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Profile: Nalukataq Celebration in Barrow

Man participating in traditional blanket toss, Barrow, Alaska

Last week, Barrow celebrated Nalukataq (NAH-loo-kah-TUCK), a community-wide gathering in celebration of a successful bowhead whale harvest.

Most attendees came prepared for a long day: armed with foldable chairs, blankets, and coolers, Nalukataq was reminiscent of a very large 4th of July family summer cook out, albeit in 30 degree weather.

Two crews, Anagi (Ah-nah-ghji) and Hopson One, wrapped up a week’s worth of celebrations on Saturday with music, food, a blanket toss, and distribution of muktuk for the families in attendance.

Jacob Adams has been a whaling captain for 37 years, an active whaler for 57 years. He says this is a family operation and that Nalukataq is an important cultural event for them.

“We celebrate a successful hunt so people won’t go hungry and enjoy the cultural activities associated with a successful bowhead whale hunt, the rituals we follow since, basically, ten thousand years ago.”

To hear more on Nalukataq, listen to the link posted above…

4 Comments

  1. Florence Busch on July 5, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Dayna, great job covering Nalukataq. It was also great to hear Tom’s voice and wonderful to have met you. I bet this could win a Goldie and also other awards! You have a very nice easy way of reporting. Wish you had been our volunteer! Keep in touch. Florence



  2. […] weeks ago, I made the trip north to Barrow to write a news profile about Nalukataq, a traditional whaling festival that celebrates a successful whale catch. It was a trip years in […]



  3. On Top of the World | KNOM Radio Mission on August 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    […] exceptional: like Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost city in the United States and the host of a recent whaling festival witnessed, in person, by KNOM’s second-year volunteer Dayneé […]



  4. […] weeks ago, I made the trip north to Barrow to write a news profile about Nalukataq, a traditional whaling festival that celebrates a successful whale catch. It was a trip years in […]