"When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky"
-Guatama Siddharta

Over and under and up and down...sunshine and thunder...a laugh and a frown!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What a lovely piece of ivory...

10/22/10

So it's been a while since my last post, but this one promises to be nothing short of entertaining! I apologize in advance for the mix of information that you are about to consume. I'll refer to this post as ambrosia...no one really knows what all the ingredients are, but there sure are a lot of them...kind of what this post will be like!

On to my favorite...I don't know if that's really the best choice of words but hey

AFN (Alaska Federation of Natives) is in town for the annual conference/event/hoopla which means over 4000 Natives in from various villages throughout Alaska, most of whom happen to be staying where I am so things have been loud and rowdy at night...louder and rowdier. I went to the crafts portion of AFN last night and saw some really amazing things (most of which I couldn't afford and really had no purpose for)...this brings me to the "lovely ivory carving" that a man had proudly displayed on the front of his table with other various ivory carvings.
This is not the item that I saw, but an example of the item. The one I saw had a whole scene carved into it with such intricate detail that you couldn't help but be impressed.

Someone called the piece a "baculum" and instead of saying what is that, I just pretended to be impressed and have full knowledge of this item. I honestly thought it was a back scratcher or a fire poker. Let me enlighten you so you don't make the same mistake. A baculum is a penis bone. This particular piece that I was "admiring" happened to be a walrus penis bone. I've searched Wikipedia for some images, and found one to appropriately demonstrate the size.
Yes, it's seriously that big. Now imagine that carved with a beautiful native scene with such detail that you couldn't imagine it possible. You'd touch it too...oh wait did I leave the part out about how I touched this item. My bad!

I definitely learned some very valuable lessons at AFN: Look don't touch, If it looks like a back scratcher it isn't a back scratcher, and NEVER assume you know what a baculum is!

Now that we are all fully educated on these important things, we can move on...that's right, it's WTF Alaska time!!!

WTF Alaska:

  • Man running down the road with an orange reflective vest and a bike helmet on (with a light on the front powerful enough for some spelunking) with no bike in sight, literally he was jogging like this
  • Man walking down the street wearing a fox/hat on his head (it had everything but the legs) the tail was long and bushy and flowing off the back
  • Woman at McDonalds who didn't have room for one more facial piercing examining my debit card (that has photo id on it) and then saying "you look better now than in this picture"...Thanks, I think?
So with that plate full of ambrosia, I bid you adieu

**Forgot an important educational fact: the fossilized genitalia mentioned above is called an Oosik, this would be the appropriate Native American terminology...but I hardly see how anything about the thing is appropriate!**

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