AK) - Visitors will be able to see Alaska Native Dance groups
and artists celebrate the drum on Saturday, August 28th from 9am
to 6pm. Dance Groups will be performing throughout the day and
artists will be demonstrating drum making from different Alaska
celebrating the drum, we are honoring this important part of our
culture," stated Jonathon Ross, President and CEO. "The
drum is a unifying and recognizable aspect of all Alaska Native
cultures and in all other indigenous cultures. We offer this program
to share with the public the culture of the drum."
Native dance and drumming groups who will be performing include
the King Island Singers and Dancers of Anchorage, Alutiiq Anguyat
Dancers, Naa Luudisk Gwaii Yatx'i, Miracle Drummers and Mt. Susitna
Singers and Dancers of Anchorage.
Native and American Indian Dance and Drum Groups:
King Island Singers and Dancers of Anchorage - The late Paul Tiulana
founded the King Island Dancers and Singers in the 1970's to preserve
the traditional values and rich heritage of the King Island people.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs relocated the King Island people to
Nome in the 1960's and Tiulana was dedicated to keeping their rich
traditions alive. Most of the dance equipment and dance masks the
group uses today were hand made by Paul and his son, Eugene. The
King Island Dancers and Singers have performed all over Alaska and
Anguyak Alutiiq Dancers is a newly formed group. The word "anguyak"
means warrior in the Sugtestun Language. The word represents our
efforts to keep the Alutiiq culture alive. Individuals from the
Hawaiian community helped form the group and then later stepped
aside once the group had enough experience to make it on its own.
Members from Wasilla practice their song and dance, as well as,
share traditions and stories taught to them by their ancestors.
Luudisk Gwaii Yatx'i is comprised from the languages of several
Northwest coast cultures, translated it means "children of
the islands who learn". Naa Luudisk Gwaii Yatx'i is an Anchorage-based
performance group composed of members of many cultures who share
songs and dances from the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples.
Drummers and Singers are tradition bearers of the Yup'ik culture.
Members of this group are artists, creating much of the regalia
they are wearing. The group members are originally form different
communities in southwest Alaska and now reside in Wasilla, Alaska.
Susitna Singers and Drummers were founded in 1990 and are devoted
to a sober lifestyle. Their songs are primarily in the traditional
style of the Northern Plains but also include some from the Southern
Plains. The group embraces contemporary innovations to augment their
artists will be on hand to demonstrate different aspects of making
drums. Artists include Ossie Kairaiuak, Preston Rookok, William
Jackson, Loren Anderson, Eugene Koezuna and Beckie Etukeok. Jerry
Lieb Jr. will be teaching a class in drum making from 11am to 1pm.
Phillip "Ossie" Kairaiuak, was born in Bethel, Alaska
and was raised in Chefornak, Alaska. Kairaiuak is fortunate to be
fluent in both Yup'ik and English. He learned about the Yup'ik world
at home, and the Anglo-American world in school. He received an
Art Degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Ossie has also
instructed high school students in contemporary and traditional
Yup'ik singing, dancing and art.
Rookok is St Lawrence Island Yupik from the village of Savoonga,
Alaska. Growing up in the village he learned to speak his Native
language and lived the subsistence lifestyle by hunting and captaining
a whaling boat. Rookok also worked for the Bering Straits School
District as a Special Education Aid for seven years. He currently
shares his life experiences as a cultural host at the Alaska Native
Jackson is Tlingit. Jackson is of the Raven Moiety and Coho Clan.
His Tlingit name is Staqwan. He was born in Juneau, raised in Seattle,
and has lived the last eight years in Anchorage. He currently sings
and drums with a local Southeast group Naa Luudisk Gwaii Yatx'i.
Jackson is also a traditional and contemporary storyteller.
Anderson is Alutiiq (Sugpiaq). His father is from the town of Kodiak
(Sun'aq) and his mother is from the village of Afognak (Ag'uaneq).
Anderson currently works as the Cultural Representative Supervisor
at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. He first started as a part-time
summer employee and worked his way to a supervisory position. He
makes Alutiiq art and is currently involved with a newly formed
Alutiiq dance group in Anchorage. Loren has received his Associates
of Arts degree from North Seattle Community College.
Lieb Jr.'s Inupiaq name is Sivaluaq. His name was given to him after
his Great-Grandfather had passed away. Lieb was the next born and
in the Native tradition, he was given the name so that his grandfathers
name and spirit would live on. He is both Yup'ik and Inupiaq and
was born in Bethel, Alaska. He has been making and painting Native
drums since 1997.
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,