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The Tlingit: Alaskan Salmon Fishers - Term Paper Example

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The paper describes the Tlingit, meaning people of the tides, which are people indigenous to the Pacific Northwest Coast. These people are situated north of Seattle and south of Anchorage, from Ketchikan to Yakutat, much of the area is temperate rainforest…
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The Tlingit: Alaskan Salmon Fishers
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Download file to see previous pages The Tlingit numbered about 16,771 with a majority still living in rural areas leading subsistence lifestyles (Sturmer 2They have an extensive rich culture and history which they continue to cherish even in their modern-day settlement in southeast Alaska.

The origin of the Tlingit as an independent ethnic group remains relatively scanty. It has been speculated to span as far back as the fourth millennium BC (Grinev 18). The theory of the coastal migration from north Asia across the landmass of the Bering Strait has been put forth by Campbell to explain where the Tlingit originated from (23). Others believe that the Tlingit migrated from Polynesia through island-hopping. Despite this difference, it is generally agreed that the Tlingit people settled along southeast Alaska many thousand years ago. According to Emmons, these people came down to the coast and rivers as bands or small families searching for better food conditions than they could afford in their country (8). The older clans considered to be more important constituted the southeastern Alaska Tlingit community. Their northward migration populated the southeastern Alaska coasts and islands with the fear of expanding southwards due to the warring Tsimshian and Haida tribes that equaled the Tlingit in socioeconomics. This migration was however arrested by the Russian invasion towards the end of the eighteenth century along the shore of Mount Saint Elias.

Among the Tlingit, beliefs, ceremonies, and religions were based on animism and totemism. Animism entailed the religious or spiritual idea of natural objects and the universe having spirits or souls (Campbell 25). It was believed that spirits existed in animals, rocks, plants, and trees just as in humans. Their traditions and customs entailed the use of Totem poles which commonly featured masked dancers. Their tradition also encompassed numerous ceremonies to celebrate various events, dancing is a common activity in such events. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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