Another old campsite on the south side of the bay is at Sisiiviuraq, west of Siik, where the beach is rocky, and a small grassy area and a clear running stream make camping ideal.
All are near streams or springs except Siik, which at one time also had a spring (Ataagruk) nearby.
Although residence each summer at Siik was short, permanent structures were relatively substantial in the 1800s.
Half a century later, Charles Lucier worked among the Kaigmiut during a short period when they lived in wooden buildings at Siik. He wrote that Siik appears to lack any old house ruins, as the spit was only "slightly above high water mark and must be completely submerged at times of high tide and storm" (Lucier, 1950:14).
This often left Siik short of able hunters, especially since four-horse inboards required two people for every boat: a driver and a shooter.
When Kotzebue area residents started coming to Siik in the 1970s because beluga were becoming rare near Sisualik, the hunters became even less well organized and the hunt became a free-for-all.
Processing and storage took place at Siik. Except for flippers and ribs, bones were separated from edible products and eventually burned on the shoreline or hauled out into the bay.
Depending on where the kill was made, the beluga were towed either to the nearest shore, where butchering would begin, or to Siik. One woman, born in 1909, explained that as the tide came in after the hunt, the women and boys would launch their umiaks and paddle to the men.
Since the advent of large powerboats, beluga have been dragged whole to Siik by boats before being butchered on the shoreline.
Although Siik is known for its excellent storage facilities because of the permafrost layer, not all parts of the beluga could safely be preserved.
Bones disarticulated at Siik were treated in five different ways: 1) preserved with tissue still attached (flippers and ribs), 2) used in cooking at the camp site (tail and sternum), 3) removed for oil extraction (mandibles), 4) given to the dogs, or 5) burned.
My own information about burning or dumping bones into the bay concurs with Lucier's, although early explorers wrote about seeing discarded bones at Siik. In 1831 Beechey (1831, Vol.