Episode 38: Yéil (Raven)

A poetic journey to the Northwest Coast of Alaska, land of the totems and the Tlingit Indians.  A visual story with totemic imagery and words honoring the Raven clan and the “potlatch.”

 The Tlingit Potlatch of 1904 in Sitka Alaska Photograph by E.W. Merrill - National Park Service

 The Tlingit Potlatch of 1904 in Sitka Alaska
Photograph by E.W. Merrill - National Park Service

NOTE: The “potlatch” is a ceremonial gathering for spiritual healing and removal of grief for the loss of an honored clan member. It begins with gathering traditional foods and creating regalia (Chilkat robes, button blankets, headdresses, masks, and other adornments) for the potlatch.  The potlatch is known for Tlingit oratory with speeches, songs, and storytelling.

This video is poet, Donna Beaver’s Tlingit oratory through haiku and other short poems honoring artist, friend, and Chilkat weaver, Clarissa Rizal who joined our Alaska Native ancestors in December 2016.


deep snow
in the tribal house
the warmth of old stories
— Donna Beaver

CREDITS:

Banner Photograph:  
The Tlingit Potlatch of 1904 in Sitka Alaska -- from the  E.W. Merrill Photograph Collection at Sitka National Historical Park, National Park Service.