I think it's pretty obvious that my dogs enjoy snow as much as I do. For the last two or three days we've been experiencing April showers of the frozen variety. It snowed all day today and tonight...it's still snowing! With an ambient temperature of 9 degrees above zero and relatively little wind, this is frisky-making weather without a doubt.
And I love it.
I really like the softness of this type of snow. The silliq, snow made crusty and hard by wind, has been covered with nutagaq, freshly fallen, unpacked snow. The sheen of silliq is interesting, but nutagaq is friendly and inviting. Just walking through it is fun.
As I was walking home from school today, I noticed footprints leading up to the roof of these old "hotel" living quarters. If the nice weather continues, unexpected footprints will appear all over the village. To kids, all the world is a playground and the more unexpected, the better.
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")