Sewing my first Quspuq!

It’s Spring Break here in Stebbins, and the first thing a few teachers and I planned was making out own Quspuq, or Kuspuk. A Quspuq, kuspuk is the traditional Yupik overshirt type garment worn by both men and women.  Men tend to wear them primarily for ceremonial occasions, but for women they are everyday wear.

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I went to my first native dance and everyone had one, plus most of the teachers wear them on Fridays. So of course I wanted one! I bought the fabric when I was in Anchorage and have held onto it till now waiting for the time to do it. Since several of us teachers weren’t going anywhere for spring break we thought this was perfect timing!

Here are pictures of me and a few others sewing their Kuspuks. It was mainly 3 of us making new Kuspuks while others just helped and taught us.

My Kuspuk (Quspuq) isn’t as traditional as most, but these days most of them don’t follow the traditional patterns. They are more creative and more fun! So of course I had to make mine a lot more fun and creative! I think it fits my personality perfect!! What do you think? How did we do?

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Spring is here! Well Spring for Alaska

It is officially spring break here! And for Alaska…its starting to feel like spring. Every day the sun is staying up longer, and rising earlier. When I first arrived in January, the sun set around 4:30pm, and didn’t rise until almost 11am. Now it’s coming up around 8:30 am and setting around 7:30/8pm. The days are also getting warmer. It’s been in the high 20’s and the sun is shining bright. The other day it was just beautiful, so another teacher an I took a walk.

Since it was such a beautiful day, I feel like the sun was giving us a touch of bravery…we decided to walk out onto the ocean! The ocean is completely frozen for miles right now, but the locals tell me since its warm earlier then usual, it might start thawing out. This was a new experience for both of us! (She never dared to walk out on it either). It was a very cool experience to think that we were about a mile out onto the ocean, then to look back at the village from where we were at, was an experience on it’s own. You can see in the pictures that there are tracks. People drive their snow machines out onto the ocean/ice across to an island. Some locals have wood stoves, and the island is pretty much the only place that has wood. It was a cool experience to say the least!

Here are a few pictures from the walk.