Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

David "Ungudruk" Leavitt, Sr.

David Leavitt, Sr.

David Ungudruk Leavitt, Sr. is an Iñupiaq elder from Barrow, Alaska. He was born in 1929 at Cape Halkett, Alaska to Mae and George Tukak Leavitt, Sr. His father was a reindeer herder and worked at the local trading post run by Oliver Morry. The family moved to Barrow in 1943, when David was fourteen years old. David grew up in a traditional way where hunting and fishing were critical to survival. He learned a lot about sea ice while growing up seal hunting and traveling by dog team on the ice offshore form Cape Halkett. The first time he saw a whale was in spring 1943 after moving to Barrow. He learned whaling from his father and his older brother, Luther Leavitt. David started his own David Leavitt Crew in 1985, and has continued to be a successful whaler since. As an elder in Barrow, David is a well-respected expert on hunting, whaling, and sea ice.

David "Ungudruk" Leavitt, Sr. appears in the following new Jukebox projects: