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Meet the Teen Bringing Back Old-School Yu'pik Songs

Aug 04, 2015 | 589 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Byron Nicholai lives in the Alaskan village of Toksook Bay, population: 600. Its residents are Yu'pik Eskimo, a group of indigenous people in Alaska. At 17, Nicholai has a relatively simple life going to high school and working to help his single mother—but he's also a Facebook star, especially by Yu'pik standards. He uploads videos of him singing traditional native songs to his page, "I Sing, You Dance," and gets thousands of views. “I try to mix the traditional with the modern, because teens today are so modern," he says in this lovely short film, which comes to us from the Alaska Dispatch News. "Every time I sing, I'm in my own little world, free from the things that are bothering me. I'm in my own little place."

You can follow the Alaska Dispatch News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as find more videos on their YouTube channel. Their most recent story is about Graveyard Point, an abandoned cannery that third generation fishing families have been living in every summer since the 60s.

Author: Nadine Ajaka


About This Series

A showcase of short films curated by The Atlantic