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WEIO 2024

July 10 @ 9:00 am - July 13 @ 6:00 pm

The games that are played display the preparedness one needed for survival. They require skill as well as strength, agility, and endurance. In this manner, the people could teach their children that they had to be tough to make it on their own, not just in one area, but in all. The games left no part of the body untested.

In the past, whenever there was a gathering of families or villages, there were feasts, dances, and games. Often, when these gatherings took place, a messenger was sent to neighboring villages to extend a formal invitation. Today, these games are played in rural communities during the Fourth of July and Christmas holidays.

To better appreciate the background of these games, envision yourself in a community village shelter three hundred years ago with the temperature outside at 60 degrees below zero, with everybody in attendance celebrating a successful seal hunt. While the young men are demonstrating their athletic prowess and strength, the umialiks, or whaling captains, are on the perimeter of the gathering place looking with great interest at the young adults – one or more of these young men would be incorporated into their whaling and hunting crews – the fastest, the strongest, the one showing great balance and endurance to pain would be the top pick.


Big Dipper Ice Arena
1920 Lathrop St.
Fairbanks, 99701
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