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World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

July 22, 2011

…is happening right now in Fairbanks, Alaska. Unfortunately, last night was the baby regalia contest, but if you stop by tonight or watch the show on local TV channels, you’ll catch the crowning of the new Miss WEIO. Last year’s Miss WEIO went on to win Miss Indian World, I believe.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the games, and as the News-Miner puts it:

The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics is almost as old as the state of Alaska, but the games it features are far older. They test strength, agility, endurance and mental tenacity with unique contests developed by the Native people who have inhabited this end of the North American continent since before recorded history.

I tuned in on the TV and caught some acrobatic blanket tossing and some dances by an Anchorage troupe (the Klinikmiut Dancers) showcasing dances and songs from the Diomedes Islands. I’m hoping to see some high kicking, ear-pulling, muktuk eating and more dancing tonight! To learn more about WEIO–its history, games, and schedule of events–visit the website www.weio.org.

If you are in the area, of course, head on down to watch the action live at the Carlson Center and check out the arts and crafts fair for beaded earrings, porcupine quill boxes, summer kuspuks, prints and paintings by local artists and don’t forget to try some salmon jerky!

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