• Dancing in the air, standing out at sea: An analysis of Nalukataq, the blanket toss

      Robinson, Elizabeth (2018)
      This paper is a movement analysis of the blanket toss (nalukataq), an event currently manifested at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO). First, I examine the tradition’s history and development over time as portrayed in scholarly literature on the Iñupiat whale festival. Then, I examine the blanket toss as one of many Iñupiat and Alaska Native games sharing common characteristics. Finally, I investigate the blanket toss as a WEIO competitive event, now shifted from its original site specificity and traditional context. In particular, I look at the essential components of a successful toss as defined by WEIO criteria, employing a phenomenological approach in my analysis in order to focus on the primacy of realization and reveal the ways in which aspects of the modern competitive performance may embody traditional Alaska Native cultures and values.