Ethel Ross-Oliver


Ethel Ross-Oliver reminisces over her 1950 visit with the Nunamiut to do the census. She vividly describes the people, their skin tents, and the importance of visiting. This recording was originally made by ethel ross oliver at the request of the Oral History Archives at the Simon Paneak Memorial Museum in Anaktuvuk Pass, and subsequently shared with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program.

Click on a section below to hear audio.

Ethel Ross-Oliver talks in 1989 about...

1) ...getting ready to meet Simon Paneak.

tent--caribou\ Brooks Range\ U.S. Census--1950\ U.S. Census--area covered\ Nunamiut\ Wien, Sig\ caribou\ dogteams\ (PART 2) KFAR--"Tundra Topics", as forecaster of outsiders|

2) ...going to see Simon Paneak.

Anaktuvuk Pass\ Crowl, Bill\ Bettles Village\ Koyukuk River\ John River\ willows\ caribou--lead to people\ Arctic Ocean\ Mekiana, Homer\ tents--round, skin\ Paneak, Susie\ tent--door, grizzly bear|

3) ...description of caribou tents.

igloos--sod & stone\ barabara--Aleut dwelling\ log huts\ willow poles-20, 8ft, rawhide arches\ frame--basketlike, semi rigid\ 10 ft. diameter\ caribou skin\ door--grizzly bear, fur side in\ plastic window\ stove--sheet iron\ radio\ lanterns--coleman|

4) ...more descriptions of the village.

Crowl, Bill\ Mekiana, Homer\ visiting\ savik\ table--fold up\ Rulland, Frank\ racks--hide drying\ Mekiana, Homer--dogteam\ ptarmigan\ rabbit\ sod house--18x10, inverted vs, willow frame\ ugruk--large bearded seal\ Rulland, Vera\ Rulland, Jane|

5) ...census questioning of the Frank Rulland family.

census--Frank Rulland family\ Rulland, Frank\ birth certificates\ Bible\ Kobuk people\ age--recorded\ Paneak, Susie\ wood--cutting|

6) ...discussion of Homer Mekiana and the four different winter camps.

Mekiana, Homer\ hunting--caribou\ Tulugak Lake--summer gathering\ Contact Creek\ Ingstad, Helge--Scandinavian living in area\ John River\ Wien, Sig\ dogsled\ Gaffney, General--Arctic wear jacket|

7) ...census questioning of the Elijah Kakinya family.

Kakinya, Elijah\ Kakinya, Mae\ adaptations--sewing machine, phonograph, pots & pans\ tent--description\ census--Elijah Kakinya family\ Kakinya, Abraham\ tuberculosis\ Kakinya, Ruth--adopted\ visiting\ ulu's\ caribou--meat|

8) ...census questioning of the Simon Paneak family.

Paneak, Simon\ bear--grizzly\ wolf--kills\ census--Simon Paneak family\ Roosevelt, Mister--Simon Paneak's son\ naming--accepting English names\ Wien, Sig--nine children are named after him\ quaq--partially frozen meat\ atka--guardian soul, called to protect newborn\ Rulland, Frank\ Rulland, Vera|

9) ...more descriptions of Ethel's first evening in Anaktuvuk Pass with the Simon Paneak family.

Marston, Colonel Muktuk\ children--curiosity\ Itchoak, Wilber\ Ahgook, Jesse\ Ahlook, Charlie\ Paneak, Raymond--10 years old\ Paneak, Robert--12 years old\ Paneak, Mabel--7 years old\ Rulland, Frank\ Rulland, Vera\ bed--length of cabin, heads toward center\ wall--pockets in hide\ mukluks\ Fish & Wildlife Service--wolf bounty|

10) ...traveling and visiting in the Anaktuvuk Pass area.

visiting\ parkas--inner, fur side in\ parka--outer, fur side out\ wind\ blizzard\ census--while visiting\ Inulereck, Hugh\ Hugo, John\ naming--adopting fathers Christian name as last name\ missionaries--naming\ Amiliak, Susie (Paneak)|

11) ...differences between the upper and lower camps.

Morry, John\ scrub trees\ Hunt Fork\ spruce\ alder bark--dye\ tents\ sled--building\ Paneak, Robert\ Montigak, Morry\ upper camp\ lower camp\ Morry, Billy\ Morry, John\ Ahgook, Jesse\ Mekiana, Homer\ spruce camp vs willow camp\ mukluks|

12) ...census questioning of the Homer Mekiana family.

census--Homer Mekiana family\ Mekiana, Homer\ Mekiana, Molly\ sewing--sinew as thread\ Mekiana, Doris\ Mekiana, Rebecca\ Montigak, Morry|

13) ...more visiting while waiting for arrival of plane.

Barrow\ Barter Island\ Hugo, Jack Rice\ Kiak Creek\ spruce poles\ Tulugak Lake--summer camp\ Contact Creek\ Kavick, Ben\ meat--caribou head\ Rulland, Vera\ Kakinya, Mae\ Koyuk\ Nunamiut\ Ohkuliak-name given to Ethel from Simon Paneak\ Ingstad, Helge|

14) time passes while waiting for the plane.

Kikiana, Elijah--false ivory tooth\ medicine--showing how to use what the missionaries left\ Kakinya, Abraham\ Hugo family\ string story\ Rulland, Jane\ Nunamiut\ "Tundra Times"\ happy house--at summer camp\ Cross, John|

15) ...second meeting with Simon Paneak.

Second Annual Alaska Scientific Conference\ McKinley Park\ Irving, Dr. Lawrence\ birds--naming\ Anaktuvuk Pass\ Chapman, Sydney\ Aurora\ Beltz, Senator William--territorial legislature\ Anaktuvuk Pass--school attempts, 1950's\ Arctic Health Research Lab\ Irving, Dr.\ Paneak, Simon\ Anaktuvuk Pass--teachers, 1956\ Wrangell Institute|

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