04 November 2005

Hoo Ra - Halloween isn't over yet!

Thursday, 11-03-05

There were about 200-250 community members, including children of course, here for the 'mask contest' Thursday. The events started off with this mask parade. Then, there were several activities, including prizes, for children & adults alike. The events: musical chairs, walking a certain distance with a basketball between your knees (boys vs. girls, men vs. women), walking like the opposite sex, 'come to daddy,' & a musical gift to top off the night. I may have left something out.

What? You want to hear more about the 'come to daddy' contest. It was hard enough for me to get out there for the musical chairs (this is in front of 200 people) & I was swindled into this one. So, adult volunteers were asked to come forward & I was pulled onto the gym floor with some resistance. The other activities involved at least 50 people each, so I thought "hey, I'll just get lost in the masses, even if I am the only 'Gussaq' (white person) here." Wrong! There were 5 women, 5 men. Our task: baby is to 'come to daddy.' Women started. We were to act as babies going over to the man across from you (who I have never seen or met & in front of 200 people). They are to call you as a baby. The first lady just walked over, so exxentially, I was first up. There I went crawling on my hands & knees while this man, as old as my daddy, called me over to his arms. Whew! At least the women went first!

Prizes included pop, candy & cash. The final event was very cool. There were 2 huge circles, one for kids, the other for adults. A heavily wrapped box is given to one person & the music begins. The box is pushed along while music plays. When the music stops, the person who has the box in front of them when the music stops is to rip ir open as much as possible before music starts & try to unveil the prize. If you are the last to unwrap it, the prize it yours. The box was about 12" x 12" x 8" to begin with. Throughout the course of 'rip fest' we found layers of shipping tape, duct tape, masking tape, string tied in knots, cloth tied in knots, plastic, paper, newspaper, a bottle cap, more tape, more string, more tape, more tape, & a $50 bill. The childrens' box had several toys in it. The cool thing about this event is that when the music stops you aren't just helping yourself, your neighbor helps you. Plus, really you all are helping each other throughout. Everyone cheers for you, etc., etc. I think that it shows the importance of community to the Yup'ik culture & everyone working for each other.

The picture won't load, so I'll just leave the mask contest to your imagination.

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