The annual departure of river ice wasn't really a dramatic production this year. The jam at the southern bend finally broke loose initiating the frozen procession toward the Arctic Ocean...minus much of the ripping and roaring that I've seen in the past. There were still some signs of violence. Shreds of willows swirled in the current and chunks of ice were fringed with dark soil that had been stripped from the banks somewhere along the way. For the most part, though, the flow was more of a gentle slide than the mad rush that it can be.
This little video is somewhat dark and only shows a moment of the ice "going out," but I thought I'd go ahead and include it. There are more photos on my Flickr account as well. My curious dogs make cameo appearances. They weren't quite sure what to make of the whole thing. As usual, Precious finds something to carry around. She's a lab...retreiving is her thing.
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")