Artists Conk Alaska

IMG_7682Today I used my wood burning iron for the first time. This is what we call punk in Alaska. In ash form it helps absorb other substances more intensely. It would be interesting to study its effects in other combinations besides nicotine, considering that is what a lot of natives mix it with I’m sure it could play a more useful part perhaps absorbing nutrients that are beneficial. I’d like to try mixing some ash with chaga tea or Labrador tea along with my rosehip petals and spruce resin. Possibilities are endless with an open mind.

Inupiaq

IMG_1637IMG_1695IMG_1909IMG_2272IMG_2273IMG_3380I grew up being called an Eskimo and guess what? It has never bothered me not once. This is not a derogatory term, it simply means “eater of raw meat.” I eat muktuk, which is the part of the whale skin and blubber, raw. We also eat quaq, which is thinly sliced frozen fish. We dip that in seal oil, which is seal blubber rendered into a clear oil. I am Eskimo, but I prefer Inupiaq as it is more identifiable to where I am from, Unalakleet. The sod houses on our beach date between 200 B.C. And 300 A.D. A lot of people move to Unalakleet but my mother’s side is originally from the area, unlike  a lot of families who do not originate from there. I loved growing up at fish camp, my mom would tell us oral legends and all these were passed down through the generations. One of my favorite is of the link between Orcas and Wolves. Long ago they would say when a wolf was near death they went into to ocean to transform to the killer whale, and vice versa. Mainly the point of that legend from my understanding is that a pack of wolves are so similar to a pod of orcas. We do not hunt killer whales. Our area hunts beluga whale and our family trades other Native food for bowhead whale from more up north villages. When I was growing up a fresh gallon of milk was five to seven dollars and I’m sure the price went up. It is too expensive to only rely on modern grocery stores, so we live a subsistence lifestyle. Most of my vivid nightmares, starting from a very young age, are of catastrophic events happening in the village I grew up in. I still live in Alaska but not in Unalakleet. I am Inupiaq, but we are all people and when people come together for a common cause, it’s pretty awesome. Love and be love.

 

Alaska’s Duke

Every day is an adventure with my son Duke. I thank the good Lord for him every single day. When he reads a book after he is done he shuts it and says Amen. At night we say our prayers and pray for all his brothers and sister. His memory amazes me. Each day you can give your child a memory they will cherish a lifetime or a nightmare they try to forget. He has had an amazing childhood and it will only get better. Zero cavities and we do not use fluoride products. Love your children, teach them responsibility and good strong work ethics, they may not thank you later in life, but the only thanks you need is a good hearted child.

The miles on his play quad wheeler is most likely in the thousands. The plastic tread on the tires are almost gone.

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The neighborhood tractor. Ash pooled together the neighbors to fund a neighborhood tractor. Our roads are not maintained by the local government so it does come in handy.IMG_7271

Moose tacos. “Smile son.” His real smiles are priceless. Very simple meal. Pan fried moose meat with taco seasoning, soft taco wraps, three cheese shredded mix and grape tomatoes. IMG_7278