Native Cultural Center Today

Today the campers journeyed to the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage.  This is an amazing place not only to view artifacts and see traditional housing for the various peoples of Alaska, but to witness young people demonstrating their native games for us.

They explained that the games are designed to keep the people fit in the winter time for the physical challenges of hunting which many communities still do for subsistance.   One of the competitions is a long jump that combines a hop, two foot jump and a leap.  They compete for distance and it is designed to mimic the experience of jumping from ice flow to ice flow while hunting seal.

The video you viewed was of the straight leg kick which requires the contestant to kick the ball while holding their body completely off the ground and maintain balance and control.  Much easier said than done.

We also took in John Baker’s new exhibit and visited with him listening to strategies during the race and the belief in oneself that it takes to complete such an enormous task.  When asked who he considered his role model or mentor in this pursuit, he said “My mother.”  That was a satisfying moment for all us moms.

After the Native Heritage Center experience the campers were off on adventures of their own choosing.  I can’t wait to hear the stories.  A very full day.