Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Samuel Kunaknana

Samuel Kunaknana

Samuel Kunaknana was born in 1913 in Barrow, Alaska.  His parents were Hattie and Hugo Kunaknana. As a boy, his family spent summers along the Ikpikpuk River, inland from Barrow, hunting caribou and fishing. They spent winters in Barrow. Around 1920, the family moved east along the Beaufort Sea coast. Like others of the time, they moved around and lived in a variety of places, such as Kuukpik, Itqiliqpaat, Piŋu, Oliktok Point (Uuliktuq), Kukpaurak, and Nuiqsat. At least one year they traveled inland and spent the winter in the Brooks Range. Samuel spent his life as a hunter, trapper, and reindeer herder. As a whaler and seal hunter, he learned to understand the sea ice and how to travel and hunt safely on it. He married Sarah Pausanna and together they raised a large family He also was known for his expert knowledge of Inupiaq tradition, history, and stories. Samuel Kunaknana died on April 6, 1991. For more about Samuel Kunaknana, 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).

Date of Birth:
Mar 4, 1913
Date of Death:
Apr 6, 1991
Samuel Kunaknana appears in the following new Jukebox projects: