Inuit Games

After watching Atanarjuat The Fast Runner

Students likely will have remarked on the cheek-pulling and head-punching competitions between Atanarjuat and his cous, Uqi, in the film, Atanarjuat The Fast Runner.  The two men do battle over the beautiful Atuat (film time in: 00:24:30; time out: 00:29:53).  Atuat had been promised to Uqi and was to be his wife, but Atuat and Atanarjuat have fallen in love, and so the family holds a competition to decide who will marry Atuat.  Atanarjuat wins the competition fairly and marries Atuat, but the loss Uqi suffers builds to a hatred that propels the rest of the story.

Here are a few Inuit games less painful than the one in the film that students might enjoy doing.


Leg-Twist Wrestling



Two players lie on sides, feet touching, facing each other.  The feet close to the floor are matched heels and toes as brace, and othe feet are hooked.  Hands are clasped under knees.  balance on buttocks.  Try to turn other player so he or she is face up.  Wrestle with other leg.  Try for speed.


Back Bend


Measure stick under your arm to tip of second finger.


Put stick to nose with section measured off, above the nose.  Bend backwards until the stick touches ground behind you.  Keep steady.  Return to standing position and try a new measurement - to tip of smallest finger, and then to tip of thumb.




Lie on floor, stiffen body with arms and legs outstretched.  Two assistants hold arms, one on each side, and another assistant holds both feet.  Maintain taut muscles as assistants walk 30 meters or as far as they can go.



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