Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Arctic Roots

I lived in Barrow nine years of my life, and much has changed since I have moved. It makes me wonder how much has changed in just 50 years. For this assignment I wanted to research pictures that were taken in Barrow years ago. This Barrow Sod House picture was very interesting and I thought I could learn a lot of information of the people who once lived there before electricity was made as well as other technologies. Living in houses that were simple and small because the Inupiaq people were dealing with unlimited resources; since they lived on the tundra there are no trees therefore any building materials had to be taken from other areas further south or picked up as driftwood from the ocean.

This picture was taken between 1939 and 1959 in Barrow Alaska. During this time there were a lot of scientists and anthropologists who wanted to study the land, the Inupiaq Eskimo's and the way they lived. This photograph is part of the Ward W. Wells collection and the photographer was interested in the architecture of this house as well as the Kuspuks that they are wearing. Today there are no houses found like this one, they were torn or burnt down by the late 1980s and early 90's. I think that it is important to keep photographs like this one to remember what life was like living in those days.

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