Shem Pete's Alaska

The Territory of the Upper Cook Inlet Dena'ina

James Kari and James A. Fall

Shem Pete's Alaska

James Kari and James A. Fall

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

With a Foreword by William Bright
432 pages | 27 color plates, 324 halftones, 66 maps | 8 1/2 x 11 | © 2016
Paper $39.95 ISBN: 9781602233065 Published July 2016
Shem Pete (1896–1989), a colorful and brilliant raconteur from Susitna Station, Alaska, left a rich legacy of knowledge about the Upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina world. Shem was one of the most versatile storytellers and historians in twentieth century Alaska, and his lifetime travel map of approximately 13,500 square miles is one of the largest ever documented with this degree of detail anywhere in the world.
 
The first two editions of Shem Pete’s Alaska contributed much to Dena’ina cultural identity and public appreciation of the Dena’ina place names network in Upper Cook Inlet. This new edition adds nearly thirty new place names to its already extensive source material from Shem Pete and more than fifty other contributors, along with many revisions and new annotations. The authors provide synopses of Dena’ina language and culture and summaries of Dena’ina geographic knowledge, and they also discuss their methodology for place name research.
 
Exhaustively refined over more than three decades, Shem Pete’s Alaska will remain the essential reference work on the landscape of the Dena’ina people of Upper Cook Inlet. As a book of ethnogeography, Native language materials, and linguistic scholarship, the extent of its range and influence is unlikely to be surpassed.
 
Contents
List of maps and tables
Foreword by William Bright
Preface to the 2016 edition
Preface to the 2003 edition
Introduction to the 1987 edition
Acknowledgements
Terminology and format
Symbols, abbreviations, common Dena’ina words
Introduction
                Shem Pete Ełan Shit’I, ‘I Am Shem Pete’
                Billy Shem Pete
                Sava Stephan, Sr.
The Dena’ina Language Area, Dena’ina Dialects, and Prehistoric Migrations, by James Kari
Prehistory of the Greater Upper Cook Inlet Region, by Douglas Reger and Brian T. Wygal
The Russian Presence in Upper Cook Inlet, by James Kari and James A. Fall
Upper Inlet Dena’ina Regional Bands, Subsistence Patterns, and Traditional Leaders, by James A. Fall
Upper Inlet Dena’ina Bands and Band Names, by James Kari
Dena’ina Place Names and Territorial Knowledge, by James Kari
A Note on Map Production for Shem Pete’s Alaska, by Matt Ganley
1 Western Cook Inlet
                Chief Simeon Chickalusion, 1880–1957
Tanik’edi, a Dena’ina Technique for Salmon Fishing on Cook Inlet, by Nickafor Alexan
Beluga Hunting in the Tyonek Area, by James Kari and James A. Fall
Quyushi Uqu Ch’el’ani, Beluga hunting, by Shem Pete
2 Lower Sustina River
                The Wrangell Map of 1839, by James Kari
                Early Historic Dena’ina Log and Pole Buildings, by D. C. Beard
                Susitnu Htsukdu’a—The Susitna Story, by Shem Pete
3 Fish Creek
                Notes on Dena’ina Witchcraft, by James Kari
                Baytnidahen and Red Shirt, by Shem Pete, translated by Billy Pete
4 Alexander Creek Drainage
                Ghuliy—Potlatch Wealth, by James Kari
5 Lower Yetna River
                Shem Pete, Dena’ina Singer and Composer, by Thomas F. Johnston
6 Skwentna River to the Rainy Pass Area
                Htal—the 1932 Trip to Rainy Pass, by Sava Stephan
                Introducing the Proto-Dene Lex Loci with Selected Dene Place Names South and West of the Alaska Range, by James Kari
7 Upper Yetna River, Lake Creek, and Kahiltna River
                Archaeological Investigations at Tiq’atl’ena Bena (Hewett Lake), by R. Grerg Dixon
                1919 Trip from Susitna Station to the Johnson Creek area and Hewitt Lake, by Shem Pete
8 Middle Susitna River
                Travelling with the Kroto Creek Band in the 1920s, by Katherine Nicolie
                Q’u Nuch’tutnał Dini Sht’a
                The Story of Beł Dink’udlaghen: The One Who Swan Back Inside with Them (the Salmon), by Shem Pete
                Wasilla Stephan of Montana Creek, compiled by James Kari, with an excerpt by Russell Annabel
9 Chulitna River
                Names for Denali in Alaska Native Languages and the Denali Name Change of 2015 by James Kari
10 Upper Susitna River
                A Trip from Tyone Village to Knik in 1912, by Jim Tyone
                Recent Advances in Ethnogeographic Research Methods, by James Kari
11 Talkeetna River
                Ch’anqet’ and the Mountain People, by Shem Pete
                John Shaginoff
12 Little Susitna River
                No Room in the Homeland… Willow’s First Citizen Looks for Home, by James Kari and Priscilla Russell
                Being With Shem Pete, by Priscilla Russell
13 Western Knik Arm
                Knik Archaeological Excavations, by Fran Seager-Boss
14 Matanuska River
                Basdut—Old Man Ezi, told in Dena’ina by Shem Pete, translated by Billy Pete
                Chief Ezi, by Alberta Stephan
                The Chickaloon Ahtna Country, by Katie Wade and the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council
15 Eastern Knik Arm and the Anchorage Area
                Dach’ Idlughet Hyighiyih—How Eklutna Got Its Name, by Shem Pete
                Early Days in Anchorage, by Shem Pete and Sava Stephan
16 Turnagain Arm and Point Possession
                Captain Cook’s Arrival in Cook Inlet in 1778, by James Kari
                Nutuł’iy ch’u Tutl’uh—Fire Island and Turnagain Arm, by Shem Pete
                Unhsah Tahna’ina—The First underwater People, by Fedosia Sacaloff
2003 Bibliography
2016 Bibliography
Geographic Names Index
Personal Names Index
Subject Index
 
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