Many Americans were introduced to Inuit music watching the Canadian epic The Fast Runner, but for more than a decade Pamyua has released traditional Inuit (Yup’ik) Drumsongs from Alaska with a distinct and unique American sound. Together for more than 15 years, Pamyua (pronounced Bum yo-ah) has entertained millions with their fusion of traditional Inuit music and Yup’ik dance performance.
Founding members Phillip Blanchett, Stephen Blanchett and Ossie Kairaiuak are from the Yukon/ Kuskokwim River Delta region in southwestern Alaska. Karina Moeller also a founding member is from Nuuk, Greenland.
Pamyua found national recognition winning Record of the Year at the 2003 Native American Music Awards and is now a cultural treasure across the circumpolar north. The group has performed at distinguished events worldwide including the Smithsonian’s grand opening of the National Museum of the American Indian and the 25th Anniversary of Greenlandic homerule, in which Queen Margrethe II of Denmark was in attendance.
Pamyua represents the enduring heritage of Inuit people. Their performance encourages audiences to appreciate indigenous traditions while relating ancient traditional wisdom into modern culture. Pamyua believes that unity is possible though music and dance and the members interpret Inuit traditions masterfully with joy and sincerity. The response to this message is tremendous as the group is a symbol of pride for Alaska’s indigenous people and to all who see them perform. Pamyua also teaches and performs in schools continuing their work to communicate interactively to broaden awareness and inspire unity.
Pamyua established Arctic Voice Records in 1998, which features: Traditional, Inuit, Fusion and World Music genres. Their music is featured in the films Christmas in the Clouds, Dear Lemon Lima and in the Discovery television series Flying Wild Alaska.