Pauline Ramoth was interviewed on February 9, 2018 by Karen Brewster and Susan Georgette and Pauline's home in Selawik, Alaska. Nichole Hanshaw sat in and listened to the interview. In this interview, Pauline talks about growing up in Selawik when times were tough, only going to school until the sixth grade, and learning English, living a subsistence lifestyle of moving to seasonal camps for hunting, trapping and fishing, traveling on the river on a log raft, and stopping at Niliq and visiting the Rotman family who lived there. She also talks about muskrat hunting, preparing and trading the skins, eating traditional Native foods, use of plants, spring celebration and games they played.
Digital Asset Information
Project: Land Use and Environmental Change, Selawik National Wildlife Refuge Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Feb 9, 2018
Narrator(s): Pauline Ramoth
Interviewer(s): Karen Brewster, Susan Georgette
Transcriber: Karen Brewster
People Present: Nichole Hanshaw
After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.
Personal and family background
Life when growing up, going to school, and learning to speak English
Getting married, raising a family during hard times, and caribou hunting
Traveling to seasonal camps as a girl
Muskrat hunting and trapping
Traveling downriver on a raft, and trading
Preparing and using muskrat skins
People living at Niliq, and Rotman's Store
Her camp at Tuqłumaaġruq
More about traveling downriver on a raft
Collecting and use of wild celery and rhubarb
Eating muskrat meat, and more about muskrat hunting
June feast and game playing in Selawik
Seeing a moose, and going up the Tagraġvik River
Fishing and cutting fish, and changes in muskrat hunting and fur sales
Clothing used as a child
Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.
After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
KAREN BREWSTER: Okay, this is Karen Brewster and today is February 9th, 2018. And I'm here in Selawik with Pauline Ramoth at her home, and Susan Georgette is also here. And this is for the Selawik National Wildlife Refuge project.
Quyanaqpak (thank you) for talking to us, today. PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh-huh. KAREN BREWSTER: So can you tell me when you were born? PAULINE RAMOTH: November 13, 1930. KAREN BREWSTER: And where? PAULINE RAMOTH: Selawik. KAREN BREWSTER: You were born here in the village? PAULINE RAMOTH: Hm-mm.
KAREN BREWSTER: And who were your parents? PAULINE RAMOTH: Henry Foxglove and Dorothy Foxglove. KAREN BREWSTER: And do you have brothers and sisters? PAULINE RAMOTH: All of 'em? KAREN BREWSTER: Sure. PAULINE RAMOTH: Ben, and Lydia. No. Ben, me, Edna, Evelyn, Mary, Lila, Bert. Bert's the youngest, and my oldest is brother Ben. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. But some of the girls, they die.
KAREN BREWSTER: So, Nichole Hanshaw just joined us. She's going to listen in, if that's okay? PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh-huh. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. And we have your grandson here, observing. Right, he's your grandson? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, yeah. You want to listen? PAULINE RAMOTH: My adopted daughter's kids. They -- she have two boys.
KAREN BREWSTER: And so, can you tell me a little about what it was like when you were growing up? PAULINE RAMOTH: We have tough time living on -- when -- in those days. We have only one house. Log cabin. My dad make it for us. And we got big bed. Us girls, all of us, how many of us, in there. Always sleep together with a reindeer skin mattress. But it's warm. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.
PAULINE RAMOTH: And we use woodstove. We got few groceries. Those -- long time ago, we never have sweets. Nothing. Our dad only trapping. We got no food stamps, nothing. No welfare checks. No old age (social security).
And when I go to school, I school up to sixth grade. And I quit when my mom passed away. And she leave us to those kids, the young -- Mary was six years old and Bert was four, and that youngest one, Lila, was two years old. And I have to quit school, take care of 'em. I never learn much.
And when those schoolteachers was -- come for teachers, she was have how many girls and one boy. And we always -- they always invite them -- invite us to go over there and stay with them. They learned our language, Eskimo, and we learn English from them. And we start talking English. I was -- I always be scared to talk English myself that time. I thought they might laugh at me. KAREN BREWSTER: I think your English is good. PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh-huh.
KAREN BREWSTER: What was the name of that schoolteacher? PAULINE RAMOTH: Purkeypile. Long time. And those other -- other ones, Kathy and them, come around, we -- we always visit them, too. And we -- we learn English, too. Little bit.
I just only school up to sixth grade. And I don't know how to read those long words, but learn little bit reading magazines and those -- something. Ah-nah.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Where was -- where was your house in Selawik where you grew up? PAULINE RAMOTH: Right there. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Oh, right here where -- Okay. PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh-huh. KAREN BREWSTER: Right next door to here? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. We -- we was close. Right there was school. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, I see.
PAULINE RAMOTH: And we used to -- they used to eat Eskimo food with us. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. PAULINE RAMOTH: They learned, them girls. They talk in Eskimo like us. They just like they're teachers to us when we go out there and visit. When they talk we understand little bit.
KAREN BREWSTER: And when did you get married? PAULINE RAMOTH: 1956. KAREN BREWSTER: What was your husband's name? PAULINE RAMOTH: Warren Ramoth. Right there, his picture. Here. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, nice.
PAULINE RAMOTH: He was -- when we get married, we have no food and my brother always work in school, BIA school. He always help us and my husband always hunt with dogteam for caribou. When he come, all of us in the family we share with our caribou. 'Cause my brother, Ben, was working in school.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: How far did your dad go to hunt caribou? PAULINE RAMOTH: Up that way. And that way. They always -- pigña? KAREN BREWSTER: They had to go a long way? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. PAULINE RAMOTH: They spend the nights over there. Good caribou though. Good caribou. Fat, some of them. Reindeer.
My dad was helping reindeer herd, too, and he always bring a cari -- reindeer, reindeer meat. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm. PAULINE RAMOTH: We sure always have good soup when we go home from school.
But, later on, my brother -- my brother and I, we tired of eating too much caribou. We always just eat something when we go home. 'Cause that time when we school around here, we -- we never have snacks. Nothing. We eat in the home. In the morning. Afternoon, go back a little ways only.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Did your family travel around to camp in the springtime, so -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, we go camp every summer. SUSAN GEORGETTE: So maybe talk about that. PAULINE RAMOTH: Down here by Kuvraqtuġvigruaq. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Where you camp now? Same place or -- ? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. Uh. Camping right now. I mean -- In June, I always go camping. I got how many lands I never go no place. Up there, that -- in -- way up there that Paniqsiġvik, they call 'em. That's my husband's land. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Oh. PAULINE RAMOTH: They try to put some plyboards up there, but those brown bears, I think, always break 'em up.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Did he grow up up there? PAULINE RAMOTH: Huh? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Did Warren grow up up that way? PAULINE RAMOTH: No. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Or why would he have a camp at Paniqsiġvik? PAULINE RAMOTH: He -- When they pick up lands, he -- he was get, How many he have land?
KAREN BREWSTER: So, when you were growing up and you'd go out camping, where did you go? PAULINE RAMOTH: Kuvraqtuġvigruaq. Down -- down below. SUSAN GEORGETTE: And you'd go there for fishing with your family? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Is that -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Fishing. Caribou's always go down there, in the back of us. We always get how many, and we always make dried -- dried paniqtaq. Lots of fish. Ducks. Muskrats. In front of us, muskrats always go back and forth.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Did your family -- did your family trap muskrats for selling them? PAULINE RAMOTH: Long time ago, when we're camping down there, my dad and mom go over there to that little lake and sit down and wait. He always get how many sitting down there. In that little lake. KAREN BREWSTER: And then would he shoot them? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, shoot them, and trying to get 'em with that long twine. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm-mm. PAULINE RAMOTH: Put stick on -- over, and they throw it and try to get it.
KAREN BREWSTER: Is there an Iñupiaq word for that line with the stick? PAULINE RAMOTH: Iñupiaq word? KAREN BREWSTER: For that line that you throw with the stick?
PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh, Iġił̣haq. Iġił̣haq (grappling hook at end of line). They always put long stick and put it, and -- KAREN BREWSTER: Tie it? PAULINE RAMOTH: Tie it on that stick and make long -- make it long and try throw that stick and pull it. They always -- it always --
KAREN BREWSTER: And it catch the muskrat and bring it in? PAULINE RAMOTH: Some people have wood. This kind. And put on nails. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. PAULINE RAMOTH: And it's easier to have that kind, I think. KAREN BREWSTER: Like a float with nails in it? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, yeah.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Would they catch a lot of muskrats? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. Sacks full. How many they always get in springtime when we go up the riv -- way up the river. Me, us -- my dad and mom, Harry Mitchell, and Cora Jones and them, we always go way up with dogteam. And we go back there and stay up there in that lake in springtime.
When it's spring -- summertime, springtime, we always go down by the main river and they get those big logs. What they make. They make that big square one. SUSAN GEORGETTE: A raft? PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh-huh. We put our -- they put tent, our sleds, dogs, woodstove, lots of wood. Just chop wood out there in -- in those -- top off the left.
And when we -- when those coming down, we see rhubarbs, we always go get 'em with a boat. With our little boat. While mama and dad sleep, we get that sugar. We -- and we take the peels of -- peel it off and we always do that, so that's why I think I had diabetic.
KAREN BREWSTER: So you dip the rhubarb in the sugar and eat it? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Funny. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: So was that Tagraġvik or Kuugruaq or what river were you going up to? PAULINE RAMOTH: Inauraq (“small place). It's called Inauraq, that -- piña? -- land where we springtime when we -- when it have snow, we go there. And when it's piñit -- KAREN BREWSTER: Breakup? PAULINE RAMOTH: Water, go way up. We go with boat and put our stuff down there to our raft. And we go.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: And that's on Selawik River or Kuugruaq? Or -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Selawik River. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Selawik River? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Past Second Forks? PAULINE RAMOTH: We never -- we always never go up there Kuugruaq. We just maybe close to -- we could -- they always go by Niliq, I think. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Past there, huh?
PAULINE RAMOTH: We were small when we go up there. Lots of muskrats. Them men - Harry, Dad, and Fred Jones. And we always have that Rotman. Clara's husband. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Louie? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. He always bring food with boat and go up there. And we -- and they sell it with trade with -- for food.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: What kinds of things would you trade for? Like flour? PAULINE RAMOTH: Flour, or what we always eat. Only time, long time ago, we have flour, sugar, rice, macaroni, coffee, tea, salt, pepper. Nothing to put in there. Soup only put that rice. Nowadays, we don't -- don't -- piña? -- spoil us. Naluaġmiu’s (white people’s) foods spoil us. Arii.
KAREN BREWSTER: So did you and your mom go muskrat hunting, or it was just the men? PAULINE RAMOTH: We stay in the camp. My mom always go over there to that little lake behind and sit down, and pretty soon muskrat come up. He shoot 'em. How many he always get them from over there. KAREN BREWSTER: Your dad? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.
PAULINE RAMOTH: 1947, while I was, I think, seventeen years, she leave us. So I have to take care of my one -- that brother and two sisters. And they think they always be their mom. KAREN BREWSTER: So that was when your mom died? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: 1947.
PAULINE RAMOTH: And when they grown up, those other ones, they get married. They stay with dad. Still staying with me while he -- while I move out.
And dad wanted me to put -- if ever we have -- how many -- whatever we're gonna have house or you would -- you will make your house around here, so your kids won't go way far to school. He -- he tell us. So we make log cabin.
We was in log cabin, and we -- they build that plyboard. Alappaa (it's cold)! In the morning when we gonna go to school, we get up, Dad always build that stove. Pretty soon that stove get hot. We always go around the -- make hotcake or mashaq (porridge) my older brother cook.
KAREN BREWSTER: So after they caught all those muskrat, then did you skin them and dry them? PAULINE RAMOTH: Dry 'em up and sell 'em. Trade 'em to stores. Some people right now they make jackets, parkas. When you make inside parka, that kind muskrat, they're heavy. I always have one.
KAREN BREWSTER: How many muskrat does it take to make an adult parka? PAULINE RAMOTH: Lots. Over fifty, maybe. Aarigaa, those outside ones. They look pretty. Esther Norton, when I see her, I always -- she make them herself.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Do you remember who was living at Niliq when you would stop by there? PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh-huh. Yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Who all -- who was living there? PAULINE RAMOTH: Ruth Ballot and them. Emma's grandma. And her sons. And Rotman's Store was have little store up there. There were those girls, they stay up there when they're small.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: The Rotman girls? PAULINE RAMOTH: When they come here, yeah, we'd stay with them. That's where we learn English. And Junie learn how to talk Eskimo. Really better than us.
When we go to Nullaġvik (Nullaġvik Hotel in Kotzebue) when she was working, me and Evelyn go inside, go see her. "Come on, girls." She let us go in there, the room, and talk Eskimo.
And after that, "You fellas go eat to Nullaġvik. I'll pay 'em." He -- We -- me and Evelyn always go eat.
KAREN BREWSTER: So, what year did Rotman's open the store here in Selawik? PAULINE RAMOTH: I don't know. Maybe long time? We were small girls that time.
In calendar, it's not writ -- it's written, I guess, eh? KAREN BREWSTER: I don't know.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Oh, the Rotman's calendar. That's a good idea to look there. PAULINE RAMOTH: Over there, that -- KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, the trading post -- SUSAN GEORGETTE: We're going to interview Sally tomorrow. Sally Gallahorn. PAULINE RAMOTH: Oh. SUSAN GEORGETTE: So we can ask her. KAREN BREWSTER: I'll ask her that question. SUSAN GEORGETTE: We'll ask her. PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: She might know.
KAREN BREWSTER: And now, you were talking about your camp that's eroded. Is that -- SUSAN GEORGETTE: Oh, at Tuqłumaaġruq. Your land at Tuqłumaaġruq is gone? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. Yeah, it -- the front. I was have eighty acres there. It -- piña? -- it's done. KAREN BREWSTER: Was that down? PAULINE RAMOTH: It's gone. The front. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Yeah, down. It's on the east end of Selawik Lake.
PAULINE RAMOTH: I've got Tuqłumaaġruq. You know that Ruru's camp. That -- this side to Lloydie's camp. There's one more in back there. How many I got?
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Do you use them all still or you -- you fish -- PAULINE RAMOTH: I just go over there. Step. SUSAN GEORGETTE: For -- for fishing, or for berry picking or -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Berry picking, fishing, anything. Put tent, maybe.
Arii, I'm old. Right now I'm 87 years old. SUSAN GEORGETTE: You don't look 87. KAREN BREWSTER: No. PAULINE RAMOTH: Huh? SUSAN GEORGETTE: You don't look 87.
PAULINE RAMOTH: When I try to get up sometimes, I always stand up and -- KAREN BREWSTER: Fall back. PAULINE RAMOTH: -- sit down and back.
KAREN BREWSTER: Yep. So when you used to -- when you would come down on the raft? PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh-huh. KAREN BREWSTER: How long would it take you to get down to Selawik? PAULINE RAMOTH: Long time. When it's west wind, we -- we stop, tie our raft, sleep, fishing. No rods, only this kind. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, hook. Niksiking. Hooking? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. Poor Eskimos, we have hard time living. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: How did they steer the rafts? They have big pole or -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: How do they -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, big one. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Huh. PAULINE RAMOTH: Some -- some -- We have boat and when we want to go faster we always -- KAREN BREWSTER: Row. PAULINE RAMOTH: -- go like this. Row our boat.
One time, that Tommy Skin, that old man with a little boat named "Kuugrua," I guess. He tie thirteen rafts, and come over here. He drag 'em all the way from whenever he sees that raft, he pick -- let 'em tie 'em next to that. There were thirteen of 'em.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: He had a motorboat? He had a motor on his boat? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Wow. What -- when would that have been? 1950s or 1940's? PAULINE RAMOTH: I think so. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Or? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah.
Nobody hardly goes springtime camping. KAREN BREWSTER: But that's the time to get muskrat, huh? PAULINE RAMOTH: They -- they don't know the fun we had when we go camping. Cutting, yoi. Eating fresh those ikuusuks, stink one. Sure like those. Put it in oil.
Me, alone, I was -- I was always eat. "You fellas should try these. They're really good." The boys and those kids, they start eating that kind.
I always make to glass this kind. Cut 'em in these pieces. And put seal oil and let it stand around there. And we eat 'em with fish, meat, anything.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: What are they? What are you cutting up? PAULINE RAMOTH: Ikuusuk (fresh wild celery). KAREN BREWSTER: What's ikuusuk? PAULINE RAMOTH: Those green one. KAREN BREWSTER: Is that a plant? SUSAN GEORGETTE: I'm not sure. We can ask. I'm not sure which ones those are, but we'll look. Ikuusuk. KAREN BREWSTER: Is that a -- Is it -- ?
PAULINE RAMOTH: It's like celery. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Okay. PAULINE RAMOTH: It's just like celery, samma. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Yeah, okay. PAULINE RAMOTH: Samma. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Yeah.
PAULINE RAMOTH: Those rhubarbs is qusrimmaq. You ever try those green ones? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Hm-mm. I've tried rhubarbs. PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Yeah. There's lots around here, in the -- PAULINE RAMOTH: They're really good. Take the -- peel it off, and put it in seal oil. Pretty -- pretty soon, when they stay in oil, they sure is soft and really good.
And they say they're good medicine, too. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Good. KAREN BREWSTER: What do they help treat? PAULINE RAMOTH: Huh? KAREN BREWSTER: What kind of medicine? What are they good for? PAULINE RAMOTH: For your body. KAREN BREWSTER: Just your body. PAULINE RAMOTH: Hm-mm.
KAREN BREWSTER: Did you eat the muskrat that your dad caught? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yes. Best food. Really good when you bake 'em or boil 'em. And when they dried, my dad used to eat. When they get dried, we always clean 'em and hang 'em. Dry it like meat. They're real good.
How long do I have to talk? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Whenever you want to be done, we can be done.
KAREN BREWSTER: I was going to say -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Without you. KAREN BREWSTER: -- any -- any other memories you have of muskrat hunting? Or stretching the skins or wa -- anything about muskrat? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, me and my -- when me and -- I get married to Warren, he always take me. I am the -- I have my .22. He just ride for me. And I always shoot.
KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, you were the shooter? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. PAULINE RAMOTH: When my eyes are good. Right now, I have funny eyes.
KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So, you were in a little boat? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. PAULINE RAMOTH: In a little boat. KAREN BREWSTER: Like a rowboat?
PAULINE RAMOTH: When they -- we take 'em home, we skin'em. And dry the skins. And those muskrats, we take the inside out and we wash 'em, hang 'em up for dried muskrats to cook. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm. PAULINE RAMOTH: They're really good to eat. I like 'em baked.
KAREN BREWSTER: So were you -- you were a good shot with that gun? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: You were good at it? PAULINE RAMOTH: Hm-mm. When I have good eyes.
KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. How many would you and Warren get? PAULINE RAMOTH: We always get any much. When we see muskrat, try to shoot it. Fifty somewhere around. Forty. Thirty, like that. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow.
PAULINE RAMOTH: But when they never have not much muskrats, we always ten, eleven, like that.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Did your dad have a kayak? PAULINE RAMOTH: Huh? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Did your dad have a kayak? PAULINE RAMOTH: Hm, long time ago. They're rotten already.
KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. When -- when you would go shoot those muskrat, what time of day would you go? Like evening-time, morning -- ? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, evening -- KAREN BREWSTER: -- night? PAULINE RAMOTH: -- time we go KAREN BREWSTER: Evening. That's the best?
PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. And in -- around three o'clock in the morning sometimes -- KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. PAULINE RAMOTH: -- we go home. KAREN BREWSTER: Wow.
PAULINE RAMOTH: Go every place. He know where to go. Have tea. Yoi! When you gonna have tea, when -- when you get cold.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Did Selawik have a feast in June after everyone came back? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. They all -- They used to. SUSAN GEORGETTE: What did they do? They -- Or tell us about that.
PAULINE RAMOTH: I think they always thank the Lord when they stay in camp first. Then they praise the Lord when they have that kind of feast in church.
We bring our what we gather - muskrat, dried fish, those what grow when they cook 'em. They used to have those green, long green ones.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: They played games, too, or -- ? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. They have those four -- this kind of wood. And they mark 'em with -- piña? -- they got four -- four of 'em. Four on the side and two of -- two right there. And two. And they put their little stick, let it stand, throw it like this, and when it go to that stick, they win.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Oh, yeah, what do you call that game? It has a name, right. I -- I -- PAULINE RAMOTH: It has a name some kind. KAREN BREWSTER: It's like with a -- a -- a little -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Arii, I'm forgetful. KAREN BREWSTER: -- a ring you throw?
SUSAN GEORGETTE: It's kind of like a horseshoe game, but Iñupiaq style. You throw and whoever gets closest -- PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: -- to the stick. PAULINE RAMOTH: Qiputaq! SUSAN GEORGETTE: Yeah. That's right. Wait, say it one more time. (phone rings)
KAREN BREWSTER: Okay, wait, say the name of the game again. PAULINE RAMOTH: Qiputaq.
KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. So would everybody from all their far away camps come into Selawik? PAULINE RAMOTH: No. KAREN BREWSTER: For the feast? No, for the -- PAULINE RAMOTH: No. KAREN BREWSTER: -- for the feast? No? PAULINE RAMOTH: No. Just us and --
After that, we always play games. Even after church, we used to with those old -- old ones. Aana Faye, Lulu, those we used to.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Can you talk about when you first saw a moose? Do you remember first time you see a moose? PAULINE RAMOTH: I forget where I seen first time moose. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Okay, sometimes people remember. PAULINE RAMOTH: In that camp, there always be lots. From the -- from this way and that way, and we always see two of 'em with our little -- little moose.
They're real good to eat when they're fat. Hey, arii.
KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, that button. The Tagraġvik River? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Well, that's -- I think that's -- KAREN BREWSTER: But I didn't know if Warren went up there.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Tagraġvik, did Warren go -- go up that way? Tagraġvik River? PAULINE RAMOTH: Where? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Can you say it? NICHOLE HANSHAW: Tagraġvik. PAULINE RAMOTH: Huh? NICHOLE HANSHAW: Up river.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Tagraġvik. Like where Mabel Berry lived, up that way. Where Mitchell's had camp. On Tagraġvik. The Tag River. PAULINE RAMOTH: What's that?SUSAN GEORGETTE: Yeah, I can't say it well enough.
KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. I was just wondering about any other places up river, up any of those rivers out that way, if you or your husband ever went out there? PAULINE RAMOTH: There's lots of rivers up there. I never go up there. I almost forget, I guess. And forgetful me. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Did you know who Charlie Cook is? Did you -- an old guy named Charlie Cook? Or no, that doesn't sound familiar? PAULINE RAMOTH: That -- I don't know. It -- Emma (Ramoth) can't talk about it? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Well, Ralph has mentioned him before. PAULINE RAMOTH: Oh, yeah. SUSAN GEORGETTE: But I didn't know if -- Ralph wasn't around, so I didn't know if you knew who Charlie Cook was. PAULINE RAMOTH: He's -- he's not home yet? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Maybe?
KAREN BREWSTER: Is there anything else you want to tell us about muskrat hunting and your memories? PAULINE RAMOTH: What's that? KAREN BREWSTER: Anything else you want to talk about muskrat hunting? PAULINE RAMOTH: It's really nice to go muskrat hunting. I like it. When I -- even I'm -- I'm small I go with them when they hunt.
From the beginning, I start cutting fish. I don't know how many fish I cut. SUSAN GEORGETTE: Lots. KAREN BREWSTER: Lots. PAULINE RAMOTH: Lots. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. PAULINE RAMOTH: That Richard Lincoln used to send paniqtaq from me. He used to send me money by Bering Air tried to have -- when they go down there to go get their fish, her daughters always open that box and start eating. They sure like 'em.
KAREN BREWSTER: You said you liked to eat muskrat. PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: People -- nobody hunts them anymore? PAULINE RAMOTH: They did. We always -- I always let -- tell my boys to go hunt, I want musk -- Tell 'em I want muskrat. My favorite food.
KAREN BREWSTER: But not like the old days where people got so many? People don't get that many anymore? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, up there. Up -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah? PAULINE RAMOTH: Maybe they go up there, they would get lots. Even around here, they always get lots when they look for them.
KAREN BREWSTER: Hm-mm. But nobody's buying the fur? PAULINE RAMOTH: When they're -- when no wind, there always be lot, good to see. But when it's windy, it's -- it can't see much.
What was that? KAREN BREWSTER: I said nobody's buying the furs anymore. PAULINE RAMOTH: But people, Eskimo's, they buy for jackets and -- KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, okay. PAULINE RAMOTH: From people, I think. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm. Good. Okay.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Well, that's good. Any -- anything else? Or we're -- we can be done. Or anything else you want to say about when you were growing up? PAULINE RAMOTH: When I was growing up, I didn't -- we didn't have much clothes. Lucky there were -- those flours, was have flour -- KAREN BREWSTER: Flour sack? PAULINE RAMOTH: -- flour sacks with filled with flours. My -- my auntie make me dresses from those.
We have that kind of -- what you call them? Those little dresses. And they even make us with those plain white ones, little panties. Up to here, those elastic. Elastic ones. KAREN BREWSTER: Little pantaloons. PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah.
KAREN BREWSTER: Up to your knee. Did -- bloomers. Like bloomers. Bloomers? PAULINE RAMOTH: Yeah, bloomers. They call -- we call them bloomers. Arii.
SUSAN GEORGETTE: Well, good. That -- that's all we have, unless you have something else. PAULINE RAMOTH: Okay. SUSAN GEORGETTE: We're good. KAREN BREWSTER: Tavra? SUSAN GEORGETTE: Thank you, Pauline. PAULINE RAMOTH: Uh-huh. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay.