Thursday, June 26, 2008

the story of the wings

Even though we had a hot, rather steamy day in Hudson today, I was reminded of winter after visiting Ronna's blog and then seeing Jo's latest post. I want to tell the story of the wings. I acquired them on a crisp day in May that felt like winter but was actually a typical spring day in the arctic. I find these wings magnificently beautiful. They are prized possessions of mine and have a home in my studio where they lift my spirit. In May 2007 I was delivering some training in Akulivik, a small community located in the Eastern Arctic in Northern Quebec, and came across 2 Inuit women happily plucking snow geese on a rock outcrop. What struck me was the utter joy that they expressed in doing this. They were having fun! I showed interest in the feathers and they kindly offered me two whole wings, severed using an Ulu (a knife traditionally used by women). They told me that these wings were good for sweeping when you are “out on the land” (camping). Below are photos of those women. A very special moment for me. One of many on my visit there…

Akulivik in May

Cutting with an Ulu

4 comments:

Jo Horswill said...

Kate, what a 'food for the soul' experience that was. Just superb.
Those wings 'look' sacred, what a beautiful statement they make, and meaning they hold for you, to think they were given to you as a 'gift'.
The women remind me of my mother, sitting on the ground plucking feathers from a chicken, that my father had just killed for our dinner! She also plucked with joy!
I love the shape of the 'Ulu' I like the name too.

Jo Horswill said...

Me again...I love s kaye!!! she is wonderful...oh flutter my heart with those 'tea bag' pieces...
thanks for listing her Kate.

MargaretR said...

Your lovely wings reminded me of my grandmother who lived to be nearly 100. She used to pluck turkeys and geese at Christmas when I was a child and she dried out wings and she always had one by the large open fireplace to sweep around the fire. I have used one many a time. Thanks for the memory!

kate said...

Jo and Margaret...so glad that these wings brought back some memories for you both. They seem to be the gift that keeps on giving!

Margaret...thanks for visiting. I've enjoyed visiting your many blogs too. Even the welsh one! What an interesting language.