Arctic Seal Hunters

Murray De Atley
Jim Critchfield and Frank Whaley
Production Date: 
Bailey Films, Inc. An Eskimoland Pictures Production.
Wendell Niles
Run Time: 

Content Note: The film introduces how the Arctic Eskimos hunt seals. The men hunt the seals and the women dissect the seals into parts for different functions. For example, the skin/fur is used for clothing and the oil for food. The seals are one of the major sources of Arctic Eskimos survival.  *The film contains animal killing.

Establishing shot: dogsled team
Named locations:
Major themes covered:
hunt for seal meat
Native activities shown: 

  1. A native Eskimo is conducting the dogsled.
  2. The native Eskimo takes out his tools to build an igloo for temporary shelter. An igloo is warmer than a tent. He digs snow from the ground and arranges stacks of ice to form walls of the igloo. (00:46—02:34)
  3. An Eskimo sits on a piece of ice caps and waits for seals with his back on the screen. (02:42—02:46)
  4. Another hunter is found sitting on a piece of ice caps and waiting for his game. (03:03—03:14)
  5. An Eskimo hunter shows up on the right of the screen, looking at the floating ice. (03:52—03:56)
  6. An Eskimo hunter stands on a piece of ice. He wears a heavy coat and holds a gun. (04:01—04:07)
  7. An Eskimo hunter holds a hand-made seal hook. (04:08—04:11)
  8. An Eskimo hunter’s faces the camera. (04:20—04:27)
  9. The Eskimo hunter sitting on the ice sees the seal. He stands up and throws the seal hook at the seal. He drags the line back to the shore and throws the hook out again. (04:30—04:55)
  10. Another Eskimo gets in a skin boat to capture the seal. (04:56—05:44)
  11. Three Eskimo hunters gather around the seal. (05:45—05:47)
  12. One hunter drags a seal body with a long stick. (05:48—05:53)
  13. Another hunter pulls out a dead seal from water and drags the body to his sled. (06:08—06:25)
  14. A hunter gets on his sled and his dogs drag the sleigh away. (06:26—06:37)
  15. The hunter and his sled dogs go back home. (06:38—06:57)
  16. An Eskimo woman dissects a seal and later sharpens the knife, ulu. (07:21—07:40)
  17. The woman uses ulu to cut off the meat and fat from the seal. She separates the skin, fat, and meat. She spreads the skin with sticks and dries it on the ground. (07:41—09:00)
  18. An Eskimo walks towards where the family keeps seal oil. (09:20—09:53)
  19. The Eskimo hunter sits on the snow and eats raw fish dipped in the seal oil. (09:54—10:20)
  20. An Eskimo hunter walks on the ice with a stick in his hand. He stands still and watches the sunset. (10:21—10:53)

Individuals Named: none
Native language spoken: Nanuk (polar bear) –by narrator; Ulu (women’s knife)—by narrator
Other notes: Photographed by Frank Whaley

Ying-wen Yu, 2012