Tikigaq School 5th Graders Perform Point Hope Eskimo Dances

The rhythms are played on traditionally-crafted drums; the dances have been passed down from generation to generation. These fifth graders demonstrate that Inupiat traditions are alive and well in Point Hope, Alaska.

With the help of village elder Aaka Irma, my fifth graders and I learned an old Point Hope Eskimo dance that hadn’t been performed in some time. Under the guidance of our Inupiat language teacher, Aana Lane, the students also practiced popular traditional Point Hope dances. The students performed these dances for the Christmas presentation last month to an enthusiastic crowd.

The group of students I have this year is very connected to their culture and heritage, particularly when it comes to dancing. It’s amazing to see every student in the class become so completely engaged in a cultural tradition. During their performance in December, the students captivated the entire audience. The performance culminated with the students inviting one and all to join them on the gym floor in the closing Common Dance – a dance familiar to virtually everyone in our village.

14 thoughts on “Tikigaq School 5th Graders Perform Point Hope Eskimo Dances

  1. They have learned SO much! 🙂
    The community is lucky to have you as their teacher, so that you can help the kids truly embrace and expand on their culture.
    It’s so wonderful to see so many different kuspuks! Cannot wait to wear mine during week one of my American Indian history class when they read Velma Wallis’s Two Old Women 🙂 (I teach in Nebraska at a college).
    I may have posted this on FB. . . so if you get a lot of view after this moment, it’s my fault 🙂 THANK YOU for teaching these beautiful children!
    PS: My aunt left south chicago to teach in Dillingham in 1958! And apparently I now have a distant cousin that teaches in Dillingham again . . .

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