Halloween in Igloolik

I am finally back home again after a very trying week in Igloolik and my first order of business is to apologize to my regular readers for not responding to all the comments on my recent posts or checking in with the bloggers I usually follow…

Halloween, this year, coincided with a jury trial that has been a long time in the works and which, after a four hour jury selection and two grueling days in Court, ended in a frustrating mistrial. Accordingly, nearly a week away from home, not to mention scads and scads of money, was totally wasted (to the huge annoyance of the Judge, Jury members, clients, and all the other people involved). Thankfully, despite the usual Halloween festivities being cancelled by weather, we managed to salvage a little fun out of the trip…

My colleague and co-counsel for the trial was Malcolm Kempt. Malcolm loves Halloween and was hugely pleased to get two pumpkins for free from the local Co-op store that he could carve into Jack o’ Lanterns after Court was dismissed. In this picture, you can see him sitting in the dining area of the Tujurmovik Hotel ‘sacrificing’ the first of the two pumpkins.

I am fairly sure I mentioned this in a previous post, but the Tujurmovik, besides being a hotel, also make and delivers pizzas four days a week, making them one of the most northerly pizza delivery services in this part of the Arctic. The sign hanging over the kitchen service window is an oversized version of an ‘Ulu’, which is the standard ‘women’s knife’ used by the Inuit. The real things are pretty interesting actually and I promise to do a post about them sometime….

Apologies for the quality of the picture, but this is one of Malcolm’s Jack o’ Lanterns pictured from outside the hotel. Shortly after I took the first picture you see in this post, the weather, which had been a bit nasty in the afternoon, turned into a blizzard near suppertime and the people who decide such things declared that ‘trick-or-treating’ should be postponed to another day. Accordingly, poor Malcolm’s ‘candy beacons’ didn’t get used while we were still in town

Okay… this picture, quite obviously was not taken by me (originally anyway). The Tujurmovik has some interesting old photographs on the dining room wall and this particular one has always interested me. The date on the picture is 1920’ish but there is no other information supplied. It clearly was not taken in Igloolik and I think, judging from the clothing, that it was taken in the western Arctic.

I cannot for the life of me identify the structure in the background but it totally looks like a gallows. My colleague, Malcolm, and I, finally decided that the scene depicts a remote community, having received a new piece of equipment from the south, trying to decide who gets to try it out first.

Possibly, we have been away from home too long…

15 thoughts on “Halloween in Igloolik”

  1. What a shame.. good thing you’ve had some fun carving a pumpkin or two! I imagine the kids were disappointed not to have Hallowe’en.. but it could be pretty dangerous there by the look of things. *raised hand.. I know what an ulu is:D and that structure in the background.. very strange, but it almost looks like the top pole is protruding horizontally from some kind of structure/home. But most definitely.. there is a rope there..

  2. I have never been up north to be honest the furthest north i have been is kingston and that’s not even considered north lol but i had a teacher who did exchange there for like 10 years or so…. “way back when” he would say….Anyway he had pics like this all not that he took them either had something to do with family history…and canadian culture. One was similar and they had a cauldron hanging over coals ….the other one i remember was i bit more like a see saw than that…but it had a bucket on the end …i pressum for a well or ice fishsing ? but it was on land i thought? and i didnt think you could drill wells way up there anyway whatever they were for they look similar to your pic lol

  3. I got cold just looking at the top picture. Love Malcolm’s pumpkin. Hope the kids eventually got to trick or treat. That’s a great old photo. It does look like a gallows. Glad you are home safe and sound, after what sounds like a frustrating trip for work.

  4. Curiously enough, we use an ulu to cut pizza here in Toronto. Ours was a gift to my wife from a family in Baker Lake, where she spent some time many years ago. It rocks as a pizza cutter.

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