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Finding Aids to Individual Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture


AFC 1986/017

Library of Congress
Washington DC
September 1994

Physical Description: Manuscripts 1 folder Videotapes 1 VHS videotape, approximately 40 minutes AFC 1986/017:v1 1 Beta videotape, approximately 90 minutes AFC 1986/017:v2
Key Subjects: clothing and dress; dance music; musical instruments; social life and customs; Tlingit dance
Access and Reproduction: Viewing access to the collection is unrestricted. Duplication of the materials may be governed by copyright and other restrictions. Videotape 1986/017:v1 is copyrighted by KTOO TV Juneau. Publication of the materials requires standard permissions.


Scope and Content Note

The Agnes Bellinger Tlingit Collection consists of two videotapes and one booklet on traditional music, dance, and other customs of the Tlingit nation of southeast Alaska. Donated by Agnes Bellinger in 1986, the materials document her efforts to revitalize the traditional Tlingit culture through performance, lectures, and writings.

Collection Inventory and Description

Videotape 1986/017:v1 runs approximately 40 minutes. Produced by KTOO TV in Juneau, Alaska, it contains two segments about the Eagle-Raven Dancers (Eagle and Raven are the two Tlingit moieties). The first segment, taped for news broadcast, shows Bellinger, director of the dance group, teaching a class on rhythms. She explains that in the class the children learn about their heritage and culture and the customs of singing and dancing. The segment includes dance demonstrations and short interviews with two tribal advisors and one of the students. The second segment was part of the TV station's coverage of the Alaska Folk Festival in Centennial Hall, Juneau, Alaska (n.d.). It features the performance of the Eagle-Raven Dancers before a live audience. The dancers, clad in traditional regalia that includes headdresses and hats, button blankets, face paint, and paraphernalia, perform six numbers, including an entrance song, clan song, and exit song. Drumming and chanting accompany the dancing.

Videotape 1986/017:v2 runs approximately 90 minutes. It documents a lecture by Agnes Bellinger at an unnamed museum inside a replica of a Tlingit clanhouse (n.d.). Although the video is dark, her lecture is audible. She describes traditional Tlingit culture in terms of social structure, oral education, and material culture. She also answers questions from the audience.

The 18-page booklet, Tracks Along The Beach: Tales of the Raven, was compiled by Agnes Bellinger (private printing). It documents traditional oral literature of the Tlingit people, specifically seven stories about the Raven, their creation hero.


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