Yurok cultural items are considered to be of great significance and high value in accordance with Yurok tradition. As such, all Yurok cultural items shall be handled and treated with respect and known traditional laws followed.
In an effort to protect Yurok cultural items, the Yurok Tribe respectfully requests museums provide an environment similar to the type provided by Yurok people.
The Care and Treatment Plan was created to serve as a guide when handling and caring for Yurok cultural items.
Standard #1: All ceremonial items must be kept in areas/boxes/cases that ensure that the items are not in jeopardy of getting smashed/broken or misplaced with other Tribe’s cultural items.
Standard #2: Yurok ceremonial items are separated by men’s and women’s categories (ex. men’s Jump Dance items & women’s Jump Dance items).
Standard #3: Yurok ceremonial items are also separated by ceremony and/or cultural function (ex. Jump Dance items separated from Brush Dance; utility baskets separated from ceremonial items).
Standard #4: Women are asked to refrain from handling men’s ceremonial items entirely, and not handling any women’s ceremonial items while menstruating.
Standard #5: Yurok traditional plants are preferred to ward off bugs and infestations. Contact the Yurok Tribe for more information
(707) 482-1350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
White Deerskin Dance
- Head/Eyes of the Deer should always be covered unless someone from the Yurok Tribe has been designated to view and handle the object.
- The tongue of the deer should not be removed and pieces that break off need to be kept with the deer and associated dance items.
- Martin skins are laid flat.
- The deer should lay straight with the feet and legs together and tucked into the deer.
- Whistles should be wrapped by traditional method by a designated Yurok person.
- Otter Hides should lay flat, and not folded.
- Wolf Blinds should be rolled up.
- A Ring Tail Cat should lay flat.
- Obsidian Blades need to be wrapped in traditional material by a designated Yurok person.
- Feathers are kept inside the wooden box that it arrived in or something similar.
- Deer Hides should be folded in half.
- Sea Lion Tusks should be laid flat with the points facing down.
- Jump Dance Headnets are to be rolled from the feathers. If the Headnet cannot be rolled, it should lay flat and covered.
- Elk Horn Spoons associated with the ceremony should be kept with the associated dance items.
Jump Dance (Men’s Dance Items)
- Jump Dance Headrolls should be stored around the block of wood (cedar) if the wood is not present, they can be rolled with the feathers inward.
- The Headnets made out of twine or iris fibers are rolled with feathers inward into the roll.
- Deer Hides are folded in half and stored with associated dance items.
- Feathers are packed inside the wooden box that it arrived in or something similar.
- Jump Dance Baskets need to be kept with associated dance items.
Jump Dance (Women’s Dance Items)
- Halo’s are laid flat and stored with the associated ceremonial items.
Brush Dance Items
- Sticks with obsidian blade tips are used for jumping in the middle and need to be kept so that the blade is protected from being chipped.
- Feathers are kept in the wooden box that it arrived in or something similar.
- Brush Dance Headrolls are wrapped in an approved fabric by a designated Yurok person and placed with other appropriate dance items.
- Necklaces may be wrapped in an approved fabric and laid flat with associated dance items.
- Quivers (otter hides) are laid flat and kept with associated dance items.
- Bobcats, fishers, grey fox are laid flat and kept with associated dance items.
- Arrows are kept in a wooden box.
- Dresses are folded with the shells and beads facing inward. The matching apron and skirt are folded separately, but kept together.
- The dresses should periodically be picked up and moved (shaken).
- Any shells or nuts that fall off the dress should be kept until a Yurok person can mend the item(s).
Hair Wraps and Ends
- Minks for hair wraps are kept together and from time to time smoothed out.
- Hair tie ends are kept flat.
- Caps are kept with the rim face down.
- Caps are not to be stacked or sat with the rim upward (like a bowl).