Sunday, July 18, 2010

Alaska Native Heritage Center

Yesterday it was free admission to the Alaska Native Heritage Center so we took advantage of that. The kids got to make beaded necklaces with the tooth of an animal, make animal masks, and color among other things. We spent a lot of time walking around outside where they have a village set up to represent the various tribes in Alaska.
One of the things that was really interesting was the small doorways everywhere. They would also have tunnels for doorways which was interesting. The reason for both of these is hello- It's Alaska it's freezing cold in some places. One tribe lived in a place that it would get 120 below. The tunnels and small doorways make sense so that they aren't letting in a lot of cold air or loosing a lot of heat.
One of the other things I was really impressed with was how much they just used what they had. And really they had to as they didn't have access to the outside world much until recent years. But to be able to survive in these type of conditions with just you are able to make from the environment is pretty cool.
Paul loved the log cabins and the "village" was gorgeously situated. As you can see in the the pictures.
Target was hosting the event and paid for the native dancers to come and dance. One of the dances was with a fish and that was Daniel's favorite. It was about their heritage of catching the salmon. He kept asking during the other dances where the fish was.
Interestingly the dances also included the Tau Dance Theater from Hawaii. How exactly they fit into the Alaska Native Heritage I am unsure, but I am so glad they came. We were there for only one of their dances but it was so good. I wish that the video we took accurately represented what we saw in person, because it was breath taking. The dances kept the kids sitting completely still and in awe. Which if you know my kids is quite an accomplishment. Reagan in particular was mesmerized. Somehow I think that there will be dance classes in her future. video video video

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