Vincent Tutiakoff holds the star from the former village of Biorka, during Russian Christmas festivities at the Father Ishmael Gromoff Senior Center in Unalaska on Monday. - Photo courtesy Brenda Tellman

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Biorka star from abandoned village returns

January 13th | Jim Paulin, The Bristol Bay Times-Dutch Harbor Fisherman Print this article   Email this article  

The star from the abandoned village of Biorka made its first public appearance in many years at the senior citizens center in Unalaska on Monday, as part of Russian Christmas activities.

The spinning star's history goes back to before World War II, when the U.S. military ordered the evacuation of Aleuts living in the village on Beaver Inlet on Unalaska Island.

According to Vincent Tutiakoff Sr. of the Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in Unalaska, the star was last used when Russian Orthodox priest Father Ishmael Gromoff was still alive. The star stayed in the Gromoff family home until last year when it was donated to the church by his daughter, Risa Causey.

The glass star is "very fragile," Tutiakoff said, and is in need of more repairs. That condition limits it to indoor activity at the senior center or church, preventing its use in house-to-house starring, when Orthodox parishioners visit local homes, and sing and enjoy food prepared by the hosts.


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