May 11, 2006

Traveling to Barrow

مطلب زیر، گزارش سفرم به بئرو است که در نشریه " دلتا دیسکاوری" ( هفته نامه محلی بثل) در تاریخ 19 آوریل چاپ شده است
Prior to going to Barrow, the northernmost settlement in Alaska, I didn’t believe that many people lived in the area. It was how I imagined Alaska to be before moving to Bethel last year; a barren land of ice and snow.
On April 1st, 2006, I flew from Bethel to Barrow. From Anchorage to barrow 25 passengers and I were in the flight. The plane landed in Fairbanks airport after one hour of flying because six passengers wanted to go to Fairbanks. Also, the plane refueled in Fairbanks. After a 45 minutes lay over, we flew to Barrow. This flight took another hour and the airplane finally arrived in Barrow at 10:00 am.
Mountains and trees surrounded Fairbanks region, but I found nothing except snow and huge blocks of ice around Barrow; the area looked like the YK Delta region.
The airport was smaller than Bethel Airport but it had more seats.
My friend and I walked to the King Eider hotel near the airport. A sign in front hall at the hotel asked travelers to remove their shoes. It was the first time I saw a sign like that in a hotel.
Barrow Appearance
Barrow looks like Bethel but smaller. The population of the city is approximately 4,500, 60 per cent of whom are Inupiat natives.
The area around Barrow doesn’t have any trees, which is one of important differences between Barrow and many other regions in Alaska.
Most of the residents have underground piped water. Homes are heated by natural gas from the nearby gas fields.
There are also electric service, a public radio station and cable TV facilities.
Drawing on Baleen
Barrow Borough Public Library was built in 1998 and has 50,000 books, 5ooo video films and 6 computers for access to the Internet.
In the library I visited Vernon J.Redford whose native name is Aqak, a 29 year old Inupiat artist. He was busy drawing on a baleen. Some kids were watching him seriously. After one hour of work, the baleen was painted with drawing of huge blocks of ice with an Eskimo hunting a whale.
ECHO Project
I had a chance to listen to the stories of the ECHO project (Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations) at the Hospital. The performers were 8 natives from Alaska, Hawaii and Massachusetts, who told stories of their regions. ECHO performers sang songs and danced together and encouraged audience members to participate.
James Patkotak, Stephen Blanchett and Jack Dalton are Alaskan natives who performed dancing and singing with their partners in the ECHO project.
James patkotak is a life long resident of Barrow. He proudly represents the Inupiat culture of his region. He has a daily show on the local radio station, telling Inupiaq stories.
Stephen Blanchett is a Yup’ik, African-American from Bethel. He performs songs and traditional dances with the group pamyua in Alaska.
Jack Dalton, born in Bethel and has grown up an ambassador between two worlds, his Yup’ik and European heritages.
Dave Peloquin, Tobias Vanderhoop, Malia Yamamoto, Peter- Rockford Espiritu and Kealoha Kelekolio were other ECHO performers.
This year, the ECHO project theme was the creation stories of the different native whaling cultures.
Sewing skins
Whaling was and still is the focus of Inupiat life. When I was in Barrow I saw native women preparing and sewing seal skins for Whale hunting. They use this skin for the body of the umiaq (skin boats).
They were working together in a big room in the Museum building. The strong odor of the cured bearded seal skins could be smelled in the Museum. The women wore heavy-duty rain suits to prevent the odor from sticking their clothing. I went to the room to take a photo and I could stay there for less than 2 minutes.
Arctic Animals
Polar Bears are the most famous wildlife in the Barrow region. I didn’t have a chance to see them because the weather was warm and, therefore, they had moved far from the city. I had a chance to see Snowy Owl whose name has a connection with the meaning of Barrow. The traditional name of Barrow is Ukpeagvik, which means, “ place where Snowy owls are hunted”.
Barrow takes its name from Pt.Barrow, which was named for Sir John Barrow of the British Admiralty in 1825. British Navy officers were in the area to plot the Arctic coastline of North America.


Anonymous said...

دستت درد نکنه مادر

naila81- nana said...

تبريک مي گم