Saturday, March 21, 2015

tuttu qayaq & napulgit | caribou kayak and old-style sled

Well, it is official. This is my last year in Alaska. I put in my letter of resignation a few weeks ago.
At this point, the plan is to spend the summer in Santa Fe where I will study at St. John's College; this will be my last semester. (Graduation, here I come!) 

So, to honor my final year in Alaska (In case you're wondering, it's been 4 1/2 years in Alaska!), I bought myself a caribou jaw sled. I saw this a couple of years ago, and I really wanted one. Since I only have nine more weeks left of school, I figured I better find an artist who could make one for me. 

The black part is made from whale baleen. In case you're wondering, baleen is whale bone, and you can shape it once it's soaked.

The white jaw belonged, once upon a time, to a poor tundra caribou who was probably eaten for dinner. (Yum! I actually love caribou.)

The tan portion of the qayaq (kayak) is made from caribou antlers. The black portion of the spear is baleen, and the white tip is walrus ivory. The paddle is also walrus ivory.

And the back includes a "blanket" of seal fur.

The wonderful artist inscribed his name.

"Your teeth on Oreos." :) 

So, Quya was hilarious when I brought this home. She was fascinated by the smell, even though I find the sled completely scentless. She'd sniff it, jump, recoil, pace, and go back to do the whole thing all over again. She's VERY intrigued by this new object in our home.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Studentism #15

"I'm glad you have the blinds down. The darkness heals me and shields me. I'm sure Apollo has something out for me. The sun....intensifies on me. I feel like an ant under a magnifying glass." 
[one of my students who is addicted to reading and being dramatic and all other kinds of wonderfulness]