Otto Friend, nonagenarian

The Delta Discovery is one of our regional newspapers. Many of the articles may also be read on-line. Unfortunately, there isn’t a photo of Mr. Friend.

10-15-08
by Jodi Friend, student Kuskokwim Campus

My paternal grandfather Otto Friend has lived in the native village of Kwigillingok, a costal village located on the Southwestern Region of Alaska, nearly all his life.

When my grandfather was a young boy, most of the Yup’ik people in the village lived on the left side of the Kwigillingok River, while only a few lived on the right side.

…what are my grandfather’s personality, favorite foods, and hobbies?
My grandfather is mean, grumpy, strict, selfish, and forgetful at times, but he is also humorous, caring, and loving. His nickname is “Apiin” (similar to grandfather) and “Dad.”

Otto loves to eat blackberry “akutaq” (Eskimo ice cream), beluga whale blubber, dried salmon, white fish, bird soup, and loves drinking Red Rose tea with his elder friends.

His hobbies include watching Kung Fu movies, taking naps, snow machine riding, checking the Kwigillingok River, playing with his grandchildren, working on seal skin, carving wood, and taking steam baths.

… After serving in the Alaskan Territorial Guard (ATG), his sight has not been the same. My paternal aunts and uncles told me that Otto, little by little, stopped going subsistence hunting because of his affected vision. Although he has this problem, it does not keep him from being in charge of how the gathered and hunted food is prepared or stored for the winter.

Right now, he’s 90-years-old and he still walks and takes a steam bath in the “maqivik” (steam house or sauna) just about every night…. In conclusion, Otto is a lot of fun to be around. I admire and respect him because he has been through so much in his life and because he has a lot of experience when it comes to subsistence living. He is also a very good grandfather, not just to me, but to my other relatives as well. […]


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