Yup'ik Dancers from Alaska Performs

October 8, 2005

The Kicaput Singers and Dancers of Alaska performed on the Fleming Law Building's north lawn from noon to 1pm, sponsored by the CU-Boulder Native American Law Students Association. Dance group members are comprised of Yup'ik descendants from the Kuskokwim and Yukon river deltas and long the Bering Sea in southwest Alaska.  Though known as Eskimos in American popular culture, they prefer to be referred to by their traditional name, accordering to Dena Ivey, president of the Native American Law Students Association and a Yup'ik descendant.The Kicaput (pronounced "gitch-ah-put") Singers and Dancers perform in traditional Yup'ik regalia, consisting of qaspeqs (a light overgarment), mukluks (calf-high boots made from seal skin, wolf, beaver or wolverine), headdresses (made from feathers or wolf/beaver fur, beads and animal hide) and dance fans (made from wood and feathers for the men's dance fans or woven grass and caribou beard hair for the women's dance fans).  Yup'ik drums are traditionally made from bent circular driftwood and walrus stomach.The Kicaput Singers and Dancers are based in Anchorage and perform different interpretations of elements of the traditional Yup'ik village lifestyle.  Songs and dances can depict comical or serious situations involving animals, hunting, fishing, berry-picking and social interactions.The performances were co-sponsored by the CU Cultural Events Board, teh University of Colorado, the CU School of Law, and the law firms of Holland & Hart and Greene, Meyer, & McElroy, P.C.The CU-Boulder Native American Law Students Association promotes awareness of Native American issues at CU-Boulder, develops community for Native American students and organizes activities to enrich the law school and assist memebers in career development.