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  • The book is about subsistence hunting, and Herman is a St. Lawrence Islander (Yupik).

    September 17, 2008

  • Mmm, could be. Certainly has spiritual/religious overtones.

    September 17, 2008

  • I imagine it has to do with being thankful for the food it provides.

    September 17, 2008

  • I wonder why a dead seal would need a drink of water.

    September 17, 2008

  • "Heimo finally succeeded in hooking and retrieving the seal, a 140-pound young hair seal—nuksuk. Heimo learned from Herman that traditionally a hunter who'd killed a seal would melt ice in his mouth and put his mouth to the seal's to give it a drink of water."
    —James Campbell, The Final Frontiersman (New York and London: Atria Books, 2004), 95

    September 17, 2008