Friday, April 26, 2013

Assignment Alaska--Tlingit Language Lessons

By Eric Sowl

Let’s learn language is a ten-part series of Tlingit language lessons. “They are some of the earliest video production language learning tools among the Tlingit,” said SHI Archivist Zachary Jones. The whimsical looking lessons were produced in 1969 by the Juneau Indian Studies Program.“They are teaching the greetings, it teaches colors, numbers and there’s lots of repetition in there and we know that we all learn language by hearing it first,” said SHI Education Specialist Linda Belarde. “You can hear the rhythm and you can hear the tones and you can hear how words are put together.” Simple lessons by very plain puppets but just as valid today as they were over 40 years ago. “They’re a great resource whether the student is a young child or perhaps a university student,” Jones said…(more) (Let’s Learn Language)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tlingit Language from the Archives of Sealaska Heritage Institute

The Sealaska Heritage Institute has approximately 5,000 recordings that concern the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people, which are open to the public for research and educational purposes. Recently the Sealaska Heritage Institute partnered with the Alaska State Library’s Historical Collections Department to migrate ten rare format Tlingit language recordings (on Videotronic Super 8 Cartridges) to modern and digital format. These language recordings were originally developed in 1969 through the Juneau Indian Studies Program and consist of ten Tlingit language lessons and use of hand puppets to narrate the language lessons. The Tlingit speakers are Johnny Marks (1943-2009) and Eva Marks (1952-1981). These recordings have now been placed online and can be used for language education.

The first recording from this set of language lessons, Lesson 1: What’s Your Name?, can be viewed by clicking here. (The remaining lessons are available through the link.) These recordings are just a sample of those found in the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s archival Juneau Indian Studies Recordings Collection, as well as the overall collections of the Institute.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

Photo credit: Photograph of Johnny Marks, photo by Richard Dauenhauer.

Note: Copyright permission to use these films by Sealaska Heritage Institute was granted by the Belo Corporation, owner of the former King Broadcasting Company, in 2012.