Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Watch Kivgiq 2011

Elmo Henry of Point Lay dances during the 2009 Kivgiq. This photo is by Bill Haas, a photographer and writer from Wasilla. His observations of Kivgiq (and anything, really) are surely worth a read.

Our colleagues at UMIAQ, our local logistics provider in Barrow, Alaska, wrote to invite us to attend Kivgiq 2011, a four-day festival that began on Wednesday.

You can watch it live at this link:  http://www.livestream.com/talkingcircle?lsci_op=1561858016

Kivgiq is a community festival honoring a bountiful harvest. It is an occasion of great celebration for subsistence cultures such as the traditional Iñupiaq, and this season’s festivities are being held right now in Barrow, Alaska’s northern-most community. According to Alaska Dispatch, 17 traditional drum and dance troupes from northern Alaska and Canada have come to Barrow to participate. When early predictions suggested that local hotels would be over capacity for the event, the National Science Foundation offered to host attendees in huts researchers use during the summer field season; it turns out that there is enough lodging for all, so the only support we are providing is through our virtual attendance at the event.  Alaska Dispatch reports this Kivgiq’s theme is Love and Family—and who can’t use a little more of those?

We hope you’ll tune in for the next few days.  For more, visit Wasilla, Alaska, by 300; Bill Hess is attending this year’s Kivgiq.–Kip Rithner

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