Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian Dancing on the Land

Rosita Worl, Maria Williams, and Robert Davidson
Foreword by Byron I. Mallott
Photographs by Bill Hess

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  • Published: 2008
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies; Art History / Native American and Indigenous Art
  • Bibliographic information: 152 pp., 267 illus., 178 in color, 8.5 x 11 in.
  • Published with: Sealaska Heritage Institute
  • Contents

In 1982, the fledgling Native nonprofit Sealaska Heritage Institute held a dance-and-culture festival to celebrate the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. A couple of hundred Native people gathered in Juneau for the event, called Celebration. They could not have imagined then that Celebration woud spark a movement across the region - a renaissance of Native culture that prompted people largely unfamiliar with their heritage to learn their ancestral songs and dances and to make regalia for future Celebrations.

Today, Celebration is the largest cultural event in the state, drawing thousands of people to the five-day biennial festival. Celebration: Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian Dancing on the Land, featuring the work by the noted Alaska photographer Bill Hess, includes images from the first Celebrations to the present-day festivals. It is both an introduction to Native cultures and a cherished keepsake for the people who have participated in Celebration.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a regional Native nonprofit organization serving the indigenous peoples of Southeast Alaska. The Institute was founded in 1980 to administer cultural programs for Sealaska Corporation, a Native for-profit company formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The Institute's mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures.
Rosita Worl is director of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, Juneau, Alaska.
Foreword / Byron I. Mallott
Preface and Acknowledgments
Honoring Our Ancestors and Cultural Survival: A Retrospective View of Celebration
Art and At.oow
Tlingit Ceremonial Music and Dance: Survival and Adaptation
Ceremonial Masks of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian
-Becoming the Mask / Robert Davidson
Celebration Events
The Authors

"It is the photographs, principally by Bill Hess, which dominate and justify this book; and they are indeed magnificent, each one sharp, vivid, dynamic, and soulful. As is not always the case with books of this type, Worl and her editors have gone to great lengths to identify as many people in the photos as possible, which, given the geographical spread of Southeast Alaska Native families, is no mean task . . . (this book is) likely to deservedly stay in print for a long time."
-Museum Anthropology

"This book is highly visual and yet clearly emphasizes that which goes beyond the merely visual. Directed primarily towards an Aboriginal audience, if offers all readers an on-the-dance-floor picture of the importance of joy, memory, and recognition in affirming-and creating-community."
-BC Studies