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VIDEO: Rock and Roll in Savoonga

In Savoonga, Alaska, traditional drumming marks the beginning of whaling season.
Arctic drumming screenshotEnlarge
George Noongwook, Savoonga resident and chairman of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, drumming before fall whaling season starts. (Screengrab)

At the top of the world, tradition runs strong.

The community of Savoonga, Alaska marked the beginning of the fall whaling season with traditional drumming on August 30. Savoonga, population 704, sits on the northern tip of St. Lawrence Island, a tiny speck of land that's closer to Russia than Alaska. St. Lawrence Island is one of the few remains of the Bering Land Bridge, according to the Alaska Dispatch.

This was one stop on Caitlin McNally's journey to the Arctic Circle with GlobalPost's Charlie Sennott. GlobalPost has been reporting on the Arctic and what's at stake for its communities as the ice melts and oil companies move in, in our Special Report, "The Arctic Melt."

More from GlobalPost: The Arctic Melt: Oil Rush at the Top of the World

The whaling season would begin the next day, on September 1, and here two boys mark its beginning with a dance. But even in Savoonga, tradition doesn't come without a modern twist. This song is called "Rock and Roll." And there's even some breakdancing involved.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/groundtruth/video-rock-and-roll-savoonga