The Whales, They Give Themselves: Conversations with Harry Brower, Sr
The Whales, They Give Themselves: Conversations with Harry Brower, Sr.
edited by Karen Brewster
U. of Alaska Press
PO Box 75640-UAF, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240
ISBN 1889963658 $45.00 hc 232+xii pp.
ISBN 1889963666 $22.95 trade paper
The child of a white whaler and trader who lived in the Arctic and an Eskimo mother, Harry Brower, born in 1924, straddled two worlds. Because of this, he was able to work out a satisfactory arrangement between the local Inupiaq Eskimo tribe and scientists interested in whales for scientific and environmental reasons. Most importantly to the Inupiaqs, the tribe was able to continue hunting whales as they had since time immemorial. For the Inupiaqs, such whale-hunting was a fundamental part of their culture, as the Plains Indians hunted buffalo. The cycle of the year centered on whale hunting, and many community events were based on the hunts and the cutting up, cooking, and preservation of the whales killed in a hunt. One would hardly realize Brower was not a native Eskimo steeped in the culture. His conversations range over all parts of Eskimo life–family life, surviving the winters, holidays, the inroads of European culture, hunting, and religion. Brower is a rich font of Eskimo life and lore. But beyond this, the material is informative and fetching especially for its unique, first-hand, picture of whale hunting from the viewpoint of Eskimos.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Midwest Book Review
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group