Hundreds gather in Barrow for Inupiaq celebration

Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Hundreds of people are gathering in Barrow for an Inupiaq celebration hosted by the area's whaling captains.

The three-day messenger feast celebration on Alaska's northern coast includes dancing, storytelling, games and feasting.

The celebratory feast died out for many years before being resumed in the 1980s by North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak Sr.

Organizers expect nearly 20 dance troupes and 700 dancers from Alaska, Canada and possibly Russia. The festivities on Monday included the ceremonial lighting of a seal oil lamp.

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