Monday, April 19, 2010

Water and ice

I took the aerial pics flying into Barrow, when we were just about to land. The others are are of various groups of whalers we saw heading out on the ice on different days.

Whaling season is on, and we saw teams of whalers going out almost every day we were there. These men have snowmachines with sleds attached containing tents and other whaling gear. They set up whaling camps at spots in the open water.

I asked how long they stay out there, and someone told me, "Until they have a whale." When a group does get a whale, it's a major community event and everyone drops everything (even school kids) to participate in harvesting the whale. Later on, everyone in the community and even those from other villages share the whale meat and muktuk (whale skin and blubber). We were sort of hoping a whale would be caught while we were there, but it definitely would have interfered with our filming!


Blogger SusanE said...

That would have been great if they had got a whale... much as I like whales, I understand cultural significance and the need for food.

Your photos are always a window into a different world for me.

6:41 AM

Blogger Laura said...

Oh totally Susan, believe me, it was a VERY strange feeling for me to be rooting for these men to catch a whale but that is the way of life there and has been forever. The Cove is still next on my netflix...don't know if you've seen it yet but apparently the way it's done in Japan in that region is NOTHING like this!

9:13 AM


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