December 1, 2016
These snow goggles were made by the Yup’ik people in the Kuskokwim River Valley of Alaska. Known to Yup’ik speakers as i-guak, the goggles are carved from a single piece of wood with only small slits to see through. Yup’ik hunters use snow goggles all year. In the winter, they prevent snow blindness caused by the strong reflection of sunlight off the snow. In the summer, they act simply as sunglasses, shading the hunters’ eyes. This pair of goggles was collected by Moravian missionaries working in the Bethel, Alaska, in the 1880s.