Native Village of Wales, Contact
Wales has a strong traditional Kinugmiut Eskimo whaling culture. Ancient songs, dances, and customs are still practiced. In the summer, Little Diomede residents travel between the two villages in large traditional skin boats.
A burial mound of the “Birnirk” culture (500 A.D. to 900 A.D.) was discovered near Wales and is now a national landmark. In 1827 the Russian Navy reported the Eskimo villages of “Eidamoo” near the coast and “King-a-ghe” further inland. In 1890 the American Missionary Association established a mission here, and in 1894 a reindeer station was organized. A post office was established in 1902. Wales became a major whaling center due to its location along migratory routes, and it was the region’s largest and most prosperous village, with more than 500 residents. The influenza epidemic in 1918-19 claimed the lives of many of Wales’ finest whalers. The city government was incorporated in 1964.