C’amai (Hello)

This weekend was the annual C’amai dance festival in Bethel. The Bethel Arts Council invites dancers from all over the world to share dances. When you go to C’amai you get a sense of fun. Yupik dancing is also storytelling. The dancers shared traditional stories and new stories such as the cowboy dance and Bruce Lee. There were dancers from all over the delta, the Aleutians, South Dakota, and New Zealand.

All of the dancers did an amazing job of involving the children. The Yupik dancers have children who are just old enough to walk on stage, learning and observing. Scammon bay had an 89 year old dancer who performed a Bruce Lee dance parody with her Grandson. The Sioux hoop dancer called up 30 kids to learn hoop dancing and impress the audience and the Maroi dancers painted face tattoos on the kids.

This festival really celebrates the joy of dancing. There are more pictures at the Bethel Arts site. I’ll get a copy of the video if anyone wants to watch :-)

Tom Presents in Anchorage


Originally uploaded by Andrea Pokrzywinski

On February 28, Tom traveled to Anchorage to present “Western Science an Traditional Yupik Culture Meet” at the Alaska Anthropological Association’s annual meeting. This was a product of Tom’s 3 week trip around Nelson Island with elders, students, and scientist. He presented with Anne Riordan-Fineup, Alice Reardon, June, Macatee, Mark John and David Chnard.

Tom is an Otter

Tom is and Otter

Originally uploaded by Andrea Pokrzywinski

We had just enough time to drive up to Chena Hot Springs and soak before Tom’s Bird Conference yesterday. It was so good to drive through the woods and see trees and hills. We even saw a group of Moose. It was also wonderful to soak in the natural hot springs. Anyone heading to Fairbanks should plan to stop here.

The temperature has also been above zero the whole time we have been in Fairbanks. It was raining and 42 degrees today. The best part of March is the longer days. It is light until 7:30 this week and the days keep growing by 5 minutes or more.