When I was first introduced to The Eskimo Cookbook, I knew that I was in possession of something precious and perhaps even sacred. The paper-and-staple cookbook written by students of the Shishmaref Day School in 1951 details traditional Native Alaskan recipes for everything from Polar Bear to Whale in the simplistic language of children; the instructions are often without measurements, cooking temperatures, or times and include hand-drawn illustrations of local plants and herbs. Weathered and yellowed from handling and a shelf-life of over sixty years, the book is fragile and feels as though it could fade away at any second, not entirely unlike Shishmaref itself, currently threatened by coastal erosion induced by climate change.
Today, Brian and I were honored to have our story on Shishmaref, Alaska featured as PDN's Photo of the Day. See the full story here. What a great way to celebrate our two-month wedding anniversary, right?
Photo © 2010 Brian Adams
Text by Ash Adams