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Old 24-05-2007, 23:44   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Hello, from 200 miles above the Arctic circle in a tiny whaling community of only 750 Inupiaq Eskimos, live the Oldest continually inhabited settlement or village in all of North AMERICA! Point Hope Alaska !

Life can accurately be traced back to over 3,000 years to this one spot of land.

We live from the ocean, currently as this present moment over 700 people are camped out 7 miles out on the Chukchi Sea in the Bering Strait of Upper Alaska

We sleep out side @ 50 below zero, with no tents for 2 months ! This is how we obtain our food !


Tuzroyluks crew, cruising for a bowhead whale!


A typical whaling camp miles out on the ocean ice pack, this is home for two months or longer, depending on conditions of the ice.

During the 1980's we noticed the Ice, was getting closer and closer to land, during the 1990's we we whaling from land as there was no ice.

But today, we have had the best ice in decades, for the last 4 years in a row ! Go Figure!

http://majikimaje.com/watching1.jpg

Hello, my name is David. I am an electrican originally from Boston, I was working in Alaska and I was sent to this tiny village for just 3 weeks, to wire two construction camps, when the job finished, i quit the company and stayed.

I had to melt tons of snow to obtain the necessary precious water, to mix chemicals and process this film and process these prints!

Come learn the Eskimo way, from the comfort of your home or offce,



I promise you sme spectacular images and "text" you will simply never believe !

Hundreds of people are involved in blazing a trail out to the ocean ice, with picks, axes, and every sort of tool imaginable to chop, smooth out the ocean ice so we can bring all the necessary equipment and supplies out to the edge of the ice.



All of this incredibly hard work, .. .. .. "just to eat"!




.. .. .. .. "and these people, never complain!"

Last edited by Sonsey; 25-05-2007 at 15:31. Reason: 1 image link broken due to being over the 200k limit.
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Old 25-05-2007, 02:13   #2 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

David,
Yes, they certainly are majik imajes!! I am in awe. Welcome from another newcomer!
Keep Shooting,
Richard
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Old 25-05-2007, 04:08   #3 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

I wanted to see your images so I went to your website. Toooooo Muchhhhh stuff its hard to get around, you should make it more simple. I just looked at a couple of pictures and left the site. those couple of pictures I saw were very good.
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Old 25-05-2007, 04:56   #4 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Well I am just an electrican that was obsessed with photography, I have never had any classes at all.

I have been processing my own color in my own darkrooms since 1969, so I am extremly familiar with Color processing techniques. I have moved around too much. and thus have owned and built 17 color darkrooms. Here is a small portion of #15,

Web design I am terrible at, and it shows. but for your convienience I can offer you a sneak preview of a work in progress that is finally coming together.

HERE

But this is the digital age, ha ha! there is just no way, a digital camera could ever function @ 50 below zero mounted on a tripod for weeks/ months at a time. My camera(s) were encased in ICE!they always worked, except for one .

Never will I own or touch or possess that Brand Name agaiN ! it constantly failed but none of the other cameras ever failed! go figure. Out here on the ice, all the manufactures hype or advertising doesn't mean squat! Results are all that count!

My camera of choice ?? Mamiya RB 67 - that has been my creative tool since 1973
I also threw away my light meter back then also, I haven't used one since .

If you are fiddling about with meters and menu's and gadgets, you will never learn the ART of photography, Photography is all about using your eyes and 'seeing" and understanding what your looking at. Namely "light" Learn HOW to read light and you will never need a light meter! It is very simple technique I have been using for decades which presents me with a high degree of confidence. I Only create ONE IMAGE or exposure. I know what I want before I expose that frame of film, I know what the results are going to look like based on..........."experience" !

The photo of the little Eskimo girl was created out on the ocean ice @ 40 below zero, She is / was sitting on the seat of a snowmobile as I approached her. She was very familiar with seeing me on a daily basis. Kathy Rock Age 10. As I brought up the camera to compose and create this image, she smiled, I said NO! Please do not do that. I want you to "pretend" I am not even here, look right past me. I spent 1/2 hour with her, and only squeezed that shutter release ONCE.



The same is true for practically every image that I will post, This is the original and only copy. As it was processed using "snow" because I had no water to process this film.
When I purchase "paper" I do not buy one box of 100 sheets or 25 sheets. I will order 5 cases of paper ! thousands of sheets at a time, all processsed in 2 trays & washed in another. digital just can't provide the "soul' that film is capable of . That is evident when you look at certain images.
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Old 25-05-2007, 07:11   #5 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

That has got to be the best intro post I have ever seen welcome to Pixalo
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Old 25-05-2007, 07:27   #6 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

What a welcome
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Old 25-05-2007, 07:42   #7 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Sleeping outside @ 50 below zero with no tents is not an easy task for this city boy.


But I fell in love, with these people, this land, the Arctic. Changing film was an excercise in pure torture, something as simple as change a roll of film, Agony, unheard of pain, it would take a long long time, for my fingers and hands to recover from that simple task. This was a day I will never forget, as this was the last frame on the roll of film, I screamed when I found out, time to change film, again!



The life of the Inupiaq people is hard work, just to get food! just to eat. We only take that which we need to eat! We waste nothing, even zip lock baggies are used over and over again, we wash them out, save them. they have so many uses at whaling time.



18 WHALING captains and their respective crews are spaced out 1/2 -3/4 a mile apart on the lead opening. 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile BACK is where the women do all the cooking in tents, The tents are for the women and the "boyer' The hunters are at the edge of the ice 24/7 for two months !



It is very easy to hallucinate out here on the ice. i was constantly falling over, See that ice on the other side of the lead? It is moving very quickly from right to left in this image. DO NOT WATCH THAT ICE MOVING. because if you do, at some point in time, that ice will STOP and you will experience the sensation of moving in the opposite direction. I would always fall over, much to the enjoyment and laughter of the hunters watching this dumb city boy.


Plenty of hot food, all day long, every day, fresh doughnuts, duck soup, caribou soup,
But when you eat hot food out here @ 50 below, your body gets lazy and after a while your going to start to become cold because your body cannot generate enough body heat to stay warm.

Eskimo Technology is time tested for thousands of years and it works !
50 below zero with a 40 mph wind brings that wind chill factor to close to 100 below zero. Eskimo's get just as cold as you or I would, but we have time tested tricks that work out here in the middle of frozen no where.
and you would never guess what we do to KEEP warm and STAY warm !



How do you suppose that over 700 people obtain delicious fresh drinking water way out here, 7 miles out from land ? We melt snow to wash dishes, and such, but how do you suppose we get all the delicious fresh drinking water, from all this frozen salt water Ice ??

Simple we take the salt out of the ice ! but how ?
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Old 25-05-2007, 12:13   #8 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Welcome
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Old 25-05-2007, 14:33   #9 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Hello & welcome
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Old 25-05-2007, 15:31   #10 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Hi Majik, it's good to have you at Pixalo!

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Old 25-05-2007, 16:17   #11 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Majik Imaje is / are the initials, .. .. .. of my four sons !

MarkAndrew, Jesse, Isaiah, Khristopher = M A J I K

Isaiah, MarkAndrew, Jesse, EVES = I M A J E



Lets go back, to the ocean ice. ! This is where it all happens,

The most spectacular lifestyle you have ever imagined, how do you think we get fresh drinking water way out here?



How do you think we stay warm enough to sleep outside @ 50 below zero with no tents ?

Are you cold ? see that hacksaw? Pick it up, slice long thin stips of Raw Frozen Caribou Meat. Swallow them whole, do not chew, now FILL YOUR STOMACH!
your stomach has to work very hard, to digest all that raw frozen meat or fish, this is "quaq' it will get you so warm and hot! At 30 below zero we are talking clothes off because we are TOO HOT!

when you eat like this, your body starts to generate body heat the likes of which you have never imagined. WARNING: do not attempt this and try and stay inside. you will end up suffering immensly.

These are time tested methods dating back thousands of years and they work!

How do you make fresh doughnuts way out here ?



Any doughnuts yet ?

How in the world do you get dough to "rise' way out here ?
The tents are warm, but drafty, so to get this dough to rise that woman will place the dough in a clean plastic bag, and place it on her back and put her Parky on, the body heat from her back will cause that dough to rise perfect !

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Old 26-05-2007, 05:04   #12 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

well let me grab a coffee and go over this again... it seems to me you have very good stories and they go with the pictures..I like that. Very good majik, very good pictures especially since white is difficult to balance. welcome
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Old 26-05-2007, 10:30   #13 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Well I am / was Old school, film, - frozen film! This was a first for me, processing frozen film, I wasn't going to let that film warm up in the house, no way, too much sweat and I wasn't going to risk having anything such as condensation ruin this film so I put frozen film right into the process without defrosting it. Well I developed a method, of putting water in the tank at 101.5 for 30 seconds to warm up the thin film and then put the developer in at 1/2 degree above the correct processing temp and it all worked out very well, but to obtain archival film quality you must WASH film in running water for quite a long time, I had no running water, again I had to develop a new way to wash film and evidently it worked because 27 years later this film is still in pristine condition!

Gorgeous freee 11 x 14 color enlargements delivered down to the ice for everyone to keep. This made everyone v ery happpy, especially me ! because I knew what I was getting had great value.

I was trying to help them in any way possible to retain their RIGHTS to hunt and eat their food as they have done for the past 2,000 years or longer.

Point Hope used to have a population of over 10,000 Inupiaq Eskimos. Then the Yankee whalers and Portugese whaling companies arrived, and through disease and mass starvation 190 people survived.

The whales were all decimated and these people had no food, the walrus herds were wiped out for the valuable Ivory, The caribou were exhausted and none were left in the area, 190 people...

When I arrived in 1982 the population was up to 450

Today there are over 750 Inupiaq living in the village, others live in Anchorage or surrounding cites such as Fairbanks.

The culture is dying, and it must be preserved,



GOOGLE: Project Chariot and you will see first hand how the federal government was going to nuke Cape Thompson some 23 miles away from this village to make a deep water port.

they did not even inform these people as to their intent. !! !! !! !!

One man HOward Rock from Point Hope put a stop to the whole thing.

The government was kind enough to bury all the radio active waste in the middle of their hunting grounds, and all the elders are gone, all my closest friends died so young from cancer from the infected caribou.

tisk tisk tisk.. such sadness to the oldest people in North America..

This is point hope.. this is hoME !



That is all there is... of this tiny piece of land 23 miles out into the ocean on a tiny hook.

Tigara, in the olden times, now Tikigaq - Point Hope.

Our back yard is larger than most states and even some countries



The world famous Whale Bone Graveyard, there is only one, in the entire world.

Sigh, when the snow is melted and I walk in here, it is so devastating for me, to see the names of over 150 people that I knew oh so very well, like family, this is a very close friendly communtiy. I could never leave this paradise of the far North !

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Old 26-05-2007, 11:06   #14 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Wow, a wonderful intro indeed, and looks like there is much more to come. New site design looking good
This thread should have it's own section!
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Old 26-05-2007, 11:31   #15 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Wow What a thoroughly fascinating documentary you have presented here Majik Imaje

You have certainly made an excellent start to creating awareness of the cause you are representing here, very well done + attention grabbing

Oh, and exceptionally
for the insight + photography tips.

Nearly forgot ... a very warm (pun intended) welcome to pixalo
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Old 26-05-2007, 22:31   #16 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Well I worked feverishly around the clock for months melting snow to obtain the necessary water to mix the chemiclas to develop the film, Kodak C-41 then more snow to melt for mixing chemicals to mix the Kodak EP2 chemicals in 3 1/2 gallon containers.

Sixty rolls of color film were developed, The printing was a slow process due to the fact I had no "running" water.

There was a CLOSED MEETING coming up in Barrow for the Quota system for the Whaling Captains of all 9 villages. Even if you are Eskimo, you cannot attend this meeting. This city boy from Boston was going to try and gain access to this closed meeting.

I had the Album(s) all finished 7 of them, identical with hand written calligraphy.

100 - 11 x 14 gorgeous color prints depicting the incredible work to get out to the ocean ice, just to eat!

I flew up to Barrow at my own expense, which was considerable.

The morning of the meeting I am walking down an icy slippery street in Barrow, my foot hit a slick piece of ice, and I went completly horizontal.

The album went flying into the air, came down, and both covers broke and pages are scattered all over the road, in mud. I sat there in disbelief and cried like a little baby.

All that work, I got up, picked everything up, sobbing, at all the damage done to this beautiful important photo album.

I was a mess, I didn't have to look in a mirror to imagine how disheveled I must have appeared, I have the album covers cleaned off sorta but pages sticking out in all sorts of directions.

There is the building for the meeting, I walk in, and was quickly THROWN out.

Outside I took my jacket off and use my shirt to clean up the album, that was all I was concerned about, THIS ALBUM. I could care less about me.

I went back in feeling a bit more confident and was thrown out quicker than the first time. hmm... I need help. I have to do something 'different"

I take the time to straighten out the album in some sort of order and presentation.

I took a deep breath and walked back in,, oh oh, here they come. as they approaced me I opened the album and yelled.. YOU NEED THESE PHOTOGRAPHS.

After some whispering, I was allowed in, I was allowed to get up on the state at the podium and present MY CASE.. to important world leaders of the International Whaling commission. and two state senators.

I spoke for 1/2 hour in Inupiaq & English, how these people MUST BE ALLOWED to continue their traditional hunt every spring.

NO AGENCY, NO GOVERNMENT, NO GROUP has any right to impose any restrictions on this way of living,

Inupiaq peoples only take what they need to eat, nothing is ever wasted. we do not deplete the resources.

I apologized for my appearance and the condition of the album, I assured them a new album would arrive as soon as I got back to point hope. Upon my return to Point Hope, an album was "rushed" up to the Whaling comission,

A few days later I received this in the mail

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Old 27-05-2007, 19:32   #17 (permalink)
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I'm speechless, Welcome
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Old 29-05-2007, 07:54   #18 (permalink)
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Well I am so glad I have done my job well, for you to make these type comments. I will try my best, to do better!

DANGER: BEWARE: DANGER :


A little "Arctic" type humor on a very serious subject !

Polar Bears: -

DANGER: Polar bear - Nanuq (Nanook of the north) Nanuq is pronouned just like that old "fake" movie Nanook of the north, made decades ago.. what is so ironic is that the persons name was not really Nanook and that in real life he died by being eaten by a polar bear!



Sob.. I had a very close friend in Point Lay (100 miles+ north here) Charles Stalker Jr. III He was my electrical apprentice in that village. Dec 1990 Sob.. .. A polar bear was going after his pregnant girlfriend. Chalres was only armed with a knife when he distracted that bear away from his girlfriend. He never had a chance, one swipe of the LEFT paw, literally cut him into two pieces and he was eaten. The bear was killed and his girl-friend survived that attack because of the heroism that Charles displayed.

Allan Rock was out on the ocean ice and was attacked by a polar bear. Armed with only a large knife. That bear died!

ALL bearsare left handed, they will always swing with the left paw first.

Billy weber was out on the ocean ice and a polar bear was coming after him. armed with only a .22 rifle and only one bullet left. Billly weber ran, His friends could see the predicament he was in but were too far away to help. There is only one place to shoot a polar bear, and that is in the ear. Shoot for the skull and it will bounce off his skull and the bear will get you!
Billy was running for his life, and that bear was gaining on him, while running he merely pointed that rifle back and took his last shot, Billy lived to tell about it.. that bear was that close, that Billy got him right in the ear.


These are all very true stories that anyone in Point Hope will verify.

Last week, ha ha ha... Gus Kowanna (17) bought himself a rifle that was way too powerful for him or anyone else for that matter, he was warned, don't do that Gus, and don't put a scope on it, he didn't listen. .303 weatherbee bolt action. Gus proudly went out to the ice with his new weapon, He was warned, Gus is out on the ice and went up to the tent for something, when he came out of the tent, there was a polar bear, looking at him from about 30 or 40 yards away or slightly further. Gus picked up his rifle and took careful aim and pulled the trigger, That scope punched him right in the eye and now the polar bear is coming after him, Gus loaded another bullet and took aimi and held on for dear life to that rifle.. BLAM.. that scope punched him square in the eye and he is hurting so bad, getting socked like that, he can't think of the pain he doesn't have much time left at all, carefully he loads another round and held it as tight as could be and pulled that trigger.. that bear went down and Gus got rid of that rifle. I wish I could have reached Gus to get a pic of his face. it was sure swollen. black eye real bad.. he learned his lesson, the hard way. but at least he alive.

Even after that polar bear is dead, stone cold dead, that bear can still kill that hunter or who ever opens that bear up for gutting or skinning or whatever it is called. The liver must be destroyed by fire, so that other animals will not eat it. the tubes must be carefully tied and you better know what your doing, if you get any of that juice on your skin, your dead, there is just too much vitamin A inside that bear.

In Barrow Alaska 1940's A very famous Inupiaq hunter was cleaning a polar bear and he was all but finished and his hands were cold and he cupped his hands to blow into them, he got the tinest bit of that juice on his lip.
He lived for many years and everyone in those parts is aware of him, he passed on in the late 80's I think. His skin was bleached pure white and his hair was as white as snow, he lived, and everyone is witness to this bizarre event.

Scientists are concerned about global warming and the recent amount of polar bears that show up in the water drown, dead. They figure it is because of the extended long swims from the ice pack to the next ice pack.
That is not the reason ! There seems to be a shortage of seals further north, and a polar bear will attack anything he can eat. and the biggest mistake a bear can make is to attack a sleeping walrus. A walrus likes to sleep on its back, neck up ,head back exposing his vital neck region, the walrus is stretched out, asleep and along comes a polar bear, hungry, he pounces on that walrus who merely lowers his tusks around the bears head and rolls over into the water and drowns the bear! The walrus always wins.

Polar bears live on the ice, they follow the ice, sometimes they miss and end up in town, we do our best to get them out of town, but when a bear is going after a child or another person, we have no choice but to take it down quick.


Last month a mother with 3 cubs entered town, the ending was a good one, they were successful in getting that mother out of town and back onto the ocean ice. with all three cubs
The most delicous meat I have ever tasted in all my life has been polar bear meat, It is jet black, grainy like an old piece of garnled wood but it is so sweet and tender, better than the best prime rib I have ever eaten, It was the only time I have ever asked for seconds and everyone all at once said NO!



The hunter takes care of the bear, the women take care of the skin. This skin is worth over 15,000! To properly accomplish a "native" tan, without the use of chemicals, an extremelly sharp Ullu knife is needed, and many women are required to finish this in the course of an entire day.



Sally Killigvuk (left) and Elizabeth Oviok - Postmaster (right) are using all they got with much strength to scrape the skin until it is soft and clean. There are about six women working on this and it will take them most of the entire day.

Once it is cleaned then it must be thrown into the ocean tied up of course to something solid, then it is hung up in the Arctic wind for a few months to dry out.



Well I hope you found this "bear-y" interesting !

I have LOTS MORE to "show & tell"


The best.. ... is yet to come.. ..!
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Old 03-06-2007, 02:58   #19 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

If I type in the word IGLOO I bet you think you know what that is and what that word means. I bet your wrong.

First of all, in Alaska, above the Arctic circle since eons ago, an Iglu is not built out of snow or ice. that is a myth.

Certain parts of Canada & Greenland use snow/ice for a dwelling place or unit.

There are no O's or E's in the Inupiaq language so the correct spelling is:

Iglu = one dwelling

Iglut = two dwellings

Igluk = three or more.

This broken down collapsed condo once had electricity running to it
The service drop is located on the left side stick with the old porcelean still attached.


An Iglu is make out of whale bones and sod, since eons ago, Many of the very old ruins are still visible today, and many more are still being uncovered due to erosion and the fierce weather of the North Slope.



As you can easily see, there is quite a large area here in the dining room of this iglu, some even have side rooms off to the side, An iglu was quite large, often holding as many as ten people or more. that seems to be the norm here in the village, Ten !

The Old Town site is now A Federally protected landmark of historical signifigence. $10,000 fine if anyone is caught digging in this area.



any artifacts that are found here, in the old town site must be turned in to the proper authorities.

Beach combing is a big time business in the Arctic, on any beach, Clyde Harris of Kotzebue (185 miles south of here) was walking along the beach one day on his way to work, he saw something short and stubby sticking out of the mud, he kicked it and almost broke his Toe. Do you have any idea, how difficult it is, to get a tow truck up here in the Arctic ??

Clyde bent over and grabbed that short stump and tried to mive it, the earth moved ten feet away, He jumped up and ran home, (work was cancelled) he dug this monster up, A huge fossilized Mastadon Tusk, thousands of years old
He was immediately offered $15,000 for this, Clyde said No!

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Old 26-04-2008, 04:35   #20 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

thanks for all of your wonderful comments.

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Old 26-04-2008, 07:06   #21 (permalink)
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Re: High in the Arctic.. .. .. Eskimo !

Stunning - What more can I saw as I type this from my centrally heated house in the UK. We sometimes forget how others live on this wonderful world.
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Old 26-04-2008, 07:28   #22 (permalink)
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