Yup Ik Dance Festival Essay

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Yup’ik Dance Festival

There are three different dance festivals such as Bladder Festival, Messenger Festival, and Feast of the dead that I am going to talk about. We still celebrate some of these festivals but in a different way, some of them dies out because of the new technology. The way these festivals were really huge to our ancestors was because of their beliefs and why they had to have them was very important. Bladder Festival is an important annual seal hunting, harvesting, ceremony. Bladder festival was the most important festival out of the other festivals. Bladder Festival is held each year to honor the souls of the seals. Bladder Festival occurs during the winter solstice by yup’ik people of western and southwestern Alaska. When the shaman kills the seal he does not kill the spirit, the spirit leaves the seal and reincarnates to another body. Our elders say that everything has feelings even though they are not living.
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The event died out early in the twentieth century, when missionaries in the area tried to eliminate traditional ceremonies. Missionaries thought our culture was bad and evil, they just miss understood our culture. This was a sign of respecting the animals who had given themselves to the human hunters. In the fall two messengers were sent to each village to invite the guests. This began much back and forth visiting during which the hosts communicated their desire for hard to obtain gifts from their guests. A three day festival in late February or March culminated these exchanges with dancing and an abundance of gifts. Shamanistic rituals are no longer practiced, although some elders have information about these rites. Song and dance have remained. Yup’ik people had celebrated Kivgiq for many centuries. However, the earlier representations of Kivgiq were discontinued in the early 20th century due to social, economical, and environmental

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