Abandoned Stilt Village Ukivok on King Island, Alaska


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November 25, 2013

The stilt village Ukivok is located on King Island, an island that is 90 miles North West of Nome, Alaska, residing in the Bering Sea.

Named in honor of the Lieutenant James King in 1778. The island was a seasonal winter home to the Inupiat people who called themselves Ukivokmiut, meaning people of the sea. During the summers they spent their time in the area of Nome, Alaska. Once Nome became established as a town, the Ukivomiut people began selling their carvings and other things to the people of Nome. By the time the 1950’s rolled around the Bureau of Indian Affairs closed the school that had been established in Ukivok, forcefully removing the children from King Island to make them go to school in mainland Alaska. The adults and other elders were left alone to gather the food needed for winter but without the help of the children, they had no choice but to also leave to the mainland to survive. All the King Island natives had moved year-round to mainland Alaska by 1970.

Some Ukivokmiut still make their way to King Island to gather foods like walrus and seal and work hard on keeping their cultural identity. King Island is now apart of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

Where is the abandoned stilt village Ukivok located? You can find it with these coordinates. 64.971444,-168.062067. Though Bing and Google Maps both show blurry satellite photographs.

All images used are licensed under the Public Domain in the United States and can be found Here

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