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Judson Brown Recordings Collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Recordings on CD and partial transcripts.

Original recordings; cassettes and micro-cassettes.

Contact us about this collection

Judson Brown Recordings Collection, 1982-1993 | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

By Zachary R. Jones, Archivist

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Collection Overview

Title: Judson Brown Recordings Collection, 1982-1993Add to your cart.

ID: MC/003

Primary Creator: Brown, Judson (1912-1998)

Extent: 1.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 00/00/1983

Subjects: Tlingit Indians--History., Tlingit language.

Languages: English, Tlingit

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of ten oral history audio interviews concerning Tlingit elder Judson Brown (1912-1998), dating to 1982 and 1993, and three recordings of a cultural gathering or potlatch recorded by Judson Brown circa 1982.

In regards to the oral history interviews, eight of the recordings record Brown being interviewed, while two recordings consist of Brown interviewing Tlingit elder Frank Peratrovich. Overall, the interviews primary contain detailed discussions on Tlingit customs, culture, life, language, important people, history, and events of interest to the Tlingit people generally, and in some cases, specifically concerning the Tlingit people of the Haines and Klukwan area, the Jilkoot and Jilkaat Kwáans. These recordings contain speaking in both the English and Tlingit language.

In regards to the specific recordings, which have been numbered 1-13, eight of these recordings (Items 1-4, 10-13) are oral history interviews of Judson Brown, four recorded in 1983 and four recorded in 1993. The 1983 recordings were conducted while Brown looked through an old photo album, responding to questions about people and events from the album, and then he discussed Tlingit life and culture in Haines and Southeast Alaska in general. The 1993 interviews also discuss aspects of Brown’s life and his knowledge Tlingit culture and history. On two recordings (Items 8-9) Brown interviews Tlingit elder Frank Peratrovich. These recordings contain additional discussions on Tlingit culture and history, and include songs and speaking in Tlingit.

Three recordings from this collection (Items 5-7) contain a recording of a cultural gathering or ku.éex. The speaking and singing on these three recordings are entirely in the Tlingit language, and amounts to around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Originally all these recordings were recorded on cassette (Items 1-9) and micro-cassette (Items 10-13), but archives staff had the audio migrated to CD format. The sound quality of these recordings was improved from the original, and patrons can listen to enhanced recordings on CD format. This collection now includes the CD and original cassette and micro-cassette formats. Patrons are allowed to listen to the CD copies.

Additionally, archives staff has transcribed the English language portions of the recordings numbered 1-4 and 8-9, but segments in the Tlingit language on these recordings remain un-transcribed.  The 1993 recordings (Items 10-13) have not been transcribed at this time, and neither have the Tlingit language recordings from the cultural gathering (Items 5-7).

Note: Those further interested in Judson Brown should see the Judson Brown Papers Collection (Mss 17).

Biographical Note

Judson Brown (1912-1998) was a Tlingit Indian and was born at Haines, Alaska, the son of James Wheeler Brown (K’ikaa, of the Kaagwaantaan) and Mary Spurgeon Brown (Kaasanak, of the Dakl’aweidi). Brown was an Eagle if the Dakl’aweidi’; Kaagwaantaan yadi, Keet Gooshi Hit. His Tlingit names were Shaakakooni (Mountain Flicker) and Hinleiych (Yelling Sea Water), referring to the ‘woosh’ sound of the fast flip as the killer whale dives again after surfacing.

Brown grew up in Haines, and after graduating from the Haines High School, Brown’s intellect and activities put on a path that allowed him to work in many important and influential capacities for the Native people of Alaska. While primarily a career fisherman, in Haines Brown also worked as a law clerk, deputy marshal, and served two-terms as mayor of Haines. Reaching beyond his activities in Haines, Brown served as a supervisor at the Pacific Maritime Association, Board of Director of the Sealaska Corporation, Board of Trustee for the Sealaska Heritage Institute, and as a Board Member of the Institute of Alaska Native Arts. Brown also participated in various tribal and regional organizations, such as his involvement with the Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indians of Alaska and as a member of the Alaska Native Brotherhood. He became a self-taught ethnographer in his latter years and traveled extensively to Hawaii, Polynesia, and New Zealand for cultural exchange programs. Brown passed away in 1998.

Source: Nora and Richard Dauenhauer, Haa Kusteeyi, Our Culture (Juneau, Sealaska Heritage Foundation, 1994).

Subject/Index Terms

Tlingit Indians--History.
Tlingit language.

Administrative Information

Repository: Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Use Restrictions: Intellectual Properties Note: Since SHI adheres to the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, and since we desire to honor Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian traditional cultural belief that clans retain the intellectual property rights to clan stories or songs, patrons who use or study clan songs or stories are asked to credit clan ownership to stories and songs.

Acquisition Source: Judson Brown and Chris McNeil

Acquisition Method: The materials in the collection were donated to SHI by Judson Brown in 1983 and by Chris McNeil on April 10, 1999. Accession # 1983.005 and 1991.001.

Box and Folder Listing

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[Box 1: Recordings on CD and partial transcripts.],
[Box 2: Original recordings; cassettes and micro-cassettes.],

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