I'd just finished observing the snow bunting giving itself a snow bath (previous post). I walked through the school to the front deck. It was a glorious day and the front deck of the school offers a great eastern view of the tundra. There are caribou out there...if only I had the lens to prove it!
Anyway, as I stood there, camera in hand, breathing in the fresh, frosty air I heard the slow scraping sound of a sled on the icy road below. Sure enough, a sweet pair come into view. A devoted young mommy and her extremely curious three-year-old son are enjoying a peaceful stroll in the bright spring sunshine.
It made me sigh inside to witness such a wholly unspoiled scene painted upon a canvas of pure white, simple and clean.
Teenagers tumble into view.
And a snow bath...of a different kind...ensues!
No preening or cleaning with this snow bath, but there were plenty of ruffled feathers!
And you'll notice the little guy observed it all...significantly out of reach.
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")