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Watch: The Legacy Of Maryann Sundown And Agnes Aguchak

Joey Mendolia

The Scammon Bay dancers returned to the Cama-i stage for the first time since their Elder, Maryann Sundown, passed away in 2011.

She was well known as a Dance Diva. From her impressions of martial arts master Bruce Lee to the all too relatable mosquito dance, her performances connected people through laughter.

Maryann’s son, Harley Sundown, is the leader of the Scammon Bay Dance Group and remembers how the audience loved her.

"Bruce Lee and Macarena made the non-Natives see the novelty side of what she could do on the stage, and that’s why a lot of people loved her: because she could cross over and do things that made her be known as the Dance Diva," Harley said.

Maryann and her sister, Agnes Aguchak, left behind a unique comedic legacy in Yup’ik dance. The subtle motions, deadpan facial expressions, and downright slap-stick humor is extremely visual and can be seen in this video produced by KYUK and Alaska Public Media.

Katie Baldwin Basile is an independent photographer and multimedia storyteller from Bethel, Alaska.