"Our Favorite Pasttime" Dillingham Local Custom Tip by mcpangie

Dillingham Local Customs: 3 reviews and 3 photos

  Steam Bath - January 1998
by mcpangie

This is a "maqi" at my friend's house. It is one of the local customs to take a steam bath as often as possible. To tell you the truth, I'm not that fond of the custom (nor have I ever learned to pronouce it properly). I got over my modesty long ago, but taking a "maqi" is definitely something one has to get used to. In the winter the waiting room is awfully cold, and in the summer the waiting room is normally full of mosquitoes. But when the company is good we make like Randy Travis' song and the men sit around and talk about the weather and the women sit around and talk about the men. It's more than a way to get clean these days, it's a social event in towns where there are no bowling alleys and movie theatres. Here in Dillingham women often maqi first. Upriver in Koliganek I noticed the men get first dibs. In both communities it is most common that the men get saddled with the responsibility of lighting the stove and hauling the water to "make maqi". And if a man don't want to haul water for you, you probably don't want to marry him. Maybe that's why I'm still single! Poor men I meet have no clue what I appreciate!

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  • Updated Nov 28, 2003
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