For hundreds of years, our people have expressed their poetry and spirit through drum dancing. Our ancestors would unite in large qalgiit (dance houses) on the frozen sea for winter dance festivals. It was a time to tell stories, exchange gifts and build new friendships.
There are many types of songs and reasons for singing them. Songs communicate feelings and recount our lives and culture.
In the past, drum dancing was connected to spiritual rituals. The drum provided a voice through which shamans could reach the spirit realm. These ceremonies could lead to favourable weather, prosperous hunting and the making of peace with threatening spirits.
In recent years, drum dancing has been revitalized as a symbol of cultural pride and renewal for elders and youth alike. It continues to draw our people closer together as a form of entertainment, healing and remembrance.
Inuinnait Qilaudjartut / Inuinnait Drum Dancers
This 3 volume CD set produced by the Kitikmeot Heritage Society features recordings of the Inuinnait Drum Dancers in Kugluktuk, Nunavut. An audio sample is available from the audio player below.
Inuinnait Qilaudjarnikkut / The Inuinnait Art of Drum Dancing
This book provides an overview of the history and cultural meaning of Inuinnait drum dancing. It is available in Inuinnaqtun and English versions.