Early Kachemak Bay fisherman show off their halibut catch Photo courtesy Pratt Museum
Lore of Fishing and Marine Harvesting in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
Native Alaskans and local fishermen shared spirited
oral histories of the lore of fishing and marine harvesting in
Kachemak Bay for the Communities of Oral History project, sponsored
by the Alaska Humanities Forum and the Pratt Museum in Homer,
Alaska. Museum staff and other specialists videotaped the narration
and activities aboard working fishing vessels from Homer. The
videotapes were developed as part of a documentary film, which also
incorporated historic and contemporary photographs.
Kachemak Bay is one of the richest fishing grounds in
the world, known for its diversity of marine life, which have
provided a generous livelihood to generations of both Native
Alaskan and other local inhabitants. The film primarily
concentrates on commercial fishing from the Homer community,
showing crabpot fishing, salmon seining and gillnetting, shrimp
trawling, halibut and cod long-lining; and marine harvesting in the
Sugpiaq/Alutiig villages of Seldovia and Nanwalek. The film's
narrations discuss salmon recovery, and gathering of octopus,
snails and beach greens, particularly "goose tongues" and
The Pratt Museum/Homer Society of Natural History,
established in 1955, is dedicated to exploring the relationship
between the human experience and the natural environment in the
Kachemak Bay region of Alaska for educational purposes. The
16-minute film was crafted for installation in an interactive
exhibition module on historic fishing and native cultures at the
Pratt Museum. Fourteen hours of archival film footage have been set
aside for broader educational use, including village distribution.
School groups and individuals will be able to access the database
to extract favorite vignettes and build their own video histories
of the Kachemak Bay region and its people.
The project is partly supported by the Lila
Wallace-Reader's Digest Community Folklife Program, administered by
the Fund for Folk Culture. Project documentation includes text on
the community-based video project that produced the film, the Pratt
Museum, and the project film itself in videotape format.
Originally submitted by: Frank Murkowski, Senator.
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.