Learning the Ropes With a Family of Alaskan Bell Ringers

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, sh