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

David J. Eves

New member
Well to tell the truth .. .. ..

I wasn't aware of that name in Kotzebue when we lived there two years ago.. the only photographer in town to my knowledge was Greg G xxxxxxx ! And he closed his studio, but he and his wife still live there. But that is all I know about that ! He had a gallery in the Nulukvik hotel but that closed. I have viewed his work and it is on sale at the coffee shop by the airport. Nah! he isn't making any money with those wildlife and senic photographs at all.


My daughter Keziah Age 5 Sony 4 mega pixel ! WowoW !

One of my specialties is / was : taking photos of complete strangers unawares and then selling them to complete strangers !

Color Posterization was something that grabbed me very hard. I was fascinated with this process. I have to learn how to do this digitally.

But in essence: take any photo and make a high contrast black & white positive
From that positive using Litho film of very high contrast I would make 10 masks or stncils and then make opposites of those ten.

Having all the ten negatives and ten positives all lined up and numbered I would combine Negative 1 with positive 2 and using that "registered" aligned mask, Pass colored light through that set for X amount of seconds, then use negative #2 and positive #3 for the next set. and so on and so forth until the stencilds or masks had all been used up.

The final image would resemble something that Leroy Neiman would create just using color(s) only

Fascinating process to create masterpieces. Finding the right image is the harest part.

David J. Eves

New member
I can't wait to show you this photograph !

Two different polar bear attacks, each with "good " endings.. well almost, :eek:

Unfortunately, there are no images, yet ! soon to come on Gus Kowanna's condition w/ documentary photo ! You will not believe this, but first.

This morning 4-8 07 - 8:30 a.m. We hear over the VHF, dogs barking and the radio sounds, There is a polar bear at the snow fence in the middle of town, ( I am t he closest house to this location) we are in bed, just begining to wake up.
My son Jesse jumps up into his pants/shoes and grabs a rifle and heads out the door, he was so disapointed when I called him back. NO !
Let someone else take the bear down, IF IT PROVES TO BE NECESSARY.

Our first priority is to get that bear out of town, if possible.. .. if not, then that bear MUST BE TAKEN DOWN, the bear is trying to enter a house, we tried scaring it away, that would not work, there are too many people out and about in the village including young children, This bear has to be stopped and it was. Mario Cassados got his very first polar bear.

Out on the ocean ice, Gus Kowwanna is coming out of the tent, and much to his surprise, there is a huge polar bear just standing there.

Gus ran over and grabbed his new rifle, (he was warned about buying this rifle) He didn't listen. ) :confused:

A brand new Wetherbe 300 Magum ? He was also told, this is way too powerful a rifle Gus.. it is too much, I want to put a new scope on it, everyone told him NO! Gus didn't listen.. .. .. . :(

Gus is 16 years young @ about 140 pounds !!

He raised that rifle and took the shot, He got A HUGE PUNCH IN THE EYE from that scope and the bear is coming after him, he is hurting bad, but he can't think about the pain, he uses the bolt action and loads a bullet, takes careful aim and holds the rifle as tight as he can and wham, he gets socked in the same eye again, and he sees that .. .. the bear is still coming after him, he has NO CHOICE. he loads another bullet in the chamber, cool, calm, and INTENSE PAIN, he braced himself and took that third shot,.. .. he did not get hit in the eye this time, .. .. the bear is down and dead! But we hope to have a picture of his "face" here soon!
you will not believe this one bit ! ANYTHING can happen here in the Arctic, @ anytime,.. .. just by walking out of a tent.!:cool:

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
3 Shots to take the bear down! Imagine David if the kid had listened and purchased a lighter rifle!

Stay safe!


David J. Eves

New member
The power of the rifle is not important

It is a well placed shot in the ear, a .22 can drop a polar bear with one shot.

I have just heard that there are pictures available on the polar bear that entered town, many people had the chance to take this bear down but didn't want to spend the time to do all the work, 11 foot huge bear, rather skinny for its size. and it had a large tumor in its stomach.

I am trying my best to have a copy(s) e-mailed to me, I hope I am successful in posting just the images of the bear, walking through the town. before not after!

David J. Eves

New member
Gus is ok.. and back out on the ice.

By the time I got to see him, his face was not all that bad, not bad enough to take a pic.

What are you going to use for a rifle now gus.??? ha ha ha.. NOT THAT THING, HE LAUGHED, I learned my lesson well.. I will just stick to my .22 !

Good choice Gus !

Last year we traded a brand new Browning, bolt action 338 with Liepold scope, it was too powerful for us. value $1,500 we traded it to JJ Russell Lane, it wasn't long before Russell got rid of that rifle also..TOO POWERFUL, !


Rozella (tribal doctor) and I are traveling over to the old town site to view some ruins, We came along this Snowowl (upik) caught in a trap which is meant for "foxes" (four legged type). Rosella laughs,, Eskimo chicken, and picks up a big log, WHOMP !

come on over for supper she says ! er um, and I am trying to think of an excuse to say something else and she notices the look on my face and bursts into uncontrollable laughter.

David J. Eves

New member
My latest, taken last week of the world famous whale bone graveyard, it is the only one in the world


When the snow melts next month, I will take this exact same shot at this angle and you will not believe how many grave markers are under that snow. Over 150 close friends of mine are buried here, Gasp ! why am I still alive?

Some how, someway I have survived 5 heart attacks and 3 strokes. Last stroke was in 2003 I lost 85 % of my eye sight,

I am so happy to say I have had it all restored. amazing what prayer can do in an isolated village so far away from everything.

be back soon with more, much more.

David J. Eves

New member
Hello again,

So to review just a bit of what you have seen so far... Whaling (April - May).
Whaling Festival, (June)
July is just as exciting starting off with 4th of July parade and games and activities that last the entire day far into the evening, ending at Midnight! Then the "dancing" begins for hours! These people know how to have fun and celebrate.
Now although this is July, it is not HOT.. well yes it is 30 degrees with an ever present North Wind but it is too warm for what we are comfortable with. The following images of this season speak for themselves,.. sorta.. !!




Deva Stone, sob, cry. A very close friend, sob. I honestly can't understand how her Momma can possibly get up, to face the "day" each day. SOB. CRY!
Rosella Stone is her momma, and I have been very close to Rosella since 1981, I don't know how this woman can wake up, and smile. She has buried.. ..
six of her Children ! Sob, all very close close personal friend of mine and I grieve so much to think about these six individuals that I was so so close to.
Rosella Stone is a miracle worker here in the village, she hs gifted with "healing hands" she is a tribal doctor. I could litlerally spend hours telling you about tribal doctors and what they can achieve that defies all of what we think we know about modern medicine. Perhaps the most famous Tribal Doctor ever was Della Keats from Kotzeube, she is a lengend here in the Arctic.
Deva & Her Husband Ned Weber @ whaling festival.

Ned & Deva had a daughter, Rose-ann. She was adopted by Rossella.
Rose-Ann was over my house, lots, she was very interested in my youngest son Khristopher, she was 18, My sons, especially Khristopher, would teach her how to make Ivory bracelets, she was interested in learning how to carve Ivory and make extra money as she had no job. Khris is 19. I CONSTANTLYkept telling Rose-Anne.. (half-pint) was my "nickname for her as she was very tiny. I constantly harped and preached to her, DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL I have seen too many people die up here over that deadly filthy vain vice. I do not drink alcohol only because I "saw" too much when I was growing up as a teenager.
RoseAnne is gone now, sob.. .. .. 18 years young, went to a PARTY. (gosh how I hate that word). went to a party and died when she passed out from too much alcohol and choked on her vomit.!!! My son was devastated !! When he heard the news.. .. here in Barrow !!! SOB, how many people have died up here in this tiny village from Alcohol !
I constantly preach to my 4 sons, the dangers of parties & alcohol. I am serious when I say, I have told my sons, you are not leaving home, until your 40 !!!! Your not going to mess up your life @ the age of 18 or 22 like so many young adults do, married and divorced paying child support before they even have a chance to experience the fullness of joy in life.

David J. Eves

New member
Lets look, from the air and see, up close and personal what is going on up here in this vast huge unexplored & UN-inhabited area for all practical purposes.
Leaving Pt. Hope.. .. bye bye !!


A few minutes into the flight we pass the Kupak river..

Oh .. I smile BIG as I see and remember what happend to me here. TOTALLY PREPOSTEROUS!

My Experience here !

Lets take a trip and explore some of the land here in the Arctic.
some of what I am about to tell you will seem preposterous, but just ask ANY PERSON that lives in any village from
Nome clear up to Barrow, all of the villages of the entire North Slope Region, will tell you that what I am about to TRY AND EXPLAIN is "true". Do I have photos ? not yet, but working on it, there has to be a way to prove this.
with recent giant advances in technology I am sure it will become possible to "catch" & record proof of the Ignaugalurauks.. .. The Little People, that live underground, and in caves here above the Arctic circle.
This is no legend, or folklore, as new sightings are prevelant constantly, each and every year.!!
I will tell you stories and provide photographs of all that "can be seen" in this vast huge expanse of area of several hundred thousand of square miles. THINGS HAPPEN OUT HERE.. .. ... ... that just do not make sense!!
For instance.. ha ha.. you are NOT GOING TO BELIEVE WHAT I AM ABOUT TO EXPLAIN.. you have to be here to experience
these happenings, no matter what I type, you will be very skeptical and doubtful ONLY because.. you know better, this does not happen where YOU LIVE.
therefore: ??

Lets start.. .. at the beginning so you have a better understanding of what is going on up here.. .. frequently, reports abound.. .. in each and every village!!
This is a vast area we are talking about in square miles.
roughly the size of ALL the New England STATES put together.. .. EMPTY !!
Ok.. nOW A Long TIME before the whaling companies arrived .. .. .. The Ingnakalaurak's LIVED AMONG the people of Point Hope.
One of their young was eaten by a dog.. .. and they moved out of the village. These people are small, 3-4 feet in height!
They live the ol ways, to this very day, dressed in caribou skins. They still hunt with bow & arrow. They live underground, and in caves all throughout this vast area.
They possess super human qualities, that you WILL NEVER BELIEVE:
They are incredibly strong and they can run, incredibly fast.. they sneak around the villages "stealing food".
When any hunter, shoots and kills a caribou, it requires two adult Inupiaq men to lift that caribou to place on a sled. It only takes ONE Ingnakalaurak to pick one up ...........and RUN WITH IT. Over his head (person carrying animal) running, with a dead caribou. Bush Pilots have reported seeing caribou.. moving, quickly, in a horizontal position
Well, lets stop right here and let me extend an invitation to you. Anyone, come on up here, talk to the bush pilots.
They will tell you.. what they have seen with their own eyes, but you will not believe them, becuase, YOU KNOW BETTER. even though you have never been up here or heard of this before.
Come on up !! See and experience it for yourself.

good. I have no need to lie or exagerate about any of what goes on up here. I have no problem with the truth however I do have a huge problem with Liars and phoneies. that is why I stay up here in the Arctic.. Heaven on Earth. IMHO.
Luke Koonuk Jr. was recently, out hunting, many miles from Point Hope, Imagine this, you travel hundreds of miles into a vast empty area, Luke's 4 wheel honda was stuck in the mud. He had tried and tried and tried to lift, move or budge it to get it out of the ruts to get free. He was exhausted bent over huffing and puffing, Exausted, bent over,.. .. suddenly out of the corner of his eye he sees,.............His honda rise in the air and come bouncing down on firmer ground and somethibng, a blur, was running away.
When ANY HUNTER IS LOST.. .. .. stuck. .. .. in trouble.. these people appear out of no where to assist and wisk away..Gone in a flash.
TOO MANY people up here have had too many experiences,.. .. !! I could go on and on with stories of what goes on up here and I promise to tell .. all I have experienced during my almost 3 decades of living among the Inupiaq peoples.

Hunters, experienced hunters often talk about caribou that they have shot & killed. Dead. & it disappears before they reach it.
Make no mistake, these people are very good in what they do, they are perhaps the best hunters in the world.
Jump on a 4 wheel honda or a snowmobile, and go 200 miles out into this empty region.....@ 50 below zero and stay out there for weeks... YOu see a caribou and shoot it, it falls down, motionless, they wait and watch. have a smoke. wait and watch. We do not waste time out here, driving. gas is too expensive. well over 5,00 per gallon for years up here.
That caribou is dead, said Joe Oktillik, I got on my machine and drove over those hills,. and ?? where is it? I know this is the spot, there is no blood anyplace, no tracks to the left or the right and no tracks going straight ahead...The last place I looked Joe said.. .. was up ! Caribou is gone, no tracks?

This happens a lot up here.

I am not going to waste time here tring to convince anyone. Come on up.. .. go out there.;. and see what happens. I can be your guide. Or connect you to a reputable source. The best time to come on up here, is in June during whaling festival, in Barrow; I live here now, and I am inviting any and all that wish to see, experience, life in the arctic. Although my house is small, I can comfortably fit 4 people @ any time. I have two spare rooms in my two story house here in Barrow Alaska. There are 5 adults living in this toasty warm house and two rooms to spare for any who wish to visit the Arctic @ the top of the world in Barrow. There are also a few hotels in town, but they do not offer free home cooked meals,5 times per day if necessary !!!
So lets talk about "what goes on up here in the arctic... ... ...
there is so much more to come.!!!
This is ground zero, for finding fossil ivory, the best in the state because of the constantly changing swift currents, which are controlled by the strong winds

This one of the main beaches we hunt for fossil ivory, located some 30 miles north of the village. This is one of the great hot spots for ivory due to the swift, strong, changing currents in this area. May - Sept, people live out here for weeks on end, digging, walking, moving huge rocks, climbing cliffs and searching high and low.
The end of August in one area, this fossil ivory floats up and along the beach @ midnight. That is the best time to sit and wait and watch, People stay out here, waiting for an East wind to kick up the surf, and in storms people are out, waiting watching, You can "hear" the ivory in the waves, that distinctive "ping" as gravel hits the ivory as it is tumbling in the waves, some people have tied ropes to their waist and are secured as they run into the waves to "fetch" a piece that is seen. Some of these "baseball" bat size fossil tusks fetch many thousands of dollars when sold. The darker the ivory is, the more valuable it is. Black Ivory is said to be 10,000 years old, for it to achieve that state of absorbing all of the elements of the sea, Point Hope has the most dramatic fossil Ivory that I have seen any place. In Barrow the fossil ivory is different. because it just "sits" in the sand, the patterns are dull instead of sharp, dark contrasting patterns, such as we find here in Point Hope. But non-the-less, fossil ivory is a way of life up here. After any storm, get out on your honda or just walk the shoreline, put in the time.. .. and you will find it. I guarantee you it will sell in less than a new york second and that is pretty fast !@!

David J. Eves

New member
After flying for an hour an a half, we come across the next village, Point Lay,
250 people, if that, Live in this village.

Very few jobs in such a tiny village, and people have to provide a way / manner in which to live without having a "job". What are the other choices ? Hunt, fish, for food, Arts & Crafts, for cash ! The Barge has arrived, which is an annual event that all villages depend upon. Seattle - Top of the World with stops in each village usually lasting 3-5 days to unload the materials needed to survive through the next winter.

The don't go whaling in Pt. Lay, too far out, too much work, they do hunt beluga whales & walrus & plents of "fish" of all types, but for whaling, different people travel to different villages to take part in which is undoublty the best two months of the year. Living out on the ocean ice .. .. just can't be put into words, I can't. The rush, the excitement, another world, another planet ! HIGH IN THE ARCTIC .. .. !!
After another 1 1/2 hours we come upon the village of Wainwright, Population about 650. Nothing else exists upon the land between these villages for "human type" cities, settlements. this vast region is empty. ?? ha ha ha !

People, ?? have been spotted, observed, in all of these village areas, during the winter time, when it is dark out, & even when "light" out, as was reported by many individuals one July in 1988. It was about 2:a.m. in the moring, sun is bright and just like 2 in the afternoon in the summer, nice and bright.
3 different individuals from three different homes, looked out their kitchen window, toward.. Kamaqtoak "this was their view"

this image and the snow fence way off to the left side, This event took place between the 2 large whale bones and the snow fence. I must admit when I first heard this.. from a close friend, I did not beieve it one bit, then another person from a different house told me the same story, I still did not believe. Then a person who witnessed this told me what he had seen.. I was shocked, astounded and my mouth was hanging wide open, only because this person was not an Eskimo.
I had known him for many years, and we spoke quite often and I was amazed at his articulate speech & intelligence, He was very well educated in California.
When Joe told me this story the hair stood right up on the back of my neck.
This was a different Joe, 800 miles away, near Nome. Joe Garney, He has been on television on the history channel and I have met him in person and we spoke for over 4 hours, whew.
But Joe Cassados in Pt. Hope was telling me what he saw during the daylight hours. Something black, darker than black, was "spooked" behind the snowfence, looking, agitated, scared. He darted out from behind the snow fence and ran to the bones @ Kamaktauk. He is scared, hyper-active, peeking from out behind the big bone, looking in all directions scared, This "blacker than black" figure is noticeably very afraid of "something' ?
Then this figure all "black" - blacker than black. darted out from behind the bones and started to run back towards the snowfence. STOPPED. half way... and just a figure skater will spin, on the ice... this figure began to spin,.. ... on the dry tundra,...
and went down, down, down, clear out of sight !
Joe Garney in a small village near Nome Alaska tells a story much similiar of blacker than black figure with red eyes.. walking acrouss the tundra as the figure is going down down .. just like it is walking down "invisible stairs".
Quite a few sightings in the last couple of years in Point Hope of these red eyed figures, Darting quickly under a house, and disappearing.

One particular hunting cabin outside of the village near some very old graves, this cabin had to be burned down and destroyed. Stranger than strange events took place on a very regular basis here. Witnessed by too many people from Pt.Hope reported, hearing someone knocking on the door, Faces in windows when no one else was around. Objects flying through the air inside of the house. This house was burned down because of the repeated freaky events that took place on a regular basis.

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi David,

This is amazing stuff! The last picture. Could you show 100% portions of the figures as I'd like to see more of this! I have difficulty of defining figures.

Even dreaming of visiting! I have to see what the airfare is.


David J. Eves

New member
not sure about which image your speaking about. right click on image go to properties and the file name is there.

Plane fares. Alaska is ridiculous for air fare. You can fly aound the world for what it cost to fly in this state.

Once you get to Anchorage or Fairbanks, then it is a $ 400 one way .. to Barrow. to fly to Ponit Hope from Barrow 400 bucks.

To fly from Anchorage to Point Hope is Alaska Airlines or Frontier Air.

Alaska Airlines is 325 from Anch - Kotzebue. then a buck a mile to reach Point Hope on Bering Air or Frontier air Kotz - Point Hope 40 minutes @ 180 bux !! one way.

Unfortunately these images are not the size I had hoped for:
and thus the "english" is difficult to read. so for those who can't understand the Inupiaq words (chuckle) I will
post the english translation below :

Though the environment is harsh and cold, our ancestors learned to live with warmth, kindness, caring and


The Iñupiaq way is to think positive, act positive, speak positive and live positive.


Our Elders model our traditions and ways of being. They are a light of hope to younger generations.
May we treat each other as our Elders have taught us.


Together we have an awesome power to accomplish anything

David J. Eves

New member

Indeed, laughter is the best medicine!


It is amazing how sharing works. Your acts of giving always come back.


As Iñupiaq people we believe in knowing who we are and how we are related to one another. Our families bind us


"With our language we have an identity. It helps us to find out who we are in our mind and in our heart."
Lee Barger, 1986 Iñupiat Language Convention.

David J. Eves

New member

Reverence for the land, sea and animals is the foundation of our hunting traditions.


Our Creator gave us the gift of our surroundings.
Those before us placed ultimate importance on respecting this magnificent gift for their future generations.


Our hearts command we act on goodness. Expect no reward in return. This is part of our cultural fiber.


We know the power of prayer. We are a spiritual people.

If you wish a more intimate view and knowledege of these people(s).
Please visit : And Join ! This is in the beginning stages, the children of all the villages will be pluged in here as well as all the artists of the entire North Slope Borough Region

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

These are beautiful sentiments and precious images. I would hope these would represent everyone on our planet and then this would be a better place.

How do we translate these feelings and respects for each other to huge 21st century populations? Some cultures breed like rabbits, consuming the landscape a self-perpetuating poverty. Others want to accumulate material goods, rights to land and fame with no consicence. Worse all believe they will earn a guaranteed place in heaven!


David J. Eves

New member
Well I am so confused now with all that is happening on this planet. I am seriously thinking of heading to the top of greenland.

Time will tell.

David J. Eves

New member
TOP OF THE WORLD - Barrow Alaska

Hello Hello from the land of the Eskimo - in Barrow TOP of the WORLD.
Here is perhaps the most well known site in the entire village, The Arch of the two Jaw bones from a Bowhead Whale.

But these were put here, not by the people of Barrow.. .. People of Point Hope came up here to show and help them how to do this in the ways of Tikigaq ! in 1964.
An Elder informed me of this little tidbit of info about the Arctic. Ron Oviok from Point Hope. He was my former landlord in Point Hope, In one of the many different homes have rented in the village.
Its that time of year again, it is time to go whaling.. new skins need to be put on those umiaq frames !! Clean skins or the whale will not give up its gift to the hunter of its choice.
New skins are hanging, drying in the wind. To stretch and stretch and sewn together to cover that wooden frame.

These are thousands of years of age old traditions that must be strictly adhered to. The whale can see, hear, smell. They know the personality of that hunter. They know his umiaq each and every year, the same whales with the same hunters in the same umiaq. Whales are SMART. they will only give up the sacrifice to the hunter of its choice.

Everyone has had a whole year to get ready. That Captain must spend many thousands of dollars to feed his crew and provide the supplies, ammuntion, meals for 8 hunters many times each day. There is lots of very difficult hard work to do out on that ice. If you want a much closer view of Barrow by the best there ever was up here. Bill Hess is most respected person up here. He lives in Wassilla but has made many trips to Barrow in his own private plane. The Gift of the Whale by Bill Hess - a MUST READ ! that will keep you utterly spell bound. I now know how you feel when you read this thread. I felt the excitment all over me reading his exceptional book 289 pages with oodles & oodles of fascinating images that had me breathless page after page. (Gasp !!)
I was shocked .. .when I found out, we each began our quest in the same year. In fact when he was in Point Hope in 82,after the hunt I was in the darkroom processing all this film, we have never met. but his name is a 'legend' and well respected at that.
We have spoken on the phone years ago, But this book is wonderful. and he verifies many of the stories and customs that I have written about. I felt like I was beside him the whole time. I will read - reread and read that book many times. The rush was incredible !!

David J. Eves

New member
PROOF ................ of the little people !!

I know it is difficult to believe or even understand. .how little people can live underground in the Arctic, and posess super human strength. they live the old ways, still today using bow & arrow to hunt !

It doesn't matter which village you visit.. the stories abound. go out there in the middle of no where. hundreds of square miles of open nothing.. !! Very wierd things happen here.


Whaling Festival date: Point Hope - June 15 - 17 EVERY ONE IS INVITED !!

BARROW - Last week of June !!

David J. Eves

New member
Children. fascinating subjects for sure

I just love to photograph the inquisitivness of small children. This 11/2 year old, is amazed, she is gazing at the first white man she has ever seen.

Eye See YOU !!! Even though it is warm out, Parky's are still worn to carry children, to protect them from the wind. A belt is used to allow that child to sit and fall asleep. Much protection is available to block that strong wind. Ear infections are very common. always keep your ears covered !!


David J. Eves

New member
Governor Palin visits Barrow !

Yes it is true. The Governor of the State of Alaska is on the blanket, she is pregnant so they had to be gentle ! Go Sarah go !! The weather was perfect, a most spectacular day indeed. Up she went, just a few feet. Into the air and back down safely. The crowd around her was massive, it was dificult to even begin to get close to where she was, Immediatly upon her arrival she was swarmed from all directions. This brilliant woman has done something no other governor in the U.S. has ever attained .. 86% approval rating ! That is unheard of .. .. .. in any state by any governor ever !! That was just the most wonderful news item to hear over the television on the news !! I stood up and applauded !! Its about time we have someone who knows the importance of telling and speaking the truth. I am so sick of having to put up with people that choose to lie, to impress others

It is no easy task to maintain your balance when that blanket is moving up and down, learning how to walk the blanket takes much practice. Governor Palin exhibited her true skills in her first attempt at nalakutaq !!Bending her knees when she landed prevented her from falling over. Go show Governor !! Atta Girl !!


The crowd was pressed on all sides, people wanting to get close to this incredible woman, who has shown the people of Alaska that she truely cares about the people of this Great State of Alaska.


Oops, she sees me, !!! It is obvious !! - We had a good quick chat and a hearty laugh !!
Now for some of the not so common blanket toss !!


No I am not going to try that ... ...

David J. Eves

New member
Whaling Festival In Barrow

Nope I am not going to attempt that !


IN Barrow, during blanket toss, candy is thrown, and it is for the children of the village that are present at the sides of the blanket. In Point Hope, the tradition is totally different and with meaning ! Candy that is thrown, money, furs, and any other 'gifts', are for the 'elders' only !! Fierce competition is witnessed as the oldest women in the village, compete with one another to grab that prize. women in their 80's and up, running, jumping, diving head first into that gravel to claim their prize. A person only has to witness this once, to see how much different Barrow is from Point Hope in celebrating its culture of many thousands of years.
Blanket toss had its origns down at the lead opening FOR MANY THOUSANDS OF YEARS for one purpose and one purpose ONLY !! Hunters would toss a hunter or captain into the air, for only one reason, to see if any animals are migrating through the lead opening ! that was the only purpose ! Everyone out on that ice pack is well aware of the wind and the dangers it presents, As long as that wind (Point Hope) is from the North, (prevailing wind), Life out on the ice continues day to day. No wind ? same situation applies, but everyone is instantly aware of what that can mean or represent. A change is coming.. .. if the North wind continues then all is well.. THE ONLY time, people 'killigvaq' (evacuate the ice in mass panic) is when that wind shifts to south wind. The North Slope Borough published a book in the early 80's, everyone in each village received a copy of this thick blue book. It was published by the 7 sisters - The common name for the Oil companies! this expression is heard all over the place in Prudhoe Bay. Back to the book, I am not able to correctly spell the name of that book, Puiiwiichaq But it was in this book that elders of all villages told stories of long ago, and it was in this book that I read Dina Frankson (Point Hope) tell of when she was out on the ice and a south wind would arrive, they would take a new born child and strip that child of all clothing and hold that child into the wind and move the child in the direction they NEEDED the wind to change so they could stay out there, and hunt for food !!
Again Point Hope is way different from Barrow and as such I will present it in both views.. In Point Hope, the entire community of 700 people head out to the ocean to live on that ice pack for the entire two months. In Barrow a very small portion of the community is directly involved in the activities out on the ocean ice.


Landing correctly is not as easy as it might appear, candy is still flying all over the place from some of the pieces landing on the blanket itself. Each time that blanket is raised, the candy and the person on the blanket go high into the air. In Point Hope, only a woman that has given birth to her first born may get on the blanket to throw 'gifts' to the elders !!


Form, and laughter are the other aspects of blanket toss. what posture or position can you achieve during those 2 seconds in the air ?? Each person has their own unique style of jumping, and what to do once you are airborne.


Award winning form, of walking in the air, is very difficult to achieve. Much skill and practice is the only way to gain these skills. This is not like jumping on a trampoline. Nalakutaq is all together different !

David J. Eves

New member

Two successfull crews are honored, two huge cakes, Lots of dessert !! Yummy !


Lillian Lane (Johnson) from Point Hope sings an Inupiat song and recites a poem. There are always quite a few people here in Barrow from the village of Point Hope. These people in all of these villages are very close to each other no matter which village ! In such a vast area you would not think it possible for the different vilages to be in constant communication with each other but through the VHF radio(s) and the FM radio (KBRW) the whole region is UNITED as ONE. We use airplanes in the same manner you use automobiles !! We constantly fly.. to different villages & different cities - i.e. Fairbanks & Anchorage are the two popular destinations
INUPIAQ VALUES are what keeps these people so closely knit ! It is sad that other people and cultures do not believe and act in this manner.

David J. Eves

New member
Barrow Alaska - October 22nd - NOON !!


Yeth !! It is precisely 12: noon !! two weeks ago, we went Fall Whaling in Barrow,

this is one week hunt, the quota was 14 whales, 7 Were successfully harvested, although the crew we were on did not receive a whale, we did assist other crews, and received 'shares"

Fall Whaling in Barrow Alaska - Top of the world.
Last year fall whaling started on October 4th and this year it was the same.
Here are a few images of what happened during the first three days.

Fredrick Brower is the whaling captain for the crew we are on.


At first light we were ready to go.. gear is all packed and we head out to the beach to launch the boat.
Fall whaling is much different than spring whaling. In the spring time April - May we are living out on the ocean ice and using skin boats.
Fall whaling uses the big boats with massive horsepower to tow a whale, and you might remember that a bowhead whale weighs an amazing TON per foot !!
George Ahmoakaq has the largest boat in town with twin 350 horse outboard engines. He can easily tow two whales with his powerful craft.



David J. Eves

New member

The captain whose crew we are on, broke down, many miles out to sea, Search & Rescue had to be called, they came out to tow us back to the village where repairs were made and then back out to sea.



Here is where we assisted another crew, to help with the work of taking the flippers and flukes off . The whale is always towed backwards, we ran into major difficulty which will be obvious in the next set of images.


What do you do? When a 40 ton whale gets stuck in shallow water, on a sand bar ??

Chuckle ! It was very hard work, using a lot of imagination to succeed, How would you do it ??

David J. Eves

New member
Well I provide you TRUE stories of what happens here in the Arctic. and for this next story.. it is wierd, it is the arctic and things happen up here without warning and people die suddenly.
This story is easily verifiable. on the internet ! (go figure). The photos above depict what was going on out at sea on this day. for the Brower Crew, Fredrick Brower's crew. Frederick is the young whaling captain. Arnold Brower Sr. Age 86 was a member of this crew that morning, but decided, this boat is too crowded, I am just going to go hunt up by my cabin, and he took off on his snowmachine.
This is a journey that this man has made countless times over more than a handful of decades.. he was capable of doing this blindfolded, in fact he had to as a storm rushed in and he was traveling in white out conditions.. no problem he kept going to his hunting camp. This man was passionate about hunting, this was his life since he was a young child,.. .. traveling over the ice as he always done but this year, the ice was not quite as thick as it should be and his machine went through the ice and he went down into the water... (sigh) !! He managed to climb out and decided the only thing to do was to walk to his cabin a few miles away, sadly he never made it. they found him frozen on the tundra. He leaves behind 18 children that are all still alive !! This GIANT of a man will be sorely missed !

Two days later.. We went back out, Food is a necessity and the only place to obtain their favorite food is back out on that rough ocean. We had some events happen out here, that were totally unexpected, no one got hurt, but the danger is allways present all ways - The exploding harpoon ($1000) per shot ! Twice this thing went off, with the safety still on. but as I said.. no one got hurt.

Here we are.. hunting whales... 3 whales were caught this day, but this crew was not luckly to strike one, so we assisted another Whaling Captain, Jacob Adams.

The Inupiaq Captains do not like to use the exploding harpoon, not for its expense but because if they miss, it prevents the whale from healing as is the manner in which traditional harpoons were used. The chances are much better for the whale to heal.
The exploding harpoon 'shatters' the vertebra or 'breaks the neck' !

you can see on the far left the red "bobber" (avatakpak) to mark the location of the whale !! Success.. ah.. but we had major problems towing this whale back to the village. 4 boats were used. seas were rough, and as usual here in the Arctic. anything can happen at any time with no warning, and it did happen.. the whale got stuck on the bottom of the ocean when we crossed a somewhat shallow portion. 40 tons. stuck. ! how do you get this thing off the land and back into deeper water ?? ??

David J. Eves

New member
and from out of no where, once some blood (from the whale is spilled) sea gulls magically appear here, 20 miles out on the ocean from out of no where.


Four boats, towing the line, attached to the whale, time to get this food back to the village for people to eat !!


Oops.. 40 tons, stuck in shallow water, Now what do we do to move this huge 40 foot animal that is stuck ?? What solution would you venture to try out here ??


Well those four boats pulled and pulled and pulled but the strain was way to much for those engines.. something else had to be attempted,


This is the solution, our boat, Whaling captain Fredirick Brower came up with the solution, and it took over an hour, but it did work..

Ram the whale, while other crews tugged with everything they had,

David J. Eves

New member

The weather was nasty,biting cold, add to that the rolling waves and my son (Jesse) got sick twice.


These are very powerful boats (engines). Towing a whale is a concentrated effort in skill and timing. 1000 horsepower at work here from these expensive outboard engines.


At times we enter slush ice and plow on through it, the weather is changing and slowing us down for the long ride home. We lost a couple of hours trying to free the whale from the time it was stuck until the time we


This is how we obtain our food, " take out " !! We have to take the food out of the ocean !!

No matter what the weather is like, The Lord provides !!

David J. Eves

New member



It was a long hard day, from 8 am till 8 pm we finally brought the whale in and people were waiting for us !! More photos to follow & follow !!
Thanks for taking the time.!!
Gotta rest for a bit and process some more images !!


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

Your reports are so wonderful. You are a treasure of a man and your work is so appreciated. I'll always remember the father of 18 going through a snow storm just on his natural navigation sense. Sad he died! Sounds like one exceptional human being.

That whale was a stubborn beast. Do you check that the whales are not pregnant? Do you know the whales identity by the fin markings or is that only the biologists?

BTW, what are you shooting with right now?