On Monday we went to a community even celebrating the life and example of Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a wonderful celebration with representation from many of the diverse groups in our community. We started out by watching King's famous "I have a dream!" speech. Powerful. Then both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts presented the American and Alaska flags while the national anthem was sung. (Not to brag but two of the boys are my students!!) :)
Then different groups from the community gave presentation demonstrating traditions and practices from their homes and cultures. The Native Youth Olympics (NYO) is a spring sport offered through the state's athletic program. So many neat events that I had never seen before. Pretty impressive!
NYO events really come from skills needed for hunting. The stick pull was used to help arm muscles grow stronger. The one arm reach and the arm pull also helped to develop strong arm muscles that could pull a seal out of the water. The high kick was used to send a message about hunting success or disaster. Long ago they used the high kick to signal people across flat, frozen land. The reason for the seal hop is to sneak up on a seal. All of these skills helped someone to be a better hunter. ( http://library.thinkquest.org/3883/ )
ONE HAND REACH...
First you balance on one hand. Once you are balanced you must stay balanced. You reach up to touch the ball. The person who taps the ball at the highest position is the winner.
GIRLS' SEAL HOP
The object of the game is to hop as far as you can. You need to be in a push up position, with your hands flat on the floor. As you hop across the floor in this position, you have to keep your bottom down. When you stop the judges will measure how far you've gone. The amount of time it takes you does not count, just the distance.
BOYS' SEAL HOP
The object of the boys' seal hop is the same. You are trying to go as far as you can. The boys have to get into the push up position, but instead of having their hands flat on the floor, they need to be on their knuckles. As you hop on your knuckles, you need to make sure that you keep your bottom down.
THE WRIST CARRY...
For the wrist carry you need a round stick that is 48 inches long and 1 5/16 inches wide. Two people hold the ends of the stick up in the air. The third person wraps one wrist around the stick and puts the other hand on the arm that is carrying you. You pull your knees into your chest and lift your body off the floor. If their feet touch the ground you need to hold the stick higher in the air. You hold on as tight as you can while they walk. The stick holders walk at one step per second. The person who holds on for the farthest distance is the WINNER!!!
ONE FOOT HIGH KICK...
Start a few steps back from where the ball is hanging. Run a couple of big steps forward then jump straight up into the air. As you go up into the air bend your kicking leg and bring it up towards your chest. When you get at your maximum height extend your foot and tap the hanging ball and land on that same foot you tapped the ball with. The object of this event is to jump the highest, tap the ball with your foot and don't kick it as hard as you can. Land on that same foot and keep your balance.
Then we were treated to some native Filipino dances! (seriously, wait a second! who knew that Filipino started with an "F" and not a "Ph"?!?!?!? Not this kid....learn something new EVERYDAY!)
Then (my favorite) was a Step program put on by the middle and high school boys. It was AWESOME!!! Seriously AWESOME! I have a sweet video, but my internet won't let me upload it. I'll try to shorten it - it's worth sharing! :)
Here's the Step Team video!
We also saw a fancy cowboy from Mexico - he was pretty cool, too! (Again, I have a video...)
All in all, it was a wonderful evening full of friendly faces and neat performances. Just another event to make
me happy and content with my decision to come to Unalaska!
With a happy happy heart,