Attu, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
What a beautiful picture. The caption reads:
L-R “Mrs. Mike,” “Little Mike,” and “Big Mike” Hodikoff. In 1934 Big Mike was chief of the native Aleut Tribe on Attu. They are posing in front of their native Barabara, the Aleut hut. Trapping Blue Fox, fishing, and making baskets was the only means they had of making a living.
This photo was taken in 1934 by the Bureau of Aeronautics of the U. S. Navy during an aerial survey of the Aleutian Islands. (Official U. S. Navy Photograph. Was made available for distribution on Thursday, August 6, 1942 at 3:00 P.M.)
At the time this photo was released in 1942, it was assumed that Big Mike and his family were prisoners of the Japanese. It was later learned that Mike Hodikoff died in 1945, in Japan, while still imprisoned.
A once proud tribe brought down by settlers not native to their land
an old Unangax “poem” describes this:
WHILE THE LITTLE ONES PLAY KICK THE CAN
Alfred’s grandfather says, “Remember, we were once
unparalleled hunters, men of the sea.
We were the elders of the world.
We had our own language, our fierce victories, our
The Russians ended that.
"We went from ten thousand to eight hundred. Our
grandparents perished. Our parents perished.
And that was before the
How many times can a people lose their way
Before they are lost forever?”
"gone" but not forgotten by The Great Spirit…