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Charlie Edwardsen, Sr., Interview 2, Part 2
Charlie Edwardsen, Sr.

This is the continuation of an interview with Charlie Edwardsen, Sr. (Aaluk) on March 10, 1982 by Bill Schneider and Wendy Arundale at his home in Barrow, Alaska (now known as Utqiaġvik) for the Chipp-Ikpikpuk and Meade Rivers Oral History Project. In this second part of a two part interview, Charlie continues to talk about place names, landmarks, and historic sites in the area. He also talks about good lakes for fishing, reindeer herding, and traditional travel routes. (IHLC Tape #00047)

The transcript with Iñupiaq spellings was completed by Kathy Itta (now Ahgeak).

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 87-101-11

Project: Chipp-Ikpikpuk and Meade Rivers Oral History Project
Date of Interview: Mar 10, 1982
Narrator(s): Charlie Edwardsen, Sr.
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, Wendy Arundale
Transcriber: Katherine Itta Ahgeak
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
North Slope Borough, Iñupiat History, Language and Culture Commission
Alternate Transcripts
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Three domes connected by a ridge.

Another landmark ridge.

Good fishing lakes.

A travel route Charlie's mother-in-law, Faye Nusunginya, knew.

Other miscellaneous sites.

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Bill: We're talking about those three mounds. The N is... Charlie: Nuisatchiaq. This Aqsiiñ, right there. One-Fifty. Bill: We'll call that Z-three. Charlie: And the second one is Siġvan. No, Taqtu is One-Sixty. Bill: We'll call that Z-Four. Wendy: Z-Four is Taqtu? Charlie: Yes. And this hundred is Siġvan. Bill: Call that Z-Five. Charlie: Might as well put the regular name on it. Neakok Eskimo name. Just the same anyway. They call it Siġvan anyway. They been call it that name. Bill: They call this Neokok? Charlie: Yes. That's his Eskimo...Siġvan. But they call it Neakok. These two are Niaquq's. Bill: Why were these named that way? Charlie: I don't know why, they have them named.

Charlie: And what we were talking about Quagrugaġruaq, see this is that ridge. It goes right by it, that high ridge. They call it Quagrugaġruaq. That's what the Natives put there, I don't know why. They have it for a landmark or something. Bill: Is that that same ridge that we marked over here? Charlie: It's not quite connected with it. This creek breaks it out, this Taqtu. We marked it Taġġaq. That breaks it up. It goes clear out into... Bill: This ridge over here that you mentioned. What are we going to this one here? Charlie: They call it Quagrugaġruaq. It's an old ridge. Bill: We'll call that ridge Z-Six. Z-Six is that ridge, that's split up by this drainage here. Wendy: Kuu... Charlie: Kuupaḷḷuk. That goes right up. Bill: That river? Charlie: Yes. This river here. Kuupaḷḷuk. Goes into Tasiqpak Lake too. Bill: Is that what we had marked as O? Charlie: O. That's part of it, Kuupaḷḷuk. Yes. This is Tagli right here. That's Kuupaḷḷuk right here. That's where them Indians slaughtered the Eskimos. The families. Bill: Where was that, was that a specific place or...? Charlie: I don't know where the specific place is but it's that river though. Somewhere along that river. Slaughtered the families right there on that river. Where we marked O here. It's on that river. This is kind of high in there. Just a big draw, hardly any water in the river but there's big draw and that's where the Indians got the families while the men were out hunting. Slaughtered them. But they got slaughtered too. Wendy: And then I have one more.

Charlie: Kuuluuraq. You could see part of it right there. That lake used to be a real good place fishing lake. Bill: We'll call that Z-Seven. Charlie: And here's another one, there's a cabin right there. That's the one I was saying that old man showed us where that lake was. That's the lake there. Old Amaġuaq. Bill: We'll call that Z-Eight. Charlie: He showed us them two lakes. Bill: What do you call this one Z-Eight? Charlie: They call it Imaq. Bill: But different than this one over here. Charlie: Yes. Not Imaġruaq, Immat. He didn't mention any names. But he mentioned the banks on it, there's a bank here and a big hill here. That's the only way we found out. We were herding reindeer around this area and we just went up there with a net and just went to check on it.

Bill: When you were herding reindeer, you said at one point that you herded up as far as Simiutaq? Charlie: Simiutaq, yes. Up to there. Yes, we go clear up there. We were right at this place here at M, we left everything here and we just check on the coal. The coal is right up in here. Bill: The coal is on the bank? Charlie: Yes, it's on the bank. Bill: You mentioned a travel route that your mother-in-law told you about? Charlie: Yes, they go up the Ikpikpak. They go clear up to there and that's where they leave their... Bill: Okay, they go up to Howard Hill, to the divide there? Charlie: They go up the Knifeblade too. They call it Aŋuyaaġvik. Knifeblade. That's Aŋuyaaġvik, Knifeblade Range. Qimmich. That's what they call this high bluff - Qimmich. The whole thing. Wendy: The map has just this part named Knifeblade. Charlie: That Knifeblade, Aŋuyaaġvik. And this is Qimmich, the hill. Bill: We'll call this Z-9. And what do you call this ridge here? Charlie: They call it Aŋuyaaġvik. It means..they must have had some kind of war there too. Aŋuyaaġvik, or somebody caught something and they were really desperate to eat and they had something right away, and they had the first taste of what game they got. That might be what it meant. They portage right across the Colville, packing. Bill: You know which creek they take over... Charlie: I don't know. They say they leave their boats and go backpack. Bill: Where was the place they left their boats? Charlie: I don't really know where they leave them. Bill: Did she ever talk about places where there were racks where they store the boats on? Old racks? Charlie: That's a Killi, that's up the Colville River. And they have them here too at the Kayyaaq. Bill: Did you see them there? Charlie: I haven't seen them there. I should have asked Nate. When we travel, we're hardly on the ground, we're just going full bore. We just try to go as far as we can get while the water's high. Bill: How did that route go then. They pack over Knifeblade, you say? Charlie: They pack over. They leave their boats and they pack. This way. You go into the Colville by Price River. (Identification of route on the map. Bill and Wendy try to identify one place.) Charlie: You mean Aviullaavik? Bill: Yes. Where's that located? Charlie: That's that river that's dry now. T. That's T. And there's Qiugaq's ice cellars and stuff right there. They're still there. Wendy: I think I found the place that we were talking about yesterday. Charlie: Kuuluuraq. That's it there.

Wendy: We were talking about places where old people went when times were tough and you said Wright Point was one good place and Kuulugruuraq was another. Charlie: Wright Point, they don't hardly stay there. It's too shallow. But they go down to Kuulguuraq. That's deep, and them two lakes, they're not really deep but they used to get a lot of fish from them. Bill: We have a site of Uġvik.... Charlie: Uġvik? Yes. Uġvik's the one that's L. L is Uġvik. Bill: Are there some places up here that you know about that we haven't talked about yet? Charlie: See..we had nobody to ask and we got up Little Supreme Bluffs. Right above there there's a big mastodon head. Just a little bit above it. We got our name marked out of that bluffs and I was surprised how close them tusks are. They were just eight inches apart. Someone else: When it come out. Charlie: And that head's not solid bone. It's sponge, just like them sponges. And see, them elderly guys would have known that, but I don't know who we can get. Bill: How about, is there a time before we leave that we might get together with Faye? And you could help us work with her a little bit on some of the places up here? Charlie: Yes, we can do that. But she can't see. We take her up when we go up. She likes to.. she's been there when she was a kid with her folks and travel up there for fur, and she used to go with them, and she likes to listen to the sound of wildlife. In the springtime you got music all around the clock. Sound of all kinds of different birds. Just like a recorder going all the time. Especially when the sun is shining. They got the geese, they got everything, Canadian geese. See, down Supreme Bluffs and all that, that's where the Canadian geese nest. Not the honkers. The regular Canadian Geese. The big ones. They nest around the Supreme Bluffs. They nest in rocks. That's surprising. The honkers too, some honkers nest in the flats but most of them nest in bluffs. Bill: Any swans in there? Charlie: Swans are not up there. They're down below, down here. Up around our area there must have been about a thousand or so. Just like a bunch of seagulls. That's the further you go close to the ocean. They nest out toward the ocean, close to the bays. They don't go in.