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Arctic Schoolteacher: Kulukak, Alaska, 1931-1933

Overview

When Abbie Morgan arrived with her husband Ed in the Alaskan village of Kulukak in 1931 to teach school, many of the Eskimos had never before seen a white woman. Kulukak could be reached by boat when the approach was not frozen over and by dogsled when ice made travel by boat impossible.

Arctic Schoolteacher is the story of Abbie’s Alaskan experience, from the detailed planning necessary for taking a year’s worth of provisions to an isolated village to her departure from Alaska ...

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Overview

When Abbie Morgan arrived with her husband Ed in the Alaskan village of Kulukak in 1931 to teach school, many of the Eskimos had never before seen a white woman. Kulukak could be reached by boat when the approach was not frozen over and by dogsled when ice made travel by boat impossible.

Arctic Schoolteacher is the story of Abbie’s Alaskan experience, from the detailed planning necessary for taking a year’s worth of provisions to an isolated village to her departure from Alaska in 1933. In colorful, descriptive prose, she tells of the difficulty of travel and communication in the Far North, the magnificent physical environment, and the children to whom she devoted her time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the early 1930s, a young couple from the state of Washington signed on to work at the U.S. government's territorial station in the remote Eskimo village of Kulukak, Alaska. Madenwald taught in the one-room schoolhouse; her husband Ed provided health care for the village and monitored the area's reindeer herd. The author's diary of their adventure in Yup'ik Eskimo society, where a white woman was a rarity, forms the basis of this chronicle, illustrated with photos taken by the Morgans and developed in their primitive kitchen. An outsider at first, she was eventually accepted by the Yu'pik, learned their language and developed respect for their ability to survive in a harsh environment. The author endured loneliness, isolation and hardship--her worst trauma being the discovery of her husband's dead body after a two-day search across the frozen tundra. This is a captivating account of a closed culture and a village that no longer exists. (Nov.)
School Library Journal
YA-- Abbie Morgan and her husband Ed went to Alaska to teach and work with the Eskimos during the Depression era. Seeking adventure as well as a livelihood, they endured harsh weather and loneliness, and adjusted to a very different lifestyle with youthful enthusiasm, gaining the confidence and respect of the native peoples as well as other residents. Written many years later, the book still vividly reflects the courage and strength of this pioneer teacher, as well as the humor and resilience she brought to teaching. The village has long since disappeared, and its inhabitants have scattered, but this account provides the opportunity to share an Arctic adventure and to meet some remarkable young Americans of an earlier generation.-- Mary T. Gerrity, Queen Anne School Library, Upper Marlboro, MD
Booknews
Memoir of a survivor's two years in a village north of the Aleutian Peninsula. A worthy addition to U. of Oklahoma Press's admirable series. A very friendly 5"x7.5" format. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806126111
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1994
  • Series: Western Frontier Library Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 995,356
  • Product dimensions: 4.77 (w) x 7.51 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Abbie Morgan Madenwald received most of her education at Washington State College, and spent many years teaching school. She wrote travel articles for several magazines.

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