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North Pole High School, North Pole, Alaska Mr. Richard Henert. Nalukataq (Blanket Toss). By: Kierra Johnson, Tori Genter, Sadie Johnson, Bri Bolieu, and Chase Virg-In. Nalukataq.

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nalukataq blanket toss

North Pole High School,

North Pole, Alaska

Mr. Richard Henert

Nalukataq (Blanket Toss)

By: Kierra Johnson, Tori Genter, Sadie Johnson, Bri Bolieu, and Chase Virg-In


Walrus skins are used for this event. The skin has holes on the edges so that rope can be looped through all the way around & used for handle grips. One person gets in the middle of the skin and gets tossed in the air and has to land on his or her feet without falling down. This game was created by the Inupiat Eskimos and is used for celebrations in the spring whaling festival. The records for men is Reggie Joule with 11 gold medals, and for the women, Vera M. Woods “Weber” with 4 gold medals. Sometimes you can see jumpers dancing or running in place and sometimes flips and somersaults are done to the delight of the pullers and spectators.

main argument
Main argument
  • There is a group of people that hold a large walrus skin blankets, as the person comes down the people holding the blanket are supposed to raise the blanket to meet the jumpers feet and squat down as the jumper descends into the blanket. The history of the game is that theInupiaq hunter would be tossed
  • in the air, enabling them to see across the horizon to hunt. no thirty or more people gather in a circle, holding the edges of a large skin made from walrus hides, and toss gifts in the air without falling
  • The judges look at balance, height and style in the air. All around form and grace are used to determine a winner. People can train through gymnastics and jumping on a trampoline. Some equipment that could be used is gymnastics trampolines. People participate in this game because it does not only test the body, but it is also fun.
the importance of nalukataq
The Importance of Nalukataq

The reason for the blanket toss is, each spring villages celebrate Nalukataq, the spring whaling festival, as a thanksgiving for the success of the spring bowhead whale hunt and to traditionally respect the whales whose lives they took.Traditionally, the Nalukataq was for the practical purpose of whalers getting a better look when out on the ice.

  • The higher the toss, the better they could spot a whale in the distance. But it’s also been for celebrating for a long time. In the past goods like clothing, food, etc. was thrown out during the tossing. Today it’s bags of candy, and if you’ve ever seen kids at a parade you can envision what an explosion of sugar into a candy hungry crowd can do.
what we ve learned
What We’ve Learned

We learned that this game is very important to the Alaska Natives. Also, that it is not only a sport in the WEIO games, but is used for celebration.

We have also learned that Nalukataq is an appreciation of all the whales lives that were took.

We’ve learned that the blanket toss was originally a traditional only used by whalers to see whales far away.