With The Eskimos at the Far North Arctic
Many years I dreamed to visit Alaska and meet the “Inuit” (Eskimo – North America’s first people) experience their way of living, traditional Whale hunting, sled dogs, skidoos (snowmobiles). Going to a few remote villages and by accident meeting a Polar Bear (the white Bear of the Arctic).
The lecture will be followed by slides describing my adventure trips during
April – May 1994/5.
Followed by are some of the notions that are typical to the area:
Eskimo – A disrepute name, which means: A man that eats meat. That’s how the ancient groups nicknamed the Inuit, who nicknamed them back as “Indians” – dark people.
Inupiat – The native language. In Alaska the spoken language is English.
Igloo – Until the 50’s, it was the Eskimo’s permanent home during the freezing weather. Nowadays it is used as a temporary home during the hunting trips in the freezing weather.
The Whale Hunter’s Boat – is built of whale ribs, covered with Walrus or Caribou’s skins.
The roles among the hunters team:
- Captain – The head of the team who is in charge of the hunting equipment (usually the team is named after him).
- Harpooner – The one that throws the Harpoon (A rope connected spear. There is a detonator and some sleeping stuff at its edge).
- Boyeir – 14 years old boy who is not permitted to hunt. His job is to take care of the heating in the tent.
The other team members do different jobs, like getting the hunting equipment ready, Igloo building and looking-for whales (using binoculars).
Bowhead Whale – A huge Whale. Can reach app. 100 feet.
Baluga Whale – A small white Whale. His meat is used for “Caviar”. Can reach app. 20 feet.
Musk Oxen – A Mountain Ball. Spreads unpleasant smell.
Sled dogs – Team of 6 to 14 dogs connected to a sled. Every dog team has its leader who keeps the rest of the team in order. There are two kinds of sled dogs: sports sleds and hunting sleds.
Parka – Hot coat made of Caribous, Seals or Polar Bears skins and furs.
Maklak (or Kamik) – Hot boots made of Caribous, Seals or Polar Bears skins and furs.
Native store – Grocery store (like a supermarket)
Written and edited by Moti Sabag: tour guide, counselor and lecturer
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