On a remote Alaskan island chain, ringing church bells involves more than simply pulling a rope. At the Holy Ascension Cathedral in Unalaska, Alaska, there are multiple bells, many strings, and one highly trained bell-ringer. And for the past 35 years, that conductor—Okalena Patricia Lekanoff Gregory—has been sounding the many bells at the cathedral.
Years ago, Gregory’s father taught her the technique—which requires a kind of dance in rhythm—that he learned from his godfather. Now, she’s passing the tradition on to her daughter and great nieces, an honor that she is proud to share with her faith and her community.