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By: Jon Bowermaster
264 pages, Col photos
There are increasingly few corners of the world where modern man hasn't made his presence well-known. It's even more of a rarity to find such remoteness with a U.S. address - the center of the Aleutian Islands where Bowermaster's expedition headed, is 1,000 miles southwest of Anchorage and uninhabited.
A string of more than 100 volcanic peaks rising out of the Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands were home to the Unagan people (later collectively branded Aleuts by the first Russian explorers) for hundreds of thousands of years. One of the five islands Bowermaster visited - Kagamil - is known as The Birthplace of the Aleuts. Though the Aleuts left behind little written history there exists a small, folkloric history of their special attraction to the Islands of the Four Mountains. Though evidence of their villages is long gone, journals from the Russian priests and explorers who were the first white men to arrive here give an indication on how these islands were occupied. To contemporary members of the Aleut tribe, the islands are an enigma, a sacred place where ancestors buried their mummified dead in caves.
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