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Benson, John Y. (1866-1942) | Sealaska Heritage Institute Archives

Name: Benson, John Y. (1866-1942)

Historical Note: John Y. Benson (1866-1942) and his wife Cora Benson were Tlingit Indians from Klukwan, Alaska. John Benson may have been born at Sitka, but spent most of his life living in the Haines and Klukwan areas. He was involved in a number of employment trades and at one time was a clerk for the Klukwan-Tlingit Presbyterian Church. He was also involved with the Alaska Native Brotherhood after it held a conference in Haines in 1929. He appears to have also been a carver, producing—at least—model totem poles. His wife Cora Benson, Tlingit name Deinkul.át, was of the Raven Moiety, Gaanaxteidí Clan, and was a well-known Chilkat robe weaver. She has often been referred to in historical records as “Mrs. John Benson.” She was photographed weaving a Chilkat robe in her youth, and is known to have been a weaving teacher of Jenny Thlunaut.

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