Life in the Village: Chapter 4

Artist’s impression of how it may have looked from the village site overlooking Corral Harbor when Russians and Alaska Natives were on the island hunting sea otters. Illustration by Michael Ward.
Artist’s impression of how it may have looked from the village site overlooking Coral Cove (Corral Harbor) when Russians and Alaska Natives were on the island hunting sea otters. Illustration by Michael Ward.

A storm approaches as the otter hunters prepare to leave the island. Chief Chowig and the villagers, including Karana and her sister Ulape, watch as otter pelts are loaded onto the ship’s rowboat. The chief and Captain Orlov meet on the shore, and the captain signals to his men to bring a large box from the ship.

A black chest is delivered to Chief Chowig, and he is shown the bead necklaces inside. He reacts angrily, telling Captain Orlov that one box of jewelry is not enough for all the otters that were killed. The chief demands that the captain bring him three more boxes, or he will prevent the hunters from leaving with the last of the otter skins.

A fight breaks out between the otter hunters and the villagers and many village men are killed. The storm brings high winds and the hunters leave the island for their ship. The dead and wounded Ghalas-at men lie on the beach at Coral Cove. From their cliff-top view, the women had seen the fight and now run down the trail to assist the wounded.

Last updated: June 24, 2018