Traditionally the hosting village goes first the first night, in the middle the second night and last the third night.
The really tall poster just next to the room divider is a tribute to an elder who passed away this past spring. He was in his late 90's or early 100's. No one is sure. We do know, things changed tremendously since he was born.
That is where the men kneel. Behind the mats is a speaker for the microphone so everyone can hear all announcements. In the back right corner is a snack shop with candy, soda, some food, and jello. Jello with cool whip is a village favorite.
When Tundra Fest is not being held here, it doubles as a church, bingo hall, and everything else as needed.
The village feels it is extremely important to keep the culture alive by teaching cultural ways to students. The high school has an actual dance class for students.
The drum is a round wooden frame with a man-made material stretched over it. This material has replaced the animal skins they used in the past.
This is a still shot of the first dance. The women are wearing kuspuks which is the standard native top. Some have skirts so they are worn more like dresses over long pants while those without a skirt function as a shirt. Both men and women wear the kuspuk. The spelling of the word varies according to the group.
You can also tell what region a person is from based on how the kuspuk is put together and decorated. Women may or may not wear a headdress. Sometimes the headdress is a family heirloom worn by generation after generation.
This building started much smaller but a few years ago, they built an extension so it could be used instead of the the building next to it. The original building developed black mold all through it so they chose to discontinue using it.
The festival will continue for two more days with games for kids and adults. Yesterday, there was a cake walk for the village.
I hope you enjoy this peak into a fall celebration held in Alaska. Let me know what you think. Have a great weekend.