Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cultural Heritage Week.

Yesterday was the beginning of Cultural Heritage week, a week to remember and learn more about the local culture. 

In the mornings, students begin the day by listening to guest speakers give a small preview of what is to come. After an hour, students break into different groups to listen to speakers on a particular topic. 

My group listened to the two ladies from the environmental department.  They had an awesome presentation.  The showed an unofficial time line showing the type of trash started appearing in the village.

At first it was things they could easily recycle like 55 gallon fuel oil cans back in the 1930's.  People cleaned them out and used them for water containers, stoves, and other things.  They used flour sacks for clothing, towels, and anything else they could think of.  This was when the village was located in another place.

Over time, more and more goods came into the village which were harder to dispose of such as paper goods, batteries, gas powered washing machines or CB's depending on the time period.  What I found so interesting was in the last 18 years, the amount of trash has exponentially increased.  Today's trash is more electronic devices, lithium batteries, and other items which are not as easily recycled.

The other speech was made by a young lady who works for the city government.  She took time to discuss all the jobs one might find in town and those that need filling right now.  Apparently, there is training available this summer for people to train as carpenters so they can work on the airport and other projects beginning in the fall.

The other topics are family, employment through the fishing group, connecting the old ways with the new ways, and male and female jobs within the family and culture.  All of these are so important.  It takes three days for the students to circulate through all six topics.

In the afternoon, after lunch and a chance to reflect, students break out to a hands on session.  There is skin sewing where students are learning to use fur to make mittens. This year, they are piecing fur scraps to make gloves.  The fur is on the outside as frequently as it is on the inside.  When its on the inside, you make an outer covering out of cloth and if the fur is on the outside, you make a lining out of cloth.   This class is for students to learn the technique needed to sew fur as it is not the same used for making regular clothing.

There other sessions for making quspaq's similar to in the picture, crocheting also known as yarning, beading where they make bracelets, making fish hooks, creating fish traps for black fish, and making traditional masks out of wood.

I hope to post pictures later in the week of various things happening.  Have a great day and let me know what you are thinking.

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