Barrow in North Slope Borough, Alaska — Northwest
Welcome to the Ancient Village of Ukpiaġvik
— “The Place Where We Hunt Snowy Owls” —
Sharing Food, Sharing Life – Then and Now
Ukpiaġvik, which means ‘the place where we hunt snowy owls,’ was one of several ancient villages in the Barrow area. Our ancestors settled here primarily to hunt the great bowhead whales. But their diet – just like ours today – was supplemented by the harvest of Nature’s other gifts, including the highly valued snowy owl. Even with the conveniences of the 21st century, it is the gathering and sharing of our Native foods that binds our families, friendships and spirits together.
Homebuilding 2,000 Years Ago
Our heritage comes from our culture’s ingenious use of the natural resources. The mounds before you are the 2,000 year-old remains of our ancestors’ semi-underground sod homes. The thick earthen walls held in the heat from the whale oil lamps while keeping out the bitter arctic winds. A sunken tunnel-like entrance was engineered to keep cold air from entering the warm interior living space, and the roof was supported with the long jawbones of the bowhead.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals Native Americans • Natural Resources • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 71° 17.279′ N, 156° 48.103′ W. Marker is in Barrow, Alaska, in North Slope Borough. Marker is on Apayauk Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Barrow AK 99723, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 14, 2022. It was originally submitted on November 17, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 946 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on November 17, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.