As Heard on Morning Line: Uksuum Cauyai: The Drums of Winter
Our guest on Morning Line is Angela Jenkins, granddaughter of one of the subjects in a film called Uksuum Cauyai - The Drums of Winter.
The film is being screened tonight at the University of Alaska Anchorage Rasmuson Hall Room 101 - with a potluck stating at 6:30 and the film beginning at 7:30.
The film is viewed as one of the more important films regarding people of the north, a sort of turning point in cinematic history. The directors, Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling, documented Yup'ik culture as it was at the time of filming (1977) and where it is (Emmonak, Alaska), as opposed to merely crafting a movie for show-biz purposes in a soundstage somewhere.
But for Jenkings, it is more personal, "...one of the people in the film said she's worried the dancing traditions will die out - but I've been planning on my daughter's first dance coming up in 2019."
Considering that the film was released in 1989 - and the original material gathered was in 1977, the fact that some traditions continue seems to be a testament to the film and the steadfastness of the people featured in it, and their descendants.