Yuguumalleq, the ways of the Human Being
Yuguumalleq, the way of the human being is a St. Lawrence Island Yupik way of life that guides people on how to live a good life with a positive attitude and behavior. It teaches us how to govern our people using our St. Lawrence Island Yupik traditional values.
This way of life shapes us into who we are as a Yupik people. Yuguumalleq teaches us how to have a relationship with Kiyaghneq (Creator), ancestors, people, animals, Mother Earth, and Mother Nature. We practice spirituality using the yuguumalleq way of life. It is a very sacred practice to our St. Lawrence Island Yupik people.
Examples of Yuguumalleq Ways of LIfe
Spirituality is practicing a lifestyle with love, respect, kindness, acceptance, and understanding. We live and work together in unity with positive relationships with everything around us. It is living a life with a sense of peace and purpose. We practice being healthy mind, body, and spirit through spirituality.
There are different forms of prayer through spirituality such as telling someone you are thinking of them, or you are sending them good vibes or saying a prayer for them. There are some Yupik songs and dances that are forms of prayer. We believe that everything is alive and has a spirit. The wind, mountains, ocean, lands, and plants are alive and have each have their own spirits.
Our grandfather taught us that it is important for us as humans to have relationships with everything around us. Everything is related or connected one way or another. He taught us that one of the most valuable connections is people to people because people cannot survive without each other. Each of us helps make up a community and we all come with different sets of skills. Therefore, we rely on each other for survival purposes daily.
Our Elders guide and teach us our St. Lawrence Island traditional values passed down through generations by our ancestors. These are our natural laws we try our best to live by. Although sometimes we forget, our people remind each other our traditional values, “Remember who you are and where you come from.” Below are some of our natural laws we practice using daily.
Yuguumalleq Natural Laws
“Piniiqelleq atuqluku” – Use love.
“Quulvaghaqluki” – Uplift others.
“Kayusighiimanginaghaqluki ilaasi” – Always help others.
“Megnukluki ilaasi” – Respect others.
“Yughaaghaqlusi” – Always pray.
“Nuna aflengakluki” – Take care of Mother earth.
“Siivanlleghet nagaataqluki” – Listen to the Elders.
“Angaayuqaasi nagaataqluki” – Listen to your parents.
“Atuunem ayuqukut” – We are all equal, no one is above us and no one is below us.
“Teghiikusat megnukluki” – Respect the animals.
“Nenglaghyugsiigatut” – It is not okay to make fun of others.
“Sigutqumsugigaatut” – It is not okay to whisper on other people’s ears especially in the presence of others.
“Seghleghyugsaghpenaasi” – Do not try to make others feel bad.
“Qallegsaghiigatut” – Do not try to convince others to make bad choices.
“Ilaasi tuunaqluki” – Share with others.
“Esghaghsaqegpenang” – Do not try to get attention; be humble, do not dress revealing, be quiet.
“Sivulighaayugtegpenaasi” – Do not try to be first at everything.
These are some of our practices of the St. Lawrence Island Yupik people.