Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Elijah Kakinya

Elijah Kakinya

Elijah Kakinya was born in the spring of 1895 at Tulugaq Lake, near the mouth of the Anaktuvuk River valley, and grew up along the Beaufort Sea coast and inland rivers of northern Alaska. As was typical of families at the time, they traveled a lot in search of food resources and often moved seasonally following the animals. During this time, Elijah learned much about hunting, fishing, and survival. He came especially to understand ice conditions near and around Flaxman Island and Beechey Point, since these were places from where he went seal hunting. He lived off and on at Flaxman Island until he was twenty years old. In the winter months, Elijah traveled inland around the Colville River and Umiat area, going as far inland as Anaktuvuk Pass, and returning to the coast in the spring. Eventually, he settled in Anaktuvuk Pass and made that his permanent home. Elijah was known for his hunting and survival skills, as well as for his great knowledge of Inupiaq traditions, stories, and dances. He was always interested in passing on and sharing what he knew. Elijah Kakinya died on July 1, 1986. For more about Elijah Kakinya, see Qiñiqtuagaksrat Utuqqanaat Iñuuniaġniŋisiqun: The Traditional Land Use Inventory for the Mid-Beaufort Sea, Volume 1 (Barrow, AK: North Slope Borough, Commission on History and Culture, 1980) and Nunamiut Stories (Barrow, AK: North Slope Borough, Commission on History and Culture, 1987).

Date of Birth:
Apr 27, 1895
Date of Death:
Jul 1, 1986
Elijah Kakinya appears in the following new Jukebox projects: