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Agnes Cusma
Agnes Cusma

Agnes Cusma was interviewed on June 24, 1998 by Karen Evanoff Stickman in Nondalton, Alaska. In this interview, Agnes talks about the traditional Dena'ina lifestyle in the Lake Clark region where they lived off the land by hunting, fishing and trapping, and learned skills from their elders. She also talks about the types of houses they lived in, plants they used for medicine, Native sport hunting guides, the methods of transportation used, and the trails people used to get around the area.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 98-27-22, Side A

Project: Lake Clark National Park
Date of Interview: Jun 24, 1998
Narrator(s): Agnes Cusma
Interviewer(s): Karen Evanoff
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
National Park Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) The Athabascan name for Lake Clark

2) Native use of the area before the park was established

3) Education before there were schools in the Nondalton area

4) How children used to listen and learned right from wrong

5) Young girls learning women's skills

6) Continues talking about learning women's skills

7) How children used to help elders

8) House construction in the early days

9) Using plants as traditional medicine

10) People sharing their subsistence harvest

11) Natives guiding sport hunters

12) Continues talking about Natives guiding sport hunters

13) Using all the parts of an animal you kill

14) How fish were packed at the canneries

15) Types of transportation in the early days, especially boats and boat building

16) Different types of canoes

17) Important foot trails in the Nondalton area

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Section 1: Lake Clark -- name\ name -- meaning of\ Quizhjeh|

Section 2: Lake Clark National Park\ early days\ land use -- subsistence\ hunting\ squirrel\ fishing\ Natives\ land use -- restrictions|

Section 3: Nondalton\ education -- cultural\ camping\ parents\ learning -- by watching\ food -- storage|

Section 4: children -- raising\ discipline\ priest\ chief\ second chief\ education -- proper behavior\ punishment\ listening|

Section 5: education\ youth -- girls\ parents\ berries\ grandparents\ food -- storage\ basket -- birch bark\ oil\ moose -- tallow\ cache|

Section 6: sewing -- skin\ Cusma, Agnes -- mother\ Cusma, Agnes -- grandmother\ skin -- tanning\ Vashla|

Section 7: education\ elders -- assistance to\ respect\ water -- hauling\ food -- received as payment\ food -- pilot bread\ food -- sugar\ behavior -- polite|

Section 8: housing -- construction of\ Nondalton\ logs\ roof\ lumber\ underground\ rooms\ stove\ smoke\ Cusma, Agnes -- parents\ tools -- hand-saw\ tools -- axe\ tools -- chainsaw|

Section 9: plants\ medicine\ healing -- cuts\ healing -- sore throat\ hemorrhage|

Section 10: sharing\ hunting\ meat\ fish\ fish camp\ river\ fishing -- night\ elder\ fish -- net\ boats\ fish -- numbers\ fish -- packing\ fish -- drying|

Section 11: hunting -- sport\ Hammond, Jay\ Non-natives\ moose\ Cusma, Agnes -- father\ Balluta, Anton\ Trefon, Gabriel\ hunting -- guiding\ dogs -- packing\ animals -- use of\ waste -- lack of|

Section 12: dogs\ Middle Fork\ moose\ hunting\ animals -- preparation of\ animals -- use of\ head\ meat\ waste -- lack of\ bones\ guides\ wages|

Section 13: animals -- use of\ waste -- lack of\ skin -- saving\ skin -- use of\ season\ ropes\ soles\ skin -- tanning\ skin -- smoking|

Section 14: cannery -- employment\ Bristol Bay\ Cusma, Agnes -- father\ wages\ cannery -- packing\ handpacking\ Cusma, Agnes -- uncle (Paul)|

Section 15: airplane\ transportation\ Winter\ dog team\ Summer\ travel -- walking\ travel -- packing\ boats -- construction of\ logs\ tools -- whipsaw\ trees\ oars\ motor\ boats -- sail|

Section 16: canoe -- material\ canoe -- birch bark\ Lime Village\ bidarki\ skin -- moose|

Section 17: trail\ trail -- Telaquana\ travel -- walking\ trail -- Mulchatna\ Winter\ sleigh\ trail -- foot|