Warren Matumeak (1928-2010) was one of the great leaders, elders, teachers, politicians, scholars, hunters, men of God, and musician/dancers of his generation on Alaska's North Slope. His contributions to the vitality of Iñupiaq culture and community were (and remain) immeasurable. He was also the founder and leader of Suurimmaanitchuat Dancers (which performed in Washington DC in 2008 for Pres. Obama's inaugural).
He was a friend, teacher, and mentor to me, and my colleague Chie Sakakibara. We made this video of photos of Warren set to a beloved country gospel song ("On the Wings of a Dove" as recorded by Hal Ketchum) as a tribute on the occasion of his funeral in December, 2010.
Notes on the Photos in the Slideshow:
The first photo after the title slide in the slideshow shows the (Barrow) Ukpeagviq Presbyterian Church choir, with the Rev. Samuel Simmonds, in 1946 (Photo by John Klebe, from the Laura Boulton collection at Indiana University's Archive of Traditional Music.) Warren, then 18 years old, is the striking young man in the middle of the three men in the back row. The other photos were each taken by either myself or Dr. Chie Sakakibara.
In Loving Memory.
Learn about Warren Matumeak at the following links:
Tribute post by Bill Hess, longtime friend of Warren's and pre-eminent documentary photographer of Iñupiaq life.
Obituary Notice in the Anchorage Daily News (with an incredible picture by Bill Hess)
Watch Warren's dance group (Suurimmaanitchuat) perform in Pres. Obama's inaugural parade in 2008.