A film by Leonard Kamerling, Sarah Elder,
Language: Siberian Yup’ik,
As his two grandchildren listen, Samuel Iirgu, an elder from the village of Gambell, St. Lawrence Island, recounts events in the community from the time the first missionaries arrived. His story is known as an ungipamsuk or true historical narrative. Traditionally, a storyteller’s integrity was based on the accuracy of his ungipamsuk; exaggeration was considered a sign of weakness. Iirgu describes how the missionaries succeeded in converting people and the problems that visiting people from Siberia caused the missionaries.