alaskan thanksgiving

November 22, 2010

originally i wanted to write about my search for the perfect winter parka…but while researching the history of parkas and looking for images in the alaska’s digital archives, i quickly realized that shopping for outerwear is incredibly boring in comparison to the inuit blanket toss! nalukataq is the harvest festival celebrating the end of the whaling season in june, the alaskan version of thanksgiving!

entire villages feast and dance in thanks for the harvest, wearing their most festive clothing, including fancy parkas! traditionally, parts of the whale were distributed to each family and the boat captains and their wives were then tossed in the air on a blanket of seal skins by the thankful revelers. perfect timing with our own thanksgiving rituals right around the corner! here’s an old video of the “tossees” and their feast!

and just for yucks, a fishskin anorak:

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One Response to alaskan thanksgiving

  1. Patty on November 27, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    What a fun tradition – awesome archival photos!

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