If you travel to Bering Sea close to Alaska’s King Island and are able to see through the thick fog, you’ll find a bizarre view; hundreds of stilts located on the island’s cliff face that belong to abandoned village of Ukivok. The village once served as the home for the Inupiat people known as Aseuluk or ‘People of the sea’.
This place once home to about 200 Aseuluk people. It was a hunting and gathering society that called Alaska’s rugged cliffs their home.
During summer, these people would forage for food on King Island and the mainland while during winter they would hunker down and opted for hunting of seals and walruses. They also fished on ice.
One can see the stone winter houses along with the summer houses that were built using walrus hides.
During the middle of the 20th century, the Aseuluks’ time reached an end when the US Bureau of Indian Affairs had the children of community placed into schools by force and thus forced the adults to move to the mainland in order to make a living. Ukivok was completely deserted by 1970.
A project is being worked upon that would make the village and island habitable again. Let’s see how that pans out.