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1 July, 2001

Camai Welcome (Alutiig)

It is hard to believe a week has gone by so quickly. We had today off, but we were still very busy. Two umiak's came across from Diomede today. The island is approximately 30 miles away. The water seems very rough. An umiak is a boat that was used for whaling (it is still used today). As the boats came into shore people from the village came out to help pull them in. Umiaks are made from walrus skin (female). In some places sealskin is used. A wooden base of the boat is inside with the covering, skin. We were told they could be repaired if there is a leak. After watching the umiak's come in, we went for water. We had to walk to the other end of the village and up the hill to the stream. When all you have to do for drinking water is turn on the tap, it is pretty easy. You have to think twice and really be careful with water when it is not easily accessible.

Tomorrow we will excavate again (probably for quite a few days). We will soon be at a point when all excavations are new; we will be below last year's lines.

Message to next year's students: data collecting is very important. This is how we analyze all of our information. We can then process the information and report about the findings.

The Kingikmiut Dance Festival ended with a potluck dinner. I was hoping to try new food on this expedition, but I never thought I would eat all of it in one night. I tasted caribou, moose, seal oil, muktuk (whale fluke) and walrus. It was very interesting, I think I liked the moose the best. The walrus was a little tough and hairy, and the muktuk was a bit chewy, but I am glad I was able to sample the culinary. The dances ended after midnight I feel very fortunate to have witnessed this festival.

Just another view of the Umiak

A little boy is walking in front of the drummers at the dance Festival

The men are pulling in an Umiak, or skin boat. The frame is made of wood, but the rest is walrus skin. They came across from Diomede for the Dance

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