David Thomas and Erica Meckel
The games that are played by these people display the preparedness one needed for survival. They require skill as well as strength, agility, and endurance. In this manner, the people could at least teach the children that they had to be tough to make it on their own, not just in one area, but in all. The games left no part of the body untested.
In the past, whenever there was a gathering of families or villages, there were feasts, dances, and games. Often, when these gatherings took place, a messenger was sent to neighboring villages to extend a formal invitation. Today, these games are played during the Fourth of July and Christmas holidays.
To better appreciate the background of these games, envision yourself in a community village hut three hundred years ago with the temperature outside at 60 degrees below zero, and everybody in attendance celebrating a successful seal hunt. While the young men are demonstrating their athletic prowess and strength, the umialiks, or whaling captains, are on the perimeter of the hut looking with great interest at the young adults - one or more of these young men would be incorporated into their whaling and hunting crews - the fastest, the strongest, the one showing great balance and endurance to pain would be the top pick.
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Congratulations to World Eskimo-Indian Olympics
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame chose WEIO as the 2009 Event. WEIO is one of only three events to be inducted to the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. "It is obviously one of the cornerstone sporting events in our state and is very worthy of induction into the Hall." See the display at Anchorage's Ted Stevens International Airport. http://www.alaskasportshall.org/inductees_09.html#class09
The American Bus Association has chosen WEIO as one of the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Events in North America for group travel in 2009. A panel of ABA-member bus and tour operators selected WEIO from hundreds of entries nominated by state/provincial tourism offices and local and regional convention and visitors bureaus. http://www.buses.org/files/aba2009top100.pdf