Friday, May 15, 2009

Baptized by Blubber

Iris got to partake in a cool ritual last night, though some folks might think it's a bit out there. If you know me, you probably understand why I thought it was so cool!

Tuluk had brought home a huge bearded seal (mukluk) from hunting on the ocean, which he brought to his mom's house, and when the family called me to go help them work on it, they said that they would like baby to "swim through her daddy's catch". I think they thought I would be wierded out by it, or something, but I thought it sounded cool, like a kind of baptism.

So once the meat and innards were removed from the blubber and the skin, and then once the blubber was cleaned up and removed from the skin, it was nearly ten o'clock, and Iris was sleepy. I bet she would have been more open to the idea of crawling through cold blubber had it been a little earlier in the evening. So, she cried. But most babies do at their baptism! But it still accomplished the goal of the initiation if you will, even if she was in the blubber for only 30 seconds. Supposedly some babies love it and dive through it and rub their heads in it. Well, think about it, it probably feels just like jello wrestling, and a lot of folks love to do that! :) It was also the first time I'd seen how to take care of seal intestines. I really like seal intestine soup!With this big of a seal, you can see that it really takes the whole family to deal with the various parts. But it's a fun visiting/learning time... it's awesome:


Amy said...

I'm speechless. That never happens.

You, my friend, are made of sterner stuff than I.

I think the real question is, how do you get that out of her clothes? Spray N' Wash? What about getting it off of her? Does Johnson's baby soap cut it, or do you need to go big guns?

Your life is absolutely fascinating!


slugs on the refrigerator said...

that is amazing. It amazing how so many cultures have traditions around bringing babies into the its definitely giving babes whisky.

I just wanted to say how glad I am you found my blog as I am just in love with your blog. In a very odd coincidence, I have always wanted to visit alaska...its a life long dream.

I agree that life here is similar to what your describe. Closer to the elements. Weather and sun guide day to day activities. People live closer to subsistence, but life is still full of family and friends and tradition and a different kind of prosperity than GDP. Can't wait to read more about alaska!

kat (slugs on the refrigerator)

Roberta Kopanuk said...

Wow, I want seal. LOL it is good to see pictures of my cousins and Auntie. I miss them. Hey next time you see Laura tell her I said the whole world. She will know what I am talking about. LOL. Just think, my last two babies never been to Hooper Bay yet. Well got to go. Later

Finnskimo said...

THAT was awesome!

Great to find you, or great you found us!

We'll have to compare hunting rituals and the subsistence calendar!

Maija from up north!

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