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Yuxwch'ee Yakw Photograph Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Photographs



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Yuxwch'ee Yakw Photograph Collection | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

By Zachary R. Jones, Archivist

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Collection Overview

Title: Yuxwch'ee Yakw Photograph CollectionAdd to your cart.

ID: PO/031

Primary Creator: Sealaska Heritage Institute

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 07/11/2008

Subjects: Tlingit Indians--History.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

As part of the bicentennial of the Constitution celebration of 1987, the National Park Service and the Sealaska Heritage Foundation (now Sealaska Heritage Institute) sponsored the carving of a Tlingit canoe using traditional tools and methods near Angoon, Alaska. The canoe, called Yuxwch’ee Yakw in Tlingit, means Sea Otter Canoe, which was the indigenous canoe of Hoonah and was photographed by the Harriman Expedition in Glacier Bay in 1899. The canoe was constructed at Bartlett Cove in August 1987. George Dalton, Sr, born in Hoonah in 1879, and other elders with personal knowledge of canoe making traditions served as cultural advisors to the project. Lead carvers Nathan Jackson, Steve Brown, Richard Dalton, and Mick Beasley carved the canoe using a Sitka Spruce log using traditional tools, such as the xot’ah or Tlingit adze.

Biographical Note

The Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is a regional Native non-profit organization founded for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska. SHI was established in 1981 by Sealaska Corp., a for-profit company formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). SHI, formerly Sealaska Heritage Foundation, administers Sealaska Corp.'s cultural and educational programs.

SHI was conceived by Clan Leaders, Traditional Scholars and Elders at the first Sealaska Elders Conference in 1980. During that meeting, the Elders likened Native culture to a blanket. The late George Davis (Kichnáalx—Lk’aanaaw) of Angoon, spoke these memorable words: “We don’t want what you did here to only echo in the air, how our grandfathers used to do things…  Yes. You have unwrapped it for us.  That is why we will open again this container of wisdom left in our care.” These wise traditional leaders told the new leaders that their hands were growing weary of holding onto the metaphorical blanket, this "container of wisdom." They said they were transferring this responsibility to the Corporation. In response to this directive, Sealaska Corporation created its non-profit arm, Sealaska Heritage Institute, to administer cultural and educational programs for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian.

During its first decade of operation, under the leadership of David Katzeek, SHI began to administer its Scholarship Program from funds set aside by Sealaska Corporation for this purpose. The second major focus at that time was the documentation of oral traditions, a project led by Tlingit scholar Dr. Nora Marks Dauenhauer and her husband, Dr. Richard Dauenhauer. Over nearly a 20-year period, these efforts led to several major publications by the Institute of the Dauenhauer’s work, including:  “Because We Cherish You…” Sealaska Elders Speak to the Future, in 1981; Haa Shuká, Our Ancestors, Volume I of our Tlingit Oral Narratives (1987); Haa Tuwunáagu Yís: for Healing our Spirit. Vol. 2, Tlingit Oral Narratives. (1990); the Third Edition of Beginning Tlingit in 1991; Haa Kusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories (1994); and Aan Aduspelled X’úx’, Tlingit Spelling Book in 1999. A number of these publications were co-published by the Institute and University of Washington Press. During this period, the Institute also created Naa Kahídi Theater, which won national acclaim for its dramatic presentation of Native legends.

One year after SHI was founded the Institute sponsored the first United Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian Traditional Celebration, held in Juneau. Celebration '82 was so popular that our Board of Trustees decided the festival should become a biennial event. New dance groups began to form in response to Celebration, and every other year, the festival grew. Today, nearly every community in Southeast as well as Anchorage, the Seattle area, Hawaii and Canada, are represented by roughly two-thousand dancers in nearly fifty dance groups. During Celebration, workshops on various aspects of traditional culture and history also occur. Because SHI is the only major region-wide organization dedicated to cultural preservation, its Board of Trustees has mandated that Celebration be dedicated solely to honoring our traditional culture.

More recently, while continuing to honor the Institute's mission statement, “To perpetuate the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures,” the Trustees in 1997 adopted language restoration as the foremost priority of the Institute. Few funds were available initially for this objective, but the Institute launched an aggressive fund-raising campaign, and today, SHI sponsors and supports numerous language and culture programs across Southeast Alaska. The Institute also sponsors archival projects, historical research, and new publications. Since SHI’s founding, it has had four presidents; David Katzeek (1980-1991), Dennis Demmert (1992-1996), Ted Wright (1996-1998), and Rosita Worl (1998-present).

Subject/Index Terms

Tlingit Indians--History.

Administrative Information

Repository: Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Acquisition Source: Sealaska Heritage Institute

Acquisition Method: The material in the collection was generated by SHI and transferred to SHI archives on July 11, 2008.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Photographs],
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Box 1: PhotographsAdd to your cart.

Item 1: Group photo of four men, second from the right is George Dalton, Sr.

Item 2: Photo of George Dalton, Sr., his wife Jessie Dalton, and an unidentified man.

Item 3: Photo of George Dalton talking with a man.

Item 4: Image shows Jessie Dalton and George Dalton Sr. talking at their home in Hoonah, a tape recorder is visible on the table.

Item 5: View of public gathering with people in traditional attire, one elder displaying a Chilkat blanket.

Item 6: View of ceremony before the canoe project started - from left to right is: Sarah Lampe, Danny Smith, Jessie Dalton (with Chilkat blanket), holding hat unidentified, Jerry Alberts (holding Eagle hat), Jenny Lindoff wearing the eagle hat, Diane Carrier, George Dalton, Sr., and Charles Jack, Sr.

Item 7: View of crowd watching a performance.

Item 8: Image captures first chop to the Sitka Spruce with carvers standing on top of log; left to right; Richard Dalton, Steve Brown, Steve Mick Beasley, and Nathan Jackson.

Item 9: Shows Richard Dalton chopping log.

Item 10:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 11:          Image shows carvers’ tools laying on the partially carved canoe.

Item 12:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 13:          Image shows part of the carved canoe.

Item 14:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 15:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 16:          Image shows carver Steve Brown working on the canoe.

Item 17:          Image shows the Daltons talking with Nathan Jackson over the canoe.

Item 18:          Image shows carver Nathan Jackson working on the canoe.

Item 19:          Image shows carver Steve Brown working on the canoe.

Item 20:          Image shows carver Richard Dalton working on the canoe.

Item 21:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe, including Bill Holm.

Item 22:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 23:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 24:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 25:          Image shows partially carved canoe.

Item 26:          Image shows Steve Brown talking with the Daltons.

Item 27:          Image shows George Dalton, Sr. talking with a Forest Service officer.

Item 28:          Image shows carver Steve Brown working on the canoe.

Item 29:          Image shows Jessie Dalton and George Dalton, Sr. in Bartlett Cove - Glacier Bay National Park.

Item 30:          Image shows carver Steve Brown working on the canoe.

Item 31:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 32:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 33:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 34:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 35:          Image shows carvers’ tools.

Item 36:          Image shows carver Richard Dalton working on the canoe.

Item 37:          Image shows carver Steve Brown working on the canoe.

Item 38:          Image shows carver Mick Beasley working on the canoe.

Item 39:          Image shows carvers working on the canoe.

Item 40:          Image shows George Dalton, Sr., who appears to be directing carvers.

Item 41:          Image shows carver Mick Beasley working on the canoe.

Item 42:          Image shows carver Steve Brown working on the canoe.

Item 43:          Image shows carver Mick Beasley working on the canoe.

Item 44:          Image shows carvers’ tools inside the partial carved canoe.

Item 45:          Image shows carver Steve Brown working on the canoe while Richard Dalton teaches a crowd of youth about carving.

Item 46:          Image shows woman working on spruce roots.

Item 47:          Image shows two people working on spruce roots [?].

Item 48:          Image shows woman working on spruce roots over a fire.

Item 49:          Image shows artistic clan regalia items; including a frog clan hat, a wolf carving, a small eagle [?] paddle, a feather wand, and staff in the background.

Item 50:          Shows Richard Dalton speaking to a crowd.

Item 51:          Shows man speaking to a crowd.

Item 52:          Shows a crowd gathered for the event.

Item 53:          Shows group with canoe prop and paddles performing for the crowd as part of the event.

Item 54:          Shows group with canoe prop and paddles performing for the crowd as part of the event.

Item 55:          Shows woman speaking to a crowd.

Item 56:          Shows people singing for the event.

Item 57:          Shows dancers performing and signing with a blanket on the grown accepting donations [?], perhaps to aid in the canoe carving project.

Item 58:          Shows woman dancing with wolf themed regalia.

Item 59:          Shows front of canoe under construction.

Item 60:          Shows front of canoe under construction.

Item 61:          Image shows carver Steve Brown working on the canoe.

Item 62:          Image shows a fire in which rocks are being heated to steam the canoe.

Item 63:          Image shows Steve Brown adding hot rocks to the water-filled hollow canoe.

Item 64:          Image shows Richard Dalton adding hot rocks to the water-filled hollow canoe.

Item 65:          Image shows Steve Brown looking over steaming canoe and rocks.

Item 66:          Image shows carvers covering the steaming canoe.

Item 67:          Image shows carvers working on the steaming canoe.

Item 68:          Shows George Dalton, Sr. talking with Steve Brown next to steaming canoe.

Item 69:          Show the Daltons looking over the steaming canoe.



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