Bowhead by Charlie Hopson

by Charlie Hopson, Inupiat whaler

Silently I move toward destiny.
Quietly, you, Inupiat, await my destiny.

I can hear you as I move under the ice.
I can see you as I surface.

Together we wait.
Both know what the other thinks.

Although we live in different worlds,
We exist for each other.

I move towards you Inupiat,
Because it is my destiny.

Quietly I approach you.
Silently you move towards me.

I give you your culture.
I give myself, Bowhead Whale.

“The Inupiat never boast they have caught a whale. They receive a whale, and they do so humbly. They believe that the whale chooses to sacrifice itself, that if a hunter creates a place pleasing to the animals, it will choose to die there and tell the others to come next year. Nothing logical about animal behavior or natural selection can shatter this belief, it is so deeply felt among the Inupiat. Doubting it would be akin to blasphemy, an abandonment of their heritage.”
– Marla Cone

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One Response
  1. David Eves says:

    The Inupiaq People wait for that whale to give it self to the Captain of its choice.

    Irma Oktollik whaling captains wife.