As some of you may remember, my DS and DDIL live in the remote village of Kaktovik, in far northern Alaska, year around, where DS is the school librarian and DDIL is the village postmaster. During "summer" break this year, DS visited us here in northern California for some weeks for the first time in three years. As postmaster and only employee of the US Postal Service in Kaktovik (written as "Qaaktugvik" in the local Inupiat (pronounced In.NOO.pee.aht) language, DDIL was unable to come since there is no one to replace her. Note: They spent most of their time this summer on Skype!
While he was here I made a wall hanging for the school's library for him to take back. I titled it "Three Whales for Kaktovik" to honor the September whale hunt in which the village hunters are allowed to harvest only three whales to support the village population of about 250 through the winter. It is a very ceremonious hunt, and no parts of the whale are discarded, except the giant bones, which are offered to the resident polar bears to gnaw on after the meat has mostly been stripped off. The polar bears arrive in large numbers, right on time. Tourists come to this very remote area on the Beaufort Sea to witness this! The whales hunted are Bowhead Whales which are year around residents of the Arctic Ocean and Beaufort Sea, and which are not on the rare or endangered list. The most outstanding feature of this specie of whale is it's very large mouth, since they are filter-feeders, straining enormous numbers of very small creatures, called krill, from the ocean. Only Alaskan natives are allowed to hunt them for subsistence and nothing may be sold to outsiders.
I had to do some research, but found an outline of a Bowhead Whale (thank you, Google!) so my enlarged whale depictions would be accurate, and since the local people would probably laugh if I had used the outline of another kind of whale!
DS seemed pleased and the principal gave him permission to hang it in the library.