300 Villages: Napakiak

Photo courtesy of NOAA.
Photo courtesy of NOAA.

This week we’re heading to the village of Napakiak, near Bethel. Samuel Roberson is from Napakiak.

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“Samuel Roberson and I come from Napakiak. When I go to Napakiak it’s mainly to visit family. It’s kind of small, but not really there’s maybe close to two to three-hundred people almost. And there is about two main stores the Jungs [Trading Post] and the Napakiak Corporation store.

What they mainly do in the summer time is they go fishing or the kids, and some of the young adults, they go to the school because outside of the school is a wooden basketball court and that’s where they meet. What they mainly do is play ball.

This coming weekend I am going to be help[ing] putting [put] up fish in the smokehouse to bring back home.

First they filet the fish and then after we filet the fish we make precise cuts on the filleted fish and then we hang them up to dry. Um, some people they grind it in salt and then hang it up or they just light a fire in the smokehouse and let the fish ah, get smoked.

I use to be a Native Dancer and so what happens is…it’s a good way to get exercise during the winter time and…ah not only that, but it’s peaceful and relaxing.

A dance can be pretty much be about anything it depends on the composer; but some of the songs that I know of is like a blessing song, or a song about dip-netting, [or] a song about native drums.”