Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mikaaq, birds, & Atiqluks

Nalukataq & Mikaaq

Prayer before the Mikaaq feast
There were a couple more Nalukataqs last week. On Thursday, I arrived at the festival right at noon, just in time for a warm bowl of goose soup and homemade bread. I even got an Eskimo Doughnut! (delicious fried dough made by a native). It was very windy and cold so I left around 2pm.

On Saturday I attended another Nalukataq. This time I showed up around 3pm. This part of the feasting consisted of more homemade bread,  fruit, cake and of course the main dish, Mikaaq (whale meat that has been fermented in whale blood). Yes, I tried it. Although the idea of eating miqaak (pronounced “Mik yuck”) made me sort of want to vomit, I decided I can’t spend all summer up here and not try it. Especially because when I looked around, little children were eating it like candy! Surprisingly, it actually tasted sort of good. It’s difficult to describe the flavor, but it was sweet and the taste lingered in my mouth for quite a while. I don’t think I’d eat it again, but it was definitely worth the experience.

I also had my first taste of Eskimo Ice Cream, whipped caribou fat that is mixed with berries, dried meats, etc. The kind I tried was dried meat/caribou jerky flavored. It was very creamy and pretty tasty. I’d really like to try the berry flavored kind sometime! 

About to eat mikaaq
Giant bucket of mikaaq


It’s baby bird season! We found a bird nest in one of the dog houses outside the vet clinic. The eggs have hatched and little baby birds were right inside. There’s also a little bird nest at my house. It has 4 eggs in it right now. I hope they hatch soon!

Bird nest outside my house

Baby birds outside the vet clinic

Native Dress Day

The North Slope Borough is celebrating its  40th anniversary. In celebration, we have a “spirit week” at work. Yesterday was wear red day and today was “native dress day.” Briana, a Inupiat coworker at the clinic, brought in an atiqluk  (ladies snowshirt) that was too big for her. She even said that I can keep it. Thank you so much Briana! 
Rose, Briana, & I in our atiqluks

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