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Yak`e'i Gunaxoo Yeey aadi' (Very Good, All Come to Gunaxoo)

Dry Bay Location Map.jpgDry Bay is located in northern Southeast Alaska where the Alsek River flows into the Gulf of Alaska. It is the place of origin of several Tlingit clans: the Shungukeidi, an Eagle clan with the Thunderbird crest, whose legends have their roots along the Alsek River; and the Luknaxadi clan, the Raven Coho people who built six houses at Gus'eix.

By the time this project began in 1996, it had been nearly 75 years since the Gunaxoo Kwaan had lived as a community at Dry Bay. Changing times and economic forces dispersed the clans, with many people settling in Yakutat. Over the years, many Dry Bay people returned seasonally to fish, hunt, and trap, and kept alive their connection to this place. These people formed the core of this project. Much of the Dry Bay Project Jukebox relates to two field trips to Gunaxoo: in 1997 to search for the former village on Cannery Creek and for Dine'lgi.aan (Shaking Village); and in 1998 to search for the lost village of Gus'eix. The project also inspired people to gather to share information during the Sealaska Celebration in Juneau in 1998 and in Yakutat later that same year. Much of that information has been condensed into the place name maps. Eventually, members of the Gunaxoo Kwaan began to gather as a group in Yakutat, and one of those gatherings is presented in its entirety. There is much discussion about the place of Dry Bay, and also of the ancestors who lived there drybay_home.gifand how they are related to the Dry Bay people today. Ultimately, this program is a record of the Gunaxoo Kwaan as it exists at the end of the 20th century, its memories of past events and peoples, and their powerful connection to this very special place.

The Dry Bay Project Jukebox was a collaborative effort between the traditional clans of Dry Bay (Gunaxoo), the National Park Service (NPS), the National Forest Service (NFS) and the Oral History Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The project was funded by the NPS, which currently manages a large portion of the traditional territory of the Gunaxoo Kwaan, from Lituya Bay through Glacier Bay National Preserve to the Alsek River. Traditional lands north of the Alsek River to the Italio River are administered by the Tongass National Forest, which provided transportation, professional expertise, and access to many important places. The photos in this project were taken by Wayne Howell, unless otherwise noted. In 2020, the Dry Bay Project Jukebox was upgraded from its original HTML format to Drupal. The information in this project reflects the context of the original creation date. Some information may now be out of date.


Lorraine Adams Lorraine Adams

Lorraine Adams was a Tlingit elder from Yakutat, Alaska with family ties to the old villages at Dry Bay, including spending time there as a child. Her Tlingit name was Tléiḵw wás'i, and she was the former clan mother of the L’uknax̱.ádi of Yakutat. Lorraine was well-known to Tlingit language learners as she was passionate about perpetuating the language and gave generously of her time to teach... Read More

Bert Adams, Sr. Bert Adams, Sr.

Bert Adams, Sr. (Kadashan) is a Tlingit elder of the Boulder House in the L’ukna x .ádi (Coho Salmon) clan from Yakutat, Alaska with family ties to the old villages at Dry Bay. He grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle of fishing, trapping and traveling with his father, Peter Harry, in the Dry Bay, Alsek and Akwe Rivers area. Bert has been president of the Yakutat Tlingit... Read More

Sally Edwards Sally Edwards

Sally Edwards was a Tlingit elder from Yakutat, Alaska with family ties to the old villages at Dry Bay, including spending time there as a child. Her Tlingit names included Tleikw was'ee, Tool S'áaxw, and Shaawát Tlein, being named for Annie George and Jenny Paddy. Sally was involved in cultural documentation projects, including field trips to Dry Bay to locate old village sites, oral history interviews, traditional knowledge and language preservation, and genealogical research.

Field Trip to Dry Bay Members of Gunaxoo Kwaan

Members of the Gunaxoo Kwaan traveled from Yakutat to Dry Bay, Alaska on May 3 and 4, 1998 with National Park Service employees to search for lost village sites and record recollections of life at Dry Bay. Participants included: Sally Edwards, Bert Adams, Sr., Lorraine Adams, Fred White, Vince Johnson, and George Ramos. Wayne Howell and Mary Ann Porter were the National Park Service employees.

Vince Johnson Vincent Johnson

Vincent "Vince" Johnson is a Tlingit elder from Yakutat, Alaska with family ties to Dry Bay. He grew up at Dry Bay living a traditional subsistence lifestyle of fishing, trapping and hunting at Dry Bay and on the Alsek and Akwe Rivers. Vince served in the U.S. military and has traveled and lived throughout southeast Alaska. In his years of hunting and trapping, he has experienced a number of ardous journeys where his traditional knowledge and survival skills were put to the test.

Fred White Fred White

Fred White (Daalatjáa) is a Tlingit language and cultural specialist of the Shangukeidí Clan, Xéitl Hít (Eagle/Thunderbird Clan of the Thunderbird House) of the Gunaaxhoo Kwaan, Dry Bay Alsek River area from Yakutat, Alaska. He grew up living a traditional subsistence lifestyle at Dry Bay, being raised by his grandparents, and moved to Juneau at age eleven where he attended middle school and graduated from Juneau Douglas High School in 1972. Two years of high school were spent attending... Read More

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