AK) - In many Alaska Native cultures, spring was a time to prepare
for the coming summer and the return of migratory birds and whales.
The Heritage Center invites everyone to participate and learn
how the many traditional cultures of Alaska begin their seasonal
cycle. Spring is the beginning of the whaling season for the communities
of Point Hope and Barrow. For the Tanana Athabascan, "Ch'eyona"
or the month of March translates to "when eagles return"
and for the Nunivak Island Cup'ik its "seals month."
The Alaska Native Heritage Center's (ANHC) Spring Festival will
be held on March 27, 2004 from 10am to 5pm. The Spring Festival
is one of the continuing series of Celebrating Culture Saturdays
sponsored by BP.
will be performances by the Kingikmiut Dancers and Singers of Anchorage.
The Kingikmiut Dancers and Singers of Anchorage are Inupiat Eskimos,
originally from Northwest Alaska. Their village of origin bears
the English name of Wales, but the residents call it Kingikmiut.
Kingik means "high ground" and Miut means "people
who live there" in the Inupiaq language. Approximately 150
people live in the village today. It is located on the western-most
point of the Seward Peninsula, about 450 air miles northwest of
Anchorage. Richard Iyoqunga Atuk, Sophie Egalena Nothstine and her
son Greg Tungwenuk Nothstine started the group in 1991. There are
now more than 20 group members who participate at different times,
including 10 young people between the ages of 5 and 15 years old.
Over the past 10 years, the group has revived many songs that were
performed by the village elders before the arrival of the first
non-Natives in the area.
Bird Treatment and Learning Center (Bird TLC) will be giving special
presentations with a Golden Eagle, Raven and a Great Horned Owl.
The Bird Treatment and Learning Center is a non-profit organization
dedicated to rehabilitating sick, injured or orphaned wild birds
and avian education programs. Dr. James R. Scott, an Anchorage veterinarian,
founded Bird TLC in 1988. Dr. Scott, along with other Alaskan veterinarians,
donate their time to treat the birds in need. In addition to medical
care, Bird TLC provides a variety of educational programs to increase
people's awareness of the wild birds around them and to encourage
preservation of their habitat.
Williams, Sugpiaq, will be giving a presentation on Ukrainian Egg
Art. Williams has been creating egg art for the past 5 years. Williams
is the granddaughter of well-known storyteller Lucille Davis and
the daughter of Lalla Williams, well-known fiber and skin sewing
will be hands on classes in Alaska Native dance, language and art
as part of an ongoing ANHC Cultural Education Program sponsored
by the CIRI Foundation. Art and language classes will be held each
Saturday and will run for 4 to 6 weeks. Language classes will be
Unangax Aleut with Sally Swetzof from 11am to 1pm, Deg'i tan Athabascan
with Louise Winkleman and Martha Wassillie from 1pm to 3pm and Tlingit
with Paul Marks from 3pm to 5pm. Art classes will be Alutiiq basket
weaving with Natalia Inga from 10am to 12:30pm and sewing a Yup'ik
doll parka with Eva Bryant from 2pm to 4:30pm. Dance classes will
be Inupiaq dance with Ed Tiulana at 10:30am, 2pm and 4pm. Each dance
class will last a half an hour. To register for art and language
classes, call 330-8002, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. There
is no registration necessary for the dance classes.
addition to the art classes there will be arts and crafts sessions
for all ages. Several videos will be shown such as Old Dances, New
Dances, A Dancing People, Camai Festival and Stories Given, Stories
Shared. Weather permitting there will be snowshoeing.
can experience the five recreated village sites that illustrate
the traditional structures in a typical village before or shortly
after contact with non-Native cultures. Knowledgeable tour guides
will share the history, culture and traditions at each site.
Alaska Native Heritage Center is an independent, nonprofit that
is committed to sharing, perpetuating and preserving the unique
Alaska Native cultures, languages, traditions and values through
celebration and education. It is located at 8800 Heritage Center
Drive in northeast Anchorage, just off Muldoon Road North near Bartlett
High School. For more information about other events and programs,