Common questions

What is Inuit drum dancing?


What is Inuit drum dancing?

Inuit Drum Dancing: A Lost Art Traditionally crafted of caribou skin stretched across a ring of driftwood, the drum typically had a fur or seal-skin covered handle. The drum was played not by striking the skin, but the edge of the drum.

What dances did the Inuit do?

Yup’ik dance or Yuraq, also Yuraqing (Yup’ik yuraq /juʁaq/ sg yurak dual yurat pl) is a traditional Inuit style dancing form usually performed to songs in Yup’ik, with dances choreographed for specific songs which the Yup’ik people of southwestern Alaska.

What are Eskimo coats called?

His parka —a hooded jacket invented by Eskimos—was made of caribou skin and worn with the fur inside.

How old are the Inuit?

For 5,000 years, the people and culture known throughout the world as Inuit have occupied the vast territory stretching from the shores of the Chukchi Peninsula of Russia, east across Alaska and Canada, to the southeastern coast of Greenland.

How important is dancing to the Inuit?

As a result, drum dancing and its associated songs provide a means for the Inuit to maintain a link with the past while passing on information about their history and traditional way of life to future generations.

What are drumming dances?

Drum dancing is performed to the rhythmic beating of caribou skin drums. To achieve the right tautness, drums are made from the stomach skin of young caribou taken in the summer. Finished drums are approximately 24 inches in diameter, stretched across wooden frames.

What was Inuit music like?

Characteristics of Inuit music include: recitative-like singing, complex rhythmic organization, relatively small melodic range averaging about a sixth, prominence of major thirds and minor seconds melodically, with undulating melodic movement.

Why are drum dances important to the Greenlandic Inuit?

Drum dances are an important element of Greenlandic Inuit cultural cohesion, and function as personal expression, pure entertainment and social sanction. Many drum dances are competitive in nature, featuring two song cousins who humorously sing and dance, while pointing out the flaws in the other.

What kind of music do Inuit people listen to?

The microtonality and rhythmic complexity of the music was replaced with structures more resembling the structures of Western music. Many contemporary Inuit musicians now blend aspects of traditional Inuit music with mainstream popular music genres such as rock, pop and country music.

What kind of Drum did the Inupiat use?

Drummer at an Inupiat dance near Nome in 1900. The main percussion instrument is the wooden frame drum called the qilaut. It is made from boiling and bending strips of wood about two to three inches wide into a circular frame with a handle protruding out.

Are there any Yup’ik dance groups in Alaska?

There are now many dance groups who perform Inuit dances in Alaska. Most popular activity in the Yup’ik-speaking Inuit area is rediscovered Yup’ik dancing. Both Yup’ik and Iñupiaq dancing are also known as Eskimo dance in Alaska.