It has been a busy but interesting week, with 3 full days of community meetings, which explains why I haven't been faithful in blogging. However, last night I was lucky enough to watch a traditional Inuit drum dance, put on by the Inuvik Drum Dancers, and I wanted to quickly post some pictures. I also took some video but I won't put that up until tomorrow.
Sadly, not long ago, drum dancing seemed to be dying out. After decades of contact with foreigners, many Inuvialuit had forgotten how important drum dancing was. However, a few elders began to revive the tradition with some young people, and drum dancing has experienced a comeback. Inuvialuit drum dancers even performed for Prince William and Kate during their visit to Canada last summer.
Each of the dances has a meaning, but I can't remember what they all are... I do know that there were stories of hunting, fishing, and lots of animals -- polar bears, seals, etc. My favourite was a mixed dance where the men played the part of seals, and the women were seagulls who were swooping down and bothering them. Gender stereotypes exist in every culture!