This past September, after Maggie Mary Otto passed away, the village of Kongiganak, Alaska — also known as Kong — celebrated her life with a four-course feast. People filed into the old high school gym and piled their plates with seal stew and walrus meat, while children wrestled by the bleachers. It was crowded. Mrs. Otto was an elder and the de facto marriage counselor in town. She was beloved.
Mrs. Otto's daughter, Betty Phillip, sat in a corner. They put her mother to rest on high ground, she said, but not all of her family in Kong is so lucky.