Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA
gather% / fish % / hunt %
fat % / protein % / carb%
A rough estimate to help us understand how carnivorous and how ketogenic these people were before being exposed to western civilization
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About the Tribe
Qaqamiiĝuˆx qalgadam ukulganaa ngiin ugutaasakun (Eastern dialect, Unangam tunuu). Qaqamiiĝuˆx qalgadaˆx anĝaĝiˆx ngiin aˆxtanaa akuˆx (Western dialect Unangam tunuu).
The Aleutian and Pribilof islands are home to an abundance of foods from the sea and land. Traditional Unanga-n/s foods, harvested from the land and sea, are an essential part of Unanga-n/s culture and livelihood and have been for thousands of years. Unanga-n/s have survived off of these foods for centuries and continue to harvest and prepare many of these foods today. The Unanga-n/s traditional diet historically depended on foods from the sea; seal, sea lion, whale, fish and tidal foods provided the majority of nutrients in the diet. Birds, plants, caribou, and later reindeer in some communities, were also important sources of food. All of these foods continue to be used today and are supplemented with store-bought foods. The recipes have changed dramatically over the years with the increased availability of store foods and the influence of different cultures.
Importance of Animal Products
BRAIDED SEAL INTESTINE
The intestine of seal is referred to as an’giˆx or chidgiˆx (E) / an’giˆx (A) in Unangam tunuu. Seal intestine was one of the resources used in the past for making the hooded parka, or chigdaˆx (E). As a food item, the intestines of the seal can be used to prepare «braided seal gut» or An’gim chikuĝigan kiichkaĝii (E), an’gim amaĝii (A). Seal gut is usually braided by women, however few people know how to do it today. The gut from a small young seal, one to one and a half years old, is best to use for braiding because it is easier to handle and clean and it’s not as stringy as an older seal. It can be braided and stuffed with any parts of the seal, such as the heart, lungs, or kidney, but is typically braided with the fat [Atka]. Once the braided gut has been prepared, it is boiled, cooled, and then eaten with mustard. Lucy Kenezuroff learned how to braid seal gut from her dad, John Nevzuroff. Lucy was born in 1930 in King Cove to Annie Galishoff, and then moved to Belkofski. She came from a family of 13 kids. «I used to watch my dad braid seal gut. One time I was sitting out on the porch, my dad had strings all lined up to tie, to use for foxes and stuff. I took some of them strings, sit down and was putting them around my finger. That’s how I taught myself to braid seal gut. Using a rope». Lucy’s braided seal gut recipe has two ingredients: a cleaned gut of seal and seal fat, cut into strips. The end of the seal gut must be split open and scraped out until it is clean. This takes a lot of work. After it has been scraped, Lucy soaks the gut in salt water and continues to stir it and clean it further. Her parents used to get water out of the bay to soak the gut. The gut gets soaked in salt water for a day or two. Lucy cuts the fat into strips and stuffs it in the gut while she is braiding it. The fat helps keep the gut soft. After she is done braiding, she cuts the braided intestine into three pieces, each about a foot long, to cook it. It is then cooked in boiling water for about an hour, or until it is tender. She likes to eat it right after it is done cooking with some plain rice: «I don’t wait till it gets cold. I always dive in when it’s hot… it’s a real tender meat…it almost tastes like corned beef in a way.» While Lucy prefers to eat seal gut warm, some others prefer eating it cold with mustard.
JELLIED MEAT – ˆ STUUDINAX
Considered a delicacy by the Unanga-n/s, sea lion flippers can be cooked, fermented, or boiled and made into a dish called stuudinax. Stuudinax is a variation of head cheese, or meat jelly, that uses the natural gelatin found in the bones and cartilage of the flippers to gel. In the past, flippers were sometimes cooked until they came apart. When cooled they were sliced and eaten with potatoes, onions, other vegetables, bread, salt, pepper, and mustard. Some people ferment the flipper in a paper bag for up to ten days until the skin gets loose. Then, it is eaten right away or preserved in salt or frozen.
Importance of Plants
Chocolatie lily bulbs
Cow Parsnip, peeled stalks
lists native plants, not surprisingly, the only supposed nutrition benefits are fiber and antioxidants, which are both myths.