On the edge of the Arctic Ocean at Point Barrow, several fur-clad Eskimos gaze intently at a narrow area of blue water between the ice floes where a great creature of the sea comes closer and closer. They watch anxiously as she surfaces, blows a stream of water into the air and disappears, only to surface later a little nearer.
Finally the huge 30-ton bowhead whale comes up almost close enough to touch. One man rushes toward him with a harpoon gun. He thrusts the gun hard against the whale's side and explodes a cartridge that goes through the bowhead's skin. The mammal dives again but in a few minutes he floats, belly upward, to the surface of the sea.Madrid
A man raises a flag on a nearby pole to signal the catch. By the time the boat crew has towed the carcass to the edge of the ice, villagers are streaming toward it. Villagers grab the line around the fluke of the whale and haul away with shouts and laughter.
Slowly the carcass, more than four times the weight of a bull elephant, appears on the ice to be cut up, dragged to the village and stored in pits in the permanently frozen ground.