Monday, March 23, 2009

Tulugak -- Raven

The ravens at Tucktoyatuk were a special lot. They were much bigger than the crows, which I never saw there, but had some mischievous ways. The Eskimos were always laughing at their antics.

It seems the Ravens liked to perch on the modules because they were the highest things around there. Often we would see them sitting on top of the roofs looking regal and fluffing their feathers. It seems they would take turns flying off and the line of black lumps would have a gap in it. Another would soon fill the hole and that went on for a long time. Sometimes they would all take off in flight and gather somewhere down on edge of the lakes.

One particular day a strong wind came in with some real cold weather. It was in the fall and the following morning I went outside and noticed that where the crows usually sat were these icicles lined up.

I couldn’t see any crow-type blackness at all. It was like they were entrenched there. I banged a pot as loud as I could and was not prepared for what I saw. The ravens tried to lift off but the icicles’ effect was still with them and they began to fall. It was only a short distance to the ground but what followed had the Eskimos and Indians laughing to beat the band.

The ravens were crashing into each other -- half flying and half falling. A moment later there were ravens squawking and yodeling as they do with one missing ingredient -- the icicles.
Having shed the icicles they all started to fly at once. The mid air collisions were hysterical. It was like watching a drunk trying to cross a skating rink. It was great fun.

The Eskimos nicknamed me Tulugak. Every time they saw me they would repeat it and then start smiling and laughing. I am not sure to this day what was going on there. All I know is that it would have been a great shot if I had had a camera.



  1. Tulugaak means raven, I looked it up. Tulugaak was also the God of Light, or something like that. So they were calling you Raven. They must have enjoyed watching bang pots at those birds.

  2. This is Megan.

    Where is Tucktoyatuk?