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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

Yup'ik RavenMarshall Cultural Atlas

This collection of student work is from Frank Keim's classes. He has wanted to share these works for others to use as an example of Culturally-based curriculum and documentation. These documents have been OCR-scanned. These are available for educational use only.






Spectacled Bears

Spectacled Bears

Spectacled Bears

Tremaretos ornatus

The only species of bear living in South America is the Tremarctos ornatus, which is the Spectacled bear. These bears are the sole survivors of the short-faced bear family that lived in North and South America during the last Ice Age. Today, they are only found in the Andes mountains from Venezuela to Chile.

Spectacled bears get their name from the light colored rings around the eyes that sometimes look like eyeglasses. These marks vary greatly from bear to bear and sometimes extend from the cheeks to the chest. The pattern is usually a half-circle or sometimes a large circle surrounding the eyes with white fur. The rest of the bear's coat is black and shaggy in appearance. The adults weigh between 175 and 275 pounds and stand about 30 inches high at the shoulder when on all fours. Average lengths are between 4.25 and 6.25 feet. Males may weigh up to 385 pounds and the lengths can get up to 7.25 feet, not including their three inch tail. The Spectacled bear has 13 ribs which is one less than other bears. It has a large skull equipped with strong teeth and powerful jaws.

Small populations of Spectacled bears can be found from 600 feet elevation to 13,800 feet (at the snow line) within their Andean range. There are a few bears being protected in Ecuador, on the western slopes of the Andes, which is at the Cayambe-Coca National Park. Conservation efforts are being made and supported between the central and eastern Andean ranges to let the bears have a travel corridor. Recently, an interagency committee was created to coordinate government actions in the historical sanctuary at Macchu Picchu, Peru. The bears are reported to be more numerous on the eastern side of the Andes. These bears have been found in Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia. In a few isolated areas in Panama, Brazil and Argentina, researchers believe it is possible that Spectacled bears still survive in some groups, but it has not yet been confirmed.

The Spectacled bear is more vegetarian than most other bears. These bears eat fruit, sugar cane, corn and honey. They also eat an array of plants so tough to chew other animals can rarely eat them. Like all bears, Spectacled bears take advantage of any concentrated food source and will eat other animals if given an opportunity. This may include rabbits, mice, ants, birds, llamas and domestic cattle. Meat can make up seven percent of their diet.

Female Spectacled bears begin to reproduce when around four years old. The breeding period is usually April through June. Births are usually in November through February. Birth weights usually range from 11 to 18 ounces. The cub's eyes open in about 25 days and soon the cubs are traveling with their mother. Sometimes adult males accompany a family group, but Spectacled bears do not usually travel in pairs. The cubs will ride on their mother's back if they are alarmed and are trying to escape. Mothers are reported to carry food to their cubs which accompany their mother for six to eight months before being on their own.

Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the ancient Incas happily coexisted with the Spectacled bears. The Spaniards considered the bear a symbol of "machismo", or maleness. In the 1800's after the Spanish conquests, it was a popular sport to run bears down on horseback and spear them. After slaying a Spectacled bear, the hunters would drink its blood in the belief it would impart some of the animal's strength. Nowadays, whenever the bears are encountered in South America they are killed. These bears are very hard to be protected because of the extensive area to be patrolled and numerous political problems.

The few remaining bears now live in isolated dense forests on steep mountains. But the bears are still in danger because farmers are moving into the forests. Their present land can no longer support them and they are destroying the wilderness and the bears along with it. In the estimation of biologists, there are about 2000 bears in the wild and 100 in captivity. To increase their numbers, zoos are starting breeding programs.

Flora M. Evan

The Brown Bear

- Gabriel Duny


- Barbara Andrew

Polar Bear

- Tina Papp

Black Bears

- Henry S. Hunter

Asiatic Black Bear (Selenarctos thibetanus)

- Leslie Hunter Jr.

Sloth Bear

- LaVerne J. Manumik

Spectacled Bears Tremarctos ornatus

- Flora M. Evan

Panda Bear

- Palassa Sergie

Sun Bear

- Marlene Papp

Grizzly Bear

- Billy Waska

The Body of a Grizzly Bear

- Tina Papp

Hibernation and Denning of Grizzly Bears

- Flora Evan


Bear Fire
Stories and Poems
about Bears

by Marshall High School
Language Arts Classes
Spring, 1992


Produced by 
Information about Bears

Creative Stories from the Imagination

True Stories from Experience



Christmastime Tales
Stories real and imaginary about Christmas, Slavik, and the New Year
Winter, 1996
Christmastime Tales II
Stories about Christmas, Slavik, and the New Year
Winter, 1998
Christmastime Tales III
Stories about Christmas, Slavik, and the New Year
Winter, 2000
Summer Time Tails 1992 Summertime Tails II 1993 Summertime Tails III
Summertime Tails IV Fall, 1995 Summertime Tails V Fall, 1996 Summertime Tails VI Fall, 1997
Summertime Tails VII Fall, 1999 Signs of the Times November 1996 Creative Stories From Creative Imaginations
Mustang Mind Manglers - Stories of the Far Out, the Frightening and the Fantastic 1993 Yupik Gourmet - A Book of Recipes  
M&M Monthly    
Happy Moose Hunting! September Edition 1997 Happy Easter! March/April 1998 Merry Christmas December Edition 1997
Happy Valentine’s Day! February Edition 1998 Happy Easter! March/April Edition 2000 Happy Thanksgiving Nov. Edition, 1997
Happy Halloween October 1997 Edition Edible and Useful Plants of Scammon Bay Edible Plants of Hooper Bay 1981
The Flowers of Scammon Bay Alaska Poems of Hooper Bay Scammon Bay (Upward Bound Students)
Family Trees and the Buzzy Lord It takes a Village - A guide for parents May 1997 People in Our Community
Buildings and Personalities of Marshall Marshall Village PROFILE Qigeckalleq Pellullermeng ‘A Glimpse of the Past’
Raven’s Stories Spring 1995 Bird Stories from Scammon Bay The Sea Around Us
Ellamyua - The Great Weather - Stories about the Weather Spring 1996 Moose Fire - Stories and Poems about Moose November, 1998 Bears Bees and Bald Eagles Winter 1992-1993
Fish Fire and Water - Stories about fish, global warming and the future November, 1997 Wolf Fire - Stories and Poems about Wolves Bear Fire - Stories and Poems about Bears Spring, 1992



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Last modified August 21, 2006