A way of life In Gift of the Whale: The Inupiat Bowhead Hunt, Alaska photographer Bill Hess offers a moving portrait of a remote and unforgiving region, a community, and the sacred traditions of the bowhead whale hunt that continues to sustain its people to this day. With this elegant and poignant book, we come to know the Inupiat community high in the Arctic region of Alaska. We find powerful images of harpooning. We cheer when hunters help rescue three whales caught in the ice. We worry as a friend is lost in the snow. We learn to understand and appreciate the whaling tradition and its importance to a people who have survived for 5,000 years and we can only hope will survive for 5,000 more.