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Tom Nurauq Kasayulie, Part 1
Tom Kasayulie

Tom Nurauq Kasayulie was interviewed on March 28, 2006 by Sophie Kasayulie, Frank Chingliak, Elena Chingliak, Karen Brewster, Louann Rank, and Marie Mitchell in Akiachak, Alaska. In this interview, Tom speaks in Yup'ik and English about reindeer herding, his family, his work experiences including commercial fishing, and learning an important lesson from a nesting ptarmigan.

After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.


1) Village impacts of the 1918 influenza epidemic, learning to ski, and reindeer herding in the mountains.

2) Traveling with the reindeer herd, summer camping with family members, and trapping squirrels in the mountains.

3) A story involving a local man named Big Hansen.

4) Seasons with the reindeer herds, herding with small black dogs, and reindeer slaughter in summer for parkas.

5) Traveling with reindeer herds in fall and winter, tame reindeer for sled pulling, "Laplanders," and reindeer corral locations.

6) Traveling to different camps for reindeer to feed, overstocking and reindeer starvation, predation by wolves, and the bounty on wolves.

7) A reindeer corral near Goodnews Bay and using corrals to earmark or brand reindeer.

8) A personal story from when he was very young involving his mother and a nesting ptarmigan that taught him about love.

9) When he became aware over Tikchik Lake.

10) Respect for his mother; his parents' marriage and family history. Click here to view a photo of Tom's mother, Mary Qen'rauq Kasayulie.

11) Working for the railroad, writing left-handed while being right-handed, and Nora Guinn at the doctor's office.

12) Going to school in Akiak until 7th grade, and not going to high school because of questions he asked. Teachers' salaries were $35 per month when he was in school.

13) His advice to his grandchildren.

14) His first job at a cannery and traveling by barge at age 15-16. Cannery workers were guaranteed $300. He later commercial fished with Harvey Samuelson for 17 seasons and then returned to cannery work. Click here to view a photo of Harvey Samuelson and Tom Kasayulie commercial fishing on Bristol Bay.

15) Commercial fishing and being "high boat" at Nushagak. He fished with another partner after Harvey Samuelson passed away. He also worked at the Army airport across from Bethel.

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.


Section 1: lungs -- congestion\ skis -- use of\ skis -- learning\ Akiak -- population\ Akiak -- epidemic\ epidemic -- influenza\ Akiachak -- epidemic\ epidemic -- date of\ epidemic -- villages\ influenza -- 1918\ birth -- date\ mountains -- reindeer\ reindeer -- herding\ life -- quality of|

Section 2: mountains -- summer\ health -- mountains\ birthplace -- name of\ Nushagak\ Tikchik\ Dillingham\ birth -- 1918\ reindeer -- herds\ herding-- moving\ camps -- seasonal\ reindeer -- packing\ herding -- family\ camp -- mother\ camp -- women\ camp -- family\ camp -- summer\ camping -- as boy\ mountains -- squirrels\ trapping -- squirrels\ life -- good|

Section 3: Big Foot -- story\ Big Hansen -- story\ Big Hansen -- location|

Section 4: reindeer -- wild\ herding -- use of dogs\ dog -- name\ sheep dogs -- size\ herd dogs -- size\ herd dogs -- color\ reindeer -- slaughter\ reindeer -- hides\ hides -- for parkas\ slaughter -- time of year\ reindeer -- August\ reindeer hair -- quality|

Section 5: reindeer -- autumn\ herding -- mobility\ reindeer -- winter\ herding -- winter\ reindeer -- tame\ reindeer -- sleds\ “Laplanders”\ sled -- packing\ reindeer -- feeding\ corrals -- locations\ Kisaraluk River\ Akuliqutaq\ Kwethluk\ Kuik (Gweek) River|

Section 6: reindeer -- camps\ reindeer -- herd\ herd -- size\ reindeer -- overstocking\ reindeer --starvation\ starvation -- winter\ predation -- wolves\ wolf -- shooting\ wolf -- use of\ wolf -- bounty\ bounty -- amount|

Section 7: reindeer -- corral\ Goodnews Bay\ reindeer -- escape\ corral -- use of\ reindeer -- earmarks\ reindeer -- branding|

Section 8: story -- emotional\ mother -- hunting\ trapping -- squirrels\ ptarmigan -- nest\ ptarmigan -- behavior\ ptarmigan -- flight\ flight -- lack of\ ptarmigan -- eggs\ eggs -- harvesting\ ptarmigan -- female\ ptarmigan -- lesson from\ story -- insight\ ptarmigan -- male\ love -- maternal\ child -- age|

Section 9: aware -- becoming\ awareness -- when\ Tikchik Lake\ Nushagak|

Section 10: mother -- personality\ rifle -- mother’s\ rifle -- Canadian\ rifle -- type\ rifle -- characteristics\ mother -- name\ mother -- Mary\ uncle -- raised by\ father -- leaving\ father -- name\ mother -- Akiak\ mother -- Kinegak\ Kinegak -- family\ Kasayulie -- name\ age -- twelve\ sister -- number|

Section 11: work -- railroad\ employment -- young\ friends -- number\ left hand -- use of\ right hand -- condition of\ handwriting -- left-handed\ handwriting -- backwards\ handwriting -- changed\ teacher -- influence\ Guinn, Nora -- story|

Section 12: school -- Akiak\ schooling -- grade completed\ high school -- attendance\ opinion -- expressing\ teachers -- salary\ salary -- monthly\ salary -- low\ salary -- hourly\ costs -- past\ costs -- inexpensive|

Section 13: advice -- to grandchildren\ eating -- amount\ eating -- moderation\ women -- best\ mother -- raised by\ mother -- caring\ grandchildren -- care of|

Section 14: job -- first\ job -- cannery\ travel -- barge\ employment -- age\ salary -- guaranteed\ salary -- amount\ money -- good\ hire -- forced\ picture -- fishing boat\ Samuelson, Harvey -- partner\ fishing -- seasons\ seasons -- number\ drinking\ story -- fishing\ fishing -- foggy\ getting lost -- foggy\ directions -- asking\ Ekuk\ beer -- drinking\ Dixon, Ben -- cannery\ Dixon, Ben -- boat\ fishing -- boat|

Section 15: fishing -- commercial\ Nushagak\ fishing -- boat\ fishing -- partner\ Samuelson, Harvey\ work\ employment\ airport\ work -- construction\ U.S. Army\ Bethel|