In 1991, Igloolik Isuma Productions gathered 13 Igloolik elders for a week of discussion, to choose and then record 24 traditional ajaja songs considered most important to preserve for the future.
Produced by Zacharias Kunuk with camera by Norman Cohn when they were just starting their independent film company, Kunuk searched to better understand ajaja songs: where did the songs come from, how where they made and how have they been passed down generation to generation.
Each elder remembers their own family’s ajaja songs and explains how they were created by poets taking their words from their life experiences. The video includes priceless footage of these elders singing and drumming the songs. Co-directed by Zacharias Kunuk and Paul Quassa, edited by Carol Kunnuk, videography by Norman Cohn.
The process also allowed Isuma to publish a full CD of the selected songs and to use and preserve many of them in Isuma's films over the next twenty-five years.
Order the full CD of Unikaat Sivunittinnit (Messages from the Past) contact info [at] isuma [dot] tv.
ift_community_Igloolik, Igloolik Isuma Productions, Kingulliit: the next generation, Zacharias Kunuk