Discusses importance of bowhead whale to Thule survival. Includes rotating exterior view of summer whalebone house in cross-section and inquiry links regarding bowhead whales." />
 Illustration of whalebone house with snow covering a partially visible frame 

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Bowhead Whales

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.