Yup'ik performer during the presentation by Chuna McIntyre and the Nunamata Yup'ik Eskimo Dancers at the Library of Congress. Photo by Jim Hardin, November 12, 2003. AFC 2003/049: p 24.
The Central Alaskan Yup'ik are a people of western Alaska, related to Inuit peoples. They live on a marshy plain using waterways for transportation and build permanent homes. Contact with the outside world began in the 1880s, when Russian fur trappers entered their region. Because contact has been limited, the Yup'ik have been able to maintain their cultural traditions. Today children still grow up speaking their native language.
As part of the American Folklife Center's Homegrown Concert Series, Chuna McIntyre and the Nunamta Yup'ik Eskimo Dancers came to the Library in 2003 to perform traditional Yup'ik songs, stories, and dances from the Kuskokwim delta region of southwestern Alaska. Chuna McIntyre was born and raised in the Kuskokwim village of Eek. He learned the ancient traditions and language of the Yup'ik from his grandmother.
In this recording, he sings a song commemorating the vision of the Yup'ik medicine man who predicted the arrival of Europeans and their ships. According to the story, the British explorer Captain James Cook arrived in 1778, exactly one year to the day after the vision. Used by permission of Mr. Chuna McIntyre.
- Alaskan Native Language Center: Central Alaskan Yup'ik (University of Alaska at Fairbanks)
- "American Indian and Native Alaskan Song." See the Resource section at the bottom of this article for links to more articles about indigenous peoples in Songs of America.
- See articles about Ethnic Song in America