31 August 2008

Isaiah and Melissa go Native (Alaskan)

I got the pictures off of our phones, from the barbecue (see the post under this one). First the guy on the right (with the blue shirt and drum) told us a really long story from his tribe/house while he prepared the salmon pit. He put coals in the bottom, then lined the pit with grasses, then ferns, and lastly with skunk cabbage. Then he told us he cheated and baked the salmon in the oven, because it took 8 hours to do it in the pit...but he put the cooked salmon on the leaves to heat it back up, and then covered it with more greenery. He is married to the lady in the gray sweatshirt in the middle of the first picture, and they have a drum group. (She is also the Native rescourse person at the college and did the stories for our orientation...see the post under this one also for that story.) They sang and drummed a welcome song for us around the fire and then they did another song...all in Tlingit. After that, they moved away from the fire to do a dance with the drums. He wanted us all to be involved, so after they did the dance, all the drummers gave their drums to someone in the audience and taught it to them. That happened once more, and Isaiah literally ran and took a drum...he wanted to do it so bad. One of my other classmates gave me a drum as well, and said "Here, you can go and do it with him." So, Isaiah and I learned a Tlingit drum dance. It was pretty fun, and Isaiah was so funny...wished we had brought a camcorder.

Welcome song around the salmon pit.

Drum Dance

Isaiah and I doing the drum dance.


Leon and Janie said...

Thanks for sharing! Your kids are getting such a wonderful education just by living where you do ...Hawaii/Alaska. Awesome!

Do you know anything about Sarah Palin? What do you think?

Rana said...

Well, it was sort of confusing the way you posted the pictures before the story ( I thought maybe Isaiah had already gone on a field trip and yet I knew he hadn't started school yet. And if that was the case where were the other kids?) But all's well that ends well! Looks like you both really had a great time!

Pink Ink said...

What an awesome experience it must have been in such a beautiful place!

I would love to live in Hawaii and my husband would love to live in Alaska. So we are collectively happy for you :-)