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Arts & Culture

Stories about the arts and culture.

Two well-known Bethel residents will be inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame at the end of April: Beverly Hoffman and Mary Ciuniq Pete, according to the Delta Discovery. 

Drummers gather for the Heart of the Drums at the Cama-i Dance Festival at Bethel Regional High School on March 30, 2019.
Rashah McChesney / KTOO

The climax of the Cama-i Dance Festival falls in the middle of the event. All the drummers from the dance groups come together, circle the audience, and bang their drums as one. The ritual is called the Heart of the Drums and is led by festival emcee Peter Atchak. Atchak calls this moment his "favorite part of Cama-i." Hear an audio postcard of this moment.


A field near harvest time at Meyers Farm in Bethel, Alaska.
Daysha Eaton / KYUK

On Thursday evening, you can turn on the television and see a piece of Bethel. The story of Tim and Lisa Meyers' organic farm is part of a new national television series debuting Thursday on the History Channel.

Courtesy of Mary Sattler Peltola

Yuraq dancers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks - Kuskokwim Campus honored their late director, Mary Ciuniq Pete, at the Cama-i Festival this year. 


Regalia, Stories Abound At Cama-i

Apr 4, 2019
Rashah McChesney / KYUK/Alaska's Energy Desk

 

On the Yukon-Kuskowkwim Delta, Yup’ik dance has undergone a renaissance. Everything that goes along with it, from intricate beading, headdresses to mukluks, dance fans to masks, has a story.

 

Joey Mendolia / KYUK

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

Video: What Cama-i Means To Me

Apr 2, 2019

"We dance because it shows who we are." This weekend, we hosted a photo booth at Cama-i and asked people why Cama-i is important to them.

Rashah McChesney / KYUK

At the last minute, Chefornak dancers canceled their appearance at last year’s Cama-i Dance Festival when Tribal Council President and drummer Walter Lewis died suddenly in a snowmachine accident. This year, Cama-i dedicated the gathering to Lewis’ memory. 


Sivaluaq Jerry "Bucket" Lieb tells a customer the story behind a design on one of his pieces at the Cama-i Dance Festival at Bethel Regional High School on March 30, 2019.
Rashah McChesney / KTOO

This year’s Cama-i theme was “Together We Dance As One.” The unifying message inspired artist Sivaluaq Jerry "Bucket" Lieb to design the festival’s spirit mask around the story of how people gave up fighting to dance and sing. Lieb told KYUK the story behind the image.


Cama-i’s Living Treasure, Cikiigaq Joe Ayagarak Jr. of Chevak, performs a solo dance with the Yurartet Singers and Dancers at the Cama-i Dance Festival at Bethel Regional High School on March 29, 2019.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Chevak never stopped dancing. When the missionaries came, the villagers buried their drums, later unearthing them to continue their dance tradition. This year’s Cama-i’s Living Treasure, Cikiigaq Joe Ayagarak Jr. of Chevak, inherited that tradition. In the 1980s he brought it to Kwethluk, where it’s continued ever since. This year, Ayagarak Jr. met his legacy on the Cama-i stage.


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