July 11, 2011 Heritage Museum and Joe's Museum
Inupiat Heritage Museum
Yesterday on our day off we decided to go through the exhibits at the Inupiat Heritage Center. The Inupiat Heritage Center is a testament to the history and lives of the native people who have endured inhospitable conditions and raised their families here in Barrow.
My first stop was the artist studio. One of the artists was using baleen to make boats. Baleen basically acts like the teeth of the bowhead whales. The baleen is made from the same type of cells as your fingernails. The whales actually suck in a bunch of water and filter out the microscopic phytoplankton and krill (miniature shrimp less than 1 inch long) through the baleen. The whales eat up to 2 tons of food a day! The baleen is a prized possession and is used in arts and crafts. Another artist in the studio was using one whole 6-foot piece of baleen and doing scrimshaw carvings on the baleen (see picture below). Vernon is so good at his craft that he has even been commissioned to create baleen scrimshaw pieces for major corporations and museums throughout the U.S. The museum had a great whaling and migratory bird exhibits and only costs $10 for adults. However, it only cost me $5 as I luckily still carry my old college ID. Some of the exhibits and their artifacts are in the pictures below. I highly recommend a stop here if you are in Barrow.
We had also heard of an underground (unofficial) museum in Barrow so we set up an appointment with Joe. Joe has been collecting artifacts for over 30 years. To say that his place was packed is a gross understatement. There was hardly any room to walk, let alone see everything. He had some really amazing hunting trophies including an 8 foot tall elk, a polar bear that was in the original Coca-Cola commercials, wolf, and even a musk ox. Also, he had many native artifacts and many ivory carvings. He was very knowledgeable about the whaling history of the village. One of the most interesting facts he told us was that for every foot long the whale is, it corresponds to approximately 1 ton (52-foot long whale weighs approximately 52 tons). Two of his more famous visitors have been actor, Ted Danson and then Governor Sarah Palin (and no I have not seen Russia yet!). However, the most out-of-the-place relics he had at the museum was the Janet Jackson poster covering his bedroom door and his very own Farrah Fawcett Fan Club card from 1979! Haha Joe was quite a character and could tell you stories for hours! There is no charge for the museum and he works on donations. He definitely made our donation worth every penny!
Fact of the Day
Yesterday's Fact of the Day Answer: At what temperature are the Fahrenheit and the Celsius thermometers the same? Betsy posted the correct answer on the 'Ask the Team' section of the website….-40 degrees Fahrenheit = -40 degrees Celsius
Today's Trivia: What is the capital of Alaska? Hint: It kind of sounds like one of the 12 months.
Inuit Word of the Day
Yesterday's Word: Qujannamiik = Thank you! Hint: This 2-word phrase will get you far in life; being polite is the key!!! Did you get it right?
Today's word: Auja - Hint: This is the season most of the U.S. is experiencing right now!!! What is the word of the day?
Please take 2 seconds and reply with your guesses to the fact of the day or Inuit word of the day in the "Ask the Team" section link below: