Olson, Ronald L. (Ronald LeRoy), 1895-. Social structure and social life of the Tlingit in Alaska

Table of Contents

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Untitled Section: ...

Tribes, Towns, And Households

The Tribes

The Yakutat

The Chilkat

The Hoona

The Auk

The Taku

The Killisnoo

The Sitka

The Kake

The Stikine

The Klawak

The Tantakwan

The Sanyakwan

The Tahltan

The Town And The Household

The Town Of Klukwan

The Twon Of Chilkoot

The Origin Of Valley House

House Groups Of The Tantakwan

The Aukkwan Clans And Houses

House Life

Property In Land

Social Relations

The Kinship System And Kinship Usages

Personal Quarrels

Liability In Accidents


Marriage And Divorce


The Clans And Clan Legends

The Origin Of The Cangukedih

The Origin Of The Ganaxtedih

The Origin Of The Name Ganaxtedih

Legends Relating To The Tcucanedih

The Man Who Killed His Own Sleep

The Origin Of The Daklawedih Clan

Legendary History Of The Daklawedih Clan (second Version)

Origin Of The Daklawedih (third Version)

The Origins Of The Kagwantan

A Katcadi Clan Legend A

The Origin Of The Kaskwakwedih Clan

The Origin Of The Sitka Kiksadi

The Origin Of The Nanyaayih Clan

The Origin Of The Tlokwaxadi Clan

The Deklawedih Legend

The Origin Of The Tihittan Clan

The Origin Of The Lokaxadih

The Sanyakwan

The Nexadi Clan Of The Sanyakwan

Nexadi Clan Legend

The Flood Comes To The Sanyakwan

The Origin Of A Morning Song

Clan Emblems And Other Clan Property


Origins Of Certain Clan Crests

The Origin Of A House-post Carving

Origin Of The Kiksadi Frog Crest

How The Tekwedih And Daklawedih Came To Own The Killer Whale Crest

The Thunderbird Crest

Origin Of The Bear Crest Of The Kagwantan

How The Xashittan Acquired The Eagle Crest

The Kagwantan Of Sitka Take The Wolf Crest

The Eagle Crest Of The Kagwantan

The Porpoise Crest Of The Tcucanedi

Origin Of The Wolf Crest Of The Yenyedi[unknown]h

Origin Of The Sun Crest Of The Dakistena[unknown]h

The “cow” Crest Of The Xashittan

Ganaxtedih Crests

Origin Of A Kiksadi Song

A Dispute Over A Crest

Totem Poles

Caste, Rank, And Classes


The Ownership Of Territory

Clan Territory Of The Sitkakwan

Ownership In The Tantakwan Tribe

Clan Territory Of The Stikinkwan


Details Of Specific Potlatches

Eating Contests

Potlatches Given To Honor Children

Feuds, Raids, And Wars

Trouble Over A Crest

A Blood Feud

A Feud Over Trade And Wealth

A “practice” Killing Starts A War

The Sanyakwan War With The Haida

A War Between The Kiksadi And Decitan

An Attempted Raid For Plunder

A Multiclan War

The War Between The Wrangell Nanyaayih And The Sitka Kagwantan

A Raid For Slaves 141

A War Captive Is Ransomed

The Theet Of A Slave

A War With The Tsimshian

The Peace Ceremonies

The History Of The Tantakwan

War With The Haida

Peace With The Xetlkwan

The Feud Within The Ganaxadi Clan

Peace With The Sitka Kagwantan

The Spirit Dances

Incidents In The History Of The Klawakkwan

The Origin Of Klawak 203

The Origin Of The Gonakadet (sea Monster) Crest

The Wolves Aid An Orphan

The Origin Of The Octopus Crest Of The Tlinedih Clan Of Shakan

The War Between The Henyakwan And The Stikinekwan

The Place Name Sakah

The Origin Of The Name Sin[unknown]a[unknown]xe’h

The Klawak People Of Drifted Ashore House

Houses Of The Village Of Takdjikan (tuxekan)

Religion, Shamanism, And Totemism


The Shaman Of Cat Island

The Shaman Nuwat

The Shaman Gaanisten-gakkaxwan

A Tantakwan Woman Shaman

Sorcery, Witchcraft, And Black Magic

Necromancy And Necrophilia


Dance Societies

Miscellaneous Beliefs

The Land Across The Ocean

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Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: Social structure and social life of the Tlingit in Alaska

Published By: Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. x, 123 p.

By line: by R. L. Olsen

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1997. Computer File

Culture: Tlingit (NA12)

Subjects: Traditional history (173); Gift giving (431); Literary texts (539); Accumulation of wealth (556); Ingroup antagonisms (578); Moieties (616); Revelation and divination (787); Organized ceremonial (796);

Abstract: The author's objective in this ethnography was to do a '...study of the structure and functioning of the complex social life,...' (p. V-A). The range of topics covered is broad, including political organization, clan legends and property, social classes, potlatches, feuds and warfare, religion, and historical narratives of several of the clans. The book is primarily a 'memory' ethnography of the Tlingit, based on interviews with old people who could remember back to the period before 1880 or 1890, before intensive White contact. Consequently the book consists mainly of legends, tales, and the historical and semi-historical narratives of the elders as related to Olsen, who was an adopted member of the Ganaxtedi Clan of the Raven moiety.

Document Number: 19

Document ID: na12-019

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 123)

Field Date: 1933-1954

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: Marlene Martin ; Martin Malone ; 1974

Coverage Date: ca. 1880-1900

Coverage Place: southeastern Alaska, United States

LCSH: Tlingit Indians


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