Marie Lydia Vincler


Marie Lydia Vincler teaches drum building at the Urban Unangax^ Camp. She learned to build Aleut style drums as an apprentice in May of 2012. With the assistance of Michael Livingston and Minnie Christiansen she was able to put into practice what she learned herself only days before during the 2012 camp. That summer she helped 40 participants build drums. Mrs. Vincler successfully taught Aleut style drum making independently at our 2013 camp and helped over 50 individuals create their own drum!

Funding from First Alaskans Institute made it possible for APIA to support the cultivation of our very own drum maker! Before this project, there was no one from the Aleutian Pribilof Islands region with the knowledge of building Unangax^ style drums. Mrs. Vincler, Michael Livingston and Millie McKeown conducted research and gathered historical documentation to develop a plan to replicate Aleut drums with the goal of revitalizing the skill so that Mrs. Vincler could become an Unangax^ drum builder and instructor. Michael Livingston, a kayak builder, shared his knowledge of bending wood. He and Lydia experimented with bending wood and making drums until they were satisfied that the drums were comparable to the style they saw in historical photographs.

Mrs. Vincler was born and raised in Akutan, Alaska where she still lives today. She teaches the skill of building drums to members of her community and was invited to be the drum maker at the Sand Point Culture Camp in 2013. APIA is thankful to First Alaskans for their support and proud to be a part of helping Lydia to become the official Unangax^ Drum builder!