Anchorage Fur Rendezvous
A Local Legacy
What do you think the woman in the photo is doing?
She is competing in the Inuit Blanket Toss. As you can see from the picture, it's sort of like jumping on a trampoline, except the people who are holding the blanket are raising and lowering it to toss the woman. This is a game often played at festivals and other Inuit celebrations. The "blanket" for the game is usually made from seal or walrus skins, so it can handle the pounding that results every time a player lands on it after a "toss." The winner is the player who bounces the highest.
This game started when mountain men, Inuits and fur traders used to meet in a pre-arranged place in the early spring each year to trade their winter's kills (furs) for cash and supplies. In the early 1900s, these meetings stopped happening because modern trappers and fur buyers had no use for them. But in the 1930s, a group of people who wanted to preserve their history brought back these meetings in the form of a 10-day celebration where games like the Blanket Toss are played.
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