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Fairbanks hosts the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (WEIO), a four-day series of
traditional Alaska Native athletic competitions and dances. WEIO draws Native
athletes and dancers from around the state, the United States and Canada, as
well as visitors, fans and media from around the globe. WEIO is celebrating its
50th Anniversary this year and has asked all World Record Holders
and former Miss WEIO’s to join in the festivities. Marjorie Tahbone, the 2010
Miss WEIO, was recently bestowed the title of “Miss Indian World 2011” at the
annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
competitions at the Olympics not only provide entertainment, but give men and
women the chance to test their strength, discipline and endurance—all qualities
that are needed to survive in a harsh and often unforgiving climate. New
or revived games include Storytelling, Bench Reach, Swing Kick and Neck Pull.
Additionally, there will be harpoon and seal hook demonstrations for the first
time this year.
WEIO is also a time to don parkas, moosehide dresses and vests, mukluks and
moccasins to compete in parka and Indian dress contests and to dance and tell
stories through songs and motion. Dressed in kuspuks—traditional summer
parkas—complete with feathered fans and drums, dancers perform throughout the
four-day Olympics. WEIO gives visitors a chance to see unparalleled feats of
endurance and agility. It is also a chance to browse through booths of
authentic Alaska Native crafts, and meet the people who carved, sewed, wove or
beaded the items.
The 50th WEIO
games will take place at the Carlson Center July 20-23, 2011. To learn more
about the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics visit the website www.weio.org. A PDF copy of the 2011 WEIO schedule is also available.
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