This collection contains materials generated from two Sealaska Heritage Institute NPS Tribal Preservation Grant projects, undertaken in 2000 and 2001 to document Tlingit clan stories and songs. These grants generated and resulted in numerous recordings, transcriptions, and translations of clan stories and songs, as well as discussions about protocols surrounding clan stories and songs.
The 2000 grant project sought to document clan stories because, to quote the project’s objectives, “clan stories are the source and basis of the complex Tlingit philosophy of humanism.” Clan stories document the language, culture, history, lifeways, and habitation of the Tlingit in Southeast Alaska. The project also sought to document the protocols for the transmission of oral narratives and issues concerning clan ownership of clan stories.
The 2001 grant project, “Continuing Our Culture through the Oral Tradition of Song,” documented clan songs that had never been documented and convened Tlingit elders that provided counsel and discussion on the protocols for song use and performance. The clan songs of four voluntary Tlingit clans are contained in this collection; the Kaagwaantaan, L’uknax.ádi, Shangukeidí, and T’akdeintaan.
This eleven-box collection is organized by general working files and then by clan recordings and files. The bulk of the collection contains recordings of songs and stories, followed by paperwork concerning these stories and songs, then translations and transcriptions of songs and stories.