Freezer in the Earth

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To anyone who may have wondered where one finds a freezer big enough to store a whale in, this is where: in the earth, which here is permafrost, frozen all the time. Each crew digs its own hole deep into the frost, widened out a bit at the bottom. Bruce Nukapigak descended into the ice cellar via a ladder and then began to tie boxes of frozen bowhead maktak and meet which is pulled to the surface by other crewmembers on top. In recent years in some villages, a new problem has arisen: ice sellers have begin to milk in the summertime. Some have been ruined altogether. Then they have to find other places where the permafrost still appears to be more stable and dig new holes. I have taken many pictures this afternoon, but there is no wireless available on the Nalukataq grounds and I have been too busy to post and write even if there had been. It is already time for me to go back for the evening events – the blanket toss and the Eskimo dance. These will not conclude until early tomorrow morning sometime so I don’t think I will post any more today. I will post a couple more of today’s images tomorrow. This is @billhess for @burndiary in Nuiqsut, Alaska. #bowhead #nalukataq #icecellar#maktak #nuiqsut #alaska #arctic

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