Cultural Festival and Eskimo Dancing!

I just had the most unexpectedly beautiful Friday. After work, I drove out to Teller with an awesome nurse who I work with. They host an annual Cultural Festival, with Eskimo dancing, food and fun stuff, like door prizes where you can win a 55 gallon drum of stove oil to get you through the winter.

It was a gorgeous, crisp Autumn evening with sunshine and clear, cool air. The sun was our guide westward, as we drove on a thin ribbon of road, through the wonder of the tundra, with muskox grazing on the rolling gold, rust and periwinkle hills.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Termination dust!
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 The rivers and tundra pools were like pieces of sky.

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Teller is one of the villages (see previous post) that I get to travel to as a doctor, so I feel a special love in my heart for the place. History mural by the school.
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There is a silence and a stillness out in this great Alaska landscape, and in these little villages like Teller.

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We went to the school to see Eskimo dancing and singing. It is so beautiful, the haunting melodies, the ardent drums, the steady rhythms, the ancient, the ageless, the stories even though I can’t understand them, but through them you can almost hear voices from the past. The community togetherness, the kuspuks, beadwork, flowing colors, the mukluks and drums all made by hand, from nature).

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On the way home, we drove through the most serene mist rolling on the hills.

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While driving, deep in conversation about this crazy, amazing life, two ptarmigan suddenly flew across the front of my car, I felt the soft-but-sickening thud and saw a white flash of feathers and body pass over the windshield. Oh no! We decided to turn around and look at it, and mourn the loss of its life. :'( And we found the still-warm ruffled-feather body on the side of the road. It was so beautiful!

I have seen the ptarmigan brown, and I have seen them all white for the winter, but I did not think about how they changed color. It had brown feathers on it’s neck and part of its back, but the rest of it has already changed to pure white.
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To me it looks like their little feet have white furry mukluks on to keep their feet warm. Ready for the winter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And is if that wasn’t enough, THEN came the sublime dancing Northern Lights over the black hills, below the Milky Way, beaming up to the stars… The spirits of the sky. And the song and the dance those northern lights were singing across the sky, was as beautiful as the Eskimo song and dance.

I need to work on my night-time Northern Lights photography skills…in the cold. 🙂
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How much beauty can one heart hold in one day without bursting?! It was like a lifetime worth of beauty in one evening. Be still my heart.
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8 thoughts on “Cultural Festival and Eskimo Dancing!

  1. Beautiful pictures and videos. Dan and I were hoping to go to Teller, but we got back from Anchorage on Saturday afternoon. I know that we will have a lot of opportunities to see the Dancers, but we are wanting to experience life in Nome and the villages right now! I think “our” barge is in. Yipee Have a good week.

    • Thanks, Patt! Yes, there will be more~I had to miss it last year, too because of delivering a baby, and I was so sad! 🙂 I was hoping to go back on Saturday evening, but my car had to go to the car doctor. :/ Yay for the barge bringing in the supplies! Is it the last one for the season? Good timing. 🙂 Thanks, you too!
      Shana recently posted…Cultural Festival and Eskimo Dancing!My Profile

  2. How cool to hear it retold in pictures. It was a beautiful afternoon/evening. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it. Your photos are spectacular btw.

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