The Aruvak Dancers of Dillingham
Aruvak was the name of one of the dance groups founding elders. In the mid-80’s there was a move to bring dancing back to Dillingham. The group performs around town and around the State at various functions. We practice fairly regularly at the Bristol Inn thanks to their kind donation of their conference room. If you are in town and hear the drums beating, come and join us.
Our Favorite Pasttime
This is a "maqi" at my friend's house. It is one of the local customs to take a steam bath as often as possible. To tell you the truth, I'm not that fond of the custom (nor have I ever learned to pronouce it properly). I got over my modesty long ago, but taking a "maqi" is definitely something one has to get used to. In the winter the waiting room is awfully cold, and in the summer the waiting room is normally full of mosquitoes. But when the company is good we make like Randy Travis' song and the men sit around and talk about the weather and the women sit around and talk about the men. It's more than a way to get clean these days, it's a social event in towns where there are no bowling alleys and movie theatres. Here in Dillingham women often maqi first. Upriver in Koliganek I noticed the men get first dibs. In both communities it is most common that the men get saddled with the responsibility of lighting the stove and hauling the water to "make maqi". And if a man don't want to haul water for you, you probably don't want to marry him. Maybe that's why I'm still single! Poor men I meet have no clue what I appreciate!
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Subsistence Salmon Fishing
This picture was taken on Kanakanak Beach. Besides having the distinction of being the world's largest anagram, Kanakanak Beach is located approximately 5 miles from downtown Dillingham. This is one of the main beaches where locals subsistence fish for salmon each summer. Not me. I don't have a net. My friend's are usually kind enough to give me enough salmon to can. I have learned to "put up" fish, and dry them in the traditional manner. But I'm not that skilled.
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