Ahtna Travel Narratives
A Demonstration of Shared Geographic Knowledge among Alaska Athabascans
Distributed for University of Alaska Press
Told by Jim McKinley, Frank Stickwan, Jake Tansy, Katie John, and Adam Sanford
Among the world’s foremost pedestrian foragers, the Ahtna tribe possesses a profound system of geographic knowledge that has facilitated travel and spatial cognition in Ahtna and other Athabascan languages. Shedding light on a number of precise landscape classifications, including Ahtna place names and river directionals, these indigenous travel narratives represent walking tours comprising more than one thousand miles of traditional routes and trails in the Ahtna-language area. Providing context for these narratives are maps, photos, interviews, and a wealth of ethnographic, linguistic, historical, and methodological information.
Symbols and Abbreviations
1. ‘Atna’ K’et Kayax ‘el Tl’atina’ Ngge’: Ahtna Villages on the Copper River and in the Klutina River Drainage
Klutina River Drainage Through Time
2. Ben K’atggeh hwts’e’ Denaey ‘Iine ‘Uze’: Personal Names of Chiefs, Tazlina River to Tyone Lake
Notes on Ahtna Personal Names
3. Saen Tah Xay Tah C’a Lu’sghidel: We Used to Travel Around in Summer and Winter
Cultural Geography of the Hwtsaay Hwt'aene 'the small timber people'
4. Natael Nenn’: The Batzulnetas Country
Solved: The Origin of "Tok"
5. C’uka Ts’ul’aen’i gha Nen’ Ta’stedel dze’: How We Went Hunting Out in the Country
6. Summary of Ahtna Place Names and Riverine Directionals