Arctic Schoolteacher: Kulukak, Alaska, 1931-1933

Abbie Morgan Madenwald, Author
Abbie Morgan Madenwald, Author University of Oklahoma Press $24.95 (196p) ISBN 978-0-8061-2469-8
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-8061-2611-1
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In the early 1930s, a young couple from the state of Washington signed on to work at the U.S. government's territorial station in the remote Eskimo village of Kulukak, Alaska. Madenwald taught in the one-room schoolhouse; her husband Ed provided health care for the village and monitored the area's reindeer herd. The author's diary of their adventure in Yup'ik Eskimo society, where a white woman was a rarity, forms the basis of this chronicle, illustrated with photos taken by the Morgans and developed in their primitive kitchen. An outsider at first, she was eventually accepted by the Yu'pik, learned their language and developed respect for their ability to survive in a harsh environment. The author endured loneliness, isolation and hardship--her worst trauma being the discovery of her husband's dead body after a two-day search across the frozen tundra. This is a captivating account of a closed culture and a village that no longer exists. (Nov.)
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