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High in the Arctic !! Eskimo....!

David J. Eves

New member
I was faced with the ultimate challenge.. Develop 60 rolls of color film, in the arctic, w/ no running water. My only source of water was to melt snow, and it took me over six months!

25 years later, these 6 x 7 negatives are still in pristine condition & flawless!

I live in a tiny whaling village of 750 Inupiat/Inupaq Eskimo's. The lifestyle / culture revolves around the Bowhead whale.

This is our way of life. We live out on the ocean ice pack for two months. We sleep outside @ temps of - minus 40 below or colder with no tents!

Point Hope Alaska is the oldest continually inhabited settlement or village in all of North America
life can accurately be traced back to this one spot for many thousands of years.

Small sample
I live in a tiny whaling village of 750 Inupiat/Inupaq Eskimo's. The lifestyle / culture revolves around the Bowhead whale.

This is our way of life. We live out on the ocean ice pack for two months. We sleep outside @ temps of - minus 40 below or colder with no tents!

Point Hope Alaska is the oldest continually inhabited settlement or village in all of North America
life can accurately be traced back to this one spot for many thousands of years.

Hi Dave, welcome.

You seem to be in a fascinating position to eternalize the culture and daily life in documentary images from within. I know it is not always easy to create enough mental distance to recognize how special and culturally different the day to day activities are, but maybe you can manage it.

Again, fascinating. Hope to see more images soon.


David J. Eves

New member
I Arrived In Point Hope 1981

One of the very first images I captured or created is this.

Daisy Della Fay Koonuk Age 3

Mamiya Rb 6 x 7

90mm lens (normal)



Cloudy overcast day.. standing at the airport in point hope. Her grandfather's mitten was visible on her left side, and on the right side was the portion of a 3 wheel atv honda.

The horizon line was too distracting, United Bank of Alaska in 1983 offered me 100k for the complete rights to this image. Under the advice of Prestige Gallery in Peabody Mass. I was advised to decline the offer and I am so thrilled that I took their advice.

Many times each week as tourists would pass by our gallery in Anchorage, A person could be over heard and seen pointing to this image and saying .. "that was my daughter when she was young"

which of course wasn't true!

Oh yes. I forgot.. here she is !


I was sent to this village in 1981 just to wire two construction camps. A three week job, which when finished, I quit the company and stayed! I am still here at this present moment!


Point Hope Alaska!

David J. Eves

New member
Well when I first arrived

.. and my eyes starting to see this incredibly different world that is as a different planet. nothing of your world applies up here. and very little if any of our world applies where you live.

But once I experienced this:

there was just no turning back..


That was more than 25 years ago !

I am still here! I have stories you will never ever believe

I have photos to prove and illustrate, and amaze you!

Sit back, relax, and from the warmth of your own home, come live...

the eskimo way. to "go shopping for food"

All I can say is WOW! Nice images, and what a lifestyle choice. I doubt many would have the courage to follow their passion is such a manner.

I look forward to seeing more of your pictures and hearing more about the challenges of shooting in such a hostile environment.

Harvey Moore

New member
Nice work.

There is another photog living in Kotzebue, AK, James Mason, who made a similar move. He used to post over at dpr as Zidar.

It must be some allure in that part of the world to have taken you to a very different way of life.

David J. Eves

New member
constantly working with frozen film, was a first for me, and I wasted no time in processing.

many many times, frozen film, right into the soup, to begin the C-41 process. It is only because I have had 12 years working with Kodak Chemistry and the C-41 process was no challenge for me, the only challenge was where to get the water to process the film. snow!

When the clean snow was melted is was filthy, soot, cairbou hairs from who knows where, and that yellowish tinge? oh my.. I had to filter the water through towels, then get the temp correct.


These girls have been playing outside for days and days. The tents are for the women to do the cooking to provide the hot meals to the hunters at the edge of the ice.


The lead is opening and that ice on the other side of the lead is moving left to right and if you watch it, long enough, that ice will stop, and you will begin to go in the other direction! It is very easy to hallucinate out here on the ocean ice. Do not watch moving ice. It will mess with your mind and vision. I learned this the hard way many times, falling over when the other ice would stop and I would go in the opposite direction and get so confused that I could not stand up, I made these people laugh constantly.. dumb city boy from Boston!

David J. Eves

New member
It was a simple choice for me to reach.

I was working at a power plant in Everett Ma. The job was 7 miles from my house in Dorchester Ma.

but at the wrong time of day! work started at 6 p.m. and it would take me four hours, stuck in traffic to get to that job.

This is it! I have had it with this way of living, I am headed back to Alaska!
Once I hit that village it was : vidi tavra I saw, that is all. Once I saw, and realized that with the skills I had mastered with a camera and developing color film, that was all I had to see to make up my mind. I have finally arrived.. home sweet frozen home!


Now the question arises.. how ? do you obtain delicious fresh drinking water many miles out on the ocean ice? We melt snow for washing dishes and other needs. Drinking snow is yuk! it has a nasty taste, even when mixed with Tang!

But 750 people are living out here. on this ice pack 18 crews spaced 1/2 3/4 a mile apart. some families stay together but we are spread out along a ten mile stretch of the Ice pack that is land fast. This Ice is dangerous, that is the main reason the tents are so far back. Markers are put up on land and on the ice pack to constanly monitor this ice we are living on for two months or longer.


Hot food many times a day. Each crew has 8 hunters and 3- 4 women or more to do all the chores and cooking at the tent area. At night when the women go to sleep in the tent. A boyer takes over, it is that persons job to maintain the home made wood stove, chop wood, melt snow, make coffee, tea, fill thermoses, and deliver the fluids to the hunters at the edge of the ice.

It is time to go to sleep.. lie down. now hand your lighter and matches to a three year old and go to sleep ! Your in good hands!



Go to a book store (any good one) look for the book Alaska's Arctic, you will see this photo and many more on page 132

This is what a "boyer" does.. out on the ice.. his job is one to keep that home made wood stove (inside the tent) fired up just right.. and it takes a lot of wood.. and "sicpun" seal oil which is extremly flamable,

chopping wood, keeping the fire going, melting snow/ice for water.. ice is for coffee/tea and such.. making the beverages and filling all the thermoses and bring them down to where the hunters are.. (at the edge of the ice) no tents.

gather clean snow, to make water for washing dishes, do the dishes.. make breakfast for the women in the tent.. (3-4).. pregnent women are not allowed down on the ice.. and at certain times of the month they have to leave the ice to go back to the village.. (whales & polar bears) have a very powerful unique sense of smell.. !!!
the "color" red is NOT ALLOWED.. anywhere near the lead opening.. white, sky blue.. but no bright colors.. and .. sssshh!!! no noise..!!!

the "boyers" responsibility EVERY NIGHT is to watch the WIND.. IT CAN SHIFT at any moment and out on the ice so far.. this is extremly dangerous.. watch the ice.. for cracks around the tent area 1/2 mile back from the hunters at the lead.

He is armed with many different types of rifles in case of polar bear attacks !!!

THIS IS A 3 YEAR OLD CHILD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi David,

I'm late to the party, but let me throw my hat in to welcome you! I love the pictures. you must have very interesting stories to tell about how you came to settle there and all your daily life changes to cope eith totally different circumstances and customs!

We're so happy to see your pictures.

What is that the people provide that gets enough money to pay for equipment, Honda's, guns etc?


David J. Eves

New member
Where do they get the $$ ?

Money comes from the usual places, Jobs, but in a place with roughly 75% unemployment, this presents a challenge. And Arts & Crafts fills that void .. Arts & Crafts, Ivory, sewing, doll making, Baleen baskets, trapping furs, sled making, there are just so many different ways and methods to making money in such a tiny place. I pulled all four of my sons out of highschool 3 years ago.
Time to learn how to carve, I told them, Ivory, fossilized ivory... ear-rings, bracelets ! Well I just couldn't believe what happened. LOL WowoW


While walking along the beach in Kotzebue, Clyde Harris noticed something small sticking out of the mud, he kicked it and almost broke his toe. He bent down to grab it, and the land moved ten feet away. He quickly ran home and got a shovel. He was offered $15,000 cash for this, he said NO!.. yes just by walking along the beaches major money can be found, mastadon ivory, Mastadon teeth are very common, Mamoth ivory and of course fossilized walrus ivory.


It is very very easy, to make six figures in less than six months!

Every native is a member of a native owned corporation. Above the arctic circle, two major coroprations exist that pay out a dividend at least once a year. It depends on which corporation

Nana for the Kotzebue sound area, and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation for the entire North Slope.

This year's dividend for ASRC is reported to be 100 dollars per share! coming soon in April

every native in this village (over 750) has at least 100 shares. In other words a family of ten will get 100k! every baby, every person (native) will receive that check soon. IN OTHER WORDS.
THERE IS GOING TO BE over 7 million dollars in this tiny place in just a few weeks!

No sir! you didn't miss the party! ha ha ha.. NOT YET ! lol

Yes Sir! I have some incredible images to fill up many pages, and provide you some startling text that will keep you spell bound with what ACTUALLY goes on up here that just defies all human explanation.

These people do not hunt and kill the bowhead whale., They wait.. for that whale to give himself over to the people. to the captain of its choice! you simply will not believe what I am about to prove to you .. and so many other wonderful things.

Igloo is a word everyone has heard of. But an Iglu is not made out of snow or ice! There are no O's or E's in the Inupaq language.

Iglu = one dwelling place Iglut = 2 dwelling places Igluk = 3+ dwelling places.

An Iglu is constructed using whale bones and sod !


This Iglu once had electricity runniing to it. the service drop is on the left side.


some of these remains are quite large and it is surprising how many people can be comfortably accomodated easily.

David J. Eves

New member
Where does the wood come from

Point Hope is like cape cod upside down almost. and that hook catches major amounts of driftwood all along the 23 miles to Cape Thompson. That wood is gathered, during the summer / fall months to get ready for whaling. It requires one whole year, just to get ready for whaling there is so much to do.


There are literally thousands of rifles, guns and such in this village, and in 25 years I have never seen any accidents, that I am aware of with firearms.

Marian Howell

New member
ahoy David! although i drive the southeast expressway in and out of boston regularly i don't think i'm quite ready to move up your way LOL but it sounds perfect for you! i do admire your choice to stay and photograph. what are the main outlets for your images to reach the rest of the world??

David J. Eves

New member
The southeast Expressway...

and the rest of what I had to work with , on the Boston commons, were photograhped by every one everywhere and I wanted something DIFFERENT, ALASKA had everything I had been searching for, the magnificent beauty. My goal or dream is to have a view.. where I cannot see, ANYTHING man has done! I couldn't find that in Massachusetts.


Up here. it is everywhere, the magnificent splendor of Majesty! Our back yard is larger than most states and some countries. vast empty region, but is it really empty ?? You won't believe what I have to share about this vast empty? region!


My outlets to the world? The internet! Our gallery was open for just a short time 1 year, (2002) just for a market survey. We intend to open a much larger store(s) very soon in various places, throughout
the state. I have sent some ivory bracelets back to Randolph for a friend to show around. He is met with incredible opposition to the art work. They think differently back east!

I flew back to Boston in 83 when my father passed away and I had an album with me. I stayed for 3 1/2 years, so many times when I tried to show my album of Eskiimo images.. people would yell at me.. I don't want to see dead seals.

I assured them there was no such gore in any of my pages. But the attitude is different back there.. extremly judgemental to this free wonderful way of living.. .. off the land and sea and air.

I brought my Eskimo wife back to Boston then, and this will shock and surprise you.

it was 30 degrees ABOVE zero. Wearing her thick Eskimo parky.. she froze, she couldn't take the cold, it was too much for her. This is a woman that has spent her whole life at 50 below zero.

30 above was too cold and she just could not handle it. In Boston, no matter how many clothes you wear or put on, the cold goes right through everthing into your bones.

Up here in Alaska it is a common site in Anchorage to see college students walking around in T-shirts and short-cuts when it is ZERO! Here in Alaska, the cold just GETS ON YOU, It never penetrates! 30 below is a wonderful day.

A typical winter day in the villlage, children play out all day long, it does not matter how cold it is.
and even in very cold weather, at times you see children doing things that just don't make sense.


I am wearing ski pants, bunny boots, fur parky, gloves and beaver hat, I am cold! I notice these three girls and I am wondering HOW ?? can they do this all day long? I step into the photo (lower left) to explain to these girls how to stand, I backed out of the frame, and brought the camera up to compose this image, I had all three girls directly in the center of the viewfinder, I notice that this is wrong composiition and I backed up and moved just a little to the left, THEN I SAW THAT DOG!! where did he come from ? -=[click]=- !

David J. Eves

New member
ah yes The Alaska Permanent Fund

I had just finished reading that article! The fund is safe and it happened last July and was fixed by August. Yes the permanent fund is a nice perk for living in Alaksa.. the amount should be more than what it was last year, I hope.. I want to get back to those $2,000 dividend checks or higher!

Kathy Rappaport

pro member


You are a most welcome addition here! Am throughly enjoying your posts. I have done Tourist Alaska twice and I am sure there will be a 3rd time. I cannot fathom that way of life for me personally, since I am a sunshine girl, but to visit and learn of the culture is one of my favorite things to do.

Thank you for sharing your wealth and beauty of place with us.

David J. Eves

New member
Tragedy in Point Hope ! .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Terrible tragedy occured last Saturday (2-17-07) coming back from the ocean ice.

Head on collision @ high speed 4 wheel ATV honda vs. snowmobile(s)

The sun was blinding and the person on the ATV never saw the snowombiles, returning from camp, trail area.

The vehicles strike. ATV rider goes flying through the air, lands slightly injured.

The front snowmobile, has two people on it. The person in the back. is airborne and hits the other person and vehicle w/ huge bruise / bump on head. The driver James Nashookpuk, always carries his rifle..when driving across the front of his chest. The resulting inertia from the sudden stop, brought that rifle up and forced James' neck back and snapped it. He was brought back to town quickly, lying across the hood of another snowmachine. Sadly, he died 20 minutes later, in the clinic with his family watching! & half the town was there for support! Immediately following this tragic event. Jennie and her children went home and visitors started to show up.. then... THEN.. "this light" and rainbow showed up.. over James' house! for some reason the rainbow didn't show in this image. but the strange light is "visible"!


10 children just lost their dad! Sob. James was a very close good friend of mine for close to 3 decades.

The whaling captain, is devastated, still in shock, BECAUSE HE WAS HOME.. AND SAID TO PAUL TUCKFIELD.. "go down .. and bring them home" ! Paul went.. the rest is history.!

The Captain quit, "whaling is canceled" .. this year. FOR THAT CREW!

How ironic !.. That same captain told my son Mark, to go down and help them that day. I said NO! those words triggered, ?? a feeling ?? and I immediatly shouted NO!!

I am so "thankful" my son listened to my last words to him, and obeyed.

6 - 8 young people have died here in this village in the last 4 years, ALL BECAUSE
THEY DIDN'T listen to & .. obey the LAST thing(s) their parents said to them"

Howard Rock 2004.. His moma said.. go to the store and get me this or that. DO NOT USE THAT SNOWMACHINE.. the throttle sticks.. you go walk.. HE USED the machine.

Pat Stone 2005.. HER momma said.. "baby.. take the van to the store, AND COME RIGHT BACK.. Pat didn't listen.. 20 minutes later she was burned alive in that van.

Rosella Stone is James' Mom.. ! This is the 5th child of hers. she has had to bury!

-=[Whale bone Graveyard]=-

There is just no way I can possibly describe the feeling when walking into this tiny cemetary, and seeing all of those names of over 150 people..THAT I WAS VERY CLOSE TO IN MANY PERSONAL WAYS...and I knew them ALL.. oh so closely!

Death is no stranger in Point Hope!!
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David J. Eves

New member
Whaling is about to start, any day, as soon.. ..

as the wind STOPS.. it blows snow all over town. and life goes on,

as usual, just makes a bit more difficult to see.!


But when the wind stops blowing snow down from the moutains some 80 miles away! It always snows horizontal in the village. Very confusing way to drive in this manner.
but life goes on, same daily routines, just in a much smaller place. But when that wind stops, it is beautiful, wonderfull, Our back yard is larger than some countries and most states!


This is a Cerimonial site that is used once a year in June for whaling festival. The Jaw bones of famous captains in the past mark this site of many thousands of years of tradition.

The smallest set of bones in the arclway of bones is perhaps from a 30 foot whale, the next biggest is from a 40 -60 foot whale, the GIANT ones are perhaps well over a 100 foot whale.
And a an astounding ton per foot.. How did they ever manage that collossial feat from hundreds of years ago?

Here in this world... some things JUST DON'T MAKE Sense.. test your wits..

what is this fence for ? what are we TRYING TO KEEP OUT OF THE VILLAGE ??


We have rarely had any of the past problems we encountered in the village. once this fence was put up!l What are we trying to keep out ??

Ron Morse

New member
I would imagine it is a snow fence like we use here. The state puts them up in the fall and takes them down in the spring to keep the snow from drifting the roads full. Although it snowed yesterday and last night, our snow is almost gone now. I am very anxious to see leaves on the trees and green grass.


Well-known member
... Here in this world... some things JUST DON'T MAKE Sense.. test your wits..

what is this fence for ? what are we TRYING TO KEEP OUT OF THE VILLAGE ??


We have rarely had any of the past problems we encountered in the village. once this fence was put up!l What are we trying to keep out ??

My wild guess would be, polar bears?


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

Thanks for being the bridge to our website!

Your pictures are sp precious and allow us to visit a place we never imagined.


David J. Eves

New member
Lets go out .. .. .. .. to the Ocean Ice.

This where is ALL happens. The entire communtiy moves out here. 18 whaling captains, their crews, and assorted support personel, Umailaq (oo may lick) -[WHALING CAPTAIN]


Driving into the sun, is absolutly blinding, you can't see, it takes hours to just get four miles out, it seems like we have driven 10 miles or more. I feel like I have just finished a tackle football game, I am so sore all over, I can barely walk, I was convinced beyond any shadow of doubt that, all the frozen lenses would be "smashed" or cracked, from the constant crashing and bashing of the sled as we rode over small hills. the machine takes these hills smoothly, but the rider of the sled gets tossed around up and down. EVERYTHING, that the snowmachine "kicks" up.. has only one place to go.. ALL OVER ME! I truely wish it were possible for someone to have taken a picture of me as that sled arrived in camp.

I have developed a unique habit of making these people fall to the ground in utter hysterical uncontrollable laughter!.. .. .. .."constantly!"

MIDNIGHT IN MAY .. .. .. HOORAY ! no more darkness, till the end of August!


The Umailq - Jake Koonuk - Whaling Captain - Scanning, waiting, watching, waiting, watching, for weeks.. .. .. 24/7 ? (don't these people ever sleep?).. .. NO!

constantly being exposed to the powerful rays of the sun, 24 hours a day, "flips a switch" in your body, your becoming "solar powered", you require little if any sleep.

Every three days of so (LOL) you merely lean back on that sled and rest/doze/sleep, for a short "cat-nap" so to speak. (chuckle).. ha ha.. This place is a "different planet".


The "stuffed" seal skin has "air" in it. Avataqpak (ah vah tuck puck) it is used in the exact same manner that you use a "bobber" or float when fishing!

There is 200 feet of rope, attached to that "float".

when the captain harpoons that whale, avataqpak is thown overboard along with rope,
if there is enough time.
if there is no time.. #2 person in that umiaq, has the responsibility to make sure that himself and the captain don't get "dragged" out of the umiaq into that water which would spell instant death.

EACH CAPTAIN, has his own personality, and the whale copies that captian's personality, and so does the "weather"! ?????

They must wait.. .. for the whale, to give itself over, to the Captain, of its CHOICE.

This is difficult to explain, the IMPOSSIBLE for you to UNDERSTAND, but I will do my best, to explain this in a simple manner, based on what I have been taught and WHAT I have experienced.


A whale can easily outswim this umiaq, There is no question about that. A whale has great eyesight and hearing abilities. I have PROOF of that.

OUTon the ocean ice, people are constantly telling me, quit yelling. (I am speaking in a what I consider a normal voice.) ssshh! oh ok.!
Groing up in a big city Boston, ths noise is something we are used to, and we grow accustomed to speaking over that noise. Out here there is only the sound of the wind, and the ice.

In a big city, the furthest your capable of seeing and "training" your eyes for, is to look across the street!

Out on the Ocean ice. 8 miles is the "training method" and area. The eyesight of these people cannot be put into mere words. They can see and hear 10000 times of our capabilities!

THE FENCE: is yes ! a snow fence.. to keep the snow OUT OF THE VILLAGE and it works perfectlly.!!

Before that fence was put in, it was a COMMON request, to hear someone over the cb radio saying, HELP! we cannot get OUT OF OUR HOUSE..in other words, their house was covered over, buried in a huge snow drift, 30 - 40 feet tall.
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David J. Eves

New member
Irma Oktollik

Is the woman (umaliq) Whaling Captain's Wife, who told me, about the whale, (she is nutz) was my first impression when she said.. We wait, for the whale to GIVE ITSELF over to the captain of its choice. There are Captains here. that never catch a whale, because of their personality!


Out on the Ocean ice, The captain is the BOSS, The Umaliq tells the Captain, where to set every thing up. She is the boss over all..The Tent area is her domain, the ice is her domain, she shows the Captain where to set up HER umiaq. Oh yes! if need be, she is in that umiaq also, if needed!
Paddling is something you can't even imagine, the pain, the numbness, of having to continue, despite how much your arms hurt and are cramped. paddling sometimes for days! ! ! !

Not every whale will give itself up, in the same manner, This year it is warm Irma told me, This is Joe Frankson's weather, she continued.. when Joe receives a whale, it is always close, right at his camp, no noise, sudden, quick and it is over, very quickly.
THEN the WIND will come screaming in and the TEMPERATURE will drop 100 mph & 100 degrees. INSTANLY at the same time. As soon as that whale dies.


I am thinking.. .. (this can't be true).. so I setup my camera at Joe Frankson's camp, in back of his crew high up on a pressure ridge, A friend of mine was visiting from Boston,
we were playing chess ! ha ha ! and STUPID ME.. didn't notice.. Joe's crew silenty enter the water, and we hear BOOM ! I look up, only to see a motionless umiaq in the water, and a whale sitting beside Joes umiaq, still, motionless.. ... .. dead !

Then.. .. .. the wind and temperature both did EXACTLY what Irma said they would do.
and we ran, as fast as we could, to get clothes, more clothes on, OH MY GOSH.. did it get cold, and violently windy like I have never seen, this was a hurricane!

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
And then? Do they take out the whiskey the beer or some home-made brew?

Are there songs?

Also do you have pics of the dead whale and the landing of this massive animal?

Are there limits to how many whales can be killed?


David J. Eves

New member
Whaling is a time of serious work,

Very little if any drinking is done out on the ocean ice. It is far too dangerous out here, you must have your wits about you at all times, ANYTHING can and does happen out here. Many stories of hunters getting caught on the wrong side of the ice, never to be seen again, A very scant few have survived such a dreaded fate, and have chilling tales to tell of their rescuse(s) .

A bowhead whale weighs an incredible TON PER FOOT. now, we have 48 tons here, to get upon the ocean ice, at the time this whale was caught, there were only 450 people in Point Hope, .. and it took everyone, to pull that massive beast upon the ice. 17 grueling hours of very hard work,



ENOUGH TO FEED 1/2 THE VILLAGE FOR A FEW WEEKS..Is there a quota or limit to how many whales they can hunt, catch? Oh yes, very strict quota system, set by INTERNATIONAL whaling commission.

We now play baseball..! 3 strikes and your out! go home you can't eat !
The villages are all under strict quota systems and these people cannot eat the food they need to survive.


The lip has been taken off to expose the baleen, hundreds of strips of ballen in a bowhead whale, they sift the plankton from the ocean water.



David J. Eves

New member
This is hard work and very dangerous, and accidents happen!


In Barrow Ak. 1991 (no pic's) Two women got killed, when the block & tackle broke loose.

they were wanred to move back and get out of the way. They didn't listen, bodies removed, mess cleaned up, and back to work. this is hard serious work to pull a massive beast such as this by pure man power alone!. The ice kept breaking, it couldn't hold the massive weight of the whale, we had to take tons of maktak off the whale, before we could get it upon the ice safely.


Not one bit is wasted, nothing is left behind. The skull goes back into the ocean for a new whale to grow from. Then the singing starts !!! the dancing out on the icel.!!
There is great joy when a whale is caught. Whaling festival is in June, a three day event, vistors from around the world show up for this 3 days of non stop activites.


David J. Eves

New member
Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission

was having a meeting in Barrow, I was trying to melt snow to get this film developed and make an album to give to this meeting so they would have a visual aid, so that people who are makinig these decisions to take away their aboriginal rights, can see or experience in some small way or manner, what is involved.. .. .. just to eat!

I flew up to Barrow alaska for this 'CLOSED" meeting for whaling captains only. Even if you are an Eskimo you CANNOT attend this meeting. This is for whaling captains only.

The morning of the meeting, I am in Barrow, 9 months work has just been finished, working literally around the clock to get this prepared and as I am walking down the street in Barrow to TRY, and get my photographs into this meeting, I hit a piece of ice and slipped, and went completlly horizontal. the album flew out of my hand(s) and came crashing down in a puddle of mud and both covers were ripped off.

The pages of the album are scattered all over the place, 50 pages, 100 11 x 14's all ruined, I just sat there and cried! I got up and managed to put the pages and album back together but everthing was covered in mud.

This is how I looked and what I had in my hand when I tried to enter this closed meeting. They threw me out!

Outside I cleaned up a littlell bit as much as possible and cleaned the album and tried to enter again. Again they came at me physicallly and grabbed me and threw me out.

I wasn't taking NO, for an answer and I turned around and attempted to walk back in. Just as they are getting ready to grab me for the THIRD TIME. I yelled "you need these photographs" and I opened the album.

I was invited in and allowed to adress the entire group of people for 1/2 hour.

I told them of my accident and assured them upon my arrival back in Point Hope , a new identical album would be sent via express mail. two days later I received this handsome letter.


Eskimo whalers must be allowed to maintain their rights to subsist and feed their villages. Federal census takers here in the village counted over 15,000 whales during a one month period here in 1982. The elders laughed at that figure of only that which was seen in one spot for a month only. The true figure is over 200,000 whales!