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Archive 2008 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

.Whaling festival beings with the successfull crew(s) being honored for their success, being blessed in providing food to the village.

2007 brought three small whales for the village, 2 were caught by J.J. and the other one was caught by my good friend. Issac Killigvuk.


The Captain will decide the date of the festival, but it is always held in June, but only if there is success in the hunt, harvesting or receiving a BowHead whale.
that is what counts, not all the other different animals.
Last Year. J.J. Lane caught two whales, His first, and his second, actually the first whale he struck that year, got away. It was spotted in Wainwright by the Inupiaq whalers in that village, as they went after it, knowing that it had been harpooned, they saw that this whale was being escorted by two larger whales, one on each side. The Inupiaq whalers backed off, out of respect.

Now when a whaling captain harpoons and successfully harvests that whale, the Captain does not receive any of those shares. Only on his first whale.


Since J. J. received the first whale, he is the one who sets the date, for the festival, He choose June 11th, His wife Anavuk's birthday.
.The night before, the festival, one crew was still out in the water, all night long, trying to harvest one more whale before the festival began. That night the north wind was incredibly strong, The land fast ice, cracked, and my son Jesse was out there watching, to see if any success would come forth.

Nothing happened, so at least I found a great use for this image for my blog,

I was inspired to name it " A blog of ICE" .


It does not matter which year, you attend whaling festival, it looks exactly the same.
and people arrive here from all over the world. France, Russia, England, Japan.

Missiu was a famous explorer from Japan that was always on the hunts with the people of Point Hope for many years, He explored much of Alaska, He met his demise in southern Alaska, being the unfortunate victim of a bear attack.

Perhaps the most talked about outsider to this village has to be "Sicpan:" that was his given Eskimo name. He is from New Bedford Mass. for more than 10 years he was part of a crew up here and is held in very high esteem and spoken of often.
He was not here, when I had arrived in 81.

I was working in Anchorage as an electrician @ the airport for Bussel Electric,as a forman. They sent me up to this village for just 3 weeks to wire two construction camps in Sept of 81. The job in the village was successffully finished in 5 weeks, and inspected, I quit the complany and stayed. I fell in love with these people, their enviorment and above all, the Arctic.!! Gosh I loved this place. I stayed until May of 83. I had a friend of mine visit from Boston, (Brad Parker). We were out on the ocean ice during my second whale hunt when I had the most bizarre feeling..FRIDAY the 13th of May, out on that ice, this "feeling" would not leave me alone. "call Boston"....I don't want to leave the ice, to call Boston, for what ?? there is no one back there I really want to speak with. This feeling would not leave me alone. I was very reluctant to drive back to the village on my snowmachine,as that ride takes many hours and it is hard work. I just could not shake this unkown feeling that was nagging away at me, call Boston. After many hours of this "feeling" bugging me, I finally gave in and Brad and I were driving back to the village and I made a phone call to my father. My step-mother answered the phone and the first words out of her mouth were, David !!! thank goodness you called, we were sitting around here wondering how can we ever get in touch with you.. come home, your father just passed away this morning. Brad and I left Pt. Hope and it took 3 days to reach Boston from this village. We left the village on a chartered plane @ noon that friday and arrived in Boston sunday evening 6 p.m
I stayed in Boston until 1987; November then flew back to Alaska, and moved back to the village from Anchorage in March of 88.

J.J. Russell Lane - Umailiq - Whaling 'Captain
and his wife Anavuk.


There's lots of food, I mean lots, cooking for more than 2,000 people @ once out here, on the tundra, Is a massive well coordinated effort. That is effortlessly carried out, using the same home made wood stoves that are used out on the ice.


These women work so hard, during whailng & the festival, I can just hear the sigh of relief as they get back to a normal days schedule.




http://majikimaje.com/ADD/FESTIVAL 05.JPG

Edited on Feb 14, 2008 at 10:53 PM

Feb 14, 2008 at 10:20 PM

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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Wow. Just wow. I am checking this page for updates almost 5 times a day. I'm hooked!

Feb 15, 2008 at 01:16 AM
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Acutally Richard has a much better image of all the food, being stacked up, I am always on the other side, checking out the visitors and the children. Whaling Festival also means new parky's for everyone in the village.
In the very old days, the woman of the house, was not allowed to go to sleep until she had made new clothes for the entire family.


The children are adorable, and that is always my focus, to capture them unaware, looking good and sometimes not unaware, but in their natural habitat, having fun, at the festival.


The first day, of a 3-day non-stop event begins with prayers and giving thanks.

The crews are honored and they are easy to identify. People pretty much mingle
You can easily see, by those flags, they are straight out, this is June and it is cold,
That north wind is bitter, and it easy, it is common to get ear infections, so cover your ears with some type of loose covering,
The flippers are cut and this is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time as in hours for this to take place,


Patrick Attanguana is instructing Ernie Frankson as how to traditionaly divide this flipper, There is much to learn about the Inupiaq way of living and the elders of this village are the teachers in many different areas and subjects that we know nothing about.

Flippers are handed out, by family name as the whaling captain calls out the names of certain families, Everyone gets at least one share of flippers, standing in line waiting for all the important names of famiies and guests and visitors.


The oldest elders are honored at the center umiaq inside of the festival grounds. where wind breakers have been set up, to reduce the exposure to the wind.

Now it is time, to eat, and everyone is getting set up and comfortable, the food will be served to everyone, now the next step,

...........we wait !

Many people are involved as there are many different types of meat, and many types of food,some of which your not associated with, DANGER: you best know what your doing when you eat some of this food, or you will die.!!
Mikiaq is fermented whale meat and it is considered one of the main delacies for Inupiaq Eskimo's. Each family has their own distnictive recipie,

When the whale is caught, one of the other portions that are removed is the Tail. That is put deep into the Siglauq to ferment, for the whole summer. This is not taken out, whew ! Until the village is covered in snow, for the first time, next Sept / Oct.

As soon as that event is noticed, then the tail is brought out, divided and handed out to all of the familes in the village.

This is very powerful, extremly strong, potent and when eaten, it is a downer, fall asleep type of meal.

This is made in the captains house in the village, then transported to the festival site.

Here's what happens when you eat this type of meat, it sits in your stomach and "boils" releasing toxic gases. no harm can or will come to the individual as long as they have not had any sugar that day. NO fruit, candy, soda pop, no sugar, none, for when you consume sugar, that "boiling" action will not occur, and the crust that is formed over evert hing will not allow the gases to escape and teh individual dies from botulisim!

This is just one of their "favorite foods", er, no thanks! I am playing it safe, I got a two day old piece of pizza, fermenting between two peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. & a bag of M&M's and two cans of soda pop.

Elizabeth Elizabeth !! - Elizabeth Oviok - voted #1 Doll maker in Barrow @ Kiviq 2004. former post master of the village of Point Hope.
Handing out mikiaq @ the festival site, I sure hope she doesn't throw that bucket at me, and she might, time to get out of sight, but I can't resist. I have a story here, that will fill a book.
I remember as a child reading a story about a man named Jacob, that fell in love with a woman and had to wait for her for 14 years, ha ha ha ha.. I thought, that was insane, why would a man ever want to wait, that long for just one woman, when there are so many others, ?? that just didn't make sense, my whole life that didn't make sense. that story, Until it happend to me, and it took 15 years.

Why do these things happen to me, ?? Some of these events have kept me awake at night, for many years, wondering, ?? hmmm.

Imagine: one complete whole year, with no sleep ?? Oh, and one heart attack.

Oh I have a very true verifiable story here that is much better than any movie you have ever seen on tv. or ever read in any book. No writer could think this stuff up, it is all too ludicrous. beyond that.
Dec. 1982 - Alone, living in James & Daisy Ominks old house, Always refllerred to as Daisy & em's. that is how it is spoken, of any family. & em's.

It is 1:30 a.m. in the dark winter very windy stormy night, I was tired, from working on the photo album that was to go up to Barrow to the closed meeting of the whaling captains. I flopped down on the bed with all of the lights turned off, I had T-shirt, shortcuts no socks and I was on the bed, giving thanks for the wonderful place I had come to love and move to and I was thinking... 'nothing" could ever make me leave this place, I love it so much, living here among this friendly people that are all so happy.

I was in paradise! and I heard a knock on the door and I yelled, I'm sleeping, come back tomorrow ! A knock again and I said the wrong thing, I said .. "who is it" ? Frank Lane .. .. was what I heard, Next; I did the most stupidist thing in the world here, I opened the door, without ever turning on any of the lights. I knew that there was a light on, outside of my Quanichuq (cunny chuck) = Arctic Entry Way,

It takes going through at least 2 or more doors, here to gain access to the insde of the house. I opened the door and the light in the quanichuq was out, it was pitch black, I couldn't see a damn thing, Then I saw the "glint" of a long straight metal something coming down & without even thinking, my military traininig took over and I had this person flipped aound backwards with the rifle sight buried deep into his neck, I have both hands on the stock and the barrel and I have absolute control over this whole situation. As I am dragging this person backwards I know the next step for me is to throw my legs out backwards, fall to my stomach and break his ******* neck ! I do not want to hurt this person! that was my only thought, certainly I do not want to kill him, even though is trying to do major damage to me, I just do not want to ever hurt anyone, (wrong train of thought I suppose but this is how it hapened. I can't ever forget this and I am certain of each and ever word with absolutly no exageration, remember that. tis is Xcatly how it happend.)

I had my hands on that rifle and raised each of my arms, and picked the rifle up and him as he was holding on trying to prevent me from crushing his neck. I Picked him up and threw him off the steps of the stairs leading up to the house (4).
I slammed the thich wooden door and tried to get the deadbolt slid into the other side slot, my hands are shaking as he bursts through the door and a shot is fired andpain erupts in my neck it hurts and i can feel it is bleeding, I am shot, ( I thought). He came through the door and I ran, for my 44 magun in the hother room, BLAM. he soots again and I stopped to notice the buttlet had left a hole in the floor next to my right heel. He spun me around and thew me into the corner and his rifle was pointed up, with a magazine in the rifle, it is a Ruger Mini M-14
I see the forward motion of the rifle coming down towards me, I am trapped in the corner of the room as that rifle starts its downward arc .. see ya later "futher mucker" he laughs, TIME STOPPED, that downward arc of the rifle coming down to firing position was many minutes long and I had a long time to think of what is about to happen, I am looking at that rifle and can clearly see, that magazine, I am dead, I'm dead, nothing I can do about it, I am dead, the rifle continues its downward plungs that is in slowest of motion, I am thinking the one thing in life that is most important to me in this last second of my life... "my photos will never make it to the whaling commision in time for the meeting to help these people then he pulled the trigger !

Again & again & again he pulled that trigger, then freaked and ran. I ran and got my 44 magnum and ran outside with nothing on but my T-shirt and underwear no socks, I am standing on ice, it is 30 below with 50 mpn winds sceraming all avound me, I can't see anything but I hear a snowmachine off to the side of my house behind a big mound of snow, I hear that machine moving away from my house and I am ready for when it comes into the clearing and it does and I fire off one shot, the machine is going faster and I take careful aim and fire again but it is obvous I missed I have one more chance and I was right on and about to fire when he was just too close to Luke & Aniges house and I pulled the gun up and didnt take the shot, instead I lowered the gun to my side released the hammer and the gun went off BOOM. I am so afraid to look down, my feet are numb anyway I can't feel them but I am so afraid to move or look down to see what I just did to my foot. I am convinced I just blew half my foot off. Standing there in that wind, I am becoming "brittle" and I have to move and get inside I cautiously look down and am so relieved.. whew.. I missed my foot; now I am running to get back inside.

Back inside, it finally dawns on me what had just happened and I am also in quite a state of absolute shock. Nothing ever has ever happened to me like this, with this much danger and violence. I am shaking, I thought I had been shot, but after careful examiniation of my neck which was hurting and bleeding slightly.. Muzzle flash was so close to my neck as to cause my skin to burn and bleed.

What happened to that magazine ? I was looking at it when he had me trapped in the corner, Where did that go What happened to the round in the chamber after he fired that second shot ?? Wait a minute, I know what I saw, that rifle coming down at me and that magazine sticking down . I'm dead dead dead dead. What happened ? how? why? this doesn't make sense !

The only "thing" that begins to make any sense at all, and again, this just can't happen, Someone unseen, unknown pulled that magazine out and that bullet that was in the chamber was "grabbed" by someone such as an angel.

I should have died that night, It gives me the creeps when I visit that house here now still in Pt. Hope, those bullet holes are still visible. I look into that corner and just wonder .. how ?? why ?? whew !!

why am I alive ? too many things like this have happend to me and none of them make any sense to me, I am nothing, no one.


Obviously I have something to do, that I haven't done yet. I raised 4 Inupiaq sons, by myself for 20 years. That was a challenge and story much better than anything Will Smith ever did. .. homeless 7 times, people ripping us off, when ever we got on our feet. Yeah we moved back to the village in 88, broke, no place to stay, but this is home, I do not need any money or any place to live in Point Hope. or in any village for that matter, you just to have to know and understand the village life and how the "no - system" works up here.

It doesn't matter where you live in this ever shrinking world of ours, everyplace has social concerns and problems and Pt. Hope is no different from anyplace else.


Edited on Feb 15, 2008 at 07:08 AM

Feb 15, 2008 at 06:48 AM

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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

An amazing and insightful post, thankyou for sharing!

Feb 15, 2008 at 09:38 AM
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Thank you for such a fabulous set of stories and images. I just spent the last hour reading through all this and it is time very well spent. Thank you for opening my eyes about the Alaskan way of life.

Feb 15, 2008 at 04:11 PM

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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Why did that man want to kill you!

Feb 15, 2008 at 11:51 PM
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

He was drunk; I was white, and didn't want any part of purchasing any of his alcohol when he was here earlier. He was not who he said he was, at the door, but he used the name of a person I admired above all others in the village at the time.

Villages are dry, alcohol is against the law, it hurts too many people. A 7 dollar bottle of vodka purchased in Anchorage sells for $150 dollars in the village.

the word (Party) up here, means,( (emphasis mine) some one is going to get hurt or end up in jail.))

Feb 16, 2008 at 12:12 AM
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Blanket toss was originally designed to be used down at the lead opening, to toss a hunter into the air. to see if animals / whales are migrating through the lead opening miles away far on the horizon.

Anyone may get on the blanket to take a ride.. far into the air.. when it is windy, the "catchers" have to run together to catch that person, and sometimes that wind can blow a person very far.
But the main event.. is when any woman who has had a first born child, she throws gifts, into the air.

These "gifts" can be anything, A hand full of coins, a bag full of candy, arms full of furs, These most elderly women are running as though they are teenagers again, full of renewed incredible agility and strength.

It is up to the oldest women in the village to get it all. IF any child gets his hands on any of this, next year will not be a good hunting year. This is no game, they play for keeps, there is too much as stake here.

Blanket toss is so much fun to watch. you just never know what is going to happen. Getting to the action of these old eldery women was not possible this year due to the fact that three of the main players were are disabled.. but a fighting match took place on the gravel for these furs that were captured.. these women can't walk..(they are in their late 80's) yet as the furs flew in their direction they just dove head first into the gravel to crawl to grab them. OUT of respect for the elders, that fight will not be shown.. !!!

The object, the intent is to become airborne and then .. let the furs fly or whatever else is going to be thrown. Only a mother with a first born son. Bags rip, people lose their balance, anything can happen and if your not careful you can hurt yourself..ugruk skin is hard to land on.. splat and it hurts if you land the wrong way. there are no springs.. to cushion and absorb the shock.


Learning to walk on that blanket as it is being moved up and down a few times before everyone gives the big heave ho to launch that person skyward.. If it is too windy out.. they will not throw that person high because. they just don't want to run or take the chance of missing.. and it was incredbily windy this day so people are not going to gain much altitude.. on a calm day I have seen them soar over the tops of telephone poles or the flag poles.


JJ. Russell Lane. walking the blanket. getting ready for that next shove.
some women dance on that blanket getting ready.. but when they have something
to throw.. anything can happen.. and usually does in many funny ways.
for hours and hours this event goes on.. and it is the big highlight of the festival.
other than the massive amounts of food that is served. but smiling faces and new parky's are everywhere
new attigluks for the women. are bright and very colorful.


Inertia often takes over as something is thrown in one direction & the person that threw it goes flying in the opposite direction. This is not something that is easily accomplished and often things never go flying in the direction intended or just fall straight down. it is gathered up and given to the elderly contestants on the sideline..

Not to worry, plenty of people to catch that person if they happen to go over the edge so to speak !!

Feb 16, 2008 at 02:02 AM
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Wow!!! Remarkable endurance, patience, not too mention excellent documentary. Thanks for not only "telling it like it is;" but for telling us the "Rest of the Story!"


Feb 16, 2008 at 11:03 PM
Tom K.
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

A profound thank you to you for posting this. If any thread in any forum was ever considered a masterpiece........this is that thread.

Feb 18, 2008 at 01:22 AM

Search in Used Dept. 

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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

(blushing), er, um. thank you, (bowing)!

Feb 18, 2008 at 02:08 AM
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Walking around the festival grounds we run into some familiar faces.

and some not so familiar also, people from different countries, different villages and different states in the lower 48.
it is a very long way to travel for a 3 day festival. Year after year people arrive to take part and enjoy this most unique way of celebrating and rejoicing for food!

This is the life of the Inupiaq Eskimos of the far north Arctic region. It doesn't matter which village people are from, they are all rejoicing together as one.

Everyone is happy, displaying proudly their new festival parky's.
each one is different, unique in the talent and skills necessary to create one of these very fine warm parky's.

Wolf, Polar bear, Wolverine, and white fox are just some of the materials used to adorn the Nasak (hood) of each parky. White / red / blue & any of the other type foxes can only be used on a woman's parky.


The wind is strong, it never stops, we have water on 3 sides of the village, Erosion is still a major concern. The storms we get in fall time, those are the waves that do damage and more and more of the old town site is washing away.

The lighthouse & the Point itself disappeared in 1989.

One of Ernie Frankson's son's is named Umigluk, His Aaka Dinna made these new mukluk's for him this year, Staying out on that ice, and staying out in that sun all day every day, well the "tan" he is displaying is easily acquired .. but usually just on your face and hands.!!


Blanket toss goes on for many hours, and again, anything can happen.

Jacob Lane Jr. went for a ride high in the sky and ended up in a cast for the next 8 months, He ripped his ligaments and tendons, by landing the wrong way. Jacob was in his 40's when this accident happened!

He still can't walk correctly, This is not "springy" like a trampoline, this is different, much different

Sabrina Tuzroyluk soars high in the sky, displaying award winning form.
It is not easy to land on that blanket, This is the same blanket you see at the very bottom of this post that they are dancing on.



You just never know.

That child on the blanket is my oldest son Isaiah when he was 5. The kids did a bad thing to him that day here in these images, They wouldl toss him up and then just drop the blanket, As he was trying to get up from hitting the hard gravel, they picked him up, tossed him and dropped the blanket on the ground again. This happend 3 times before an elder finally said, stop that.


handing out balleen to important guests and visitors. This balleen is valuable in that it is capable of generating huge amounts of money depending on what is crafted out of this material. Baleen baskets command a huge price. Elmer Frankson makes just four of these each and every year. They sell for 35,000 each.
Elmer showed me the "cover" for one of the baskets he was working on, It was as big as an umbrella when opened.
They are in huge demand on the East Coast of the United States and are valued and treasured all over the world. There are only a hand full of skilled artists that can create these much sought after baskets.

James Omnik Jr. Morris Sage, Christopher Nashookpuk, Calvin Oktollik, Luke Koonuk, Ashley Kowwanna, these are just a small portion of the poeple in Pt. Hope that create these unique crafts that are only made here in the Arctic.

Every village has its "basket makers" and some of these people have been at it for over 50 years, White ballen is extremly rare and it is used for kupaks on the basket itslef as you can see one strip woven into the cover of the basket.

The average cost - $100 an inch !!


My sons are learning, and must faster than I ever thought possible, but the amount of work in preparing the rods and threads takes more time than the actual weaving / sewing involved.

Ernie Frankson, is without a doubt the best dancer in the village, some say it is really Allan Lane, but Allan hasn't danced in many years, I have never seen Allan dance, I sure always wanted to, I have heard so much about him.
but Ernie . ha ha.. well he really has a set of .. well in Barrow one year @ Kiviq, where all the villages come together and dance for one week. Ol Ernie got up there to dance and the crowd always goes beserk when this man dances, he is something to watch, the hair on the back of your neck will stand up.! That is a guarantee!! Everyone says that, even natives that have seen and watched him for decades,, it just gets better, But nothing will ever top. this dance he did that year,
His pants split, as he went down into a certain stance with legs spread far apart, they fell, and this was being filmed. Ol Ernie, just kept on dancing, The crowd literally went wild and then some.

This particular dance is still much spoken of, year after year, with increased laughter.



Lots Lots more to come (soon) ! thank you all for your "time". !!

Edited on Feb 18, 2008 at 03:09 AM

Feb 18, 2008 at 02:40 AM
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Majik, you are my hero.

Feb 18, 2008 at 03:59 AM
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment.
Thank you for allowing us the privelege of learning about your community.
BTW, can you tell us more about life in Boston and how you made such a transition? And the story behind your name?

Feb 20, 2008 at 12:23 AM
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

The story behind my name ? (chuckle)

My four sons provided the inspiration. I needed to find a way to use their initials, to create a "unique businness name" or Acronym.

MarkAndrew, Jesse, Isaiah, Khristopher = MAJIK The same names (sorry Khris)are used for IMAJE, the "E" is our last name.

It took me many many months, playing at night, trying to make something 'fit'.

It wasn't until I realized that Mark is the only son with a middle name because he was born on my grandmother's birthday. She named him, .. She lived to 105.

How did I go from Boston Mass. to the frigid Arctic of Alaska.?

Again, another most interesting story. (chuckle).

and quite frankly I don't know where to begin. cept to say.

73 - 77 there was very little construction work in Boston in the Union- Local 103

A friend of mine called me in Dec of 76 and told me of all the work on the Trans-Alaska-Pipeline. I wanted to go.

Over 500 journeymen electricians were working on that job, making 2k per week.

I wanted to go. and I did go, Dec 23rd of 76.

I got a job on the pipeline, Valentines day of 77, I worked 11 weeks & made 22,000

Working in Prudhoe Bay was the most exciting place I have ever worked, I was so surprised that even though it was sub zero temps, it wasn't cold. ??

this is a much different type of climate than the East Coast. The Arctic is extremly dry. We can't use vaseline up here, outside, The main ingredient, Petrolatum, it evaporates and the substance flakes off like candle wax.

In Prudhoe we see the daily experiments that some construction workers are amused at. Take a styrofoam cup and fill it with very hot coffee, now go outside @ 80 below, and toss just the coffee into the air. hang on to the cup.

The coffee explodes with a very loud "SNAP" and it distingrates, during the 160 degree rapid temperature change.

I literally cried, when I had to leave Prudhoe Bay and fly back to Boston, in May of 77. I was in love with the Arctic, and I did not want to go back to Boston.

Back in Boston work was still scarce. But I had enough money to ride it out now, and then we said, lets go, We moved to the Tri-Cities in Wa. State.

Hanford Project, Nuclear Power Plants, This was very good work, steady work,

Lots of it, I bought a house ni Kenniwick Washington,

The biggest bankruptcy ever, just occured and 60,000 constructions workers are suddenly out of work. I had just opened DEE Photo Center, and we went down like a rock. David Eddie & Eddie. = Dee photo center. was ruined,

Very successfull business for 30 years in the tri-city area went bankrupt, I had no chioce except to fly back to Boston for work was plentiful now, once again. Jan 81.

Unfortunatly my wife refused to come back to Boston, I haven't seen my daughter since.

That June, I leftBoston to go back to Alaska. I flew up to Anchorage and signed the books at the union hall.

I was working for Bussell Electric when they sent me up to the village, just for 3 weeks. Once I hit the village, I was hooked, I fell in love with these people who never complain. I fell in love all over again with the Arctic. This time I am not leaving.

so I guess it is time for a commercial, I have been rambling on for too long.

So lets go back to whaling festival !!


Issac's crew, dressed in white, JJ's crew all dressed in blue.


Russell J. Lane, his momma on the left side Suuyuk - is her Eskimo name, her nickname is 'Little Momma". Sally Killigvuk, Umailiaq is Issac's wife of 33 years & 7 children and one adopted son.


Issac Killgvuk (umialiq) Whaling Captain, JJ caught two whales, Issac caught one.

J.J. Russell Lane, Russell J. Lane is in the news once again, not as a village hero (for catching those two whales for the village).

The women in this village are all very,very,happy finally.

Russell is in the news, he finally got caught ! HOORAY !!

Russell will never ever go whaling again, he is finally out of this village, for the next 40 years !!! And a lot of women will sleep so much easier and more relaxed now.
He has hurt a lot of women in this village, and so many people are very reliveved he is finally gone.


Issac and crew, this is their day, to celebrate and be honored for the food they have brought to this village.

This 3 day non-stop event is so much fun, these people are just so happy, that they are going to be able to eat their food! This is ALL they want; to be able to eat their food.


The (many) mysterious faces of Eva Nashookpuk (James' daughter). You will see her again, (soon) !!

Notice her "hands", Yes it is still very cold out, even though it is June.

Edited on Feb 20, 2008 at 02:27 AM

Feb 20, 2008 at 02:22 AM
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

That is an incredible glimpse into the other side of the world, thanks for this post.

Feb 20, 2008 at 05:44 PM
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Thank you very much for your words of interest and praise.

I have done my job well to deserve such rich and kind comments.

Barrow Alaska (present day & time).. .. .. ..

Everyone is getting ready.. .. .. to go whaling !!

More images coming very soon.

This thread is no where near finished by any means.

so much more to follow and follow and follow !!

Feb 21, 2008 at 02:20 PM
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Cutting the flippers (sorry for getting sidetracked). is a very long process and it is a lot of hard work. Everything we do here in the Arctic requires hard work.


Some of the people here, worknig are here from 200 miles south from the village of Kotzebue, John Goodwin arrives up here many times during the year, especially during whaling and whaling festival.


Everyone gets the prize portion of the whale, After the family names are called out and distributed, then everyone gets in line, to receive their own personal portion.

Sharing food is a way of life here. I have heard all of the rumors before I arrived in an eskimo village and NO.. no one shares their wife.

and Eskimos do not rub noses to kiss.!! ( they much prefer the "French" method")


Edited on Feb 23, 2008 at 11:50 PM

Feb 23, 2008 at 11:46 PM
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

These photos and your stories are just incredible. I just read every word. Thank you so much for sharing these. They are priceless.

Feb 25, 2008 at 12:52 AM
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

Well thank you RebeccaVT, (from Vermont?)., and I sincerly hope you will visit my "sister post" in the PEOPLE section of this great forum, I promise you more and more but in a different, more personal way. !!

Arctic Models @ 30 below zero !!

Feb 25, 2008 at 01:09 AM
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