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…