• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 24s

At World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, fish-cutting contest tests speed and skill

By Heather Hintze 9:08 AM July 17, 2014
FAIRBANKS –

The reds are ready and so are the competitors.

“You just cut so much fish at the beginning of summer when you’re doing humpies and putting fish away it just becomes a quick habit,” said World Eskimo-Indian Olympics competitor Davida Hansen.

She’s last year’s returning champion in the WEIO fish-cutting contest, and she’s ready for a repeat victory. Hansen knows how crucial the skills can be in a fish camp.

“We start when we’re really young, putting away fish, and our grandparents teach us and our moms teach us so it’s pretty important,” she explained.

The competition doesn’t last long.

Marjorie Tahbone from Nome pops up after just half a minute.

“Normally I would cut the head off and cut the belly and work down the back. I eliminated cutting the belly,” she said, divulging her strategy.

She knows 30 seconds is her fastest time ever.

“Man, that’s so great,” her sister Vanessa said as she hugged her.

Just a few minutes after she finished, Tahbone found out she’s now the new world record holder.

“I’m speechless. It wasn’t my intention, it wasn’t a goal, it was just so humbling,” she laughed, her smile beaming ear to ear.

It’s clear Hansen won’t be taking home a trophy this year.

“I did 42 seconds last year. Didn’t do too good this year but that’s alright,” she said.

She’s glad to pass the torch — or ulu — to her fellow female competitors: The top three finishers this year are all women.

“I guess it just goes to show that we know how to handle our fish and we know how to take care of ourselves and live off the land,” Tahbone said.

Latest Stories

  • News

    BioBlitz takes scientific snapshot of Arctic wildlife

    by Heather Hintze on May 23, 22:56

    The National Park Service celebrated its 100-year anniversary by holding BioBlitzes around the country. For the community of Anaktuvuk Pass on the North Slope, it was their first chance to hold an event like this in the Gates of the Arctic National Park. A BioBlitz is basically a scavenger hunt for scientists. “One of the main […]

  • Politics

    Special session off to sluggish start: Lawmakers still stuck on oil tax credits

    by Liz Raines on May 23, 22:44

    The first day of the special legislative session came and went, with legislators working less than two hours. The House and Senate gaveled in for brief floor sessions, but neither body held a single hearing. Last week, controversy over oil tax credit reform kept lawmakers from finding a compromise on a state operating budget before […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaska woman invents special coat to protect small pets from eagles

    by Bonney Bowman on May 23, 21:44

    When a pair of eagles nested in Janet Wass’s former backyard, she wanted something to keep her small dog, Juju, safe. She did some research and “My Invisible Pet” was born. Wass made Juju a dog coat out of shiny, reflective material. The coat has a light on the back with a bright beam. “It […]

  • News

    Wasilla boy wins 3-wheeled bike, new sense of independence

    by Shannon Ballard on May 23, 20:22

    Riding a bike is a treasured childhood experience, but sadly, many children with special needs miss out. An eight-year-old Wasilla boy was one of them until recently. Eric Edwards was born with cocaine in his system and later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and other movement disorders that affect his ability to stand, sit and speak. He went […]

  • News

    Providence hospital to expand emergency department for children

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 23, 20:00

    Providence Alaska Medical Center has received permission from the state to add 13 new treatment rooms to its emergency department, raising the number of rooms from 37 to 50, including two trauma rooms. Providence CEO Dr. Richard Mandsager said 10 of the 13 rooms will be devoted to a new pediatric area that will focus on children […]

  • Lifestyle

    Alaska villages compete for energy project funding

    by Alexis Fernandez on May 23, 19:26

    Rural Alaska villages are competing for funding to pay for projects that will bring down energy costs in their communities. The competition launched in January, and is part of a $4 million grant awarded by the U.S. Deptartment of Energy (DOE) to rural Alaska for energy projects. A total of 67 communities applied for the […]

  • Lifestyle

    What does it take to garden in the Arctic?

    by Heather Hintze on May 23, 18:53

    The ground in Anaktuvuk pass has barely thawed but Casey Edwards is ready to get her plants in the ground. “Last year I had way too many. I was super ambitious,” Edwards laughed. “This year we’re just sticking to cucumber, cabbage, squash.” This is just her second year testing out her green thumb, seeing what […]

  • News

    BP plans to sell Midtown Anchorage office building

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on May 23, 17:56

    A BP spokesperson says the company has decided to sell its property on the corner of Benson Boulevard and Seward Highway and lease office space from the new owner. “This is a real estate transaction under which we become tenants rather than owners of the office building,” the spokesperson said, explaining the company would remain […]