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  1. #1
    Arctic Man Majik_Imaje's Avatar
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    Talking High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Hello from the Oldest continually inhabited settlement or village in all of North America.

    Point Hope Alaska - Tikigaq



    We are a community of 800 Inupiaq Eskimos and our life revolves around the Bowhead whale. Subsistence living has been our lifestyle / culture and tradition for over 3,000 years on this one spot of land. The village was moved 2.5 miles to the east due to flooding in the 1970's.
    Come along for a journey to sights that very few have ever seen or heard of or recorded.
    Lets go out to the ocean ice and from the comfort of your own home or office.




    These people live under the harshest conditions known to man on the face of the earth.
    They are happy people and never complain, Imagine: Cutting a trail into the ocean ice for 7 miles, to move equipment and supplies.. sleeping outside @ sub zero temps.
    .. just to eat !!

    It takes a whole year, just to get ready to go whaling and live out on the ocean ice pack, for two months.

    The spring (April - May) is the time of the year that the entire communtiry moves 7 miles out on the Chukchi Sea in the Bering Strait of upper Alaska 200 miles above the arctic circle in the Northwest portion of the state.



    These hunters sleep outside with no tents for two months, just to gather food.
    Everyone is out here, embedded in the ice, gathering food,
    come along for a journey that will amaze you and astound you, in a different world, a different planet so to speak. a frozen world of nothing but ice in all directions for miles.



    The ice cracks, the lead opens and the animals begin to migrate along this 10 mile gaunlet along the ocean ice pack. Entire familes survive out here @ 50 below zero for two months, no one gets any pay for this.. .. only the right to eat.




    This is a typical whaling camp, midnight in mid May. Jaek Koonuk, Umailiq, Whaling captain is standing on the ice pressure ridges for hours, searching for any signs of animals migrating.




    This is home for two months 24/ 7 right here. The women are on much safer ice, They have tents to do all the cooking and all the other chores necessary to survive out here.

    18 whaling captains are spaced out 1/2 - 3/4 a mile apart. Some familes stick together. As the typical crew consists of the Captain - 8 hunters & a boyer. Plus 3 - 5 women to do all the cooking 4- 5 times a day, out here, in the middle of frozen no where.


    Going into the wind - straight into that strong north wind- @ 50 below with 50 mph winds, it is brutal, It is a myth that these people are used to it. They get just as cold as you or I. But there are many tricks employed to stay warm(er) out here, things you have never heard of or will never believe.

    I am about to tell you things that sound so preposterous, but they are all true indeed.

    For instance: It is night time, out on the ocean ice, the women are exhausted and they go to sleep, in the tents, Now hand your lighter and your matches over to a three year old child, and lie down and go to sleep. This is a "boyer".



    This is his job, HIs responsibilty. Keep that woodstove going all night long, stay awake, alone. His chores are: Chop wood, cut sicpan with very sharp knives. Melt snow to make water for washing thermoses, make fresh hot coffee, tea, & hot chocolate and fill the thermoses and get them down to the lead opening for the hunters, He must keep a sharp eye out for fresh cracks in the ice. This ice pack can crack / break at any time, Anything can happen out here, and usually does in many bizzare and unpredictable ways. The boyer has access to rifles in case of a polar bear attack, He must keep notice of the wind, in case it shifts it is time to wake everyone up and run in a mass panic to get off the ice.

    I have met many such boyers on the 5 different sacred whale hunts I have been honored and privliged to attend and photograph.


  2. #2
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Wow - thanks for posting this incredible look into a totally different life than what many of us are used to. Welcome to the site, and I look forward to more!

  3. #3
    Senior Member mn shutterbug's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Amazing photo documentary. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And to think most of us complain when we have 20 below 0 windchill. I just can't imagine surviving under those conditions. Those kids sure have to grow up fast.

    Thank you very much for sharing this. It's truly amazing and a real eye opener.
    Mike
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  4. #4
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Welcome to our site! Thanks for sharing your pictures and the very interesting information. I am looking forward to seeing more pictures in the future, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  5. #5
    Ex-Modster Old Timer's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Welcome to PR. I hope that you will continue to grace us with images like the ones in this post. Great to see how another society lives and works.
    Don't forget about the Gallery. Are your photos there??


    Nikon Samurai #13

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  6. #6
    Senior Member retroactiv's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    This is an amazing thing to see and you taught me a lot by your pictures. Remind me of something you would see in National Geographic.
    Chris Johnson
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  7. #7
    Senior Member freygr's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Great post, and good photos. And I have to agree its is "something you would see in National Geographic"
    GRF

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  8. #8
    Film Forum Moderator Xia_Ke's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Wow, great shots and an incredible story. Welcome to PR and thank you very much for sharing. Hope to see more :thumbsup:

    Aaron
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  9. #9
    Member big baldo's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Wow!! Outstanding photos and story!! Thank you for sharing. I'm curious if you have any problems with you camera gear at those temps?
    Life's a garden, Dig it. -Joe Dirt

  10. #10
    Design Slacker mattbikeboy's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Awesome! I love the snomobile pulling the sled image; :thumbsup:

    mbb

  11. #11
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    I'm loving these.

    Welcome to the site, I'm also curious about what you're shooting, film or digital, love your tones.

    And loved loved loved your post in the rule of 1/3's thread.
    I sleep, but I don't rest.

  12. #12
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    WOW!!!!

    Welcome to the site.

  13. #13
    Mi tortuga es guapo. Kokopeli's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Awesome photo documentary Majik! I sure hope you continue with the tale.. I am quite interested in what happens next!

    Welcome to the PR.com family.
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  14. #14
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Great...love the shots and the information.
    I, too wonder about your photo gear.
    Also I have read articles about native villages having a hard time because the ice melts too soon now and the water has risen enough to force them to relocate. Does this village have that problem?
    Keep Shooting!

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  15. #15
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Welcome to the Forum. A great series of images, and a great story to go with them. Looking forward so seeing more.
    Mike

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  16. #16
    Arctic Man Majik_Imaje's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    So sorry for my absence.. thank you all so much for all of your wonderful comments.!!

    I promise you spell binding text and amazing photographs of a world no one rarely is admitted to and even if they are, you will never see an intimacy with people such as are with the images that I am about to post and explain.. a story that will keep you riveted to the edge of your seat. this I promise you and I can guarantee you. first let me answer a few questions and provide some input.

    These images are with film: 100 asa vericolor type S using a mamiya RB 67 and a Pentax k1000

    these cameras worked flawlessly, slow sluggish for sure.. major sluggish, but they worked, at times, they were encased in ice frm the bitter north wind and temps which would plummet at night to - 80 below or colder with wind chill. .out on a tripod. 24 /7 for months !! NO DIGITAL camera made can take that abuse.!!

    I don't have room for cases and cases of batteries. there is no place to put all of that stuff.. we are out here in the middle of ice. all around us. How do you suppose 700+ people obtain delicious fresh drinking water way out here in the middle of frozen no where??

    Melt snow ?? yes ! but snow is only used for cleaning, or washing. snow tastes yuk !

    nope.. we need TONS of delicous fresh drinking water every day. all day long. for cooking and drinking !! where does it all come from ??

    Inupiaq Technology: time tested for many thousands of years. These are aged old traditions that work.

    I am about to tell you some incredibly bizzarre stories that are true and easily verfied. I am going to open the doors of the arctic and introduce you to a lot of people that I have known and loved for 30 years time..

    I was sent to this village for just 3 weeks, as an electrician to wire two construction camps.

    When the job finished. I quit the company and stayed, I fell n love with these people, this land, the arctic the enviroment .. This was heaven on earth !! THIS .. .. is a different planet. one in which you could never survive. unless you know what to do.

    the ocean ice is a very dangerous place and anything can happen out here, and usually does in many unexpected ways.



    The wind is always coming from the North which is blowing from right to left in this image. that ice on the other side of the lead opening is moving quickly, perhaps 15 mph. this strong wind is moving an ice pack that is bigger than most of the New England States !!

    It is very easy to hallucinate out here on thie ice. All you have to do is watch that ice, moving.. do not watch that ice. they would tell me. why ? I constantly had these people in fits of laughter,, this dumb city boy from Boston out here on the ocean ice. I provided much entertainment for these hunters.

    when you stare at that ice pack for too long, this is what happens. suddenly without warning, that ice pack stops on the other side. and you experience the sensation of moving in the oposite direction, I was constantly falling over out here. Much to the continued delight of these hunters.

    It is very cold out. when hoods are up, it is because of the cold wind that is so bitter on your skin. when hoods are up and hats are on, it is only because of the wind. you will see very few images of people's hair. when you see children you will notice their hands are always hidden because of the cold..

    All coastal villages above the Arctic circle have been in trouble with the erosion for many decades !! something must be done. we are losing too much land.

    National Geographic offered me 5,000 bucks for the complete right to all of these images. I politely told them of .. um er.. another place.. .. to go to .. to photograph!!

    I make that amount on a good weeknd.!!

    I have thousands of photos and pages and pages of the most bizarre true, verifiable storeis that you will ever read on any forum in any post !~ I promise you.. the best is yet to come.!!

    :blush2:

  17. #17
    Arctic Man Majik_Imaje's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    At night, (April) when that sun goes down, the cold creeps in quickly. The cold is numbing, I am freezing,. this sleeping outside @ 50 below is something I never though I would survive.

    One woman on one thread asked. How do you change into clean clothes and socks, everyday ?? ha ha ha ha ha.. (chuckle) My first question to this person was..

    Where? are you going to do this? at such territying temps such as these ?

    I would literally scream, loud, when it was time to change a roll of film.. Oh I know what is going to happen, and it always did. I could never figoure out how to change a simple roll of film without experiencing the ultimate in pain, frostbite, and numbing un-moveable fingers.

    It would take a long long time and much pain as my fingers would slowly warm up. I have three sets of protection for my hands. none of them or all of them put together could not/ would not keep my hands warm.. I have thin space glove liners, then the best gloves and a huge set of mittens to go over all of that.. these people sure laughed watching me go thruogh my daily routine of trying to keep warm.. jumping up and down.. (behind huge pieces of ice) I can not be exposed to the ocean. I must hide behind something. and never ever go to the left side of the umiaq I was always told that.. stay away from the left side.. that is the direction animals approach from.





    Food is very plentiful out here. The biggest freezer in the world, ,no electricty needed at all. keep food fresh for two months out here. no problem ..
    Fresh caribou soup.. fresh duck soup.. dresh doughnuts !!! ???

    yes. the women are 1/2 mile to 3/4 of a mile behind the hunters. these women are set up on much safer ice. This is a dangerous place and that ice can break / crack at any time, in any place. People have to have markers for their camps and watch them closely. .if we get caught on the wrong side of the ice. it is a major disaster.



    It is 50 below outsie of this tent. It is warm in here. but it is very drafty.. now how do you suppose this woman (Emily Lane) can get this dough to rise out here.? hmmm?

    Once that dough is all mixed, it is put into a clean plastic bag, and it is put on her back and she puts her parky on, in the same exact manner as carrying a child.
    The heat from her back is more than enough to cause that dough to rise quickly !!
    fresh doughnuts all day /night long in every camp, each camp site is identical in each and every aspect. everything is put into identical places no matter which camp you visit.



    that is one of Emilies twin daughters. Minnie, children are carried in this manner in extreme temps of incredible storms. They survive quite well. Inupiaq clothing is very warm. we have many tricks to keeping warm(er) and stying warm.

    Are you cold, out here ? then pick up that "hacksaw" !! Slice some thin strips of meat from that rack of Caribou ribs. It is here for people to use, when they are cold.!!! ???
    slice many thin strips of this meat, make them small and swallow them.. do not chew them. just swallow, now fill your stomach full .. !!

    This is what happens.. .. .. .. !! (chuckle) your body, your stomach has to work very very hard to digest all of that RAW, frozen caribou meat. This works with fish also. Raw, and frozen. the frozen part is easy out here.. no problem.!!

    When your stomach begins to digest this "quaq". your body will generate body heat the likes of which you have never ever experienced in your life.. DO NOT ATTMPT TO DO THIS and try and stay inside.. your gonna burn up bad big time..you will end up in the hospital !! @ temps of 30 below zero, we are taking clothes off, because we are just too hot.!! does that sound bizarre ? then look. and see. who has eaten in this manner recently !! ? !!



    John Tingook, well he is just too hot and had to take his parky off.. he has also been busy. The excitement out here, just can't be put into words, or described. This is just so .. .. awesome is not the word.. this is paradise.. !!

    This is a peacefull place, so quiet, everyone is one with the conditions and people work together as one, rejoice as one and also mourn as one. This is a two month picnic of the "frozen kind:. you would never think people could look so relaxed and happy in these conditions. Here in is the proof.! You be the judge.

    These are a proud people with a very old history dating back many thousands of years to this one spot of land, donig what they do each and every spring out here on the ocean ice. April - May.

    Chopping that trail is no easy task. everyone has their jobs to do, even little children have chores, everyone works as one, all to gather food and create an enviroment we can live & travel in.



    Last edited by Majik_Imaje; 03-08-2008 at 12:38 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member danic's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    What a fantastic thread! Keep up the pictures and thread
    danic



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  19. #19
    Arctic Man Majik_Imaje's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    The ocean ice pack. it is just you, the wind, the incredbily bright reflections all over the place. this is a difficult feeling to describe, being out here. This is the order of the day, the Eskimo way. sit, wait, watch, listen. and be quiet. In about 10 hours your gonna have the best tan of your life, on your face and hands !! One side of your face is sweating, and the other side is being frost bit. The wind never stops. it is relentless. never ending, constantly biting your face.

    Because we are exposed to 24 hour sunlight (Late april - ) we easily become solar powered . As long as you stay out in that sun, you can easily stay alert and awake for 3 days or longer. When you are tired, just lean back and lie down on that sled and rest. In a few hours you will be good to go for another 3 days or longer. no one is sleeping much out here. too much to do. and ..watch, ssshh, wait.!! The only sound out here, is the wind, the ice cracking and your thoughts !



    This the most favorite time of year. to go whaling. there are plenty of different animals here. lots, but the main prize is the bowhead whale. This is their favorite food,

    It takes as much as 8 hours to set up a working functional whaling camp out here in the middle of no where. and there are times we have to evacuate the ice. when that wind shifts and turns to south wind. It is nothing but a mad mass panic of over 700 people runing for ther lives and everyone is out of there in less than 15 minutes, on the trials to get off that ice as quick as possible. if you don't have a ride just run.. someone will pick you up on the trail because they circle until everyone is off that ice pack. This is extremly dangerous when that whind shifts to south wind and it can hapen so fast. with out warning.. that means, that ice pack on the other side of the lead opening is going to run right over everything in its path and crush it all. with huge piles up to 50 feet tall or higher.

    This is a dangerous place and great care must be taken to monitor our surroundings in every direction. This ice is not as thick as it used to be many years ago..



    when cracks appear they must be marked, watched and people make the necessary adjustments. move the tents or stay where we are. Each week the tent must be taken down and moved as the wood will sink into the ice form the heat from the stove.
    All trash is carefully controlled, nothing is left out on that ice pack. This is home and it is treated as such, except with one minor exception. "going to the bathroom" out here is an experience that is just so cold to accomplish. and women must take extra precaution because men are men no matte which part of the world we live in.. and everyone out here.. has "binoculars". so find a huge piece of ice to go behind. and hide.. look around very carefully, make your "deposit" and leave that area. and of course it is a great distance away from the tent areas. but the cold bare experience is something that just can't be put into words.. it hurts.!! damn cold !!


    Walking around out here, gave me a way to generate body heat, as sitting in one lodcation for hours and hours each and every day was quite boring.. I needed to get warm. and thus I had to move around.

    My problem was my fingers and my hands I just could not keep them warm and it hurt terribly when I had to take my glvoes off to try and change that film.. Oh no .. oh this is gonna hurt and it is going to take hours for my hands to return to some sort of normal.

    I suffered greatly,.. .. only because I was stubborn and I just would not listen to what they told me to do. Yuk. .I am not going to do that.. and as such I was continually getting frost bite on my hands and fingers. 'This is why your nose runs so much,when it is cold out.. use it !! No !! .. yuk !"

    Then the day arrived when that wind was so furious, we are out heer in the middle of a huricane. and this wind hurts so much. I had no choice. because I had no movment ablities for anhy of myu fingers, they were numb with pain and they just would not move or warm up. so I was forced to finally do what they kept telling me to do.. Use your kakiik that is the eskimo word for the multicolored stuff that comes out of your nose.

    We call it snot. I call it a multi colored "clam" !!

    Take your gloves off ??? and blow your nose into your hands, now rub it all over your hands and fingers.. QUICKLY, now put your gloves back on.............WoWoW !!! Instantly.. I mean instantly, my hands were warm, my fingers were moving and there was aboslutly no pain when they warmed up which was instantly.. .. .. and.. .. they can't get cold for the rest of the day.!!! Whoa !!! for the first time.. I got a huge smile on my face and I had everyone laughing again.


  20. #20
    Senior Member polarbeardiggers's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    wow what a great adventure and wonderful story can't wait to read more,so educational thanks ever so much for sharing with us.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member mn shutterbug's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Continue this and I'll be able to drop one of my magazine subscription. This is totally fascinating.
    Mike
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    Canon 30D X 2, Canon 100-400L, Thrift Fifty, Canon 18-55 IS 3rd generation lens plus 430 EX II flash and Better Beamer. :thumbsup:

  22. #22
    Arctic Man Majik_Imaje's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Thank you for your coments and I promise you, to keep you spell bound on the edge of your seat. I

    These women work so incredbily hard all day - "all long day long " this is no easy task to cook for a whaling crew. The Captain 8 hunters, a boyer, and 3 - 5 women to do all of this work every day, no pay, just to eat... that is all your going to get out of this.. The right to eat. That is all these people want !! Leave us alone !
    No agency, No commission, No person, No one has the right to tell these people you may not eat your food !!

    Japan last year harvested 1000 whales for scientific research. they kept all the meat, and threw the rest away.. (the important part).. this is a criminal actl despite the warnings and such from the International Whaling commission, nothing was done and Japan is at it again this year.

    the people of Point Hope managed to harvest just 3 small whales to feed over 800 people and that is not enough to feed this village for the whole year..

    What is wrong with this warped formula ? We are under a quota system..

    we now play baseball.. 3 strikes and your out.! go home, you cannot eat your food, and we have to obey !! There is no one out on that ice watching us.. but we obey.

    In 1982 A federal team of biologists were in the village to partake of a cenus of the bowhead population.

    Isn't Greenpeace a lovely world organization.? They go so far out of the way to lie, and cheat to promote their way.
    In Boston Mass in 1983 I was there, with my albumn, Stop the Eskimo's from hutning and killing whales. There are only 250 Right Whales leftl ! Stop the Eskimo's !!

    I went into to visit greenpiece.. er excuse me.. Isn't a right whale, the same thing as a bowhead whale. ?? Er .. " Well yes it is !" I showed them my album. they kicked me out !

    These biologists that were sent to the village to take this cencus with all of their sophisticated equipment.. was a complete joke !!

    In a one months time, they counted 15,000 whales !! They did not take into account how many whales migrated before they arrived. They did not take into account how many whales mirgrated after they left and they only conted the whales they could lsee.

    The elders scoffed at that figure 15,000 there is more like 200,000 is the true estimate ! We see these whales each and every year. and some of what I am about to tell you about the whale will astound you, and make you sit up and take notice and THINK !!!



    That is a lot of cooking to accomplish, In such a tiny place, to prepare food for that many people, every day, 4 - 5 times a day, for two whole months !! There is no kitchen sink, inside of that tent. and everything has to be washed and cleaned. Even the plywood on that floor is cleaned every single morning.





    Each week this tent must be moved to a new location. The tent begins to sink into the ice frm the heat from that wood stove. Everything is broken down, the tent moved and the stove pipes must be cleaned out from all the soot that piles up inside of them.

    This is no easy task and the boyers job and the job of children is to clean these pipes out, by filling them with snow, repeatidly, which accomplishes this easy but necessary task.

    If you get that tent too hot, put a little bit too much "sicpan" inside of that stove and it is very easy to burn down that tent. I have never seen any boyer burn down a tent, but I have seen two captains burn down their tent. too much wood, or too much sicpan, that will be all that it takes to cause that tent to catch on fire.!

    anything can happen out here, Polar bears are a very big problem, we do not hunt the polar bear, they are too dangerous and extremly unpredictable. In fact, each month, certain women must get off the ice and head back to town, YOU present too much of a danger for all of us out here. ..get off the ice, go home, come back in a week, or so.

    these animals have a very strong unique sense of smell. and sight !
    a polar bear can smell the presence of blood, from many miles away. We aer always on guard from attaks from these magnificent animals. There is so much you do not know about a polar bear .!!






    although they look so beautiful and magnificent, they are ferocious beasts of prey and they will eat anything they can sink their teeth into.

    Time to "pause" here.

  23. #23
    Arctic Man Majik_Imaje's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    Well lets pause here for a moment, (pun intended)



    Danger warning: POLAR BEARS are not soft cuddly cute animals, they are ferocious beasts of prey that are extremly dangerous and very unpredictable.

    There is much you do not know about these animals, this short segment will teach you much about this magnificent animal, that should never be underestimated.

    ALL bears.. .. are left handed, they will always strike with the left PAW first!

    Even after a polar bear has been killed, that bear can still kill that hunter if he is not careful when that bear is opened up.
    The liver must be burnt and destroyed, anything that eats this will die!

    Admiral Perry on his expedition to the North Pole lost 3 members of his crew due to attempting to eat a polar bears liver, It is saturated with millions of units of Vitamin A. This is extremly toxic and deadly.
    when that bear has been opened up for gutting, skinning, etc.. A hunter must be extremly careful, not to get any of that "juice' on himself, gloves must be worn. Great care must be taken when cutting the liver out of the animal. the tubes must be tied to prevent leakage of this "JUICE" it contains tooo much, Vitamin A and just by getting some on your skin it will kill you!

    When the hunter is finished with the procedure of gutting that animal, any clothing that has "juice" on it must be burned and destroyed !

    Barrow Alaska 1940's Vincent Niigak was gutting a bear, and all was well and finished, His gloves were removed and burnt. His hands were cold and he brought up his hands to warm them by blowing on them close to his mouth. Unknown to him at the time of this event. The tiny-est speck of juice touched his lip.

    He Lived to tell about it in a very unusual way. He lived for many decades but he stood out in a most peculiar way.

    Eskimo's are darkskinned and with black hair. Vincent's appearance was white as snow. His skin, his hair. ALBINO. pure white skin, pure white hair. Everything was bleached white by that small miniscule amount of vitamin A on his skin.

    Everyone in Barrow knows of this famous hunter, He died in the late 1980s I believe. I have never had the pleasure to meet this famous man, but many have told me the same story in each and every village. His claim to fame was well known all over the area.

    A polar bear can run at speeds of over 40 miles per hour, they can attack without notice, out on the ocean ice. They are ferocious predators. Each month, certain women must get off the ice. go home. come back later in a week or so. get off the ice. you present too much of a danger out here for everyone.
    That bear can smell blood for many miles, these bears are extremly clever and will stop at nothing to eat, anything.

    Seals are their main food supply. A bear will sit over a breathing hole in the ice and cover his nose and eyes with its paws, and wait for a seal to surface to breathe. One quick look around by the seal, and it is all over,.. ... ... .. burp!

    BILLLY WEBER WAS OUT ON THE OCEAN ICE; and a polar bear came around the corner and ran towards Billy at full speed.
    Billy turned and ran. he had a .22 rifle with only one bullet left. he took off running, he had no choice but to run.. that bear was gaining on Billly as he ran for his life. Other hunters out on the ice saw this event unfold, but were too far away to offer any assistance. There is only one place to shoot a polar bear to kill it.
    that one vital spot is in the ear. While running for his life, with that bear quckly gaining on Billy he merly pointed that rifle back as he ran and took the shot.. .. ..
    .. .. Billy lived to tell about this and everyone up here knows of this famous event.

    That bear was that close, because Billy waited, and waited until the last possible second to point it at the ear and take the shot while on the run. That bear went down.

    A very close personal friend in Point Lay Alaska, My electrical apprentice, Charles Stalker Jr. III was not so lucky. A polar bear was going after his pregnent girl friend. Charles distracted that bear away from her, and armed with only a knife, and a very thin jacket, that bear literallly cut him in half with the swing from the left paw. The villagers came out and blasted that very skinny bear, but much of Charles had already been eaten. Dec. 1990 sob!

    1950's Allan Rock was out on the ocean ice. Same predicament.. A polar bear was charging him, armed with only a large knife, Allan was successful and jumping on that bears back and taking him down the hard way.!!!!!

    During the 1970's it was LEGAL for the white man to hunt the polar bear in Alaska.
    A permit had to be obtained and it was good for only one day. The cost of the permit was 10,000 dollars, This practice had to be discontinued because too many of the great white hunters were shooting polar bears from the planes they chartered.

    Polar beat meat is the most delicious meat I have ever tasted in my life.
    It is jet black, grainy like old gnarled wood, but it is so sweet and tender, 10 times better than the best prime rib I have ever tasted. In fact it was the ONLY time I had ever asked for seconds at a meal, and all at once everyone responded NO!

    Scientists are puzzled at all the recent drownings of polar bears. They say it is because of the huge distances between ice packs, that the bear cannot swim that far. That is not the real reason for bears drowning, no.
    The real reason for their drownings is they have no fear, they will attack a sleeping walrus on the ocean ice. A walrus will sleep on its back with head back revealing the vital neck region. when that bear pounces on that walrus, the walrus merely lowers its tusks around the bears head and rolls over into the water bringing the bear down to huge depths !



    Polar Bears were recently put on the endangered species list and then quickly taken off that list. We are only allowed to take them down as a last resort to protect innocent lives here in the village. Each year a few bears will enter the village. Bears stay on the ocean ice pack, sometimes they wander into town.
    We do our very best to get them out of town, back onto the ocean ice. Sometimes
    that is not possible and we have to take them down quick, due to the fact there are children outside in the village. This year three bears entered town, two of those bears had to be taken down quickly, as they were trying to gain access into homes.. A mother with three cubs entered town.. We were successfull in getting that mother and those cubs, out of town back onto the ocean ice.

    The bear and the meat is the responsibility of the hunter, the skin is worked on by the women. It takes many women to perform a "Native Tan" on the skin using very sharp Ulu knives. This can take as much as ten hours or more.



    These women work hard to scrape that skin clean, this is not an easy task to accomplish. Sally Killigvuk, the mother of the hunter with the polar bear. Elizabeth Oviok (postmaster) work hard with these other women. Six - Eight women will spend the entire day, working on this skin, when that skin is cleaned, then it is put into the ocean, tied up to soak for a week or two, then it is placed up on a rack in the strong north winds to dry, for many months.



    Well we live a simple life in a very dangerous place, under the harshest conditions known to man on the entire face of the earth. We would not have it any other way.
    Believe it or not, YOU are all invited to take part in whaling festival next June in Point Hope !! A three day non-stop event held every year (coming soon).
    J.J. Russell Lane, displays the skin of his very first polar bear.
    J.J. caught two whales this year! His first, and His second.
    Khristopher Nashookpuk caught these two bears, in fact his girlfriend took down the big one.!!






    Well I truely hope that you found this all "bear-y" interesting !

    Lots more to come, lets go back to the ocean ice and see what happens when a whale is received !! :thumbsup:

  24. #24
    Senior Member polarbeardiggers's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    you leave us speechless with anticipation.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member mn shutterbug's Avatar
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    Re: High in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo !

    I thought I knew a lot about bears, but this has been an eye opener. I always knew polar bears were much more dangerous than grizzly bears, because they will actually hunt men, including tracking them. However, I never realized they were all southpaws. Also, that part about the vitamin A was totally fascinating. Here is what I learned since.

    "Vitamin A originates in marine algae, and then passes up the food chain to reach the large carnivorous animals. Toxic levels of Vitamin A may accumulate in the livers of a wide range of creatures such as Polar bears, seals, porpoises, dolphins, sharks, whales, Arctic foxes and huskies."

    Please, keep the photos and story coming. I'm enjoying and absorbing every word. :thumbsup:
    Mike
    www.specialtyphotoandprinting.com
    Canon 30D X 2, Canon 100-400L, Thrift Fifty, Canon 18-55 IS 3rd generation lens plus 430 EX II flash and Better Beamer. :thumbsup:

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