Stories Of Denali

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Art in Denali – Keepers of the flame.
Nina Alexander
Beautiful Leatherwork and Baskets
Athabascan Natives in Alaska are famous for their fine leatherwork and basketwork. Nenana and Fairbanks both have cultural centers where you can glimpse the traditions they have built in this land. The beautiful flower designs shown here are often made in winter when the temperatures are well below zero. Their summer floral designs and warm red lining defy the cold and indeed just looking at them makes you feel warm. This integration of design and function makes these Athabascan slippers and jackets transcend from clothing to the realm of art. Nina Alexander, who lived in Nenana and made these fine pieces, was a master and teacher of this art.
White Crowned Sparrow-Kevin Hamel
Ree Nancarrow
Quilting
Local artist Ree Nancarrow has lived near Denali Park in her lakeside cabin for over 30 years. She is perhaps the most famed of many park-area quilters who live in the shadow of Mount McKinley. And there are many gifted quilters here. The panels below are in the Eielson Visitor Center. Photo, Chuck Klemer, Old Sourdough Studio - Denali
Kevin Hamel
Photography
From the small to the large, Denali inspires images of the wilderness, mountains and its wildlife. If you arrive at Denali loaded with photographic gear, don't be embarrassed because you aren't the only one.
Photo, Kevin Hamel, Totem Inn
Jimmy Tohill Denali Photography
Ree Nancarrow-Denali Quilt
Jean Murray
Songs Of The Great Alaska Gold Rush
Jean Murray came to Alaska in 1971. After living in the gold rush town of Nome, she and her husband came to Anderson, where he was the high school principal. “I’d seen all the movies of the Gold Rush,” she says. “They always showed the dance hall girls. I began to wonder what the boys were singing on the creeks, in their little cabins.” Over the years, Jean Murray began to amass dozens of historic tunes – finding old sheet music in various archives. She finally published an entire book of songs of the 1890’s that were sung in Alaska by gold miners roaming the countryside and longing for the families they left at home. Her 440 page book is called “Music of the Alaska-Klondike Gold Rush.” She also made an amusing CD, in which the songs are sung. Photo, Linda Weld, Northcountry
Jean Murray Songs Of The Great Alaska Gold Rush
Jimmy Tohill
Photography
If you wish you knew more about how to take photos of Denali's wildlife and scenery, you should read Jimmy Tohill's suggestions about how to better pictures in the photo tip section.
Photo, Jimmy Tohill,
Old Sourdough Studio - Denali
Athabascan Fiddlers From The River Towns
Fairbanks Fiddling Festival
Every November, Athabascan musicians from the interior descend on Fairbanks for the Athabascan Fiddle Festival. This fine tradition brings out an equally large crowd of dancers who dance to the jigs, reels and country music favorites. More than 80 bands often come to play in the 4 day celebration.
Nina Alexander Native Art Nenana