Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 2, Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage

               Native Alaskan Cultural Center, Anchorage


After yesterday's hike, we decided to take it somewhat easy and visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center.  The Athabascan cultures are enjoying a renaissance, and the ANHC is a good example of how educating the public is bringing about awareness of the cultures. The center focuses on five different athabascan cultures.   For more information see :

The story teller.  The Athabascans originally had no written language and culture and history were preserved by passing down stories.  This native is sharing stories of her youth about her village in the far north.

Young adults take native alaskan dance lessons.  Each movement represents a word or phrase.  At the center, each of the five cultures/clans is represented by a team of dancers and they perform a dance representative of that culture.

These young performers practice after school. The program is very popular and competitive.  Over 85 students apply to take the dance lessons.

The cultural center has built a potlatch and have contracted with natives from each of the cultures to carve totem poles that will go inside as supports.

                                                      Potlatch house

                                         The carved beams will be placed on the four support beams

                           The entry is larger than normal.  Usually, it is small so that large animals (bears) cannot enter.  Usually there is an escape door at the opposite side.

The young people showed off their skills at "kick the ball".  The idea is to kick the ball at the end of the stick while in certain sitting positions.  The ball is raised higher and higher, and the one who kicks the highest ball is the winner.

The colors on the map represent each of the cultures and their locations.  Each was represented at this center.  The largest being the Athabascan, which is all a generic term for native Alaskan.  

No comments:

Post a Comment