SHI RECEIVES GRANT TO CONSERVE, SCAN, OLD T’AḴDEINTAAN BOX DRUM
Infrared scans to unveil original formline design
May 2, 2017
The grant will allow SHI, with permission from the T’a̱kdeintaan Clan, Mt. Fairweather House, of Hoonah, to contract a professional conservator to perform a critical-condition assessment, do general cleaning and recommend conservation treatments, and to hire a photographer to make infrared scans on the sides of the large drum.
“The original formline is very faded with age but we know the technology exists to reveal the original design,” said SHI President Rosita Worl. “This technology will allow Native artists to study the formline designs made by their ancestors.”
The box drum has a storied history. The design on the drum was copied as a sketch by the German geographer and author Aurel Krause during his visit to Hoonah in the late 1800s. Krause later published the sketch in his book Die Tlinkit-Indianer: Ergebnisse Einer Reise Nach Der Nordwestküste Von Amerika Und Der Beringstrasse, which translates as The Tlingit Indians: Results of a trip to the Northwest Coast of America and the Bering Strait.
The drum currently is on long-term loan to SHI, which, if it can be stabilized, will place the object in its permanent exhibit, Enter the World of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian Peoples, in the Nathan Jackson Gallery in the Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau. It will also be made available to the T’akdeintaan Clan members, scholars, artists and other researchers.
This project was made possible by a grant from the Collections Management Fund of Museums Alaska, with generous support from Rasmuson Foundation.
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research and advocacy that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars and a Native Artists Committee. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.
CONTACT: Chuck Smythe, History and Culture Director, 586-9282, email@example.com
Captions: The box drum with SHI History and Culture Director Chuck Smythe, Ron Williams of the T’a̱kdeintaan Clan and his wife Julie, and Robert Starbard of the T’a̱kdeintaan Clan; drawing of the box drum made by author Aurel Krause that appeared in his book Die Tlinkit-Indianer: Ergebnisse Einer Reise Nach Der Nordwestküste Von Amerika Und Der Beringstrasse.