Writer of Soul-Searching Snark

Holiday Weekend

When I lived in Barrow, Alaska, I loved the end of June and the first week of July. Borough Holidays abounded. First you’d get a Nalukataq day. Nalukataq events are hosted by successful whaling captains to celebrate their bounty. These are usually held the last few weeks of June and we’d get a couple of 1/2 day holidays to attend the festivities. Nalukataq literally means blanket toss. The hides from the seal-skin boats-umiat-are sewn together to make a blanket. Members of the community grab the sides of the blanket and someone stands in the middle. Then the fun commences. The brave soul on the blanket is tossed into the air and falls back to the blanket to be sent soaring once again. I wonder if the Inupiat invented the trampoline?

This is an umiat--the covering is used to make the blanket

Do NOT try this at home!

Let's Eat!

In addition to the wonderful Nalukataq holidays, the brilliant founding fathers of the North Slope Borough incorporated the borough on July 2, 1972. So, not only did we receive the 4th of July off, we also celebrated Founder’s Day. For example, this weekend, NSB employees would get Friday-Monday off. Come on, you gotta love that, don’t you?

I really miss all those paid holidays.  As a writer I don’t take weekends and holidays off.  Do you?


Comments on: "Holiday Weekend" (2)

  1. I will never in my life forget the 4th of July spent with you there in Barrow, Ms. Claire. It’s etched in my memory as one of the most unusual holidays I have every experienced…very unique.

    • LOL! I’ll never forget the expression on your face when you realized that the seal-skinning contest wasn’t an euphemism. I often think about how much more fun Barrow was when you lived there. Miss you!

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