At some point in their long history, the Ukivokmiut built Ukivok – a village of stone buildings and walrus-hide houses perched precariously on long wooden stilts. The topography of King Island dictated such construction: the only marginally flat areas were atop the cliffs, fully exposed to screaming gales and buried beneath massive winter snowfalls. The island’s southern slopes, while still steep and rocky, at least provided some shelter from the wind.
One of Uvitok’s enduring mysteries concerns the many long, straight poles the natives used to prop up their buildings. As Uvitok is located at approximately 65° north, well above the Tree Line, any wood used on the island would either have to be brought from more southern locations and/or scavenged from driftwood.