Thursday, August 29, 2013

Arctic Sports

pretty serious furs

Another cruise ship came in this weekend, bringing in Canadian tourists this time. Cambridge Bay was quite the happening place. Apparently, Cambridge Bay is the second most popular cruise ship stop in Nunavut, after Pond Inlet.

I popped into the cultural show again, and caught a demonstration of traditional Arctic sports. I swear, every single Inuit sport I've observed looks not only very physically challenging but extremely painful. They certainly are not for the faint-hearted...or the weak-kneed.

This is the knuckle hop. You basically hop across the ground on your knuckles and feet. The person who makes it the farthest wins. See what I mean by painful-looking?  Sorry about the fuzzy photo. The athlete was just so fast.

This game involves making your body stiff as a aboard while others carry you across.  It looks like it requires a lot of core strength.

this is actually the mayor of Cambridge Bay, doing a great job

The knee jump consists of jumping from kneeling position to your feet. See what I mean about how you can't have weak knees?

This is a muskox wrestling game, where you get in a headlock and try to push your opponent to the other side of the room.

This game involves holding what looks like an impossible balance on one knee, and then hitting a target. I'm pretty sure this is a breakdancing stall move, and I'm pretty sure you have to practice for years and years.

This game is kind of the opposite of limbo.  You have to try to kick a target (in this case, a stuffed animal) that is raised higher and higher.  The athletes were able to get some really impressive heights with this sport, kicking far above their heads.

Folks also offered the tourists a chance to watch them perform some traditional Inuit drum dances.  I love watching these, and the dancers in our town seem to be particularly talented and enthusiastic.  There's something about the way the drums kick in, halfway through the song, that gives me chills.  It's quite a beautiful sight.

traditional Inuit drum dances

video footage of the Inuit drum dance