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Alaska Native dance group performs in Hawaii hula festival

 Alaska Native dance group Cupiit Yurartet traveled to Hawaii to perform at the Merrie Monarch festival of hula dance in Hilo, Hawaii. (Hawaii News Now)
Alaska Native dance group Cupiit Yurartet traveled to Hawaii to perform at the Merrie Monarch festival of hula dance in Hilo, Hawaii. (Hawaii News Now) (KTUU)
Published: Apr. 24, 2019 at 1:17 PM AKDT
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As Alaska is coming out of what’s been dubbed “Second Winter,” at least one group of Alaskans is soaking up some sunshine in Hawaii. Alaska Native dance group Cupiit Yurartet, based in Anchorage, traveled to Hawaii to participate in the annual Merrie Monarch festival, an annual gathering to celebrate Hula, which includes cultural dance groups from around the world.

The dance group is set to perform in the Hoi’ke portion of the festival Wednesday in Honolulu. The group’s members are largely from Southwestern Alaska, and sing traditional songs about survival, subsistence hunting, and harvesting food from the tundra throughout the year.

The group made an appearance on local news station Hawaii News Now’s “Sunrise” program Wednesday.

Linda Ayagarak-Daney says the song performed on the show was composed by her uncle Jacob Nash, and it's called "Spirit Traveling."

Ayagarak-Daney said the group traveled from 36-degree weather to 80-degree weather for the festival and that they were very excited.

Watch part of their live appearance above.

Watch the Merrie Monarch Instagram feed below to see if they share images of the group's performance.

Copyright 2019 KTUU. All rights reserved. Hawaii News Now contributed to this report.

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