Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Eskimo Dogsled Race Legend Honored

Hundreds of people across Alaska turned out to honor Herbie Nayokpuk, the Eskimo dogsled Iditarod race legend, who passed away in December. Known as the "Shishmaref Cannonball, Herbie was loved by people throughout Alaska. That love is one reason his family decided to broadcast his memorial statewide. "What a life...He's always said that. What a is good. And his million-dollar smile. He's always had that persona about him," said Shirley Newberg, Nayokpuk's oldest daughter.

Though his last race was almost 20 years ago, Nayokpuk's time on the trail remained close to his heart. He was involved in every Iditarod since the Last Great Race started over 30 years ago. Even when he wasn't racing, Nayokpuk was at every start and every finish. "Even there in those early years, people flocked to Herbie. Let's face it, some people have it and some people don't. And Herbie had it," said Dan Seavey who mushed with Nayokpuk. This year, Nayokpuk's family will take his place at the race he loved so much.

For more articles, see Eskimo Art and Culture.

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