title from credits (unpublished work)--archival collection
supplementary materials: book
Cataloging supported by Smithsonian Institution Women's Committee
Edited film shot by William Van Valin as leader of the John Wanamaker Expedition to Point Barrow, Alaska for the University of Pennsylvania Museum. The film, that later toured in a film-lecture series by Van Valin, is known under the main title TIP TOP OF THE EARTH: Alaskan Eskimo Educational Series. Series includes the titles: SCENES AT NOME, ALASKA; ESKIMO SPORTS; SCENES AT POINT BARROW, ALASKA; ESKIMO REINDEER INDUSTRY; ESKIMO SEAL HUNTING; ESKIMO WHALING [Parts I and II]; and MIDNIGHT SUN SCENES. Sequences include: the steamship Victoria landing passengers at Nome, Alaska; hydraulic mining along the Bering Sea beach near Nome; a umiak with Eskimos aboard being towed; old Eskimo man cleaning salmon and preparing his pipe; salmon drying on elevated racks; summer camp activities among the Eskimos; natives dancing, drumming, racing <umiaks>, and participating in foot races as part of Fourth of July festivities in Nome; Eskimo barber demonstrating technique of hair cutting with stone knife; scenes of winter life including igloos covered with blocks of snow; Eskimos with dog teams and sleds; Eskimo games and forms of recreation including a form of whaling sport known as <nela-ka-tuk>, tossing a person on a stretched walrus hide. Also depicted are various activities relating to the Eskimo food quest: activities associated with whaling which include sledding umiaks overland through snow, hauling a whale through hole cut in polar ice, and butchering whales; activities relating to Eskimo reindeer herding, culling out males and butchering animals; and scenes relating to seal hunting, butchering seals, and the use of their hides. Included are shots of archaeological excavations conducted at early Arctic habitations showing exposed skeletal and cranial remains. (Also as part of this collection is miscellaneous footage of a rabbit drive, a mule team pulling wagons and unidentified locations).
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD