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Joseph "Joe" Demantle, Sr.
Joe Demantle, Sr.

Joseph "Joe" Demantle, Sr. was interviewed on September 24, 2004 by William Schneider, Freda Alexie, and Louann Rank in Tuluksak, Alaska. Marla Statscewich and Richard Phillip were also present during the interview. In this interview, Joe talks about growing up, learning to hunt and use a dog team, and traveling in the area for trapping and hunting and being careful of dangerous places. He also talks about traditional place names and trails and marks them on a map. Joe also shares his experiences of being out on the trapline, getting stuck when traveling and having to walk a long way, and having his dog team fall through the ice.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2004-07-12

Project: Tuluksak
Date of Interview: Sep 24, 2004
Narrator(s): Joseph "Joe" Demantle, Sr.
Interviewer(s): Bill Schneider, Freda Alexie, Louann Rank
People Present: Marla Statscewich, Richard Phillip
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
U.S. Department of Education, Alaska Native Education, Yupiit School District
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.

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


1) Naming key places in the area and important things to know for traveling safely.

2) Continuation of talking about place names and traveling.

3) His childhood, learning to hunt and travel from his uncle, and working as a young man.

4) Traveling with dog teams.

5) Story about getting stuck when traveling and having to walk a long way.

6) End of walking story and use of dogs for travel and running a trapline.

7) Dangerous places when traveling and falling through a hole in the ice.

8) Continuation of rescuing his dogs when he fell through the ice, and dangerous ice places.

9) Hot spring locations and marking Joe’s trapline trail.

10) Marking Joe’s trapline trail and to his Native allotment.

11) Marking trails on the map.

12) Continuing to mark Joe’s trails on the map, and the story of the name for Uuravik.

13) Burial sites and old stories related to place names.

14) A story about a man getting sick from eating too much fat and leaving marks, and marking Joe’s trail to Akiachak on the map.

15) Continuing to mark trails on the map, and Richard adds some of his own trails.

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: place names\ travel\ foothills\ map\ Yukon River\ Kuskokwim River\ creeks\ place names -- Yup’ik\ Elaayiq\ Petmigtalelleq\ Kuicaraq\ names -- village knows\ travel -- safety\ destination -- tell people\ travel -- getting lost\ search\ Samuelson, Sam\ hunting -- ptarmigan\ weather -- cold\ villagers -- hardship\ travel -- planning\ route -- tell people\ survival\ location -- stay in\ search -- easier\ places -- lack of knowledge\ travel -- lack of\ observation\ lakes\ creeks\ Kuik River\ Elaayiq\ Petmigtalelleq\ dogteam -- travel\ fall|

Section 2: Kuicuarak River\ hills\ Yukon River\ hills -- landmark\ search party\ trails\ places -- remembering\ spring camp\ childhood\ map -- locations\ lake\ landmarks -- using for navigation\ Petmigtalelleq\ Qemiglluar\ places -- knowing\ Elaayiq\ Nuqaq\ places -- importance of\ camp -- locations\ river -- learning\ land -- allotment|

Section 3: Akiak\ birthplace\ uncle\ fall camp\ school -- lack of\ mother\ Tuluksak\ grandfather\ hunting -- learning\ uncle -- teacher\ crying\ sled\ weather -- cold\ boat -- steamboat\ McGrath\ boy\ job -- deckhand\ work\ Crooked Creek\ -- cousin\ supplies -- transporting\ 4th of July\ wood -- chopping\ boat -- burn wood\ Bethel\ boat dock\ job -- cannery\ steamboat -- left|

Section 4: home -- return\ Napoka, Willie\ trapping -- learning\ dogs -- use of\ dog food\ grandmother\ laziness\ transportation -- dog team\ dogs -- caring for\ dog team -- travel\ dog team -- benefit of\ snowmachine -- problems with\ travel -- less\ old age\ travel -- solo|

Section 5: travel\ walk -- longest\ walk -- time\ food -- lack of\ strength\ water -- drink\ trapline -- camp\ foothills\ location -- Upper Landing\ Maaliq\ map -- locations\ Napoka, Willie\ Qukaqlirlluar\ camp -- location\ trapline -- walk\ snowshoes\ moose\ valley\ moose -- hunting\ snow\ snow -- melt for water\ work\ tent\ tired\ sleep\ shock|

Section 6: moose – kill site\ hunting -- partners\ hills\ dogs -- number of\ dogs -- strong\ Wise, Edward\ \ moose -- sharing\ snowshoes\ travel\ water -- drinking\ dog team -- travel\ dog team -- recreation\ trapline\ dogs -- good\ Napoka, Willie\ dogs -- quality of\ dog team -- transportation\ dogs -- winter\ wood -- hauling\ dog team -- racing\ dogs -- training\ dogs -- power of

Section 7: place -- dangerous\ winter\ creek\ dogs -- number of\ Keukller\ Japhet, Andrew\ trapline\ country -- learning\ travel -- route\ ice -- falling through\ water -- lack of\ dogs -- hanging\ dogs -- rescuing\ snowmachine\ ice -- dangerous\ hole -- deep\ hole -- crossing\ bridge -- branches\ gas\ Napoka, Peter\ caribou -- hunting\ snowmachine -- accident\ ice -- hole\ animals\ snowmachine -- retrieve\ hunting -- partner\ creek -- dangerous\ visibility\ snow drift|

Section 8: dog team -- accident\ ice\ dogs -- rescue\ dogs -- neckline\ dogs -- pull out\ dogsled -- brake\ sound -- hollow\ Japhet, Andrew\ creek -- dangerous\ knowledge\ preparation\ creek -- width\ bridge -- branches\ snowmachine\ places -- dangerous\ water -- freeze\ water -- level\ temperature -- change in\ rivers -- watching\ river -- high water\ ice\ freeze-up -- watch\ ice -- safety\ ice -- refreezing\ overflow\ weather -- mild\ melting\ ice -- dropping\ Kwethluk\ crossing -- dangerous|

Section 9: places – hot springs\ winter\ grass -- green\ arthritis -- treatment of\ places -- important\ takeover\ places -- dangerous\ travel\ Napoka, Willie\ trapline -- winter\ camp -- location\ Fog River\ Upper Landing\ Tuluksak River\ Quaqaqliq\ trail -- tractor\ Napoka, John\ Middle Landing\ trail -- winter\ tundra\ trail -- summer\ trapline -- camp\ Otter Creek|

Section 10: Uuravik\ Napoka, John\ trapline -- camp\ camp -- location\ land -- allotment\ winter\ creek\ fall camp\ trail\ travel – dog team\ travel -- route\ map\ lake\ Kamirkaller\ trail -- conditions\ trail -- rough\ creek -- crossing\ Kuik\ Qaurturalek\ Uuracuaraat|

Section 11: Kuik\ travel -- time\ trail -- conditions\ trail -- bad\ snow -- soaked with water\ dogs -- hard for\ trail -- short-cut\ lake\ tundra\ creek -- crossing\ Cuukvaruat\ trail -- dry\ spring\ break-up\ water\ land -- allotment\ beaver\ trees -- lack of\ trees -- birch\ trees -- alder\ muskrat -- trapping\ sled -- rotting\ spring camp -- location\ Elaayiq\ place name\ creek\ lakes|

Section 12: travel\ canoe\ sled\ Petmigtalelleq\ travel -- route\ trail\ muskrat\ lake -- deep\ lake -- late thaw\ Ucumrrik Lake\ grass -- thick\ June -- come home\ grass -- turn green\ grandfather\ muskrat -- lazy\ Uuravik\ stories\ Bogus Creek\ people -- moved\ Lower Kalskag\ Tuluksak\ preachers\ travel -- walk\ Kalskag\ transportation – dog team\ church -- Tuluksak\ houses -- number of\ fall camp\ fishing -- pike\ church -- Bogus Creek\ people -- death of\ village -- move to\ church -- campsite\ log cabin -- rotting\ church -- bell\ bell -- souvenir\ bell -- ringing|

Section 13: burial\ uncle\ childhood\ parents\ burial site\ food -- donation\ fish -- dry\ berry picking\ Uuravik\ place names\ Bogus Creek\ Alirnak\ berries -- amount of\ blueberries\ blueberries -- lack of\ Tuluksak\ story -- battle\ canoe -- birch\ strangers -- landing\ people -- greeting\ canoe -- pull up\ qasgiq\ Peter, John\ trapping\ site -- marking\ starvation\ village -- tundra\ trap -- deadfall\ story -- walking\ fox tail\ sound\ wolf -- chased by\ marten\ leg|

Section 14: story\ grandfather\ hunting -- caribou\ man -- big\ battle -- capture\ eat\ illness -- fake\ escape\ Iluvaqtuk\ caribou -- fat\ chin\ trails\ trail -- marking\ tripod\ Akiachak\ travel -- lost\ trail -- Yukon\ trail -- short-cut\ Kuskokwim River\ land -- allotment\ trail -- Akiachak\ trapline\ dogs -- location\ lake\ creek\ Anqercaraq\ portage\ trail -- passage\ snowmachine\ trail -- old\ trail -- widen\ trail -- popular\ trail -- main\ river -- dangerous\ trail -- winter\ trail -- condition\ trail -- short-cut\ Sevkarniar\ grassy site\ Uuruniq|

Section 15: trail -- Akiachak\ map\ creek\ blackfish\ travel -- route\ trail -- main\ branches\ lake -- crossing\ trail -- dry\ hill\ opening\ trail -- snowmachine\ Tuluksak\ trails\ landmarks\ Akiak\ tundra\ portage\ lake\ Kuskokwim River\ river trail -- conditions\ wind -- north\ snow -- blowing\ route -- differences in\ winter|