Cama-i Dance Festival, Bethel, Alaska (part two): The dances

“In the past it was a big mistake to stop the dancing – a lot of things died in this process.  Restarting dances is only one thing… By learning the dances, you young people will have weight, so that nobody can brush you off the top of this earth. You will be the exciting ones.” ~Marie Arnaq Meade

 

In a recent post, I gave an overview of Cama-i, which we attended earlier this year.  In today’s post, I’ll talk about the star of this Yup’ik festival—the dances.

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Random Quote: Pukuk (“Suck the meat off the bones”)

Photo credit: Bethel Regional High School
“Suck the meat off bones.”

Colorful panels cover an exterior wall of Bethel Regional High School.  Obviously created by students, they seem to be answering some question that was posed to them.  Responses vary, ranging from poetic:

“Hope will come, and we will be waiting,” and “Call the sun beautiful”

…to concrete and honest: “Passing my classes,” “Basketball is the most beautiful sport of all,” and “I don’t know.”

One in particular stood out to Cheri and I:

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Paris, France: Notre-Dame Cathedral

This is one post in a series of articles about our visit to Paris.

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What a contemplative little ghoul, and, oh, that view!

It goes without saying that Notre-Dame Cathedral was at the top of our Paris sightseeing list.  It’s one of Paris’ most recognizable and iconic buildings, a sprawling, Gothic feast for the eyes.  We returned several times, tiptoeing through the massive interior, listening to live music in the small park around back, and, as part of the Paris Museum Pass, climbing hundreds of steps to the iconic belfry.

We were lucky enough to visit the cathedral and take a tour, and here are the highlights:

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Random things to do in and around Taos, New Mexico

 

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San Francisco de Asis Church

We spent a few days sightseeing in Taos, a tiny town with a fascinating mix of cultures–Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo, not to mention the influence of artists and free thinkers who have made their residence here for over 100 years.  For such a little town, there’s a lot going on.

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Taos’ Harwood Museum: The spectacular colors of New Mexican art

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Christmas Eve at Taos Pueblo, Dorothy Eugenie Brett

 

Taos, New Mexico, is a town of about 5700 people, so small that it doesn’t even have a Starbucks (our go-to for WiFi, so that was a disappointment).

And yet, when it comes to the development of modern American art, Taos’ place in history is huge. Many of the biggest names in 20th-century American art, including Georgia O’Keefe and Ansel Adams, have been inspired by Taos’ and Northern New Mexico’s stunning landscapes as well as the Native American and Hispanic cultures of the region.  Taos has even earned the nickname “Paris West.” Continue reading “Taos’ Harwood Museum: The spectacular colors of New Mexican art”

Marfa, Texas: A surprising, hip, and quirky town in the middle of nowhere

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On one of our trips to Fort Davis years ago, We visited Marfa, which is 21 miles south.  This was back when just about the only thing this tiny town was known for was its mysterious Marfa “ghost” lights.  I don’t remember anything about our time in Marfa other than the fact that we did see the lights, and yes, they were a bit freaky.  But other than that, Marfa seemed like just any other little West Texas town (population: 1,819 as of 2013).

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The Château of Versailles: The glorious gardens

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This is one post in a series of articles about our visit to Paris.


In our last post, I talked about the Palace of Versailles; today I’ll share our walk through Versailles’ gardens.  Of the two, Dale and I would agree that the gardens are a can’t-miss.  It was everything you’d hope for in a royal garden–expansive lawns, sculpted gardens with brightly-colored flowers, towering hedges, and artwork everywhere.  At the end of the post, I’ll include some general tips for visiting the palace and gardens.

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Paris, France: The (naked) sculptures of the Louvre

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This is one post in a series of articles about our visit to Paris.


When I told my mom I was writing about our time in Paris, she asked, “Are you going to talk about the naked men?”  She was referring, of course, to the collection of sculptures that we saw at the Louvre, which, yes, did include quite a few nude male subjects.

“I’ve told all of my friends that there were lots of sculptures of naked men, and they look at me like I’m crazy, so now I can show them.”

Of the many fascinating artifacts we saw at the Louvre, the thing that most stands out to mom is the naked men.

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