Last week, the artists of Pamyua spent time in Helena High School and Broadwater Elementary School, sharing music and traditonal Yup’ik dance with the high school students, and spending time talking about their traditional ceremonies, foods, and music, and about contemporary culture in Alaska with the 5th graders at Broadwater.
Terri Johnson and a group of Native students at HHS welcomed the artists with a lunch of Indian tacos and Wojapi (berry soup) and ice cream. The artists then led a workshop for the theatre, choir, and Native students. They encouraged students to get up and learn the dance, “Dancing is how you introduce yourself to your community and how you connect.”
One student shared with them that she had lived in Alaska, and was glad they taught the ‘reindeer dance,’ saying, “Thank you for sharing that part of our culture!”
The artists left students with this message: “Identity and story can be anything, but these stories and songs are rooted in our traditions and our community, and we encourage you to find your story. Who are you?”
Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield Montana for their generous support!