Whew. What a year. We are very close to the end of the school year. There are only a couple of full "real" school weeks left. SBAs are over, and Cultural Heritage Week is next week! Really looking forward to that, especially since my best friend will be visiting again.
For the past two weeks we had interns from UAA visiting (as I did in 2007). My students and I really, really enjoy reading Berry Magic by Teri Sloat and Betty Huffmon. The story is about a little girl named Anana and she sees that three elderly women are displeased because there aren't enough good berries for the Fall Feast and they need them to make akutaq (Eskimo ice cream). So, Anana uses her crafty hand and goes out on to the tundra and magic happens! In the end, the berries are plentiful and the women happily have their akutaq.
So, I got together with my LT sub-aide, Cody Ferguson, and we were able to make akutaq for our students. Unfortunately, the interns had to catch a morning plane and they didn't get to taste it... and our first batch had to be redone, but they afternoon class did enjoy this Chevak dessert! As many times as we have read this book, this was our first time integrating the akutaq recipe into our classroom. It was such fun! I have to say if we didn't have these weird testing weeks, we wouldn't have had the "time" to do this. And, if I didn't have Cody it prob wouldn't have happened either. I loved how he tried to remember how his mom, Lena, made akutaq. This is just one of many examples of how much of the teaching and learning in the Cup'ik culture is through watching and doing.
Traditionally, akutaq (ah-goo-duck) was made with white fish, seal oil, berries, and sometimes meat. Today, many people use Crisco, oil, sugar, berries, and mashed potatoes, though many families make it each their own way. In C/Yup'ik, akutaq means "mix them together," which makes perfect sense! I have to say that when you hear the ingredients, and see them being mixed together it doesn't seem so delicious... but, after you have had some you begin to have your favorites and it is one of the reasons I like to get in line at potlucks :)
"Tamarpeci Nerluci"... all of you eat. Yup'ik saying found at www.ankn.uaf.edu by Frankie Jordan.
More pics to come...