Karuk Tribal Reunion
An Inspiring Event

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

By Linda Martin

Hundreds of Karuks and friends of the tribe gathered in the Karuk ancestral territory town of Happy Camp to enjoy a day surrounded by Karuk culture and ancient traditions. The Ninth Annual Karuk Tribal Reunion was held on June 25, 2005 at their community center between Second Avenue and Highway 96 in Happy Camp.

The event opened with prayer, song, and recognition of the 37 Tribal Elders and 8 Karuk full-bloods. The full-blood Karuks are Lucille Albers, Charron Davey Davis, Margaret Vera Houston, Anthony Joe Jerry Sr., Lafayette Robert Jerry Sr., Violet Ruth Super, Nancy Lee Super, and Charles Robert Thom.

Tents set up for the Karuk Tribal Health Fair, awards and entertainment, and many vendors shaded Karuks from the bright afternoon sun. Games included horseshoes and volleyball, Language Jeopardy, and poker.

The Brush Dance by David Arwood’s dance group is always a stirring sight. Part of the Karuk Tribe’s mission is “to restore and preserve Tribal traditions, customs, language and ancestral rights” and the preservation of ancient dance, song, language and art including basket weaving is vitally important.

Inspirational and soul-stirring afternoon entertainment included Julian Lang and his wife and others. Lang is author of Ararapikva: Traditional Karuk Indian Literature from Northwestern California. The singing of traditional Karuk songs filled the air and hearts. Julian Lang explained their significance in the history of the Karuk Tribe.

Dinner was open to everyone without charge. Traditionally broiled salmon was served along with acorn soup, pork barbecue spare ribs, baked potatoes, baked beans, salad and dessert. There was a dance scheduled during the evening at River Park with the band, ‘Taxi’.

Related Websites:
Karuk Tribe Website
Julian Lang's page at Ink People

Julian Lang and his wife

Julian Lang and his wife shared traditional Karuk songs, explaining the significance of each one.

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

Volleyball games at the Karuk Tribal Reunion were popular with the young people. Other games offered included horseshoes and Language Jeopardy.

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

A crowd gathers at the entertainment tent to hear Julian Lang sing traditional Karuk songs.

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

This was a display of furniture created as a tribal industry.

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

This is the Karuk woodshop where the furniture was made.

Ararapikva: Traditional Karuk Indian Literature from Northwestern California
By Julian Lang

Linguists have long marveled at the extraordinary beauty and suppleness of the Karuk Indian language. This bilingual collection includes both literal and free translations. The stories selected are truest to Karuk tone, tempo, and coloration—yet are accessible to outside readers. They get the reader as close as an outsider can get to experiencing Indian literature at its finest.

Julian Lang is founder of the Institute of Native Knowledge, an organization of native people devoted to learning and perpetuating Indian knowledge. He is deeply committed to the beauties of the Karuk language, the truths of Karuk culture, and to the Earth.

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Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

Indian Tacos - always a popular treat at Native American gatherings.

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

Some of the Karuks stayed busy chopping vegetables in the kitchen of the Karuk Community Center

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

Preparations for the traditionally cooked salmon dinner took place in front of the People's Center.

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

The salmon is placed on sticks to be broiled around the fire. This is an ancient tradition.

Karuk Tribal Reunion 2005

This seller, possibly from a different tribe, posted a sign thanking the Karuks for inviting them to sell their creations.

Karuk: The Upriver People
By Maureen Bell

Among the mountains that flank the Klamath River, the Karuk Indians developed a culture known for exquisite baskets, wood carvings, and expressive ceremonies. Published by Naturegraph.