The Tlingit Encounter with Photography

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University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008 - History - 210 pages
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Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, shortly after the invention of photography, the Tlingit of southeastern Alaska encountered early Russian and American survey teams, ethnographic investigators, studio photographers, tourists, and resident amateur and commercial photographers.

Why were the Tlingit photographed and how were their images disseminated? How were they portrayed through photography? How active were the Tlingit in shaping the images taken of them and in controlling their representation? Did photography remain an alien technology and activity or did the Tlingit incorporate it into their own culture?

Based on research in thirteen North American archives (including the Penn Museum's Shotridge Collection), a close examination of hundreds of photographs, and extensive oral-history interviews in Sitka and other sites with both Tlingit and non-Native residents, Sharon Bohn Gmelch presents valuable insights on the motivations and reactions of Native subjects to being photographed. She shows the ways the Tlingit incorporated photography and came to use it for their own purposes, expressing a new sense of empowerment as they reclaimed images from public archives for their own purposes. This is the first book to explore the photographic imagery of the Tlingit during a critical period of change, from the 1860s through the 1920s. It also provides the first full treatment of the Tlingit photography of Elbridge W. Merrill, a neglected figure in the history of ethnographic photography.

  

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Contents

A Typical Hoonah Squaw Alaska
4
Porcelain plate painted with Indians in forest of fir trees Sitka Alaska
14
Tlingit map of New Archangel
16
Studio Survey and Scientific Views
19
Stereograph Fort Wrangle Wrangell Indian Village
23
Engraving Body of Chief Shakes lying in state preparatory to cremation
25
Engraving of a Tlingit woman
26
Indian Police Force Sitka
28
U S Revenue Service marines stationed at Sitka shooting cannon near Herring Rock on July 4
114
Village children on beach in front of drying racks Sitka
115
Indian River Sitka in winter
117
Mountains near Sitka
118
Frances Barron poses with Merrills other loveshis photography bird specimens and books Sitka
121
Merrill as a young man in Sitka
122
Witch Tree in Indian River Park now gone
125
Merrills curio and photography shop in Elizabeth Barrens store Sitka
126

Thlingit Village Sitka Alaska 1880
30
Indian Village Sitka
31
Klinquan
35
Two Tlingit girls Tsacotna and Natsanitna wearing nose rings near Copper River Alaska 1903
37
Relics Artifacts from the deserted village visited by the Harriman Expedition
40
Engraving Tlingit sealers in tow near Yakutat
42
Sealers huts on beach Yakutat Bay
43
Chief Kadishans home Wrangell
44
Exterior of Chief KlartReechs Shaadaxicht House Chilkat Alaska
45
Tlingit or Haida basket makers wearing labrets
47
Visiting Photographers and Tourists
51
Stereograph Chilcat girl weaving dancing blanket at upper Chilcat Village
53
Tourists pose with totem pole in Ketchikan
54
Stereograph Tlingit couple on Indian River Sitka
56
Postcard Thlingit Village Sitka Alaska
58
Indian Ranch Sitka Alaska
60
Indian Town
61
Buying moccasins from the squaws
62
S S AnconDouglas Island
63
George T Emmons examining materials he was collecting from the Tlingit photographed in Sitka Alaska
65
Tlingit women at Sitka
68
Cabinet card of Natives of Yacutat Yakutat S W Alaska
69
Tlingit in Sitka as photographed by Mrs Wilhelmina Swineford
71
Kodak tourist photo of Indian Street Sitka
72
Gamblers at Sitka
73
Tlingit woman and children with berries Wrangell
74
Women cleaning fish
75
Indian Visitors Attending Potlatch at Kokwoltoo Kaatxawultu Village Alaska
76
Resident Photographers
77
The Labeler Silkof Sitkoh Bay Cannery Alaska
78
Alaska Slumberland
79
The Case Draper Studio in winter with Juneaus Tlingit band
80
Indian Witch Doctor or Shaman healing a sick woman
81
Reverie of a Stickene Maiden
82
Sitka Industrial Training School band
84
Boys in Sitka School Home summer of 1883
85
Tlingit vendors selling salmon berries at Sitka
86
Sitka Industrial Training School boys work at carpentry
88
Cooking class at Sitka Industrial Training School
89
Skaters on Swan Lake Sitka
90
Herring egg camp near Sitka
92
Sitka Industrial Training School students cooperate for the camera
93
Two Chiefs in dance blankets
94
Native couple at Shakan Alaska
96
Thlinkit Girls
98
Old Indian woman selling berries
99
Brushing teeth Mission School Yakutat Alaska
100
Native boys cooking
101
Situwuka Stoowakhaa and Katkwachsnea Kaatkwaaxsnei 1912 Louis and Florence Shotridge in Plains Indian dress
103
Canoe RaceEagles Win
105
Chief KlartReechs House Chilkat Alaska
107
Elbridge Warren Merrill
109
Members of Annaxoots family pose with the Panting Wolf house post on display above them Sitka
110
The remains of the Gertrude on the beach in front of John Bradys sawmill
112
Old Russian Trading Post on Lincoln Street
113
Akle Mary Willard draped in the Bear Chilkat robe now owned by the Chookaneidi clan of Hoonah
127
Part of Merrills collection of Tlingit spruceroot baskets
128
Forest scene
129
Tlingit man in canoe near Sitka
131
Part of Merrills collection of Tlingit material culture
132
Chief L aanteech Sitka
134
Unidentified Tlingit boy Sitka
135
Tlingit craftsmen with whom Merrill worked repair totem poles
136
E W Merrill with writer F Barrett Willoughby
137
Sitkas Parade Ground in winter with Haida canoe on display 1 38
139
Studio portrait of unidentified Tlingit man
141
Studio portrait of unidentified Tlingit woman wearing spruceroot hat
142
Tlingit woman prepared a seal skin in Sitka
143
Potlatch canoes carrying American flags during the 1904 potlatch in Sitka
144
The Wirtz family at Easter Sitka
145
Annaxoots family members of the Kaagwaantaan clan
146
Mrs McNulty and her ten children Sitka
147
The Tlingit Response to Photography
149
Stereograph SitkaLincoln St Tlingit residents of Sitka line the walls of the old Russian trading post 1 50
150
Stereograph Group of Indians
151
Stereograph Tlingit Indians in Sitka
152
Indian Merchants Sitka
153
Squaws at Douglas wont face the camera
154
Woman tourist poses with a Tlingit baby on Lincoln Street in Sitka
155
Thlinket Packing Co Natives employed handling fish
156
Old Thlinget Women Funter Bay Alaska 1 57
157
Two Tlingit women with several children near the Kotsina River Alaska 1902
159
Saginaw Jake of Killisnoo
160
Deikeenaakw a Chichagof Island chief poses with regalia and the American flag
161
Princess Thom and Sitka Belle
162
Clan house of Anna Hootz Annaxoots Head Chief of the Sitka Tribe
163
Sitka Industrial Training School Children
165
Thlingit School Children at Sitka Home Mission
166
An Indian family dressed for a picture Chilcat Chilkatl Alaska
167
Sitkas Alaska Native Brotherhood basketball team
168
Tlingit dancers perform at Yakutat
169
Sheldon and Annie James pose for their wedding portrait Yakutat
170
Emma and Jack Ellis pose for a formal portrait in their Yakutat home
171
Grave dancers
172
Chief Shakes Lyinginstate at Wrangell
173
Lyinginstate showing a photograph positioned as part of the display
174
Annahoots Anaaxoots funeral
175
Founding members and delegates to the Alaska Native Brotherhoods Grand Lodge meeting held at Sitkas new ANB hall November 1914
176
Members of the Russian Orthodox Brotherhoods in front of St Michaels Cathedral
177
Identified by some as Jack Watson an Ahtna Athabascan from Copper Center and Mary James Sheep Creek Mary an Auk Tlingit from the Leeneidi c...
178
Kaagwaantaan Wolf House potlatch Sitka
180
Gaanaxteidi clan guests from Klukwan at the Kaagwaantaan Wolf House potlatch Sitka
181
Chilkat potlatch dancers Klukwan
182
Kaagwaantaan Wolf House potlatch Sitka
183
Sitka Sound
184
A visit to the fishing camps Couples on deck of boat Aug 1918
185
Chilkat women and children with supplies and barrel Kluken
188
Bibliography
189
Index
205
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Sharon Bohn Gmelch is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Union College.

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