2009 Nalukataq
 (Spring Whaling Celebration)

By Mary Anniagruk Sage
Photos by Mary Anniagruk Sage

Brenton Rexford - Atkaan Whaling Crew member Brenton Rexford celebrates the successful whaling season in true Inupiaq style - jumping on the seal skin taken from their umiaq (skin boat).

These photos were taken during the recent Nalukataq (spring whaling celebration) in the village of Point Lay! The last time they harvested a whale was 72 years ago. Point Lay fought hard for their quota of one bowhead whale. They had tried whaling last year, but the ice conditions were not good. This year, the Atkaan Whaling Crew harvested a whale during spring whaling. The crew captain is Juluis Rexford Sr.
It was an emotionally charged time for the village. They were so thankful to receive a whale, and they shared it with the community and all visitors.

Nalukataq was dedicated to the elder Warren Neakok and his late wife, Dorcas. In his late eighties, Warren was brought to Nalukataq by his family and enjoyed the afternoon.

Atkaan Crew - The Atkaan Whaling Crew of Point Lay with Captain Julius Rexford Sr.


Warren Neakok and family - Point Lay elder Warren Neakok is surrounded by his children. The last time the village harvested a whale, Warren was 15 years old.  

Nalukataq:   Page 2



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