Like her sister, Mary Vent, Lydia Simon had the chance to learn traditional stories and lore from her parents. She and Wendy Arundale worked together in the late afternoon of Thursday, July 23, 1992 in the living room area of her home. In the taping session, Lydia tells the story of the first potlatch held by the animals. The story is told in English with appropriate sound effects and exclamations by the participants. She also sang some of the songs the animals sang at the first potlatch. Several aspects of the story parallel and explain current potlatch practices. Lydia also talked a little bit about how people prepare for potlatches today.
Digital Asset Information
After clicking play, click on a section to navigate the audio or video clip.
1) The story of the first potlatch
3) The potlatch today
Click play, then use Sections or Transcript to navigate the interview.
After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
Section 1: distant time -- everything was human, birds, fish, animals, wolverine\ Doyon -- big\ fox -- smart\ fox -- goes hunting\ fish traps -- dead fall -- kills wolverine\ fox -- says "big shot died"\ potlatch -- bury him, make song|
Section 2: father -- used to be good storytellers\ words -- sing old words, high words\ fox -- made song\ songs -- three generation past good songs\ potlatch -- food, gifts\ owl|
Section 3: Attla, Eliza\ Franklin Jr.\ Bifelt, Ralph\ Dewild, Allen\ potlatch -- for all of them\ gifts -- slippers, boots, vests, mooseskin gloves, mittens, marten hats, blankets, socks\ possessions -- deceased's, given away\ old days -- teach often to sing, dance\ Attla, Catherine\ Franklin, Madeline\ Amelia\ change -- happening too close together now\ old days -- tuberculosis\ today -- suicide, knife, car, airplane|