Special People in Barrow

Here is a photo of one of my favorite people in Barrow, Rosabelle Rexford.  Rosabelle is a very accomplished hunter, butcher and seamstress.  At the young age of 69, she is very efficient at skinning and butchering seals.  She has always been so kind to me and most supportive of my work.

This photo features me along with Rosabelle and her sister, Jane.  We are at one of the nalukataq festivities.  Note the beautiful parkas they are wearing-these were handcrafted by the two sisters!  They are called atigis.

Once again, I cannot emphasize enough how supportive Barrow hunters are of my research.  In this photo, Rosabelle and Jane visited me at the lab and wanted to have their picture taken with jars that contain formalin-fixed tissues from bearded seals taken during the harvest.  Also in the photo are Jane’s children.  Note the beautiful outfits that Jane and Rosabelle are wearing-these are summer parkas referred to as kuspuks.  The beautiful trim adorning these garments is all handmade by the two sisters!

This is the skin from the  ringed seal that Rosabelle is shown butchering earlier in the post.  The blubber has been removed and the skin is being stretched.  The skin will be used for making mukluks, traditional  boots.

I have cached away many of Rosabelle’s quotes and one-liners for inspiration when I am stressed out by the demands of being a wife, mother and veterinary student!  Thanks Rosabelle and Jane!

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