Vox Populi

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Video: Long Line of Ladies

From Academy Award-winner Rayka Zehtabchi and Shaandiin Tome, “Long Line of Ladies” intimately observes the months-long process of one girl, her family, and their tight-knit Karuk community as they come together to prepare for her Ihuk, the coming-of-age ceremony for girls which went dormant for over a century due to the violence and destruction brought on by the California Gold Rush.

In the weeks leading up to her Ihuk, Ahty learns traditional songs and dances and mentally and physically prepares to spend four days blindfolded and fasting on sacred, tribal land. Meanwhile, the women and men around her support and uplift her as they pass down knowledge, prepare regalia, and above all, promote the continued revitalization of their sacred ceremony.

A film by Rayka Zehtabchi & Shaandiin Tome
Featuring Ahty, the Allen family and the Karuk community
Produced by Garrett Schiff, Rayka Zehtabchi, Sam Davis, Pimm Tripp-Allen, and Dana Kurth
Shot and edited by Sam Davis
Original score by Forrest Goodluck & Juan Kleban
Executive Produced by Melissa Berton


Running time: 22 minutes

Email subscribers may click the title of this post to watch the film.


DOC NYC—Shortlist
Cinema Eye Honors—Nominee
Sundance Film Festival
SXSW Film Festival—Grand Jury Award for Best Short Documentary
Seattle International Film Festival—Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Documentary, Audience Award for Best Short Film
Indy Shorts—Jenni Berebitsky Legacy Award
San Francisco International Film Festival—Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary Short
Port Townsend Film Festival—Best Documentary Short
American Indian Film Festival—Best Short Documentary 
Palm Springs International ShortFest
Edmonton International Film Festival—Best Documentary Short
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Islander Film Festival—New Visions Award
DOC NYC—Odyssey Impact #MyJustice Award
Salute Your Shorts Film Festival—Honorable Mention, Best Documentary Short; Award for Outstanding Cinematography 
Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival

Learn more:

4 comments on “Video: Long Line of Ladies

  1. harkness01
    December 11, 2022

    Extraordinary and moving documentary. Thank you for posting this link to the Vimeo channel.


  2. Loranneke
    December 11, 2022

    I’m so touched (and glad) that the younger generation is willing to take up the old traditions again…


    • Vox Populi
      December 11, 2022

      I agree, Laure-Anne. The old rituals and traditions served important purposes.



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