Pamyua opens the Games in international fashion as local Native college students join them onstage

Posted: Monday, March 06, 2006


  Photo By Charles Pulliam

Photo By Charles Pulliam

Feel the beat of the drums. Watch the entertaining showmanship. Listen to the variety of lyrics of Pamyua (pronounced “bam-u-ah”).

The sold out crowd of more than 350 Arctic Winter Games international visitors witnessed the diversity of the indigenous rock group, Pamyua, Saturday night at Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus.

The concert, performed in the new Ward Building on campus, was sponsored by the KPC Showcase, Multicultural Con-sortium and Games.

“To tell you the truth, I was a little bit nervous tonight,” Pamyua member Phillip Blanchett said. “There were a lot of people I knew here and this building makes the show a little more intimate.”

One of the highlights of the concert was when students from the Alaska Christian College joined Pamyua on stage. Most ACC students are Alaska Native and attend classes just a 1/4 mile from Kenai Peninsula College, the show’s venue. They performed a seal hunting dance and acted as if they were all in a kayak led by Pamyua member Ossie Kairaiuak.

“No one usually likes to dance or perform on their own in front of a bunch of people, but when they came on stage, it really added to the show,” Blanchett said. Blanchett narrated the song using both the Yupik and English language.

“It was awesome for those kids to come up on stageIt really pumped everyone up,” Kairaiuak said.

“We had people ranging for small kids to adults and it’s nice for all of them to share in our performance,” Kairaiuk said of Pamyua’s diverse music consisting of traditional Yupik songs and Greenlandic melodies.

To purchase CD’s of Pamyua’s music, check out on the internet or go to Pamyua’s official website at

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