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Monday, March 31, 2008

All the way from New Zealand!

The Maori dancers came to Bethel all the way from New Zealand. They were, in my opinion, the most exciting dancers at the whole festival.
The Maori dancers were excellent performers. Their facial expression were fun to watch and they had so much fun in their dancing.

They explained that this stick song was a game that they played with their children to help teach hand/eye coordination. I have video of this that I will post as soon as I get the chance.The fact that they were here performing is a testament to the Cama-i festival as a celebration of native dance. The native Yup'ik people were just as enthralled with their performance as I was.
Overall, I thought their dances had a much more tropical vibe to them. The music was lighter and if you closed your eyes, you might have been able to picture yourself on a tropical island by the beach. Their outfits are also very tropical. Many of the local natives commented on their scant apparel. It's hard for them to imagine it being warm enough to wear such things. Even in summer, it doesnt get warm enough here to bare so much skin.
The women all had that tattoo looking pattern on their chins. It was not a permanent tattoo because I saw them without it the next day. I think it was maybe drawn on with Henna ink.

I couldnt resist taking a picture of these two boys with their mother and grandmother (I assume). They couldnt take their eyes off the Maori dancers. When you can keep young ones like that still and entertained, you know that you're doing something worthwhile.

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