Recently Haskell’s Alaska Club held its first ever Arctic Games in Tecumseh Hall. Many traditional Alaskan Native games were shown and explained to the audience, educating them about the history of the games. One way to think of it as is the Olympics except it’s more cold and it being named Haskell Arctic Games.
Alaska Club president Andy Piscoya and Alaska Club members Shannon Hawkins and Caroline Wiseman helped create a positive atmosphere for the students and staff that attended, demonstrating and explaining the various games in the event.
Here are some of the sports played during the Haskell Arctic Games that were performed by the Alaska Club:
Knee Jump: This game is of athletic agility and balance. You must have quick feet and good balance while negotiating the rotten ice during break up season.
Two foot/One foot High Kick: This is a game of sending a message. One foot was represented of a successful whale hunt. Two foot would represent an unsuccessful whale hunt as elders recall when developing out Native Games back home. Usually the fastest runner would run the distance and jump as high as they could to pass the message to the other close villages on whether the community members need to help harvest the whale.
Scissor Broad Jump: this game represented jumping across the ice flows. This required athletes to think and hop fast along ice burg to ice burg.
Alaskan High Kick: Nicole Johnston of Nome shares that the Alaskan High Kick was played inside the winter to help develop coordination, upper body strength, and concentration. Elders say that this game the kicker would tab his or hers foot in the ash of the fire and try making a foot print on the ceiling of the Kusgii (traditional house).
Eskimo Stick Pull: Eskimo stick pull represented pulling seals out of the ice. This was a great game t o see whom was the strongest within the community. Traditionally there would be a competition within the community and the strongest person would sit out on the floor until no one wanted to challenge.