Aug 26, 2019 - National Geographic Orion
What an incredible scene to wake to! A glass-calm sea with a beautiful sunrise. The weather stayed mostly calm for the morning allowing us to go ashore at Cape Dezhnev, the remains of a Yupik village abandoned in the 1950s due to Soviet resettlement of the villagers. Here we could see the remains of houses and stores all made from rocks carried up from the beach, and then the remains of large whale bones which would have supported the roof on the buildings.
In the afternoon we arrived at Uelen; a modern Yupik village where the traditional cultures and dress meet with more modern technology and architecture. Villagers were processing several walruses killed earlier when we arrived. Tusks two feet in length were excised first. Outsiders may wince seeing the process, but it is just as fascinating to witness – firsthand – the role of these magnificent animals in sustaining an otherwise traditional Russian culture. The indigenous people of the Arctic have a quota for marine mammals that they can hunt for subsistence, and substantial parts of the walrus will be used for food and other utility.
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