Around lunchtime, on Monday, the long-anticipated buzz began...
"The sun is here!"
"Can you see the sun?"
"You should see the sun!"
Emails sizzled, hot and fast, across the network.
On-the-ball observers spread the word door-to-door.
Faculty, staff, and students scurried toward south-facing windows, fingers and noses pressed against the glass.
All this...just to catch a fleeting glimpse, to witness that first blazing moment when the earth tilts its head and the sun shimmers a hundred shades of pink and red and yellow and orange upon a canvas of frozen white.
Maybe the angle of rays through miles of atmosphere magnifies the glory.
Or maybe weeks upon weeks of darkness simply exaggerates the effect.
Regardless of the reason, our moment in the sun is dramatic and invigorating.
And the majesty of that moment is...worth the wait.
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")