Saturday, August 29, 2009

Inupiaq Day


Thursday (8/27) was the first Inupiaq day of the year. Not surprisingly we have been mispronouncing Inupiaq - it is pronounced in-you-PACK. It it is a day to encourage native skills and pride. At about 10:30 all the kids headed out to a spot along the river near the airport. The tide was high so fording the river on the 4-wheelers was a unique experience. It meant that all those aboard the ATV had to hike their feet up.

There was a camp fire and hot dogs. Calvin Moto, our amazing cook, prepared some delicious Inupiaq Day treats. The cookies were the best.

We had lots of parents join in on the day of festivities. Ruth Ann, a parent of 6 school-aged children and a member of our ASC (local school board), brought a seining net. That was a sight to behold watching the collaborative effort of pulling the net in at the exact right time. The process went something like this. Robert in his hip waders waded across the river to set the net.

Skilled observers (anyone native) watched the tell tale signs down stream that a school of fish were heading toward the net. The fish, as they swim up, make like wakes behind them. At the right time several people pulled on a rope attached to the far end of the net. They vigorously bounced the rope up and down while they pulled it toward shore.

The plan was to catch lots of fish to provide enough to feed the community at the school on Friday. Needless to say that was accomplished and there were lots of left overs that were shared with friends and neighbors.

Bon with her Ulu knife cutting fillets.

It was a wonderful event. It was great to get outside with the kids. Once again we are awed by this community. There is no doubt that Deering is a rare jewel in the Arctic. We are fortunate and thankful that we are here.

Native Pride!!

1 comment:

  1. fabulous pictures of your neighbors and the fun day you had! What a beautiful place.