Barrow to again host Kivgiq dance celebration

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Barrow will again host a traditional Native dance celebration, North Slope Borough Mayor George Ahmaogak announced Wednesday.

Kivgiq will take place sometime in February. The three-day event is an ancient Inupiat tradition, uniting outlying communities in a celebration of dance and fellowship. It is also known as the Messenger Feast.

Ahmaogak said the event will coincide with the annual meeting of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.

The mayor, a whaling captain, said it's a good time for Kivgiq.

''Our negotiations with the International Whaling Commission were successful and our whaling quota has been restored. Our fall whaling season was bountiful,'' Ahmaogak said. ''We are ready to celebrate our good fortune with a tradition that always uplifts the spirits of our people.''

The celebration, held every two years, includes traditional dances, storytelling and gift-giving. It attracts participants from throughout Alaska, the Lower 48 and circumpolar nations, including Russia and Canada.

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