Photography George W. Wyckoff, Jr. Return Home
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Native peoples of the Far North have historically relied on seal oil for heating and cooking. However, the oil can only be obtained by hunting for and killing seals, and is therefore scarce. The precious oil is usually reserved for heating, and food is (happily) eaten raw. George W. Wyckoff, Jr. had his first taste of raw meat on the 1972 expedition:

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"I took a very small bit, conquered the qualms in my stomach, and started to chew it. Not bad. In fact, it literally had no taste at all . . . One thing that puzzled me at first was why they ate most of their fish and meat raw. Now I think I have part of the answer. . .

"To get seal oil you have to kill seals. To get seals you have to go hunting by dog-team, and the dogs get hungry when they are working. So do the hunters . . . If all this meat were cooked before eating, the seal oil supply would be gone in no time . . ."

Photo: The team's sled dogs stand by, eagerly
waiting for their dinner of freshly caught seal straight from the fishing hole.

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