Yupik Feasts: Bladder Festivals In The Yup Ik Culture

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Yupik Feasts There were many festivals in the Yup’ik culture but few of them we know today.
There was a feast that was called Bladder festival and it was mainly to honor the soul of the seals. The Messenger festival, there was a festival for it because everything was so scarce a long time ago. There was also a feast called Feast of the dead but it rarely occurred, and it was a feast for the reborn.
Bladder Festival
Bladder festival was one of the special events for nukalpiaqs, meaning the great yupik hunters even for the Yup’ik community. nakaciuryaraq is what they use to call in yupik long time ago like around in 1940’s. (Journeying to the Goddess) The season was winter when the time the feast use to happen. In the winter the Yup’iks use
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While the hunter kills the body of the seal, the hunter does not kill the spirit, the spirit is to reincarnate to another seal. The true meaning of why the bladder festivals became is because the Yua the spirit that was in the seals, one of the reasons why the yupiks blew bladders like a balloon. A long long time ago when they use to separate girls and boys in qasgiqs, the girls weren’t able to in a qasgiq to celebrate the bladder festival until they bleed. I do not know if boys were able to celebrate the festival because it didn’t say in the book. During the bladder festival they use to move on place to another, moving down to the coast to their spring camps. (Ellangellemni) During the summer they hunted and inflated bladders and prepared for the fall time because that’s when the bladder festival began.
Messenger Festival
The word messenger feast in Yupik is
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The reborn of a relative was to feed and give clothes to during the feast of the dead. The namesake got everything during the feast of the dead, because of the family that lost a member of the family. The reborn was well taken care of from the family to honor the lost one. Both of the bladder festival and feast of the dead was to honor the living things just for seals and human. The people did not really understand life, the people believed life would go in a cycle and keep borning. The yua that means its spirit would reincarnate to another living being. This feast rarely happened that’s why there isn’t a lot to talk about it or research about it. We do not know how or who made the festival that began longest time ago. I don’t really know what the feast is about or how it became because there isn’t a lot of information about it but im telling what I read. Feast of the death was only located on Nelson Island and it took place around 1920’s. “Although contemporary Nelson Island elders provide information of the general form and meaning of the annual and great feasts for the dead, there are not detailed.” said Brentina
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