Across the nation in September and October, you’ll find communities coming together to celebrate the changing of the seasons and the successful harvest of another crop. Although a good number of fall festivals happen prior to October, there are more than enough left so that you should be able to find a popular harvest festival near you. Here in Alaska each fall, people held a series of festivals and spiritual ceremonies after the end of salmon fishing and the berry harvest. These festivals lasted throughout the winter months. People were addressing the spirits who could help or harm them by dance and songs. They also appealed to the souls of animals upon whom everyone’s life depended.
During dances, people used to wear masks and beautiful decorated ceremonial dress. Most interestingly, Men and Women take part in the dance followed by the beats of skin drums, bird beak rattles and piercing whistles which were usually used to call on the spirits to the dance house.