One of the many types of life you will encounter on Alaska is the subsistence lifestyle. For people who live in the wild, it is very common to hunt and fish for food. In some communities, this is the only way they can survive. Others simply have a more laid back lifestyle. In this article, we will discuss the two kinds of Alaskans, the first one being the Native people. This article will also explain the importance of salmon in the diet.
In the late 1700s, the fur trader Mark Twain visited Alaska. He had just come back from the trans-Alaska railroad, where he had been paid heavily for carving huge chunks of land out of the mountains. Because of this, the native people were so overjoyed to have something they could use for their own food. Mark Twain was a big fan of salmon and wanted to share his passion with the Alaskans. This is the reason why the beginning of the subsistence fishing industry was born.
In rural alaska, everyone gathered around a fire, especially at night. The women made most of the food themselves while the men would help gather the fish that the women caught. Because this was a way to make money, a few people started a small fishing business, selling their salmon and other catch to the general public at a nominal fee. Salmon was very in demand, and along with it came the art of making the food for the people in the rural communities.
As time went by, with the development of farming and cattle raising, the lifestyle of the rural Alaskan people gradually changed. They no longer gathered around the traditional fireplace to eat their evening meal. Instead of cooking over an open fire, they invested in high quality clothing, pottery, and tools. Pottery became a symbol of social status, as it was not unknown for some to be wearing pottery instead of shoes. As these changes took place, the way people lived changed, and the way they hunted changed as well.
Pottery and clothing became a symbol of wealth. Everyone needed something to wear to make them look good and to attract the opposite sex. Women wore elaborate dresses made of fine fabric that were embroidered with beautiful designs, while men went for simpler but equally appealing fashions. Pottery became a functional tool rather than a luxury. It was not uncommon to see a woman carrying a basket of fish home from the river or lake. Men learned to fish for salmon as early as the 17th century, and soon started taking their daughters along on fishing trips, to provide them with a taste of the rural life.
Hunting for game was more efficient when it came to picking salmon, so as farming and cattle grew in popularity, the Alaskan economy began shifting back to a more rural pace. The people were not yet able to support the level of consumption that the industrial world was providing. This led to changes in the way that people lived their lives. A shift in lifestyle is the beginning stages of a new economy.
Fishing was the key to developing the modern economy of Alaska. In the late 19th century, the government began opening up thousands of miles of rivers and lakes, making them available for white and black fish. These wild products became a source of great income for the Alaskans. By the middle of the 20th century, with the advent of refrigeration, steel tanks, and other modern conveniences, the need for wild fish had diminished, and so did the need for hunting. In fact, many Alaskans considered the starvation of the previous century to be one of the great natural events of the world.
Today, you will still find pockets of Alaskan wilderness where nature provides sustenance in the form of wild plants and animals. Geologists have even discovered abundant fossils in some remote Alaskan sites. This shows that although the landscape has changed dramatically, the lifestyle has not. As the global community works to limit the pollution of the planet, a focus on preserving the Alaskan environment is essential to ensure a sustainable economy for future generations. The Alaskan subsistence lifestyle, as practiced for hundreds of years, will continue to provide those living in Alaska with the food they need to survive.