26 July 2008

 

Barrow, Alaska, Pics

I finally got the pictures from our day in Barrow, Alaska, online. Barrow is the northernmost community on the continuous western hemisphere land mass. (I'm pretty sure there are Inupiat communities on islands that lie further north of Barrow in both Canada and Russia.) It was one of the most interesting places I've ever been.

We were there on 12 June 2008, just a little over a week until the solstice. The sun had been up since April, would stay up until August. Even though the solar azimuth was changing, the elevation stayed pretty constant, and there was hardly any change to the quality of light over the course of our day. We were actually very lucky from a weather point of view: Sunny and in the 40s.

The whole set is here. Here's a couple of examples:

The frozen Arctic Ocean as seen from the air:
Arctic Ocean Ice


Bicycle on the tundra at the coast with frozen ocean in the background:
Bicycle


Us at Point Barrow, northernmost point on the contiguous Americas:

Mack and Tim at Point Barrow (I)


It's hard for me to explain why this mattered so much to me, was so interesting to me. I think it has something to do with looking out from the edge, from a different edge than the one I'm used to.

There's also photos from the Inupiat Heritage Center. Below are some videos Mack shot there of Inupiat people's dances. Check out the drumming.

Young girls dance:




Young men dance:




Men dance:




I'm sorry that I can't tell you the stories that go with the dances.

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