If necessity is the mother of invention...convenience must be the mother of ingenuity...or at least its distant cousin. No one really needs a sliding hill, but when it's dark all day, having a nice steep loading ramp at your disposal is certainly convenient. The ramp behind the school is a perfect hill-substitute and a favorite "sliding" spot for local kids, especially right after school. It's about fifteen feet high, very steep, and slick, slick, slick. Some kids slide down on their feet while holding onto the rail. Most prefer to fly down on a plastic sled or cardboard box, hoping to "ramp" on the snow at the bottom and become airborne before crashing. The thrill of taking flight appears to overcome the fear of pain associated with hitting the pavement of packed snow and ice. Throughout my youth, I was always dying to try this. These days I'm pretty sure if I tried this, I would die! *********************** Crashing is a big part of the fun...so they say. :)
Have box...will travel!
Cold? Who could be cold when we're having so much fun?
Welcome to the Arctic! This space is dedicated to observations and experiences related to daily life in the Inupiat Eskimo village of Atqasuk. Questions and comments are invited. Thanks for visiting! Quyanaqpaq!
nuna:tundra, the land atikluk:snow shirt, parka cover
Interested in Inuit culture? Check out these films...
The Fast Runner is an excellent representation of ancient Inuit culture. The R-rating is for nudity, violence, and some language. Subtitles are utilized throughout. I do not recommend this film for children, but it's an extremely accurate portrayal of the culture. It was introduced to me by an Inupiat woman who raved about it. And I agree!
For a preview, click here.
The Snow Walker is another excellent representation of Inuit culture circa 1940's. This film is rated PG, I'm guessing for language. No subtitles that I remember. It starts a little slow, but gets much better. It will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the survival skills of this culture.
For a preview, click here.
Great For Kids!
Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson is a warm and culturally sensitive story centered on the Inupiat subsistence tradition of whaling. It is available in both English and Inupiaq translation. The illustrations, by Annie Patterson are exquisite and add to the quiet softness that the story inspires.
To order this title on Amazon.com, click here.
The Alaska Geographic series is an excellent informational resource. The edition entitled North Slope Now deals exclusively with this area and even features relatives of my students. Although it was published in 1989, it is still current enough to provide a general understanding of culture, lifestyle, and issues faced by this northern-most region.
To order this title from Alaska Geographic, click here.
More about Kaktovik Disaster of 2005 (from Dec post, "The Edge")