Papoota-taya – Yup’ik Eskimo a Term of Endearment – a Hit in Indian Country


The intention of “Rock Your Mocs” Day was to have one day during Native American Heritage Month – November – to demonstrate Native Pride!

On Thursday evening the Native News Online asked readers to email your “Rock Your Mocs” Day photos so they could be posted to our Facebook homepage. In response to our request, many photos were emailed to us and some were posted directly to our Facebook page.

Several photos emailed to us had moccasins made with beautiful bead designs that demonstrate the enormous artistic talent in Indian country.

While the Native News Online attempted to post as many as possible, it was difficult time keep up with the many that were sent. We apologize if your photo may not have made the Facebook page.

One photo that was sent was a standout. It is a photo of a young girl wearing a pair of moccasins. It was sent by Letha Chimegalrea Simon on Friday evening from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Some 24 hours after being posted to the Native News Online Facebook homepage, some 88,900 saw the post; over 6,100 people liked the photo and 540 shared the photo.

Comment after comment expressed how “adorable,” “cute” and “precious” Papoota-taya is.

Papoota-taya’s photo is this week’s Photo of the Week.

Race Paanikaaluk Ayagina’ar Graham is the 17-month old daughter of David and Christina.

She is also known as, Papoota-taya, which stems from her inquteq a Yup’ik Eskimo term of “endearment.”

She is of Inupiaq, Yup’ik and Shoshone descent.

Her moccasins were made by her maternal Yup’ik great-grandmother, Elsie Chimegalrea of Bethel, Alaska. Her qaspeq and her doll’s clothing were made by her Yup’ik great-aunt, Letha Chimegalrea Simon, also of Bethel.

UPDATED; November 17, 2013 1:57 am

Papoota-taya: Term of Endearment

Papoota-taya: Term of Endearment

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