May 07, 2008

Sunglasses and snowmobiles

Here's an interesting picture essay about Inupiaq (Eskimo) hunters. Check it out and see if it fulfills your expectations about life in the Arctic.

HIGH in the Arctic .. .. Eskimo!!Hello people(s). My name is David and I live @ the top of the world in Alaska, Barrow Alaska.

I have been living with Inupiaq Eskimos for almost 30 years now. I have some amazing photographs to show you in this most unique

PHOTO ESSAY life in the Arctic @ 50 below zero !!

These hunters sleep outside, for two months, with no tents. They chop a trail with pick and axe for many miles, to move supplies, equipment and 700 people move the whole village out to that ocean ice pack.
Comment:  These photos because they reveal the reality of Inupiaq life. Even out on the ice, far from the village, they aren't living a purely primitive lifestyle. Here's what you should notice:

  • They wear fur-lined parkas...made of the latest waterproof fabrics.

  • Under their hoods they also wear baseball caps and sunglasses.

  • They pull sleds behind them...on the snowmobiles and ATVs they ride.

  • They eat the meat they catch...cooked on what looks like portable stoves.

  • They also eat the store-bought supplies they've brought, and drink the liquids from their Thermos bottles.

  • They build ice walls to protect themselves from the wind...but generally camp out in tents.

  • They use traditional weapons and boats...when they're not using high-powered rifles.

  • They enjoy the fellowship of men...along with the fellowship of women and children.

  • So much for the stereotype of Eskimos as solitary hunters who live in igloos, wear parkas, use harpoons, and travel by dog-sled. That may have been the case 100 years ago. It isn't the case today.

    A hundred years ago, most Americans were living on farms and riding in horse-drawn buggies. But that isn't how we portray them in media such as cartoons. Only American Indians and Alaskan Natives get stereotyped as living in the distant past.

    The myth:

    The reality:

    (This photo © 2008 Majik Imaje.)


    Anonymous said...

    I think it is truely sad, that you steal and post someone else's photograph that is copyright. and then you publish false information about these same people.

    Rob said...

    I didn't steal your photograph. I linked to the copy you posted in the VWvortex photography forum.

    I'm using the photograph to comment on and criticize our culture's portrayal of the Inupiaq Eskimos. I believe this limited and not-for-profit use is covered by the fair-use provision of the Copyright Act.

    But I'll post a copyright notice so it's clear that it's your photo, not mine. If that isn't sufficient, we can discuss it.

    I also linked to the entire thread so people could read it and see your photos. I've probably directed several hundred people to your work through Newspaper Rock and You can thank me for that or you can keep complaining.

    As for the "false information," which false information is that? I basically described the things I saw in your photos. Feel free to tell us what you're talking about, because I have no idea.