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The First Dance – Quinhagak dancers performing at the Cama-i

April 4, 2013

This March, Quinhagak Dancers preformed traditional Yup’ik dancing for the first time in several generations. Students from the Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat school have receives special permission from their elders to form a dance group that preformed in at the Cama-i Dance Festival in Bethel.  This is the first dance group Quinhagak have seen in a century. When the Moavian Church established in Western Alaska it brought very strict rules about dancing, and there has been no community dance group since. The Quinhagak dancers came up with their own stories created their own dances with the help of Native storyteller Jack Dalton. Among others they preformed a song “Caarkaitellemni” (Storm Song) about a huge fall storm that hit the village a couple of years ago – the same storm that washed the whole area of the 2010 excavation into the sea.

Quinhagak Dancers

Listen to the story here 🙂


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