Adams Hollis Twitchell was lucky to have witnessed masked dance and song performed in Napaskiak over 100 years ago. In the spirit of reconciliation underlying this project of historic reunion, the Menil invited Chuna McIntyre to come to the museum, and on October 1, 2015, he with fellow Yup’ik singers and dancers Vernon Chimegalrea and Tatiana Andrew joined in the celebration of Wolf and Caribou’s reunion. All three hail from villages on the Kuskokwim River very close to Napaskiak, where the masks were created and collected (McIntyre is from Eek, just south; Chimegalrea is from Napakiak, directly across the river; Andrew’s family is from Kwethluk, a few miles upriver). In traditional Yup’ik attire, they performed a series of songs and dances, storytelling practices they have spent decades reconstructing and restoring.
Here is a song Chuna McIntyre learned from his grandmother, in which Wolf, Kegluneq, sings to Caribou, Tuntupiaq. In this chant, which you can watch him perform below, Wolf attempts to charm Caribou, admiring:
The caribou, who was there a moment ago,
Behind your ears, a bit of tallow (those tasty bits behind your ears).
Tuntur augna, ciutiin kel’va, tunuralak.