This is a Cup'ik doll from the late Native Alaskan artist Ursula Paniyak. Paniyak was from Chevak, Alaska, a Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta community of about 1,000 people in Southwestern Alaska. Her mother, Rosalie Paniyak, was an originator of this type of doll in the 1950s. The dolls are made using cotton fabrics and scraps of seal skins that are legally harvested by the Alaska Native hunters to use for food, art and handicrafts. Paniyak used her dolls to paint a picture of a moment in time and portray the lives of the women in her community. This doll holds blue berries in her hands and has a wooden tool of some sort strapped to her back.
Austin Friends of Folk Art