Play annotation Speaker is See.aat Lena Farkas. Recorded July 30, 2008 in Yakutat, AK. Produced at the University of Alaska Southeast, this material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation/National Endowment for the Humanities, Documenting Endangered Languages initiative under Grant No. 0853788. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Recorded by Ḵaa Saayi Tláa Amanda Bremner. English translation by Ḵaa Saayi Tláa Amanda Bremner and See.aat Lena Farkas. SYMBOLS: {false start}, (added for clarity), [translator/transcriber's note]. ??? = canʼt understand.
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Play annotation I am called Ach Kwei.
Play annotation I come from Yakutat.
Play annotation I am Raven of the Kʼidex̱ Ḵwáan.
Play annotation My father's clan was the Teiḵweidí
Play annotation from Aan Tlein.
Play annotation I am from the Moon House.
Play annotation As spring came upon us we would head up the bay to Chicago Harbor.
Play annotation So, we would do herring eggs there, at Chicago Harbor.
Play annotation From there we would travel up to G̱aat Tlein Juḵweidí. [Seal camp in Disenchantment Bay]
Play annotation There my father and brothers would hunt seal.
Play annotation When they'd bring a seal back to camp,
Play annotation they would flense the seal and cut up the meat.
Play annotation My mother would flesh the seal and cut up the fat for going in the pot.
Play annotation When she finished fleshing it, she would cut up the fat.
Play annotation She would put it into a bentwood box. [A bentwood box or a 5 gallon lard can.]
Play annotation After that, the meat would be hung up in the smoke house.
Play annotation After that she'd cook it then re-hang it back in the smoke house.
Play annotation She would add smoke to it in the smoke house.
Play annotation She would render the seal fat.
Play annotation She would be making seal oil (grease).
Play annotation After she smoked the seal meat,
Play annotation she would store the meat in the bentwood box.
Play annotation The intestines also
Play annotation she would prepare it by washing it well.
Play annotation After you turn it inside out,
Play annotation you wash it well again. [Maybe the tripe in a deer or moose.]
Play annotation After she cleaned it thoroughly she'd slice it up for a meal.
Play annotation We would eat it for lunch.
Play annotation And the liver,
Play annotation that too would also be fried.
Play annotation Sometimes we'd make this our evening meal, after it was washed thoroughly.
Play annotation They would slice it up, roll it in flour and fry it.
Play annotation It would also be eaten with rice.
Play annotation The seal fat would be put in another type of bentwood box.
Play annotation And the seal skin, would be prepared for the seal skin drying frame.
Play annotation The skin would be washed thoroughly in what is called Fels Naptha soap.
Play annotation That's what it would be washed in.
Play annotation After that it would be stretched onto the seal skin drying frame.
Play annotation After it was dry it would be scraped of any fat.
Play annotation After they scraped it well they would sprinkle flour on it and scrape it again.
Play annotation After it was all done they would stash it.
Play annotation In the winter the skins would be sewn into boots, like the Xtratufs.
Play annotation It would also be sewn like shoes and moccasins.
Play annotation And also be made into a "coat".
Play annotation Also be sewn into a "vest".
Play annotation The stomach, after it was washed well, it would be dried.
Play annotation Then it would be sewn together to make coat and pants.
Play annotation It was sewn and made for a rainy day.
Play annotation The next morning they would head out to go trolling for king salmon and halibut.
Play annotation Although we would go with our mother to get cockles, clams and black seaweed.
Play annotation When we got back home my mother would put the black seaweed out on a sheet to dry.
Play annotation We'd take care of the clams and cockles.
Play annotation We'd clean them thoroughly. My brothers would prepare the willow branches.
Play annotation Then we would string the clams and cockles on the willow branches.
Play annotation We would hang them up in the smoke house.
Play annotation My mother would put smoke to them in the smoke house.
Play annotation After the clams and cockles were cooked they would be hung in the smoke house on the willow branches.
Play annotation After the clams and cockles were dried well,
Play annotation they would be stored in the bentwood box for our food.
Play annotation After they brought king salmon and halibut in, my mother would cut them up good for smoked fish.
Play annotation That fish, she would put them in the smoke house to smoke.
Play annotation After that they'd have a drying rack built outside the smoke house.
Play annotation We would hang it out there to dry.
Play annotation Now when they see a black bear on the side of the mountain,
Play annotation when they shoot a black bear, they bring it back to camp.
Play annotation It is killed for its fur and used for clothing and also a rug to sit on.
Play annotation They take good care of it and the fur is washed very well.
Play annotation Every once in a while they would eat the meat. It would have to be cooked for a long time.
Play annotation Sometimes we'd be gone two weeks at seal camp.
Play annotation Right across from seal camp is what is called Egg Island. [Also called Hanke Is.]
Play annotation That's where the seagulls are and they go out there in a canoe.
Play annotation We probably stay two maybe three weeks at seal camp.
Play annotation From there we'd come back to the town of Yakutat.
Play annotation We'd move out to Situk in the month of May.
Play annotation We would commercial fish in Situk and the fish would be sold to the cannery.
Play annotation That's where we would set net fish, my father and my brothers.
Play annotation When the commercial fishing period would close we would fish for our own personal use, making dry fish.
Play annotation We would pack water to help our mother out.
Play annotation And we'd wash the fish well for her.
Play annotation After we washed the fish for her she would cut the back bone out.
Play annotation After that we'd help her hang the fish in the smoke house.
Play annotation The fish would be hung and smoked over night.
Play annotation The next morning we'd help her take all the fish down from the smoke house.
Play annotation Then she would filet the dry fish off.
Play annotation After we filled the smoke house back up she would light the fire and get it smoking good again.
Play annotation She would turn the fish over as it was slowly drying.
Play annotation After that we'd hang them all out on the drying rack outside the smoke house.
Play annotation If it was windy out it would dry well outside.
Play annotation And she would start packing the dry fish away, storing it.
Play annotation After the dryfish was done we'd all head out on the boat again.
Play annotation When the berries are growing we'd go out to pick neigoon berries, strawberries and blue berries.
Play annotation We would make up salmon egg berry pudding and store it in a barrel.
Play annotation All summer long we would smoke fish and pick berries.
Play annotation As the fishing season was ending we'd take half of our food up to Aan Tlein with us. [Arnklin River]
Play annotation We would go to where my father would be trapping.
Play annotation From there we'd come back and finish set net fishing in Aan Tlein.
Play annotation After fishing was over we would spend at least two months in Yakutat.
Play annotation As it begins to snow we'd walk to Situk.
Play annotation From there we'd head up to Aan Tlein in a canoe.
Play annotation We'd head up to where our trapping cabin was, on the Aan Tlein.
Play annotation Up there my brothers would set net fish for red spawning salmon.
Play annotation And we'd help our mother again making dry fish.
Play annotation That's what we'd live off of while we were up there.
Play annotation After my father and brothers gathered enough wood for us they would head on up to the head of the Aan Tlein river.
Play annotation They would go up there for mountain goat.
Play annotation They would hunt around the mountains for mountain goat.
Play annotation They would spend some time up there and return back with a mountain goat.
Play annotation And the mountain goat would be skinned out well.
Play annotation The meat from the mountain goat would be hung up in the smoke house, too.
Play annotation We would live off the meat from the mountain goat while we were trapping there in Aan Tlein.
Play annotation They would also hunt for wolverine, [Lena means that these animals were trapped, but in Lingit she is using the verb for 'hunt'.]
Play annotation fox, and wolves.
Play annotation They would hunt for marten and land otter.
Play annotation We'd live there for at least a month, maybe longer.
Play annotation We would come back to Situk in time for Christmas.
Play annotation From Situk we'd walk back to Yakutat.
Play annotation We would walk back to Yakutat in time for Christmas and we would spend at least a couple month here.
Play annotation Come February we would travel back out to Situk.
Play annotation At that time the hooligan would be running into the Situk.
Play annotation They would dipnet for hooligan and hunt seal out at Situk.
Play annotation We'd wash and clean the hooligan really well.
Play annotation The hooligan would be hung on sticks poked through them.
Play annotation Then they'd be put into the smoke house.
Play annotation They'd be smoked and dried, and packed away, also.
Play annotation The seal meat would be our food while we were working on the hooligan.
Play annotation After a month or so we would walk back to Yakutat.
Play annotation They'd also gillnet for steelhead there.
Play annotation The steelhead would be smoked and made into dry fish, also.
Play annotation We lived off of that. We would also bring it back to Yakutat and trade it for cigarettes.
Play annotation After we walked back to Yakutat we'd head back to school.
Play annotation We would spend maybe two months in school and the seasons would be changing again and we would head back up the bay.
Play annotation That's the way the story goes.
Play annotation Before we headed up the bay we'd head over to (a place called) "the inner part of the ear" [By Aanḵáawu, Ankau Creek.]
Play annotation to gather winter seaweed and seal. [Harbor seal]
Play annotation As the seasons were changing maybe April or March. In March the winter seaweed would be just right to pick.
Play annotation At that time we'd spend one night over there.
Play annotation We would camp at the place called "the inner ear" where we'd take a tent and just throw it over the alders. That's where we'd make our bed for the night.
Play annotation In the morning at low tide we'd head out to pick winter seaweed.
Play annotation Our father would sit on the big rock and hunt for a seal as the tide was coming in.
Play annotation If he shot a seal it would dry up on the beach as the tide went out.
Play annotation And then my brothers would bring the seal back to our camp.
Play annotation Sometimes they just dragged it back to camp.
Play annotation We'd bring the seal back to Yakutat with us and work on it.
Play annotation That would be our food and we would also give it to other people in town.
Play annotation The Russians and the Aleuts from Kodiak would hunt sea otters here in Yakutat.
Play annotation They over-hunted the sea otter here.
Play annotation So the 'Fish and Game' transplanted some sea otters here, some twenty years ago.
Play annotation Today there are plenty of sea otter; they are eating all of the clams, cockles and sea urchins.
Play annotation Now there isn't any of that stuff around.
Play annotation It's been over 12 years since we've seen frogs around the area.
Play annotation There aren't very many swans migrating thru this area anymore, either. [There has been a major decline in migratory birds seen across Alaska.]
Play annotation Maybe only see two or three today.
Play annotation To suggest CORRECTIONS or offer COMMENTS, please email alicetaff@gmail.com. All improvements are welcomed.