First, I want to share the video I made from the footage on my lost GoPro. It’s basically a shortened version of everything I said in my last post. Enjoy!
|Demo of the one-hand reach|
The other interesting part of the event was the Eskimo games. Two young men from the community demonstrated a few of them. Above is the one-hand reach, a game where one person holds a ball on a string at a steady height and the other balances on one hand while reaching up with the other to hit the ball.
|Two-foot high kick|
Above are photos of the two-foot high-kick. Similar to the one-hand reach, this game’s object is to hit the ball with both feet with a small running start. The highest one this man was able to kick was as tall as the top of his head, about 6 feet in the air.
|Alaskan high kick|
In the Alaskan high kick, the athlete starts from a sitting position on the ground, then balances on one hand, holds his opposite foot with the other hand, and kicks the ball with the remain foot. How the heck do they come up with these things?? It was very impressive.
I think this one was the Eskimo high kick, where the goal is to kick the ball and land on the same foot used for the kicking.
|Kids making Eskimo yo-yos|
In addition to the game demonstrations, there were also tables for beading, Eskimo yo-yo making, and tons of different kinds of salmon dips.
|Traditional Eskimo yo-yo|
There was also a table where men and elders were making traditional Eskimo yo-yos with skins and furs.
It was really fun to see some new aspects of the local culture like that, and to see kids actively learning from the elders and multiple generations taking part in Inupiaq games, crafts, and dancing. It was also nice especially because it was a simple community event — not set up for tourists or outsiders, but just for the people who live here to get together, share their traditions, and encourage kids to embrace their culture.
It was a lot of fun, and I now have a commemorative “I ♥ Bacon” Eskimo yo-yo to keep me occupied for the rest of the season. 😉