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Photo Kenipitu women dressed

Chapter 9

Uqsuralik Ottokie
There were various games inside the iglu that we used to play as little girls. One was playing with dolls. We would ask other girls to come over and play dolls and we would play for hours on end. We would take turns playing in various igluit. We used to play at night. Sometimes we used to play dolls outside in a sheltered area. In the summer, playing with wooden dolls was very popular. Sometimes we had dolls made out of ivory, but most of the time they were wood. We used to play a lot with those dolls. Once we had a little doll dying, and we were mourning and everything was real. My doll was my adopted child. She died and we had a funeral. Afterwards we got scared. We actually got scared over a little doll, especially of the burial site, and we couldn’t even go to that area afterwards. We pretended to bury the little doll. We were so scared we couldn’t go up there anymore. We only played this once. It was silly. (Page 110)
Children's education could not take place without games. In this chapter, we find out that boys could play girls' games, even if some people used to say they would end up cross-eyed. As everywhere, girls enjoyed playing with dolls, "Sometimes we would play with our dolls outside, in a sheltered space. During the summer, we liked playing with wooden dolls." (Page 122) But many games were oriented toward children developing and acquiring the qualities they needed in order to survive in adulthood. For example, with their eyes closed, children had to try to identify the objects inside the iglu; they had fun trying to hear approaching sleds or, still with their eyes closed, trying to find the exit of the iglu.

When nightfall came, parents taught children by story telling. "Children quiet down when you tell them a story. Most of the stories that we were told were true and they really can help children." (Page 126)

The chapter discusses three types of games: games children play to entertain themselves, games in which children mimic adults to later on repeat the behaviour as adults, and games in which adults educate children by telling them stories about the customs of the Inuit and the dangers they face.