The sewing is calling again with the forest fire in the air. I am aiming with a needle to sew this weekend; qaspeq or atkucuaq (little fur parka). I plan to cut out a pattern with materials and measure out my fur parka.
Before the heavy smoke was blown this way from the southwest of here, I had the opportunity to get out into the wild 😜.
Before stores or ships with western goods arrived to AK, we already had a chewing gum, spruce sap. While on the trail or out and about – vegetables were a hand pick away, fireweed. Soup was never far with a hand made wooden bowl – burl.
With this smoky air, I will imagine as a snow storm and I shall do my sewing!!
The center is the back of an Arctic Ground Squirrel and sides are the belly part of the squirrels.
The fur fashion purse is no where to be found. The lost fur craft item has stolen my creativity to sew – actually summer is here a short time and its time to harvest fish and eatable plants. Spring hunting was a success for my extended family on the Kuskokwim River. We are grateful for opportunities to gather and pass on the traditional subsistence lifestyle to our children.
Eatable greens have come out of the frozen ground and are defrosted into our body in need of vitamins and fiber. First the fiddle heads are happily gathered. The smelts and hooligans are dipped out of the rivers. The salmon are swimming their way into the rivers to be hung on racks and smoked to preserve. The migratory birds have layed their eggs. On the coast of Alaska, herrings are harvested and halibut are fished out of the sea. The small and big mammals have gained their offspring. The Arctic ground squirrels are running around like no tomorrow; my thought have been trapping for them. These are a glimpse of what Alaska is!
I have been attacked by the pollens – making no fun under the Fairbanks hot sun. We are happy when rain comes down!
Yesterday evening my mom, sister, niece, nephew and I went out to pick the first of our summer harvest: wild rubarhb!
In Yup’ik we call them “Angukat” plural. I make them for dessert, mix in yogurt and hand full of tundra blueberries and sugar to your taste.
We pick them when they are a foot or so tall before the stems harden. Every part of the plant is eatable, unlike the domestic rhubarb.
We separate the leaves and stems. We boil the leaves and you can add the chopped stems to the boiling pot.
I store a half quart ziplock bags and freeze for winter food. For lunch we had fresh greens for dessert;
I have not furgotten the toddler parka: and updated progress will be posted soon.
We are enjoying the summer and there are more day and night lights to enjoy! Piurci!