Bowhead whales were extremely important to Thule people. A single animal provided food for a large number of people for a long time. The fatty blubber, so important in a northern diet, was also a source of light and cooking fuel. In a place where darkness prevailed for most of the winter, and woody plants were scarce, whales were an important resource. Their bones, whether from a fresh kill or scavenged from a corpse, were used as the structural foundations for winter houses. In short, whales were both supermarket and building supply stores for the Thule.