Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ugruk, and Aiviq, and Bears, OH MY!

The Arctic version of the famous Wizard of OZ we have seals, and walrus, and bears...OH MY! We haven't seen any bears up close and personal, and for that I am eternally grateful.

We have heard a couple of good stories, though. One gal recounts going out to help her whaling crew work by the gravel pit (whaling crews are currently breaking ice and setting up snow blinds to prepare for the hunt).  She and her friend arrived just after the crew had encountered Nanuq (polar bear). The story is that when the bear walked into the camp, all of the guns were on a snow machine, basically out of reach.
Smart Nanuq!! The co-captain of the crew screwed up enough courage to reach a gun and shoot into the air to scare the bear...which worked. Close call, no one was hurt. I imagine none of those fellas will ever make that mistake again!

The sun has been up very late at night this month. It was light out until 10:00 p.m. last night! There are more smiling faces on folks in town and increasing anticipation of warmer weather...not to mention the whine of snowmachines well into the night! We were so fortunate to be able to capture this video of our dear Fannie Okpik teaching a class this weekend. This dance is all about the sun coming back. Other dances we saw her teach told equally enchanting stories.  
I really loved the story of the old woman going to a dance. She arrives at the venue with a bent neck, arthritic knees, and bent back. The minute she hears the music, her neck becomes strong, the pain in her knees goes away, AND her bent back becomes straight.The music transforms her and she dances the night away!

Moral of the story? More dancing for everyone!