The History of Alaska (история Аляски) — страница 2

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sense of direction was keen, almost uncanny. Travelling in a straight line, sometimes through snowstorms and whiteouts, they found their way around the mostly featureless terrain by noting wind direction, the position of the stars, the shape and size of a snowdrift. And they were resourceful. In a land where the summer sun stays at eye-level for weeks on end, never setting below the horizon, the Eskimos fashioned the first sun-visor--which also doubled as a snow mask to protect their eyes from the wind-driven snow. The Athabascans: Nomads of the Interior. Like the Eskimos, the Athabascans were skilful hunters, but they depended more on large land mammals for their subsistence--tracking moose and migrating caribou. When it came to fishing, the Athabascans were absolutely

ingenious, snaring fish with hooks, lures, traps and nets that are the fascination of modern day anglers who visit their camps. Generally nomadic, they lived in small, simply organized bands of a few families, and whenever possible pitched their camps in the sheltered white spruce forests of the Interior. Some adventurous tribes, however, wandered all the way to the Southwest United States to become kin to the Navajos and Apaches. Aleuts: Born of the Sea. For the Aleuts, life centred on the sea as they distributed themselves among the 70-some islands in the Aleutian chain across the North Pacific. Life here was somewhat more benign that in the Arctic, though wind storms were sometimes strong enough to blow rocks around. Since their food supply was rich, varied and readily

available, the Aleuts had time to develop a complex culture. Evidence indicates that they practiced surgery and that their elaborate burial rituals included embalming. Instruments utensils, even their boats were made with amazing beauty and exact symmetry. And everything was fashioned for a specific purpose--the Aleuts used 30 different kinds of harpoon heads for different species of game! Skilled navigators and sailors, the Aleuts had the dubious distinction of being the first to encounter the white man...Russian fur traders who took them as slaves to harvest the fur seals in the Pribilofs.PRIVATE The Northwest Coast Indians: High Society of Alaska’s southeast. The milder, more temperate climate and an unlimited supply of salmon and other seafood’s enabled the Northwest

Coast Indians to evolve a way of life quite different from the Eskimos, Aleuts and Athabascans. They settled in year-round permanent villages, took slaves and lived their lives according to the strict rules, rituals, and regulations of their respective clans. Their artwork was nothing less than masterful...beautiful blankets, finely woven cedar bark and spruce root baskets magnificent totem creations. Natives, who make up 15 percent of the state's population, maintain many traditions, such as whaling, subsistence hunting and fishing, and old ways of making crafts and art. Native heritage history and culture can be found in such diverse places as Ketchikan, Anchorage and Kotzebue, as well as in hundreds of villages where people live in traditional ways. But while Native culture,

as a whole, may define much of Alaska's appearance, the state contains a broad mixture of cultures. In Anchorage, for example, the school district has found that its student body comes from homes that speak 83 languages. Anchorage, the state's biggest city, has many Alaska influences but is also sometimes called Los Anchorage for its Lower 48-style architecture and mannerisms. Most residents of Alaska were born outside the state, and when they came to Alaska they brought their own traditions and desires. There are European influences as well. Petersburg, in the Inside Passage, has a strong Scandinavian heritage. Cordova and Valdez bear names bestowed by a Spanish explorer; Cook Inlet is named for a British explorer; Russians left a legacy of the Orthodox Church in much of the

state. 2. From the Russian Empire to the United States of America. The first written accounts indicate that the first Europeans to reach Alaska came from Russia. Vitus Bering sailed east and saw Mt. St. Elias. The Russian-American Company hunted otters for their fur. The colony was never very profitable, because of the costs of transportation. At the instigation of U.S. Secretary of State William Seward, the United States Senate approved the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 on 9 April 1867, and the United States flag was raised on 18 October of that same year (now called Alaska Day). The first American governor of Alaska was Włodzimierz Krzyżanowski. The purchase was not popular in the continental United States, where Alaska became known as "Seward's