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Kokhanok Carnival 2024

Kokhanok Carnival 2024

This spring we are more than excited to be involved in the Kokhanok Carnival 2024 in Alaska with Kokhanok Community Events Committee (KCEC).
In 2024, Kokhanok carnival was held on March 7-10th. It's inspiring that "The carnival was first time run by younger generation", mentioned by Meghan Rearden, one of the members of KCEC.
The Kokhanok carnival is connecting the community 
"The Kokhanok carnival has been happening annually for decades and is a great way to bring our community members in Kokhanok and surrounding villages on Lake Iliamna together to celebrate our culture and different talents that we have as well as allow opportunities for youth to socialize and take part in some leadership roles and activities in the community."
Various cultural activities took place during the 4 day carnival, including woodchopping contest, dogsled racing for kids to try, fashion show with items made from furs and fish skins, a talent show with some dancing and singing, a salmon cook off contest, basketball, shooting competitions, local crafts for sale, moose and bird calling, and an ice rink that was made on top of the lake with lights, fireworks, bonfires, dances with live band music, and all sorts of good cheer to lift the spirits of everyone around. The ice on the lake was pretty solid so we had lots of people travel from surrounding villages. 
Great meals were cooked and shared for everyone, people gathered together again to help out and make things happen. It felt like pre-covid times again and that carnival was picking up and feeling like it used to, where lots of people come and socialize and share in culture and talents.
Eskimo Bingo, a game of sustainability
There were many rounds of Eskimo Bingo that were enjoyed by the community. Wrapped gifts (usually useful items) are placed in the center of a circle of people and there are several pairs of dice spread around the circle. The dice are passed down to the players to your left unless you roll doubles, then you go grab a present and keep rolling until you don't get doubles. Then the last couple minutes when all the presents are run across the circle to steal a present from another player each time you roll doubles. It is fun to watch and everyone appreciates the prizes.
With the help of KCEC, we had a chance to give our support and share INUK backpacks with the community. We are thankful that the culture is continuously passing on to the new generation, who is strong and independent to carry on their intangible cultural heritage. 
Find more photos on Kokhanok Carnival 2024 facebook page.

Photos provided by Kokhanok Community Events Committee (KCEC)

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