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Image 1
October 1, 2000: Note the front end loader holding part of the head up for better access.

Harvesting a Bowhead



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Image 2
October 1, 2000: Cutting and pulling...

Cutting and pulling



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Image 3
October 8, 2000: 1 of 7 images in a sequence showing how meat is cut.

Image 1 of 7



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Image 4
October 8, 2000: 2 of 7 images in a sequence showing how meat is cut.

Image 2 of 7



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Image 5
October 8, 2000: 3 of 7 images in a sequence showing how meat is cut.

Image 3 of 7



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Image 6
October 8, 2000: 4 of 7 images in a sequence showing how meat is cut.

Image 4 of 7



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Image 7
October 8, 2000: 5 of 7 images in a sequence showing how meat is cut.

Image 5 of 7



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Image 8
October 8, 2000: 6 of 7 images in a sequence showing how meat is cut.

Image 6 of 7



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Image 9
October 8, 2000: 7 of 7 images in a sequence showing how meat is cut.

Image 7 of 7



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Image 10
October 8, 2000: Note the crew flag flying from the boat, indicating a successful hunt.

crew flag



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Image 11
Oct 8, 2000: Frontend loaders from the North Slope Borough Department of Municipal Services hauling a whale to a location where it is easier to butcher. It is a little hard to distinquish, but the chunks of ice on the right middle of the image are ice floes floating in the Arctic Ocean.

Frontend Loader hauling whale



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Image 12
October 8, 2000: It takes two huge frontend loaders to pick up and move a 40 foot Bowhead whale. This whale was landed at Point Barrow, about a mile away and brought to the old DEWLINE airstrip for butchering. Note all the seagulls flying around... they've been dining on the leftovers from previous whales butchered here a week earlier.

Two frontend loaders move whale



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Image 13
October 8, 2000: Making the first cuts into the carcass.

First cuts



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Image 14
October 8, 2000: Up front... That's baleen sticking up from the side of the whale's mouth.

first cuts



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Image 15
October 8, 2000: Making the initial cuts. The knives are homemade, using canoe paddles, axe handles, or similar wood for handles and carpenter's saws, machetes and the like for blades.

Initial cuts



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Image 16
October 8, 2000: The fellow in the foreground is a very interested marine biologist, several of whom are present to collect samples from every whale taken. The scientists and the whaling crews work very closely together.

Marine Biologists



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Image 17
October 8, 2000: This is a very interesting picture. If you look closely there are, count 'em, four flags flying. There are four whales being butchered at the same time. Obviously it brings out the entire community, and that is exactly what it takes to process that much meat. Each whale weighs about 2000 pounds per foot of body length, and the preferred catch is a relatively young 40-45 foot whale. Most of these shown here are 40 foot or a little less. Before the day is done, there will be nothing left but scraps for the seagulls.

4 crew flags



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Image 18
October 8, 2000: The crew surveys their work, and family and others line up to get a good look or take a few pictures.

Survey of work



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Image 19
October 8, 2000: Another look at baleen from the mouth of the whale. Note also there is that biologist taking notes as they measure the whale.

Baleen in whale's mouth



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Image 20
October 8, 2000: Another view similar to the last one.

baleen in whale's mouth



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Image 21
Oct 8, 2000: Cuts being made into the whale.

cutting whale
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Created: November 27, 2000
Contact by email: Floyd L. Davidson
Last modified: Thu Sep 30 05:49:35 AKDT 2010