My journalist friend, Julia O’Malley, hooked me up with an editor for Eater Magazine to write a piece about the ulu. She reminds me of the importance of community and the recurring lesson that we cannot do anything alone. Thank you, Julia.
It was interesting writing about an every day Inupiaq/Yup’ik item in a literal way to describe how we utilize it. Something so obvious and normal for us had to really be spelled out and described in a way that felt Elementary and oversimplified. It also felt strange because most instruction I received from my Mom and Gram was done with little language. I learned through watching, watching, watching over years and years. Words were little, but the instruction effective and given, nonetheless. I guess what I’m trying to say is, it was different writing or catering to a white reader by using a lot of words in an action where stories are shared instead.
Thank you, Eater magazine, for sharing a bit of our lifestyle in the story, “Slicing Salmon (or Anything Else) Is a Breeze With an Ulu.”
Note: The images used are from Willard Church from Quinhagak, who operates Classic Uluaq. He makes beautiful ulus that can be purchased from his Facebook page, Classic Uluaq.