Suŋauraq / Blue Bead

Suŋauraq/ Blue Bead is a journey of an Alaskan Iñupiaq student who carves her own life. Using Alaska Native carving traditions as a means towards self acceptance , she discovers her own vision through mask making and begins to heal from loss. Written by and Starring Naaqtuuk Dommek. Directed and Produced by Maya Salganek.

Ron Brower – Sila and Sungauraq in Iñupiaq culture from FilmUAF on Vimeo.

This video features University of Alaska Fairbanks Iñupiaq instructor, Ronald Brower, as he speaks about the concepts of Sila and Sungauraq. Both of these elements feature prominently in the short narrative film “Blue Bead/ Sungauraq” written and starring Naaqtuuq Dommek and produced by the University of Alaska Fairbanks class, “Let’s Make a Movie” – Film 271 during Spring 2013.


Lynn / Sungauruq – Naaqtuuq Dommek
Taata Charlie – Ron Brower
Professor – Sean Topkok
Aana Hannah – Elsie Eckman
Student #1 – Sandra Demmert
Student #2 – Hillary Lynn Presecan
Student #3 – Daniels Calvin
Student #4 – Alix Connor
Student #5 – Theresa Woldstad
Student #6 – Marina Anderson
Student #7 – Jacob Metoxen


Director/Producer – Maya Salganek
Writer – Naaqtuuq Dommek

First Assistant Director – Stephanie Sandberg
Production Designer – Sallis Koistinen
Camera Operator – Dj Tyson
Editor – Shawn W.

Storyboard Artist –  Lindsey Von Borstel
Production Audio – Johnny Stickman
Script Supervisor – Fionna Fadum

Location Manager/Production Management – Brian Wooster
2nd Unit Camera – Robert “Gonzo” Gonzales, Shawn W.

Iñupiaq Translation by Ronald Brower

Original music performed by Joel Forbes and Naaqtuuq Dommek

Self-Portrait Mask carved by Da-ka-xeen Mehner

Wind Masks carved by Joel Isaak

Slide show images provided with permission from the UA Museum of the North


UAF Native Arts Center

Da-ka-xeen Mehner


UA Museum of the North

Angela Linn

David Boxley and Git Hoan Dance Group

Denny Mehner

UAF Technology Advisory Board

UAF Provost, Susan Henrichs

Copyright 2013 University of Alaska Fairbanks