Sunday, March 30, 2008

Photos from Cama-i

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Another Cama-i Dance Festival is done, and it is a good thing I was not the official photographer for it. I did a lousy job. I so wish my friend Peter Ashman had been here to take the kind of photos he took last year; he did a beautiful job documenting that festival.
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Dutch and I had great seats for viewing, but not so much so for taking pictures. At least not with my camera, which has only limited telephoto. Most of what we got was either out of focus--sometimes kind of artsy, but disappointing; or way too dark. With some embarrassment I'll show you here the best of the bad. The Camai-i website has some much better ones, with more to come!
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From the performance aspect, this was a great festival. The Dancers were mostly excellent and fun to watch. The guest performers provided good variety and a taste of other cultures. And the craft fair offered lots of beautiful stuff for sale.
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I was particularly in search of a fur ruff, to be sewn around the hood of a parka, for one of our recurring locum tenens physicians at the hospital. She does a lot of walking when she is here, and needs a fur ruff to keep her face warmer when it is really cold. Lots of craftspeople were selling fur items of every description, but only one had ruffs, and fortunately, just what I was looking for.
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There were beautiful carved ivory items of every description, using both fresh and petrified ivory. For my birthday, Dutch bought me a lovely pair of ivory ulu earrings; the traditional curved-bladed knife used for filleting salmon is a popular cultural symbol for earring-makers. And I bought myself a birthday token too; I was enchanted by a small standing owl carved in ivory. Sometimes at craft fairs, something jumps into my hand and just won't leave, and I know I have to buy it. The owl did that.


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Something else that did that was a gorgeous pair of black leather gloves that had fox fur trim and intricate beadwork covering the backs of the hands. Oooohhh, did I want them. But the price deterred me; they were $170 and I just wasn't ready to commit to that much for them. I debated with myself, but in the end told the craftswoman I would think about it and come back. She just smiled. By the time I talked myself into it and went back, the gloves were gone.

There were all kinds of fur hats for sale, but one of the most beautiful was the one that Dutch got for me as my major birthday present. It is made of seal and fox and beaver, and it fits my head perfectly. I absolutely love it! It is exactly what I need for our upcoming trip to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge...more to come on that.

Photos by Dutch and The Tundra PA.


1. Bethel Traditional Dancers
2. Same...fans in motion
3. Scammon Bay Dancers
4. Same...Maryann Sundown seated in the center chair in both photos. At 89 years old, she was honored as the oldest Dancer at the Festival, and a Living Treasure.
5. Birthday craft gifts

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