Yesterday I posted the story behind Kivgiq. It is a long story but very informative. Also, I included pictures for Thursday's dances and gathering.
Kivgiq lasts for the weekend; it starts on Wednesday with greetings and the welcoming of all the different dance groups and communities. There are groups from throughout the Arctic Circle; Greenland, Russia, Canada, and Alaska. I do not think anybody from Norway or Iceland made it this year. Thursday through early Sunday morning, the different dance groups will dance, drum, and sing. It is scheduled to end 3:00 AM Sunday morning, but will probably will go until 4 or 5 Sunday morning. During the week of Kivgiq, Barrow's population of 5,000 doubles, which means family puts up family, all the hotels are booked. The college was housing people when a water main busted in the men's dorm, flooding out the rooms and causing the people to look for other housing. Fortunately, the community came through to help out.
Along with the visitors, there are two Presbyterian ministers from Taiwan, as the Presbytery of Yukon has started a sister relationship with the Presbytery in Taiwan. Along with the two ministers, came our Presbytery Executive and the minister from Anchor Presbyterian Church in Anchorage, serving as interpreter. They timed there trip so that they could come and experience this celebration. The airfare within the State of Alaska, Anchorage to Barrow, then onto Wainwright, then back to Barrow to return to Anchorage cost twice as much as it did to fly from Taiwan to Anchorage.The dances started out very traditional, some very serious, some for laughter. They all tell as story, which helps to know the culture and language to know what the dances are about. Some are like the Bird Man, (I think) that tell of the story of how birds are part of the tradition of the people. Some of the dances are to make fun of different parts of life, like the mating dance below.
At the end of each group's time to dance, sing and drum, they have a group dance, inviting any and all to join in for the song. Others, like this little girl, was dressed ready to dance, but stayed in the isle to follow along.
I hope that you will enjoy the pictures of the weekend, I will try and post some more tomorrow and Sunday. No, I will not be there when they end it sometime early Sunday morning.
Peace and blessings.