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The subsistence hunting activities of the Inupiat Eskimos is a typical traditional knowledge success story that is worthy of emulation.
The Inupiat Eskimos are found in the state of Alaska in the USA. They are heavily dependent on the subsistence harvest of marine mammals, fish, terrestrial mammals, and migratory birds. It is the process of hunting and harvesting that gives strength and meaning to their culture.
But, it is the Bowhead Whale that is the most important of all the animals at the disposal of thse people. They believe that the harvest of the Bowhead Whale is the most culturallly significant. Hence it is being taught to thier children at a very early age. Such process of tuttoring involves the making of the traditional skin boat and coping with dangers inherent in travelling on sea to the whale camp.
The harvest of the Bowhead whales is seen as a time for sharing and uniting of the people. It is greeted with an array of rituals such as hosting of Whaling Feasts and Festivals.
Women are not left out in the process. Appart from preparing the bearded seal skin to be used to cover the boat's wooden frame, the women are also responsible for the preparation of the whaling feast to welcome the hunters back home.
The Inupiat Eskimo believe that subsistence is a central part of their culture. Community activities revolve around the seasonal subsistence cycle which provide their much needed food. They believe that this lifestyle is the key to the survival of their culture.
When the international whaling commision banned the harvest of Whales in 1977, they responded by establishing the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission which was able to organise whaling communities, restore and secure the management of the hunt.
They were able to cooperate with relevant agencies to adopt better scientific tools to better monitor and account for the population of the Whales. As such, they were able to understand better the activities of the whales.
The Inupiat Eskimo realised that this practice is their cultural Identity, as such did all that was necessary to preserve it. They ensured that the cultural practice is taugth to their children. They are the a good example of traditional knowledge success story.