Wednesday, May 22, 2013
‘Quyana Night’ Celebration Rings In Alaska Federation of Natives Convention
Every step and song represents a history and culture one move at a time. It's an appreciation of the past that the Imamsuat dancers know all too well.
It is the largest gathering of native people in the country—the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention officially kicked off Thursday, Oct. 20.
Thousands of Alaska natives will discuss and debate current issues in rural and urban Alaska.
But first, a cultural celebration helped ring in the annual gathering—Quyana Night.
The excitement of watching the dances and hearing the music is almost beyond description. Every step and song represents a history and culture one move at a time. It's an appreciation of the past that the Imamsuat dancers know all too well.
Having once lost their ancient songs, they are forging ahead with the help of others to entertain and start new traditions.
“There was a time we weren't dancing on Kodiak. With the help of other cultures in Alaska –the Yup’ik and the Tlingit—we've been able to revive,” said Loren Anderson of the Imamsuat dancers.
Loving what they do, the dancers lift the spirits of all who surround them.
“Quyana Night is a big night and it’s just fun to see all the other dance groups and get different ideas,” Anderson said.
It's a powerful and spiritual experience that transcends time and draws the crowd in.
The dances and music of Quyana Night lasted until 11 p.m. Wednesday and another showcase will be featured Thursday at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage starting at 7 p.m.