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Thread started 15 Apr 2007 (Sunday) 02:53
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High in the Arctic !! Eskimo .. .. !

 
Majik ­ Imaje
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Point Hope Alaska
Apr 15, 2007 02:53 |  #1

200 miles above the Arctic circle750 Inupaq Eskimo's live together in a tiny whaling community Point Hope Alaska is the oldest continually inhabited settlement or village in all of North AmericaLife can be accurately traced back to this one spot of land from 3,000 years ago.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/KR.jpg

Kathy Rock Age 10 This photo was taken 4 miles out, on the ocean ice. I spend 1/2 hour with this child, and only exposed one frame of film!
I knew what I wanted before I ever brought the camera up to view. As I brought the camera up, Kathy started to smile, I said no! Please do not do that.
I want you to look past me, pretend I am not even here, It took a lot of trials before I saw "that look" yes, yes, yes, -=[click]=- !

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/HSH.JPG

Home Sweet Frozen Home this is home for the next two months. We hunt the mighty bowhead whale. The hunters sleep down at the leadopening which is a half or three quarters a mile in front of the tents. The women sleep in the tentsand prepare food for the crew of 8 hunters and 3 - 5 women.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/BoatIce1.jpg

This is home for the hunters, for the next two months! We sleep outside!come and learn the Eskimo way, how we obtain our food, the work and effort we use.Just to Eat.Children Playing out, chasing a bowhead whale, their umiaq is mounted on a sled just as their fathers do

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/bath.jpg

And here is the real thing, miles out on the ocean ice. The umiaq is place on a sled so that thethin skin will not be torn by the ice.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/BoatIce2.jpg



IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/Tuz2.jpg


IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/aloneumiaq.jpg

Hunting for food out on the vast Arctic ocean ice pack.Hello honey what's for dinner?

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/dinner123.jpg

Practice .. .. .. ... .. makes .. ... .. "better":cool:
30 YEARS OF ARCTIC PHOTOGRAPHSexternal link

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cbock
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La Mesa, CA
Apr 15, 2007 02:56 |  #2

wow! never seen anything like this before! cool shots. thanks for sharing.


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Becca
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Glendale, Arizona
Apr 15, 2007 07:17 |  #3

Amazing images! The one of the children is precious!


Becca
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CyberDyneSystems
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Apr 15, 2007 07:33 |  #4

Fabulous series of images!!!!!
This is such a unique site .. amazing!

Thanks so much for posting these!


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cplchip
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northeast North Carolina
Apr 15, 2007 07:39 |  #5

Thanks for shareing these I found them to be quite educational and also some great shots
CHIP




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ebondanes
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Chicago - West Suburbs
Apr 15, 2007 07:50 |  #6

Fantastic images. That boat is so very thin!! #1 is beautiful and I bet it would look super in a sepia (maybe a high key sepia). I bet you could sell these to some type of natural history magazine or the like. Very very interesting.


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MDJAK
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Apr 15, 2007 09:34 as a reply to ebondanes's post |  #7

Great shots. One of them looks to be an antique photo. I take it you've taken all these shots, right?

mark




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tbird
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NW Tennessee
Apr 15, 2007 10:02 |  #8

And I thought I had some "cool" shots of winter in Yellowstone......Great documentation of life in the Artic.....think I will stay in the south. Thanks for a great first contribution to the forum. Would look forward to more of the same.


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steved110
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Apr 15, 2007 15:16 as a reply to tbird's post |  #9

Amazing pictures of a wonderful culture. Thanks for posting, and please can we have some more?


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Majik ­ Imaje
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Joined Apr 2007
Point Hope Alaska
Apr 15, 2007 17:26 as a reply to steved110's post |  #10

Thank you all for you wonderful comments and apprecation for my images.

NOW FOR THE TRUTH! .. I HAD TO MELT SNOW.. .. .. FOR MONTHS ! to obtain \the necesary precious water to mix chemicals (kodak C-41) - develop 60 rolls of Vericolor type S film 100 ISO then melt more snow to mix (Kodak EP2) and print 11 x 14 images.

this new "arctic process" took me 9 - 10 months to finish the job of making an album.

all this work was done to try and help these people hang on to their right to hunt and eat their food.

1983 United Bank of Alaska offered me 100,000 for the complete rights to this image.. I said NO!

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/dellafay.jpg


1984 National Geographic offered me 10k for ALL THE RIGHTS TO ALL THE PHOTOS. I politely told them to go to hell!

I suffered immensly, taking these photos, changing film was an excercise in torture. 60 below zero is so frigin cold there is no way to describe it.
INTENTSE PAIN. is the closest I can come to accurately describing this.

I was sent to this village as an electrican for just 3 weeks to wire some construction camps (2). when the job finished, I quit the company and stayed.

That was .. .. 27 years ago!!! I am still here!

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/Ray.jpg

Hunting the mighty bowhead whale. two months we spend miles out on this ocean ice pack, hunting for food. some of the animals we hunt are the bowhead whale, beluga whales, walrus, seals, ducks, caribou, and more.

This is a typical whaling camp @ midnight in May. We sleep outside NO TENTS. for 2 months!!

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/watching1.jpg

This is home sweet frozen home.. .. this is it. for two months, all day every day. day in day out, week in, week out! We work our butts off, just for food to eat. that is the only reward, no money, no pay, just the right to EAT.
THAT IS ALL WE WANT.

Rex Rock, Whaling Captain, (Umaliaq - oo may lick) There are 18 whaling captains in Point Hope, each camp is set up 1/2 - 3/4 miles apart, along the lead opening in the Chukchi Sea.
IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/SUNROCK.JPG

This image of Rex Rock won the Alaska Press Award in 1989. My photos have been published in many books, magazines, newspapers and more.

I have never taken as much as one class in photography. As an electrican I always made good paychecks and all my money went into my new hobby.

I have in the past moved around too much, and I have owned and built 16 color darkrooms. but here in Point Hope this was my biggest challenge ever. how to develop color film and process the prints with no running water!

All I had to work with was snow! When the snow was melted it was filthy, hairs from all sorts of animals, soot, and other assorted debris.

When packing the snow in huge trash bags, we always thought we werer getting very clean snow. when meltedl the water was a dingy tint of yellow!

27 years later.. these 6 x7 negatives are in flawless pristine condition.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/TENT.JPG

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/AapaNAakaweb.JPG


Aaka & Aapa - Grandmother & Grandfather - Lily & Donald Oktollik

Donald was an Episcopal minister. Donald passed in 1990 @ the age of 90, Lily passed in 2003 at the age of 98. My 4 sons Great-grand parents!

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/002s.jpg

Elaine Frankson & Minnie Stone, two friends take the time to pose in traditional native dress.

all clothing is hand made & sewn using.. .. "dental floss" !

Practice .. .. .. ... .. makes .. ... .. "better":cool:
30 YEARS OF ARCTIC PHOTOGRAPHSexternal link

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MDJAK
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New York
Apr 15, 2007 17:44 as a reply to Majik Imaje's post |  #11

Absolutely fantastic story. I wasn't too far off up above when I said they looked like antique photos.

I couldn't think of a better post to celebrate my 6000th.

mark




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puddlepirate44
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currently, in my chair.
Apr 15, 2007 17:55 as a reply to MDJAK's post |  #12

Incredible images and documentation. Absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for allowing us to see this work.


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jr#8
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NJ
Apr 15, 2007 20:02 |  #13

man I'm lost for words.


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Majik ­ Imaje
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Joined Apr 2007
Point Hope Alaska
Apr 15, 2007 21:00 as a reply to puddlepirate44's post |  #14

I promise you all, more spectular images and "text" you simply won't believe, but every word is TRUE.

The man who lost his nose !

True Story,

http://majikimaje.com/​wally.html (external link)

Out on the ocean ice, we need much wood! To keep the tents warm for the women who do the cooking. The wood is gathered in the summer time along the beach, which catches major amounts of wood of all types.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/2KIDSONICE.JPG

SO WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO TODAY ? UM ! Children live out here for the two month hunt, and play out, all day long for days and days on end. Rifles, weapons of all types are in each campl. Gunshot wounds are totally unheard of here. Safety first & safety second! NO ONE GETS HURT from rifles or guns up here. I have not heard of any incident in over 25 years.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/DSC_9292.jpg


Point Hope Alaska 99766 Population 750. We are one giant wave away from becoming fish food. We are 8 feet above sea level! Flooding was a major problem in the 70's and the village was moved from the Old Town site to the new location 2.5 miles south.

Not nearly far enough away. but we have had no problems yet with recent flooding, but erosion of the old town site is still advancing.

The "Point" disappeared in 1989. Point Hope used to have a populationi of over 10,000 in the mid 1800's, THEN the yankee whalers and Portugese whalers arrived, The population was reduced to just 190 people through disease and mass starvation.

When I arrived in 1981, 450 people were stuggling to EAT, the food they want to eat. The bowhead whale, but agencies, groups, want to prohibit these people from hunting of their aboriginal rights. THIS IS WRONG.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/Doughnuts.jpg

Fresh donuts are made every day in each and every camp.

How do you get the dough to rise? True the tents are warm but drafty, After the dough has been mixed itis put into a clean plastic trash bag, and carried the same way or method a mother will carry a child - Under her parky!
That dough will rise just right !

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/EMILY1s.jpg

The woman making the donuts is Emily Lane. this girl is one of her twin daughters.


IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/AQUAQ.JPG


CARIBOU SOUP! yummy. but how do you get fresh water to make the soup. We do not carry or haul water out here, We need tons of fresh water daily, but we are camped out, on Ocean Ice, frozen salt water! We have to get the salt OUT OF THE WATER.. how? The Eskimo way.. .. we wait ! Take any large piece of Ice. Stand it up, brush the snow off of it especially the top, clean it. Now wait.. ... .. and as the hours go by, the sun will cause the ice to become clear, the salt is settleing in the frozen ice. Take your kettle over to the ice and chip/chop horizontally and fill your kettle with clear ice.. DELICIOUS fresh drinking water. The Eskimo way! We have lots of "tricks"!

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/TENTGREETING1.JPG

And there are somethings, that you will just NEVER believe ! ha ha.. I am a city boy, from Boston. I know how your going to react when I tell you some of what happens up here.

I have been here for 27 years, there is no way I would ever leave this paradise. No Macdonalds, No Wal Mart, none of what you would call "civilization" . Our back yard is larger than most states and even some countries.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/alaska-map.jpg


There are no cities, towns, or any humans in this area, ha ha ha ha.. Oh!!! have I got stories for you! but you will never believe these TRUE STORIES.

IMAGE: http://majikimaje.com/KAMAKTOAQs.jpg


KAMAKTOAQ (kah mah toe ack) is a ceremonial site for whaling festival, held each June, the smalest bones (left) that are centered in the arch are from a 30 foot whale. the next size is from perhaps a 40 - 60 foot whale. the Jumob Jaw bones are from a 100 foot whale, at least. This ceremonial whaling site has been used for thousands of year!!

A bowhead whale weighs an astonishing TON per FOOT! I have been honored to have been invited on 5 sacred whale hunts.

A 48 foot whale was caught. The amount of work involved to haul that massive animal upon the ice using people power only was a grueling 17 hours work. The only reward, we get to eat! Maktak (muck tuck) is their favorite food, I got a half bag of M&M's stashed in my pocket, but I can't find them. Fully dressed I have over 38 pockets !

Practice .. .. .. ... .. makes .. ... .. "better":cool:
30 YEARS OF ARCTIC PHOTOGRAPHSexternal link

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Grace
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Apr 15, 2007 22:59 |  #15

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


- Grace -

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