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Breaking Trail.. in Barrow - For WHALING !
January 7, 2010
3:52 am
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Flying to the "top of the world". That is the name of one of the hotels in Barrow Alaska.

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farthest northern most city. - Barrow - Ukpeagvik - Land of the snowowl.

We left Point Hope on August 7th. One of my sons and I flew up here to see if it was possible to move up here. This was a scary move for us. I left 3 sons at home and flew up. We landed safe and sound, flat broke. We do not know anyone per say here in Barrow. There is a housing shortage, in all villages, but we are determined to make this move and some how move the other boys up here. Jobs are available for most everytype job description.

Work is plentiful, but we are not interested in jobs of any sort.

PC help desk job for the college pays over $30.00 per / hr. Wow !!

5,000 people live in this very old village that has made the transistion in to a modern type enviorment.

The sunset of our first night here was spectacular as are all in all of ALASKA. Midnight in Barrow..

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As you can easily see, the sun is still high in the sky... here in the Arctic @ midnight. We truely have the best summers. Play out all night long, and as long as you stay in the sunlight you can go for days on end with no sleep.

Welcome/ to the Arctic. I am your tour guide !!

January 7, 2010
3:59 am
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STORY TIME:

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Fasten your seat belts - I am going to take you on a most wonderful journey in a far away land that many people never get to see.

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January 7, 2010
4:45 am
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Remote desolate places .. .. you can easily see the barren land. This is summer time, midnight sun for 3 months !! Not one bit of darkness . Brilliant sunshine. This is a wonderful world that is so quiet. You can easily hear two people talking to each oher from 1/2 mile away.

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January 7, 2010
4:58 am
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Here is a SnOwOwl- caught in a trap for foxes, this bird just happened to land in the wrong spot.

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Come to my house for supper she said.. .. she burst into laughter when she saw the look on my face. Ukpik she exclaimed: Eskimo chicken !!

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Rosella Stone - this wonderful woman.. has to endure so much - that no person should ever have to endure. she has had to bury (at different tmes) Six - of her children !!

Lazarus, shot over a hat.
Ricky - suicide- caught his wife cheating- couldn' take the stress
Molly - cancer
Eisha- went to the store for butter, 20 minuites later, she was burnt to a crisp in a van that caught on fire.
James - head on collision outon the ice pack- broke his neck.
Roseanne - This wonderful child was taught how to carve ivory braclets, she was at our shop nightly for months - she went to a party (18 yrs young) and died from too much alcohol.

I do not know how that woman can face the day.. but she is still going strong!! She was the very first person I met when I arrived up here.

January 7, 2010
5:22 am
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Barrow is a whaling village as are most of the coastal village in Alaska above the arctic circle
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A photo of a large painting inside the hospital here in Barrow.

Harvesting a whale... the main source of food for the Inupiat peoples !!

A sign, outside the personal department of the North Slope Borough.

There is one village on this map, that is missing, south of Point Hope

150 miles is the village of Kivalina, on the coast, a whaling village.

Is also a part of the Nana region.

But the main focus is the North Slope Borough area,

This thread will grow to include photos from all of these villages

The people, their lifestyle / culture.. "Arts & Crafts" and the ancient

skills involved in the daily activity of North America's OLDEST people(s).

So little is known of this vast area.. OIL... is abundant in prudhoe bay.

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The residents of the North Slope Borough are all shareholders in Native corporations and thus receive dividends that the corporations pay out to the shareholders.

Almost all villages in Alaska were founded by the peoples of Point Hope.

The History of these area is ripe for Photo Expeditions, Tourisim, Beach combing which can be extremly rewarding financially !!!

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January 7, 2010
5:26 am
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This child is so perplexed, this is her very first time.. .. seeing a white man. She is 1 1/2 years young and extremely confused.

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January 7, 2010
6:58 am
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Great Pictures! That Owl was magnificant to bad he got into the trap but those keen eyes spotted the bait. Very sad story of Roella Stone. What a cute little girl.

Keep the pictures coming, they are breathtaking, and you are a great photographer.

January 7, 2010
7:41 am
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Thanks Greeny2 I have a surprise for you BIG TIME as soon as the dust settles !!

Barrow Alaska - Top of the World.

And the vast area of the Arctic region(s). so much empty land. the land of 10,000,000 lakes !!

Remember ?? Will Rogers ? or Wiley Post ?? Two very famous people who met their demise in Barrow when the plane crashed.

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walking around the village affords some strange sights that you will never see in your part of the world. This is the norm here. People preparing their food. I don't have the recipie for this, but it is caribou meat, drying out to make paniktaq. (jerky ) !!

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Those bones at the bottom left portion are whale bone vertabrae bones. These are used to make arts & crafts. and for some. it is their playground for the days events at increasing their imagination.

It is just so different here at the top of the world in these villages.

and to these children. this is all they know. them bones don't bother them one bit. I inquired about these bones. for sale ?? sure the owner said.. $1,000 bux and you can have them all.. nope. I know I can get all of that for 300 or less.. and we did.. we got that much and more from a Jim Allen from Wainwright..

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and My son Mark, made a mask.. Mark Anrew Eves.. = MAE on the back of his art work. everyone thinks it is a woman's sig !!! LMAO !!

Yes mark made this bone mask and it sold for 1500 bux.
two days work.. not bad..

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We moved up to barrow on a whim. based on what the barge captain told us.. we arrived broke, no place to stay, I can do this in these villages, just go to any one, broke and have a place to stay and food to eat.. This is the Inupiaq way.. take care of people that need help.

We needed help and we ended up helping a 71 year old alcoholic.

James Sielek he has been in this state since he was 14, no schooling and believe it or not. this man went through two bottles of R& R whiskey each and every day and did not get drunk. he drniks it straight. !!

I have never met anyone who could speak so articulate after having two bottles of this stuff in him.. it costs us ten grand to stay in his house for those two months.!!! My sons make outrageous money, selling ivory bracelets that they make at home.

we were very glad to get a new place Oct. 1st and the rent was not too much cheaper.

We paid all of Jimmys bills every month, purchased, lots of food, did all of the cooking and cleaning for his house. plus gave him 1,000 a month which all went for whiskey.. that's only 5 days worth !!! @ 100 bux a bottle and he went through two a day for two months !!!

I don't drink I have nver been drunk.. and I never will be.

I don't want to smell like that
I don't want to talk like that
I don't want to ever walk like that
I just don't understand it all..
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There are many exhibts around the village of barrow. the skull bone(s) of a bowhead whale, this exhibit is located in about 4 places throughout the village of Barrow.

One is located outside of the Inuiaq hertiage center which is a focal point for all tourists that come to the village in the summer time.

One is located outside of the North Slope Borough main building in the center of Barrow proper.

the third one is located at the college 5 miles outside of Barrow / Browerville.

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Next door to this heritage center located in Browerville is the "stuagpak"

the store.

I notice this whaling captain coming out of the store. Each whaling captain in all villages designs and purchases crew jackets for all of the members of the crew.
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The Patkotak sisters are very famous in Barrow (home town) and all other villages all throughout the entire state of Alaska; for the three Inupiaq gospel albums they have made. These are played in almost every household in all of the villages. It is a welcome famiilar sound when traveling into unknown regions of the arctic.

Walking around is always a pleasure to capture and create something interesting. Children captivate me and challenge me to create something pleasing to behold.

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This is the traditional manner in which to carry a child or new born. a belt is worn so the baby can sit down, and fall asleep. or play peek a boo.

January 7, 2010
8:36 am
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Hello Hello from the land of the Eskimo - in Barrow TOP of the WORLD.
Here is perhaps the most well known site in the entire village, The Arch of the two Jaw bones from a Bowhead Whale.
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But these were put here, not by the people of Barrow.. .. People of Point Hope came up here to show and help them how to do this in the ways of Tikigaq ! in 1964.
An Elder informed me of this little tidbit of info about the Arctic. Ron Oviok from Point Hope. He was my former landlord in Point Hope, In one of the many different homes have rented in the village.
Its that time of year again, it is time to go whaling.. new skins need to be put on those umiaq frames !! Clean skins or the whale will not give up its gift to the hunter of its choice.
New skins are hanging, drying in the wind. To stretch and stretch and sewn together to cover that wooden frame.
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These are thousands of years of age old traditions that must be strictly adhered to. The whale can see, hear, smell. They know the personality of that hunter. They know his umiaq each and every year, the same whales with the same hunters in the same umiaq. Whales are SMART. they will only give up the sacrifice to the hunter of its choice.
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Everyone has had a whole year to get ready. That Captain must spend many thousands of dollars to feed his crew and provide the supplies, ammuntion, meals for 8 hunters many times each day. There is lots of very difficult hard work to do out on that ice. If you want a much closer view of Barrow by the best there ever was up here. Bill Hess is most respected person up here. He lives in Wassilla but has made many trips to Barrow in his own private plane. The Gift of the Whale by Bill Hess - a MUST READ ! that will keep you utterly spell bound. I now know how you feel when you read this thread. I felt the excitment all over me reading his exceptional book 289 pages with oodles & oodles of fascinating images that had me breathless page after page. (Gasp !!)
I was shocked .. .when I found out, we each began our quest in the same year. In fact when he was in Point Hope in 82,after the hunt I was in the darkroom processing all this film, we have never met. but his name is a 'legend' and well respected at that.
We have spoken on the phone years ago, But this book is wonderful. and he verifies many of the stories and customs that I have written about. I felt like I was beside him the whole time. I will read - reread and read that book many times. The rush was incredible !!

January 7, 2010
8:39 am
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The book is in the works, .. ..

Here is a poem by an Inupiat whaler

Charles Hopson from here in Barrow Expressing the unique relationship between the Captain & the whale !

Bowhead
by Charlie Hopson, Inupiat whaler

Silently I move toward destiny.
Quietly, you, Inupiat, await my destiny.
I can hear you as I move under the ice.
I can see you as I surface.
Together we wait.
Both know what the other thinks.
Although we live in different worlds,
We exist for each other.
I move towards you Inupiat,
Because it is my destiny.
Quietly I approach you.
Silently you move towards me.
I give you your culture.
I give myself, Bowhead Whale.

"The Inupiat never boast they have caught a whale. They receive a whale, and they do so humbly. They believe that the whale chooses to sacrifice itself, that if a hunter creates a place pleasing to the animals, it will choose to die there and tell the others to come next year. Nothing logical about animal behavior or natural selection can shatter this belief, it is so deeply felt among the Inupiat. Doubting it would be akin to blasphemy, an abandonment of their heritage."
- Marla Cone

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