Surviving on the Island: Chapter 21

Native Alaskan woman with short and hair and face painting.
A woman of Oonalaska (Unalaska), Aleutian Islands, Alaska, between 1741 and 1767. Drawing by John Webber.

The Aleuts set up their camp on the mesa near the spring, less than half a league from the ravine where Karana and Rontu live in the cave. To avoid being seen by the hunters, Karana gathers abalone and roots late at night.

While the Aleuts are on the island, Karana carefully sews the cormorant skins into a feathered skirt. An Aleut girl who has come with the group of hunters finds Karana and Rontu outside the entrance to the cave and admires the skirt. Karana is wary of her, but allows the girl to hold the skirt briefly.

When the girl leaves, Karana packs her belongings once more and moves to the west end of the island. She carries some baskets away from the cave, but when she returns, Karana finds a necklace of black stones lying on the rocks outside the cave’s entrance.

Last updated: June 24, 2018