• A Descriptive Analysis Of Yakutat Tlingit Musical Style.

      Morrison, Dorothy; Johnston, Thomas F. (1988)
      Ninety-nine songs from Yakutat, Alaska were analyzed in an effort to determine a musical style of the Gulf Coast Tlingit. Songs were grouped into seven categories from which general trends of style were deduced. Analysis, which was based on the transcriptions of David P. McAllester, included interval distribution, range, tone systems, weighted scales, melodic contour, tempo, duration and rest values, drumming patterns, formal structure, and song length. The transcriptions and data for drumming patterns, formal structure and song length were provided by McAllester in "Under Mount Saint Elias: The History and Culture of the Yakutat Tlingit," by Frederica de Laguna, 1972, Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology, Volume 7, Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press. Stylistic differences in the areas of interval distribution, range, tone systems, weighted scales, melodic contour, and tempo were discovered between the two largest categories, the traditional Sib Potlatch songs and the songs of more recent composition called Haida Mouth songs. <p>
    • Masked rituals of the Kodiak Archipelago

      Desson, Dominique; Black, Lydia T.; Pierce, Richard A.; Schweitzer, Peter P.; Morrow, Phyllis; Leer, Jeff (1995)
      The traditional culture of the Alutiiq speakers of the Kodiak Archipelago is not well known, and information on their spiritual and ritual life has been lacking. In this thesis I use ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and iconographic materials to investigate the Koniag traditional world view and belief system and some aspects of the Koniag ritual system. Specifically, I analyze the individual, private masked rituals associated with whaling and the public masked rituals performed during the winter festivals. In the second part, I examine a large sample of surviving Alutiiq masks in order to determine aesthetic canons evident in the work of 19th and 20th century Koniag carvers. Visual preferences in mask making in terms of construction, volumes, shapes, colors, and designs are defined and differences in those preferences between the three Alutiiq speakers' groups of the Kodiak Archipelago, Prince William Sound, and the Alaska Peninsula are discussed.
    • Skin Drums, Squeeze Boxes, Fiddles And Phonographs: Musical Interaction In The Western Arctic, Late 18Th Through Early 20Th Centuries

      Krejci, Paul R.; Koester, David; Lee, Molly; Hurley-Glowa, Susan; Schweitzer, Peter (2010)
      This dissertation explores the nature of early globalization in the Western Arctic with a focus on musical interaction between indigenous and foreign populations during the late 18th through the 20 th centuries. The region experienced an unprecedented amount of cultural contact represented by various cultural groups including Native Alaskan, Canadian, Chukotkan, European American, African American, Latin American, Asian American, Oceanic peoples and others. Numbering in the thousands, natives and non-natives developed continuous and long-term relations working as explorers, whalers, traders, missionaries, miners, hunters, trappers, seamstresses, educators, law enforcement officials, and scientists. The Western Arctic's ethnically diverse population, relatively harsh physical surroundings, and absence of a common language allowed musical activity to serve as an important means of communication and increase awareness of the world. Music and dance helped to promote social bonding, trade, and religion. They also expressed cultural identity and contributed to ethnic differentiation. An examination of this musical interchange forms the first part of this study. Local indigenous communities during the late 18th, 19 th, and early 20th centuries interacted most extensively with the influx of explorers, commercial whalers, traders, and missionaries. Throughout the year but especially during the long winter season, these groups often participated in formal, informal, and impromptu gatherings featuring various types of music such as indigenous drum dance and song, folk, popular, church, and classical. Musical instruments including frame drums, fiddles, accordions, harmonicas, organs, pianos, guitars and devices such as phonographs, organettes, and music boxes played an essential role in musical exchange. Just as significantly, these objects also ranked as some of the region's more popular trade commodities. Perceptions of northern indigenous peoples through music and dance constitute a second part of this study. Outside fascination with the Arctic and its inhabitants as reflected in the many examples of late 19th and early 20 th century sheet music, piano rolls, and recordings suggest that cross-cultural interests, though often superficial and caricatured, were also reciprocal. Early musical representation of Arctic culture via southern compositions and performances shares crucial links to the expansion of globalization in North America and beyond.
    • Young Native Fiddlers: A Case Study On Cultural Resilience In Interior Alaska

      Allan, Maryanne; Barnhardt, Raymond; Parker-Webster, Joan (2011)
      This study explores success for Alaska Native young people, defining success using an Alaska Native point of view, that is, interconnectedness between culturally healthy youth and a culturally nurturing community. As a participatory action research project, members of the community, including musicians, young fiddlers, and their parents and grandparents are collaborating to develop a culturally-based youth group (Young Native Fiddlers) focused on Athabascan fiddling, a 150 year old Athabascan tradition, with the goal of developing culturally healthy youth. This study focuses on the impact of this program on its members and on the community. Using a participatory action research process, data gathering includes interviews with young fiddlers, parents and grandparents, musicians and community members, journal entries, participant observation, notes from participants, photographs, videos, and local media coverage. Themes were identified in the data and references were tallied to determine the meaning given to involvement in this program. The themes referred to most often were empowerment and cultural connection. Results suggest that while acquiring the skills of fiddle performance, young participants are not only continuing this valuable cultural tradition but they are developing individual cultural resilience as well as leadership skills. And they are sharing culture and strengths with their cultural community, thereby contributing to community resilience.