Friday, November 2, 2007

Puuqtaluk Arrives!

Puuqtaluk is a night of silliness and laughter. Sometimes it's the costume that is humorously absurd. Sometimes it's the dancing. Sometimes the contestants actually interact with the audience (or one another) in some ridiculous way. But, no matter the age or dancing ability of the participant, the objective is always to make people laugh.

However, there is another objective to the competition that is almost as important as the humor. The identities of the participants are always kept secret. Part of the fun, for the audience, is trying to guess who is dancing in spite of the disguise that is worn. Contestants often wear several layers of clothing stuffed with pillows in addition to a mask. They may wear mismatched gloves, over-sized shoes, or even walk in an unusual way all in an effort to prevent anyone from guessing who they are. The ultimate accomplishment for a Puuqtaluk participant is to have tricked the audience, to have remained anonymous to the end. How exhilarating it must be to receive cheers of astonishment from the crowd as the mask is lifted revealing the dancer's true identity!

And, of course, receiving a hefty prize check isn't too bad either.

Okay, I forgot to mention that the baby division doesn't really follow the same rules. They pretty much just toddle around and look cute. This little sweetheart won first prize in that age group. She even beat out her older brother who became shy at the sight of the audience.

The Youngest Winner2

I'm not sure what baby-boy-left is trying to do to baby-boy-right, but it sure looks like he's determined to do it, whatever it is. These two have more in common than being adorable in their costumes. They were born on the same the same hospital!

Let Me Adjust That For You

This is one of my students. He's pretty excited to have won first prize and is standing at the table waiting for his check. I took this photo right after he revealed his identity. You'll notice he's still sweaty from doing all that dancing dressed up in a heavy disguise.

First Place Winner

These three were contestants in the 14-17 year old division.

Puuqtaluk Contestants

Here the participants from that same division (14-17 yrs.) are dancing as a group.
Each is also required to dance alone. That's the part where the mask is really handy! How frightening!

Puuqtaluk Dancers

These nasty looking characters were contestants in the adult division. The one in the middle actually won first place.

Nasty Looking Characters

Believe it or not, this ominous figure is actually a rather slender and attractive mother of SIX! All of her children, ages 2 to 8, were in the audience watching mommy dance.

Puuqtaluk Dancer


Anonymous said...

The pictures are great. Gracie wanted to know how the little girls painted their hair. I had to explain wigs. How many trick or treaters do you get? Miss you lots. Kippi

Kimberlee said...

Thanks, Kippi! I'm so glad you and Gracie enjoyed the photos. I had fun taking them. The number of trick-or-treaters varies. Since I moved out of the village a bit, the number has decreased. I don't get as many walkers as I did when I lived in the center of the village. Now it's mostly kids who have access to four-wheelers or parents who will tote them around in a truck (not many). Puuqtaluk was held earlier this year, so I think that had an impact as well. Also, the candy that I ordered from Wal-Mart didn't come in. So, I ran out fairly quickly and had to put a sign on the door, "Sorry...out of candy." Altogether, I think I had about twenty or thirty before the candy bowl ran dry. I don't think anyone was candy-deprived, though! :) Give Gracie a hug for me! I miss you, too!

AnnMarie said...

Hi Kimberlee!
I love your pictures!! I can't believe how much some of the kids I recognize have grown! I remember how much fun Halloween was in Atqasuk, but also very exhausting! Did you guys have a Halloween carnival at school? Thanks for bringing back good memories. Miss you!

Kimberlee said...

Hi, AnnMarie! Yes, Halloween is fun in Atqasuk. And, YES, it's extremely tiring! I think one of the things that I really appreciate about it here is that it's all about fun...all treats, no tricks. At least, that's been my experience so far. I'm so glad you stopped by and left a message! I miss you too!

Lucia said...

How cute are they? Precious little pink cheeks and so happy.
Now if I remember didn't you get in costume and dance one year?
And yep I'd dance in front of folks.

Great photos.

Love you,

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Lucia! Why am I NOT surprised that you wouldn't have a problem dancing???

The babies (and children) really are precious. I guess they're precious everywhere, but those round rosy cheeks are special to me. :)

I did dance in Puuqtaluk last year. I've been searching for the photos...if I find them I'll post a few.

Thanks for stopping by! Love you, too!

Mama said...

It was so interesting.....and it only took 45 min.....
This is so good, I'm glad you can have this blog to espress youself and tell others about Atqasuk.

Kimberlee said...

Hi, Mama! Thanks for persevering with the comment process! :) I know it's a little complicated at first.

The blog has been a fun thing for me. I'm so glad to be able to share some of my experiences with people that I love. Thank you for taking the time to view it and be encouraging. Love you!