A rare and culturally significant experience in Alaska is the spring whaling festival in Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow). Called Nalukataq, the whaling festival is part of an Inupiat tradition in which whaling captains host the festival after a successful hunt. During Nalukataq, the whale is shared with families from around the community.
Highlights of the festival, held in late June, include Alaska Native dances and music, a blanket toss and a potlatch dinner.
Whaling continues to be an important part of subsistence living in many coastal villages in the Arctic. Utqiagvik is Alaska’s largest subsistence whaling community, with 51 registered captains.
– Stephanie Plieness, The Alaska 100