This site offers information gathered by a project entitled "Whale Hunting Societies of the Western Arctic: A Regional Integration" [OPP-9807051] to study Western Arctic whaling in a comparative frame. It began in 1995 and has been sponsored by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and funded by the National Science Foundation.
objectives are as follows:
Our project used a multidisciplinary approach to address a series of questions about the potential relationships between changing environmental conditions and the ways in which indigenous peoples in the Arctic have organized their whaling as a core part of their social lives. This includes, among other work:
-reconstructions of climatic fluctuations over the past two millennia and their possible effects on whaling over time;
-the relationship between wind speed and wind direction as they affect whaling in the Barrow region today, during spring and fall
-the study of whale bones as they appear in the archaeological record in order to learn more about the origins and characteristics of whaling across the Arctic region;
-a detailed archaeological study conducted in Wales, Alaska, of sites that contain material from approximately AD 500 into the 19th century;
-a continuing study of the importance of Qargit (ceremonial houses) in Point Hope during the late 19th and early 20th centuries;
-oral historical reconstructions of whaling during the 20th century at Wales, St. Lawrence Island and Little Diomede Island;
-a discussion of strategic decision making that must by undertaken during fall whaling in present-day Barrow
(D) A final objective is to provide links to sites that might be of interest to people who are exploring related issues.