This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner Home Page About ANKN Publications Academic Programs Curriculum Resources Calendar of Events Announcements Site Index This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner This is part of the ANKN Banner
This is part of the ANKN Logo This is part of the ANKN Banner This is part of the ANKN Banner
Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide


Annotated Bibliography


[Please note that some information or reseources may not be available today.]

Alaska State Library

Glassford, R. G. (1976). Application of a theory of games to the transitional Eskimo culture. New York: Arno Press. Call # E99 .E7 G57 1976

This thesis looks at the games of the Canadian Eskimo who lives in the Mackenzie River delta region. It also analyze the organization patterns of their games and classifies them according to a model based upon a theory of games.

Agility and skills contests included Acrobatics (gymnastics), Ajagak, Ayagak or Ajaguktuk (ring and pin game), Ayagak (string figure), Harpoon Throwing, Igluktak (juggling), Katagak (stick game), Kayak Roll, Kipotuk (ring toss), Maligudluga (follow-the-leader), Napatchuk (dart game), Pitiski (archery), and Tiksaqtartut (balance game).

Endurance contests included Ikuskikmiaq (elbow-ear walk), Iqiruktuk (mouth pull), Rasiktuat (foot races), Spread-Eagle Carry, Siutigun or Ayaraq (to pull or carry by the ear), and Ungatanguarneq (fisticuffs). Jumping contests included Akratcheak (two-feet high kick), Nikachruk (one-foot high kick), Kasigiurak (knuckle hop), Paungakata or Pangakkartuq (hand hop), Nauktak (jumping for distance), and Peedletataq (knee jumping).

Strength contests included Akamak (arm pull), Aksargak or Aqsaaraq (arm pull), argakmik or qiqigliruktuk (finger pulling), Dunnumik Dinnuroan or Tunummijuk (back to back pushing), Kumgisikmiuk or Kungasikmik (head pulling), Nakitaun or Sunnila (arm bending), Niakomik Dinnuroan (head pushing), Nukitautiyuat (tug-of-war), and Talliruluktuk (hand wrestling).

Games of chance included Nuglutang (spearing game), Sataktuk or Saketan (roulette), and Tingmiujang (dice-type games).

Competitive games included Akraurak (football game), Anauligatuk or mukpaun (baseball-like game), Angugaurak (tag games), Atariaq, Ataijatuk or Ataujartut (handball or keep-away), Dog Racing, Dominoes, Ekaluktok (fishing), Erigak (hide and seek), Ijuttaut (whip ball game), Kaipsak (tops), Kaivsalugaktut or Itirkorak (hoop and stick), Mudga Mudgah (prisoner's base), Muk (silence), Nalautchaktaun (tip-it), Tidluktoq or Taptajaqtut (blindman game), and Unatartoat or Unatartuq (Eskimo wrestling).

Cooperative games included Aghi (drum dancing) and Nalukatuk (blanket-tossing).


Fairbanks North Star Borough Noel Wien Public Library

Arctic sports a tradition all their own. (1982). ULU News, 7(1), 5.

Call # RID: CN77-309341

Discusses the 1982 Arctic Winter Games. Events at these games included: rifle and pistol shooting, snowshoeing, curling, figure skating hockey, cross-country skiing, snowshoe biathlon, basketball, table tennis, badminton, volleyball, judo gymnastics, indoor soccer, one-foot high kick, two-foot high kick, kneel jump, airplane, one-hand reach, and rope gymnastics.


Eger, F. H. (1981?). Eskimo Inuit Games. Vancouver, B.C. Canada: X-Press.

Call # ALASKA E99 E7 E35

Describes 51 Inuit games and how to play them. Thirty-seven of them have a picture and a written description of the games. These games include UNA TAR TUQ (Eskimo Wrestling), AC SA RAQ (Thong game), TU NU MIU / DUNNUMIK (with back together try and push opponent over line), SEAL RACING (on hands with legs limp and body trailing, moves forward), PEED LE TA TUQ (moves from kneeling position to squat with a quick jump and then back to kneeling), ARSAARARTUQ (a pulling contest), KALIVIKTAQ / HOLMAN ISLAND SKIPPING (jumping rope with an animal hide tied around it), HOLMAN ISLAND MUSK-OX FIGHTING (two persons are on all fours with one person's head under the other one's shoulder. Object is to uproot opponent), QIJUMIK AKIMITAIJUK ITIGAMINAK (jumping while holding your toes before, during, and after the jump), SITTURTAQ (in squat position, alternate outstretched legs in rapid progression), AJAGAAK (string game to try and get the wooden point which is attached to the string into the hole in the seal bone), SUNNILA (bend outstretched arm at elbow), PANGAKKARTAQ (pushup position and move forward with hands and feet), KIISINASUTTUQ (pick up object from one-handed pushup), IKUSIMMIAQ (walk on elbows holding hands over ears), AKRATCHEAK - TWO FOOT KICK (person kick with two feet from a standing start), AIRPLANE (person lies on floor, stiffens body, arms, legs outstretched. Two assistants hold arms, one on each side, and one assistant holds feet. All assistants walk while person flies like an airplane), ATAUSINGMIK - ONE HAND REACH (person balances with one hand on the floor - his feet are off the floor then reaches to touch a suspended fur piece with other hand), ORSIKTARTUT - OVER THE ROPE (person leaps up to grab taut horizontal rope and pulls body up and over the rope as many times as possible - feet are not touching the floor), NALUKATUQ - HOLMAN ISLAND BLANKET TOSS (object is to bound higher than any one else), QIVIQTAQTUQ TILARISINUM - BACK BEND (measure stick under arm to a certain distance then bend backwards until stick touches ground behind person), TIRUSURAQTUT AQUPIUTANIN - KNEEL REACH (partner is sitting on one's feet. The kneeling person reaches and places block farther ahead than last effort), ARRANGMININ, NAYUMIPLITTIQ - HAND BALANCE (with only hands touching floor, balance move block using nose or mouth as far as possible), ALASKAM ARATISIAQUTAT - ALASKAN HIGH KICK (hold foot with opposite hand, balance on the other hand and foot, and kick the hanging fur target with balancing foot), ISSAGATUT - SIDE REACH (with block in hand, reach hand behind body and to opposite side placing block as far away as possible then retrieve block), AKRAURAK, IGALU/KITAQ, AJUHAQ - FOOTBALL (the football is kicked between two lines o f players until it passes through one line of players, then all players rush to kick the ball into their opponent's goal), ANAULIGATUK, MUKPAUN - BASEBALL (is played with two bases. Fielders try to tag or hit the batter as he runs the bases and returns home. If fielder is successful, he takes the runner's place at bat), NUGLUKTAQ - QUICK JAB (wood or bone with many holes is suspended at about chest height. All players hold a sharp stick with they try, all at once, to place in the holes), SATAKTUQ - LADLE GAME (roulette played with a ladle), ILLUKISAAQ, ILLUKITAQ - JUGGLING (small bones are juggled), NAUKTAK - SAM'S JUMPING GAME (lie down and mark where top of head is then crouch by wall and leap out to "head" mark), NUKUVITTUQ - LAYER LIFT (one player lies on ground, the other player lies on top of first player, then the bottom player tries to get up), ARGAKMIK - GEORGE'S PULL GAME (tries to pull the partner's tucked-in elbow away from his/her body by pulling on middle finger), TIDLUKTOQ, UATAMANNAA - BLINFOLDED HUNTER (blindfolded hunter tries to catch the prey which are other players), IQUQMINGNIN, KAYUNGNQTUT - BEHIND AHEAD (hold feet and move on rear end), TILIRAGINIK QIRIQTAGTUT - JUMP THROUGH STICK (hold stick with both hands and jump through the stick landing on both feet), and MAKPIGAMIMAIT - POLE PUSH (partners lie on their backs using their feet to hold a bar then each tries to push the other one over).


Eskimo Yo Yo [Video]. Anchorage, Alaska: Alaska Eskimo Yo Yo Company, Inc.

Call # ALASKA E98 G2 A42

Chris Kiana, an Inupiaq Eskimo, hosts and explains techniques on the operation of Alaska Eskimo Yo Yo. Some of these included Eskimo Orbit, Hand Switch, Single Floor Pick-up, Jack Knife, Pendulum Start, Dead Start, Horizontal Loop and Chair Leg, Half Table Start, Overhead Eskimo Orbit, Table Top-Overhead Start, Around the World-Overhead Eskimo

Orbit, Twirl Around Fist Start, Horizontal Dead Start, Horizontal Toss Start, Behind the Back-Loop Foot-Reverse Directions, Loop the Fingers Reverse Directions, Vertical Twirl Around Start, Horizontal Floor Pick-Up, Drop Off Table Start, Horizontal Table Start, Horizontal Twirl Around Start, Pick-Up Start, Kick Start, Loop the Leg Belt Horizontal, and Over and Under.


Lavine, S. A. (1974). The games the Indians played. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company.

Call # E98 G2 138

Discusses games of chance (stick, dice, and basket-dice), guessing games (hidden ball and moccasin games), games of dexterity using balls (Lacrosse shinny, gall race, double ball, football, and pitch, toss, and catch), and games of dexterity for training (Archery, snow snake, hoop and pole, ring and pin, and horse racing). It also includes children's games (boys', girls', and cat's-cradle).


Mrozek, D. J. (1987). Games and sport in the Arctic. Journal of the West, 26,(1), 34-46.

Call # RID: 66-84755

Discusses the principle of cultural autonomy for Alaska's native people which was established with the Native Claims Settlement Act of 1973. WEIO is one way to revitalize traditional games. Also discusses the element of consciousness and self-conscious in preserving one's culture and encourages the use of communication. Gives examples of differences in sports among native population (Inuit Eskimo) in the Alaska and Canada.


The 21st Annual World Eskimo-Indian Olympics [Video]. Fairbanks, Alaska.

Call # ALASKA E98 62 T93

Describes the competition during the 21st Annual WEIO and presents views of participants and teachers of the games.


Whitney, A. (1977). Sports and games the Indians gave us. New York: David McKay Company, Inc.

Call #E98 G2 W47

Discusses the American Indian Heritage. Explains how to play ball games such as lacrosse, skinny, double-ball, foot-catch, dodge-ball, kick-ball, juggling, bowling, ball court games, and trap-ball. Explains acrobatic and endurance contests such as tossing contests, stilt-racing, pole-flying, horseback-tilting, hawk-fighting, breath-holding contests, tug-of-war contests, and wrestling. Discusses dexterity and marksmanship games which include bow-and-arrow contests, atl-atl contests, ring-and-pin games, hoop-and-pole games, stick-target games, and top-spinning contests. Water sports included canoe sports and floating-log games. During the winter, ice shinny, snow-snakes, chunkey, snowshoe, and toboggan racing also were played. Guessing games were popular which included moccasin games, hand games, and stick games. Games of chance included stick-dice games and stone-dice games. Included in this book is how to make Indian gaming equipment such as Indian ball, Iroquois snow-snake, ring-and-pin equipment, hoop-and-pole, jumping frog, Kuntassoo gaming equipment, stick-dice, Hopi darts, fighting serpents gaming equipment, target ring, whip-toe equipment, and Oto Lacrosse stick.


Fairbanks North Star Borough School District

Walsh, S. (1981). A compilation of Alaska Native sports and games. Fairbanks, AK: Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Indian Education Program.

Call # ALASKA 796.1 WAL 1981

Divides the games into three categories and illustrates each game.

1. Eskimo-Indian Olympic Games which include: Indian Stick Pull, Ear Pull, Ear Weight, Body Weight Lifting, Knuckle Hop, One-Foot High Kick, Two-Foot High Kick, Drop The Bomb, Greased Pole Walk, Indian Rope Pull Of Lifting Contest, Rope Gymnastics, Leg Wrestling, Head Pull, Toe Kick, Kneel Jump, Sitting Stick Pull, Seal Hop or Seal Crawl, and One-Hand Reach.

2. Native Games Suitable for a Gymnasium or a Playground includes: Toss Ball Game, Hot Potato, Dodge Ball, Volleyball-like Game, Baseball Game, Baseball: Anything Goes, Lapp Ball #1 or Lapp Baseball, Lapp Ball #2, Football, Women's Football, Ring Around, Caribou Eyes, Blind-Man's Buff #1, Blind-Man's Buff #2, Blind-Man's Buff #3, Square Tag, Twin Tag, Fish Trap Game, Loop Game, Men-Women Tug-Of War, Tug-Of War Loop, Pole Pushing #1, Pole Pushing #2, Belt Wrestling, Stick Raising Pole, Finger Pulling #1, Finger Pulling #2, Head Pushing, Battering Ram, Dragging A Skin Game, Hoop and Pole Game #1, Hoop and Pole Game #2, Willow Hoop Globe Game, Snow-Snake Game, Skipping Spear, Biting Game, Broadjump Hop, Bear Jump, Rabbit Jump #1, Rabbit Jump #2, Horizontal Jump, Hazard Jump, Beaver Shim Bone, One-Leg-Twist, Low Stick-Twist or Low Back Bend, Over Body-Throw, Neck Hang, Raise And Swing Oneself, Ear Weight Pull, Knee Walk #1, Knee Walk #2, Tightrope Walking Game, Hand Walking Game, Jumping Rope #1, Jumping Rope #2, Jumping Rope #3, Bow And Arrow or Spear Throwing Game, and Dart Game.

3. Native Games, Suitable for a Classroom or Any Room, which require little physical strength includes: Falling Sticks, Jackstraws, Guessing Stick Game, Aleut Stone Game, Dart Toss #1, Dart Toss #2, Throwing Sticks #1, Throwing Sticks #2, Throwing Disks #1, Throwing Disks #2, Ring Toss, Quoits Game #1, Quoits Game #2, Stopka, Chair Dice, Seal Flipper Bone Game #1, Seal Flipper Bone Game #2, Fox and

Geese Game #1, Fox and Geese Game #2, Caribou Knuckle Game or Ring and Pin Game, Beaver Hip Bone Game, Stick and Board Game, Top Spinning Game, Buzz Toy, and Eskimo Yo-YO.


Native Youth Olympics. (1983). [Video] Fairbanks, AK: Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Call # VC 979.8 NAT

The Native Youth Olympics (NYO) were held in Anchorage and was attended by 250 to 300 Native competitors from around the state. Cook Inlet Native Association is the sponsor. The first NYO had approximately 100 students. The competition was for two days during the month of April. Events included: one foot high kick, leg wrestling, kneel jump, one arm reach, head pull, stick pull, seal hop, toe kick, and two foot high kick. A description about each event was also given as well as commentaries and tips by competitors and coaches. There are metals given out for first, second, and third place.


Scholastic sports America goes to Alaska. (1991). [Video] Fairbanks, AK: Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Call # VC 796 SCH 1991

Portrays unique games in Alaska - dog mushing, high school native games, mount marathon, basketball, Eskimo baseball, long distance runner (Dave Dyer), and cross country skier (Denali Kimppel). Discusses NYO and these events: one leg kick, two leg kick, seal hop, one arm reach, two wrist come up, Eskimo stick pull, kneel jump, and butt hop (but not an official event but a warm up).
Personal Collection

Anchorage School District. (1986). Elementary Physical Education Curriculum and Resource Guide.

Discusses the Elementary Physical Education Program for Anchorage School District. It lists several units - one of which is Native Games. It discusses the following games: Indian Leg Wrestling, High Kick - Single Leg, Two-Legged High Kick, Stick Pull, Seal Hop, Knee Jump, Toe Kick, One Arm Reach, and Head Pull.


Arctic Winter Games (AWG) - The history and organization pamphlet (1995). Eagle River, Alaska.

Gives a brief history of AWG, discusses the funding, governing body, host organization, and international committee, lists the sports, describes the Hodgson trophy and the "years gone by", and portrays the members of the board.


Cook Inlet Native Association, Johnson O'Malley Program Community Education Department. (1989 & 1995). Native Youth Olympics handbooks.

The 1989 NYO handbook gives a brief history of the NYO, an introduction by Big Bob Aiken, requirements, registration, uniforms, conduct, awards, transportation, judges and officials, equipment, and a description of the Games which include: one foot high kick, Eskimo stick pull, scissor broad jump, wrist carry, two foot high kick, one arm reach, arm pull, kneel jump, Alaskan high kick, and seal hop.

The 1995 NYO handbook gives a brief history of the NYO, an article "The more you endure, the farther you will go." by Big Bob Aiken, requirements, registration, uniforms, conduct, awards, transportation, judges and officials, equipment, and a description of the Games which include: one foot high kick, Eskimo stick pull, scissor broad jump, wrist carry, two foot high kick, one hand reach, arm pull, kneel jump, Alaskan high kick, and seal hop.


Lund, A. (1986). Heartbeat: World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Juneau, AK: Fairweather Press.

Portrays Reggie Joule and a trip to Sivuniiqvik, located on the Kobuk river, which is a summer camp to teach youngsters Inupiat values, skills, history and culture. Portrays a small Inapt village between Point Hope and Barrow. Also shares information about the Wainwright dance team. Portrays the Tuzroylukes from Point Hope and the Tituses from Minto. Discusses and illustrates the Fairbanks Games, gives a history of the Games, describes Alaska Native Dance, a Minto, Athapaskan Potlatch, and the Events which include: Race of the Torch, Native Sewing Competition, Nalukatak (Blanket Toss), Greased Pole Walk, Drop The Bomb, White Men vs. Native Women Tug Of War, Native Baby Contest, Indian Dress/Eskimo Parka Contest, Alaska High Kick, Knuckle Hop, One-Foot High Kick, Two-Foot High Kick, Four-Man Carry, Stick Pull (Eskimo Stick Pull and Indian Stick Pull), Ear Weight, Ear Pull, Queen contest, Toe Kick, Kneel Jump, One-Hand Reach, Arm Pull, Fish Cutting Competition, Muktuk Eating Contest, Seal Skinning, and Dance Competitions.


World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. (1992, 1993, 1995). Fairbanks, AK: WEIO Inc. Publications.

The 1992 WEIO features the Northern Inua Show, portrays the Great Athabascan Chief Andrew Isaac, portrays Malinda Maher (1991 Miss WEIO), and lists the past reigning queens. It lists the Schedule of Events which were held in the Big Dipper Recreation Arena. Discusses WEIO Athletic Rules/Objectives which include the Alaskan High Kick, Arm Pull, Blanket Toss, Drop The Bomb, Ear Pull, Ear Weight, Eskimo Stick Pull, Fish Cutting, Four-Man Carry, Greased Pole Walk, Indian Stick Pull, Kneel Jump, Knuckle Hop or Seal Hop, Muktuk Eating Contest, Native Sewing Contest, One-Foot High Kick, One-Hand Reach, Race of the Torch, Scissors Broad Jump, Seal Skinning, Two-Foot High Kick, and Toe Kick.

The 1993 WEIO discusses the purpose of the Games, history of the Games, organization of the Games, the Games, and the events which include: Alaskan High Kick, Arm Pull, Blanket Toss, Drop The Bomb, Ear Pull, Ear Weight, Eskimo Dance Team Competition, Eskimo Stick Pull, Fish Cutting, Four-Man Carry, Greased Pole Walk, Indian Dance Team Competition, Indian Stick Pull, Scissors Broad Jump, Knuckle Hop, Miss WEIO Queen Competition, Muktuk Eating Contest, Native Baby Contest, Native Sewing Competition, One-Foot High Kick, One-Hand Reach, Race of the Torch, Seal Skinning Contest, Two-Foot High Kick, and White Men vs. Native Women Tug Of War.

The 1995 WEIO discusses the mission statement of WEIO, features the Northern Inua Show (which has a new home for its performances), portrays Princess Peter-Raboff (1994 Miss WEIO), and lists the past reigning queens. The 1995 WEIO were dedicated to Chief Peter John, Athabascan leader, and North Slop Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak, Sr. revered leader of the Inupiat Eskimos. It also lists the Schedule of Events which were held in the Big Dipper Recreation Arena and discusses official rules for Athletic Games of WEIO which include the Alaskan High Kick, Arm Pull, Blanket Toss, Drop The Bomb, Ear Pull, Eskimo Stick Pull, Fish Cutting, Four-Man Carry, Greased Pole Walk, Indian Stick Pull, Kneel Jump, Knuckle Hop or Seal Hop, Muktuk Eating Contest, One Foot High Kick, One Hand Reach, Race of the Torch, Scissors Broad Jump, Two Foot High Kick, and Toe Kick.


Rasmuson Library - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Ager, L. (1975). Alaskan Eskimo Children's Games and their Relationship to Cultural Values and Role Structure in a Nelson Island Community (Dissertation). Ann Arbor, MI: Xerox University Microfilms.

Call # ALASKA E 99 E7 A33

This dissertation defines play and games, reviews the literature regarding play and games, discusses site selection, field conditions and methods or research. Nelson Island is described (in regards to physical setting, resources and subsistence patterns, settlement patterns, community activities and facilities, politics, family life, religion, school, attitudes of Eskimos towards outsiders, and acculturation). It discusses the role structure in traditional and contemporary society, the role structure in games, and the relationship of values and games.


Alaskan games. (1977). Alaska State Museum: Alaska Department of Education.

Call # SKNR E 78 A3 A456

Goes along with "Some Alaskan Games and How to Play Them" as it is a teachers guide to these games listing objectives, procedures, activities, annotated bibliography, and resource section - ethnographic material.


Barber, L. (1987). Pride and Pain. Alaska Magazine, 53(5), 34-41.


Discusses the 26th annual WEIO in 1986 and portrays several athletes participating in their events - Billy Ahalik - ear pull, Joshua Okpik - ear weight, Carol Pickett - greased pole walk, Homer Lord - four-man carry, Molly Galbreath - fish-cutting contest, Nicole Johnson - two-foot high kick, and Vera Lincoln - blanket toss.


Cook Inlet Native Association, Johnson O'Malley Program Community Education Department. (1984). Native Youth Olympics handbook.

Call # ALASKA E 98 G2 N38

Gives a brief history of the NYO, a forward by Reggie Joule (champion of Native sports), requirements, registration, uniforms, conduct, awards, transportation, judges and officials, equipment, and a description of the Games which include: head pull, stick pull, leg wrestling, kneel jump, one arm reach, two foot high kick, one foot high kick, seal hop for boys and girls, and toe kick.


Culin, S. (1975). Games of the North American Indians. New York: Dover Publications Inc.

Call # E98 G2 C85

Gives a tabular index to tribes and games, lists games of chance, games of dexterity, minor amusements, unclassified games, games derived from Europeans, and running races.


Findley, J (Ed.) & Tonsmeire J. K. (Ed.). (1989, April). The Wisdom of Practice. Adapting curriculum to meet the needs of rural students. Juneau, AK: Alaska Staff Development Network Publication. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED325290 RC017869)

This publication consists of several articles written by master teachers who were part of the Alaska Staff Development Network's Rural Alaska Mentor Teacher Program. Article titles are as follows: "Meeting the Challenge", "Coping", "But How Do I Teach All Those Grade Levels and Subjects?", "A Novel Approach", "Respect and the Rural School", "Native Games in Physical Education", and "Using Manipulatives to Teach Math in a Village School".

Native Games in Physical Education article gives a history of native games, curriculum ideas, teaching techniques, activities, and a test. It also list events such as kneel jump, toe jump, butt jump, stick jump, chair wrestle, elbow walk, knuckle hop, owl hop, knee walk, one leg twist, stick pull, leg wrestle, two foot high kick, toe kick, and one foot high kick.


Frey, R. D. & Allen, M. (1989). Alaskan Native Games - A cross-cultural addition to the physical education curriculum. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, 60(9), 21-24.

Call # EJ404497 SP519306

Discusses the need for creativity in physical education curriculum. One way is to teach physical activities from different cultures. It lists the six major Eskimo and Indian groups in Alaska. Native games listed are Indian leg wrestling, one-foot-high kick, two-foot-high kick, stick pull, seal hop, knee jump, and toe kick.


Hill, R. M. (1993). Holiday kicks. Alaska Magazine, 59(11), 78.


Discusses the Inupiat Games which are part of Barrow's Christmas season. They are held the week between Christmas and New Year's. Known in Inupiat as "Qitik", the games of traditional skill and endurance are fun and enjoyable for everyone who participates. In traditional items, they used to have family groups compete. A lot of them were between neighboring villages, too. Today in many North Slope villages, Qitiks are held. In Barrow, the week-long event begins with an Eskimo dance on Christmas evening followed the next day with foot races for children and adults. Other events held early in the week include the scissors hop and the one-and two-foot high kicks. The rest of the week the residents spend their evenings in Barrow's gym engaged in traditional Eskimo games such as knuckle walk, leg wrestling, and the ear pull. The week of strained and sore muscles culminates on New Year's Eve, with a 24 hour round of intense competition, followed by a closing dance on New Year's Day.


How to play Inuit games. (1990). Up here: Life in Canada's north, 6,(1), 61.

Call # ALASKA PER F 1060 A1 U64

Describes how to play neck twist, back bend, and finger twist.


Hurcomb, F. (1990). Get ready for the winter games. Up here: Life in Canada's north, 6,(1), 57-60.

Call # ALASKA PER F 1060 A1 U64

Discusses the Arctic Winter Games (AWG) which were held in Yellowknife's Community Arena in 1990 for one week. The 1990 Games were expected to draw 1,200 athletes who would compete in 17 indoor and outdoor sports, ranging from snowshoe, ski biathlon, and cross-country skiing to volleyball, hockey, curling, badminton, indoor soccer, and silhouette shooting. New sports include the traditional Dene games which include the snow snake, spear-throw, and stick-pull. Also new is a 200 kilometer ski marathon, individual triathlon (speed skating, skiing, and running), and junior dog mushing. It also discusses the history of AWG. and the fact that instead of medals (gold, silver, and bronze) Ulus (miniature replicas of the traditional Inuit scraping knife) are presented to the winners in each competition.


Lay, J. S. (1983). Pickett excels in high kick at Olympics. University of Alaska magazine, 2, 7.

Call # ALASKA PER LD91 A485k U54

Discusses Carol Pickett's accomplishments at WEIO in 1983. She also set a record in the two-legged high kick at the Indian-Eskimo Olympics in 1992. She stated that when she gets ready to kick, one can hear the audience who is concentrating and getting quiet. The are concentrating on the jump with me. She is only five feet three inches tall but after five years of competing, she has nineteen gold, four silver, and three bronze medals in her collection. She became interested in the Eskimo sports in high school while attending West High School in Anchorage. She started with the foot high kick and the toe kick and moved to other events. In the future, she may attend college and earn a physical education degree so she can teach.


Miller, D. S. (1990). Reaching high. Alaska Ruralite, 37(4), 16-17.

Call # ALASKA PER HD 9685 U7

Portrays Carol Picket ability to perform the one-foot high kick. She holds the world record set in 1988 at the AWG, of seven feet. Carol finds dancing and stretching exercises keep her in the best condition for games that include the one- and two-foot high kick, toe kick, kneel jump, and knuckle hop. She tries to stay supple and loose, rather than building up muscles. She attributes her success in the sport to her mother, an Inupiaq Eskimo. She also coaches native sports which involves more that just sports. Substance-abuse prevention is built right into the program. She feels that when students train for native sports they learn self-discipline and how to care for their bodies.


Some Alaska games and how to play them. (1977). Juneau, AK: Alaska State Museum.

Call # ALASKA E78 A3 S665

Describes and illustrates the following games: dice, quoits, stones, yo-yos, jump-rope, fox and geese, gambling sticks, stick and board, and checkers and backgammon.


Special section: Inuit games. (1991). Tumivut 1991, 2, 15-43.

Call # ALASKA PER E99 E7 T86

Discusses Inuit games like ajuttaq (football), nuqartaq (men hang by their legs from the rope which is hung through the ice window of the illuq), paajaqtut (wrestling), soccer, the dogteam, steal the food cache, angutinnguaq (tag game) game of seal flippers, ajagaq (game using seal's humerus and upper arm bone from elbow to shoulder), imillutaq (top made from caribou), kaittaq (dice game), illukitaat (juggling stones), makittaq (knife lancing), amaaualat (dominoes), ajaraat (string game).

Children would slide down hills with sealskins, played a game of throwing a small pointed spear, and naming fingers or toes. Little girls played house, played on swing hung from two holes at top of illuq, played dolls, and practiced building small igloos. Little boys played with slingshots, threw rocks, played with bows and arrows, made toy boats and sleds, played tour of the rocks (landing on rocks without touching the ground), and pretended to travel by dog team. Some modern games are climbing a flag pole with hands and feet for money, rifle and target shooting contests, blindfolded walk, and card games.


Sutton-Smith, B. (1985). The fate of traditional games in the modern world. Concluding discussion delivered at Third Rainbow Week International Symposium, "Physical Activities and Cultural Identity of Children and Youths". Toulouse, France. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 276495)

Discusses five issues:

1.) Are the traditional physical activities really worth preserving and if so why?

2.) Can such traditional activities actually be manipulated to meet expectation?

3.) Which traditional items should be selected for preservation?

4.) What kind of cultural identity is relevant to the modern world?

5.) Can schools or adult agencies effectively sustain or preserve a traditional physical activity since children are taught to "play with" a tradition rather than to be traditional?

The article states that where traditions are not a direct expression of the life of a people, they can not be preserved.


Worl, R. (1985). The cultural content of native games. Alaska native news magazine, 3, 6.

Call # ALASKA PER 378 A3 A423

Discusses the objectives of WEIO - teach young people the skill(s) (strength, endurance, balance, speed, agility, flexibility, pain, and coordination) and cultural values of society (cooperation, sharing, harmonious competition, and team work).


World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990). Fairbanks, AK: WEIO Inc. Publications.

Call # ALASKA E98 G2 W67

Each year discusses the history of WEIO, schedule of events, and guide to the events which includes Race of the Torch, High Kick, Queen Competition, Eskimo and Indian Dance Competition, Greased Pole Walk, Fish Cutting Competition, Nalukatuk (Blanket Toss), Muktuk Eating Contest, Seal Skinning Competition, Ear Pulling Contest, Four-Man Carry, Eastern Canadian Rope Gymnastics, Kneel Jump, One-Hand Reach-High Kick, Alaskan High Kick, Native Baby Contest, Indian Stick Pull, Ear Weight Competition, Arm Pull, Leg Wrestling, Native Sewing Competition, Drop The Bomb, White Men vs. Native Women Tug Of War, Toe Kick, Parka and Indian Dress Competitions, Two-Foot High Kick, Eskimo Stick Pull, One-Hand Reach, One-Foot High Kick, Scissors Broad Jump, Back Push, Caribou Fight, Elbow Walk, Finger Pull, Head Pull, Hop Kick, Swing Kick, Toe Walk, Wrist Carry, and Knuckle Hop.

The 1982 and 1983 WEIO were held in the Patty Gymnasium at University of Alaska - Fairbanks. They also included the results of the 1981 and 1982 WEIO Competition. The 1983 WEIO were dedicated to the memory of John E. Anderson, Jr. who was an active pilot, boat racer, and sportsman.

Since 1984, WEIO has been held in the Big Dipper Recreational Building in Fairbanks. The 1984 WEIO was dedicated to the memory of Laura Beltz Crockett. The 1984 WEIO describes the Miss WEIO Queen Pageant and portrays the 1983 WEIO Queen - Agatha Lupe - the first woman from outside of Alaska to earn the Miss WEIO title. She is a White Mountain Apache from Arizona.

The 1985 and 1987 WEIO also included the results of the 1984 and 1986 WEIO Competition respectively as well as a listing of official World Records of Alaska Native Games.

The 1985 WEIO has a section on Past Commemorations, which include Howard Rock, Laura Beltz Crockett, Edith Tegoseak, Alfred Grant Jr., John E. Anderson Jr., Evelyn Alexander, Mickey Gordon, and Guy A. Okakok. There is a section on Athlete's Features which includes Reggie Joule, Lady Lareauz Baskett, Louise Charles, Julie Jones, Robert Aiken Jr., Roxy Ekowanna, Brian Randazzo, and Carol Pickett.

The 1987 WEIO portrays Valerie Davidson - Miss WEIO 1986 and lists WEIO Queens of the past. It features articles "Economics - village residents must initiate own rural development", "Dillingham resident shapes up for fishing by shouldering a busy mushing schedule", and "Effective cash management for native village corporations".

The 1990 WEIO features the Northern Inua Show, discusses what makes the Olympics so special - the bringing to life, games and traditional cultural activities, and values that have been part of every Native's heritage. The 1990 WEIO were dedicated to Pauline Buelna. It also included the 1989 results for the A. E. Bud Hagberg Sportsperson Award, Howard Rock Outstanding Athlete Award, Frank Whaley Outstanding Contributor Award, University Of Alaska Scholarship, and Miss WEIO Queen Contest as well as a listing of official World Records of Alaska Native Games. The 1989 WEIO Queen, Karen Hope Cooke, and past reigning queens are portrayed. Northern Inua is a program that gives one a different and new perspective on a dynamic and unique culture of Alaska's Native People. Inua is a word that many people of the circumpolar regions of the world share which means spirit. It list the events performed during the program. Northern Inua is sponsored by the WEIO board of directors and Princess Tours. The project began in 1986 as an effort to share a part of Alaska Native cultures with visitors of the interior, under the direction of Glenda Lindley. All of the athletes performing in Northern Inua talk about the punishment their bodies undergo to provide a solid performance seven night a week.

Items Referenced by the Author

Fort Yukon Young People. (No Date). Athabascan Games. National Endowment for the HumanitiesYouth Projects Planning Award (Ref. Log No. 34280).

The article includes information on Athabascan culture. The material is specific to the Gwitch'in who live in Fort Yukon and Arctic Village. It has an introduction to Athabascan games which includes the name, muscles, or skill, adult activity, and a description of how to play the following: Caribou eyes, willow hoop globe, hot potato, skull and pin, beaver hip bone, baseball, little sticks, beaver skin bone, sit down tug of war, football (soccer), dodge ball, sling, wrestling, broadjump hop, bead puzzle, and stick tug of war. Other Athabascan games (along with a description of "how to play them") are willow hoop, snow snake, trampoline, men - women tug of war, swing, slide down, bull roarers, buzz toy, snappers, compression gun, pea shooter, caribou knuckle, and moose skin drag.

Sports north of 60 degrees. (1980). [Video]

Since 1970, Arctic Winter Games (AWG), a sporting competition, is held every two years in various communities in the northern continent. The first games were held in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territory. The contestants were from the State of Alaska, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. In keeping with the philosophy of participation rather than excellence, a carved narwhal tusk is given to the contestant who displays the most sportsmanlike conduct during the games. Ulu's are given as metals for individual performances. Portrays two brothers (Chuck and Harley McMahan), describes the snowshoe biathlon, and team competition. Portrays Chester Kelly in his event - snowshoe biathlon. Portrays Judith Steele in her event - cross country skiing. Portrays Art Penner - displaying his copper smithing work. Art and crafts are displayed during the AWG. Singing and dancing are also popular. Commentary by Brian Gerry, a teacher and coach at Cooper Mine, talking about some of the athletes from Cooper Mine. There are hundreds of Arctic sports but only eight are used at the AWG. All of the games are designed to toughen up the participant, to make him strong and fit for the riggers of living and hunting in the high north. Describes the kneel jump, stick pull, ear pull, muskox push, airplane, knuckle hop, rope gymnastics, one hand reach, one foot high kick, and two foot high kick. Participants try very hard to win and do well against their own personal record at AWG.

WEIO Inc. (1984). Heartbeats of Alaska: Native games and dances. Fairbanks, AK.

Describes and illustrates Native dances such as "Kalukak", a step from the old year into the new year; notion dances, which tell stories and lessons for living; and invitational dances where visitors are invited to join in the dance. These dances are performed in the traditional dress of the northern Eskimo - a parka, caribou hide gloves, and mukluks made of seal skin or caribou. The article also lists the schedule of events: starting July 17th to the 24th. It list and describes the Games which include high kicks, four man carry, stick pulls, head pull, ear pull, finger pull, knuckle hop, kneel jump, toe kick, hop kick, caribou fight, drop the bomb, leg wrestling, wrist carry, ear weight, and blanket toss. A description of masks, drums, and costumes, a list of athletes and a brief description about them, and a list of the dancers is included.







Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, educational institution, and provider is a part of the University of Alaska system. Learn more about UA's notice of nondiscrimination.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
Questions or comments?
Last modified November 30, 2007