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Safety Net Photograph by Joel Sartore
The tradition of nalukataq, or tossing people on a blanket of seal skins, brings levity to Barrow each June, when the Inupiat celebrate a successful whale hunt. Despite the ills that modernization has brought to the North Slope—including alcoholism and rates of suicide almost four times the national average—the Inupiat cling to their heritage. "This celebration is about sharing our subsistence resources," says Harry Brower, chairman of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. "Family ties are strengthened beyond what words could express."
Camera: Nikon F6 Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50 Lens: 17-35mm, f/2.8 Speed and F-Stop: f/8 @ 1/250
Weather Conditions: Clear and sunny Time of Day: 1 p.m. Lighting Techniques: Natural light