Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Athabascan Fiddlers Festival

Last night I went with a few friends to the Athabascan Fiddlers Festival. It was spectacular--groups of musicians and their fans had come from all over the Alaska village communities.

The David Salmon Tribal Hall is a beautiful building, and it was packed:

The event was kept light, friendly, and family-oriented. Alcohol and drugs were explicitly banned, and a curfew was enforced, after which no children were allowed.

So many people were dancing, from grandparents to babies in arms!

As a general rule, Alaska Natives are stoic peoples. They can be warm and friendly, but don't smile much, even when they are enjoying themselves. I figure it's a cultural thing, much like contrasting, say, Germans against American Southerners. The former may not be any less friendly or kind, but they are stoic in the face.

How cute are these kids?

Edited to add three things I had forgotten to mention:

1) This Festival goes on for three days, 12 hours a day. 36 hours of fiddling! There are a lot of Athabascan fiddlers!

2) As my friends and I were leaving, at 10 p.m., as the bands were switching over, they dimmed the lights, the crowd hushed, and an Elvis impersonator walked in. An Athabascan Elvis impersonator. He came out to the dance floor and sang and danced, while everyone watched and cheers. I must say, even by the extravagant standards of Fairbanks, that was surreal!

3) So you know that joke about Chinese people and Chinese food (What do the Chinese call Chinese food? Food. LOL)? Well, I heard this actually applied to reality, because you know what the Athabascans call the Athabascan Fiddle Festival? The Fiddle Festival. No joke!

So yesterday I cut open this perfectly ripe avocado, and found that the seed had split and decided to begin its life:

How mind-boggling is that? A tropical fruit, bursting forth with life, in a cabin surrounded by snow? I think I'm going to let it grow in my office, where it's warmer than my cabin. I can't bear to let it die!

My favorite corner of my cabin:

A roaring fire, snow falling outside. It doesn't get much better than that! (Well, if you have to be indoors. I still prefer to be skiing!)


AussieAlaskan said...

G'day, Arvay! Got onto your blog from Cathy in Kotzebue's. Love the look of your cabin corner. Think I'd like to visit you :-) Regards, AussieAlaskan

mdr said...

I love the corner too. Tidy and bright, the curtain makes a nice contrast with the snow outside.

mdr said...

You are a good homemaker and schoar

Arvay said...

Hi AussieAlaskan! Are you a friend of Dingo Dave's, or do we have several Aussie Alaskans in the same blog circle? ;)

Mudder, thank you for your compliments!