Currently Stored for Exhibit/installation in fish camp cabin in Cohoe, AK
Media: Image featured on 10/20/18 instagram post by @ivalumin
Credit: Personal Purchase
Ana baasee’ – Quyana
Q: Would maintaining personal collections records in this format be helpful for collectors of rare items?