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Coming Home: Return of the Alutiiq Masks Project

By producer Dmae Roberts.  An Earthsongs special documentary with host Shyanne Beatty and associate producer Clark Salisbury. Coming Home is a one-hour NPR-news-friendly radio documentary that interweaves oral history interviews, Alutiiq music and soundscapes. The documentary takes us to Kodiak, Alaska where Alutiiq peoples work to save their language, cultural traditions and heritage by unlocking the secrets of the masks collected by French explorer Alphonse Pinnart in 1872.  When he died in 1911, he bequeathed the masks to the Chateau Musee, a small museum off the coast of Northern France. There the collection survived two World Wars and were “rediscovered” by Alutiiq artists who began making pilgrimages to France in 2000 to see the artifacts of their culture. This led to an unprecedented sharing of history between two cultures, two different countries a world apart.

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