OFF TO THE REINDEER ROUNDUP 96/950
Limited edition print by Rie Munoz
Edition size: 950
Image size: 17" x 12"
In the early 1960's I was invited by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to go to Nunivak Island in the Bering Sea to sketch the annual reindeer roundup. I knew my eight year old son would enjoy such an adventure, so along he went.
The roundup was fun, hectic and wild. It started with several herders (no dogs) combing an area of the island looking for a herd. Once found, they would herd the reindeer to a certain point not far from the corrals. By walkie-talkie the herders would alert the village of their position. The village bell was then peeled - the sign for all villagers to climb aboard waiting boats - and off we'd go to a small bay beyond the reindeer.
Everyone went ashore without so much as a whisper and formed a long line, side by side. At a signal given by the lead herder, we all (60 people--more or less) jumped up yelling and screaming and running toward the reindeer. In panic, they fled blindly toward a wide-funneled fence that ended in the corral. Two-thousand reindeer in the corral was quite an impressive sight.