Iñupiaq Elder Eugene Brower tells about the White Whale

Video Shot in: 2009

Iñupiaq elder Eugene Brower recounts a memorable encounter with a white whale. He describes how he was initially preparing to harpoon the whale, estimating it to be around 25 to 27 feet long. However, his father, who had been sleeping in the tent, suddenly emerged and urged him not to strike, emphasizing the rarity and preciousness of this white whale. Frozen in response to his father’s intervention, Eugene ultimately decided not to throw the harpoon. He reflects on how he now finds himself in a similar position, advising his own crew members and saying “no” when necessary, explaining the reasons behind his decisions. Eugene shares that he has encountered the same white whale four different times, recognizing it by a distinct mark on its blowhole. He mentions that each whale has unique markings, allowing each one to be identified over time.