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Henry Titus
Henry and Agnes Titus

In this interview, Henry Titus talks about living a traditional subsistence lifestyle based upon hunting, trapping, and fishing. He shares childhood memories of growing up in Kokrines, Alaska, explains his family ancestory, discusses making a living as a trapper and woodsman, and explains the tools and methods he used for trapping, hunting and fishing and how they have changed over time. He also talks about traveling by dogteam, camping in different seasons, and hardships he faced. He also tells a few traditional Athabascan stories in his Native language. (Photo of Henry and Agnes Titus sitting on the bank of the Yukon River in Tanana, Alaska about 1992 courtesy of Allen and Anne Titus.)

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 78-188

Project: Raven's Story
Date of Interview:
Narrator(s): Henry Titus
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Alternate Transcripts
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1) His background and his memories of the people, the road house and store businesses, the effects of the airplane on the community, and the uses of dog teams.

2) His life as a trapper.

3) Different tools he used for subsistence, and changes in his lifestyle.

4) His family and ancestors.

5) Travel stories.

6) A story told in Athabascan.

7) The story translated into English.

8) A story about wood cutting and another story in Athabascan.

9) Making his living as a wood cutter.

10) Another story told in Athabascan.

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: birth place\ Kokrines\ birth date\ mother -- deceased\ father -- abandonment\ family -- extended\ airplanes -- first sighting of\ airplanes -- type of\ communication -- type of\ airplane -- news of\ transportation -- steam boat\ community -- excitement of \ airplane -- landing\ school\ Tanana\ Ruby\ airplane -- first to see\ airplane -- dragonfly\ airplane -- memory of\ Kokrines -- life in\ village -- description of\ population -- type of\ Alaskan Native -- majority\ Caucasian -- minority\ store keeper -- Caucasian\ Sampson, Bill -- store keeper\ road house -- owner of\ road house -- name of\ Yukon River -- travel\ Sampson, Bill -- wife\ Sampson children -- names of\ Sampson children -- location of\ Candle\ Teller\ Sampson children -- memories of\ Sampson, Bill -- family relocated\ Devain, Tom\ airplane -- effects of\ dog teams -- loss of\ fur -- price of\ fur sales -- lack of\ Serum Run -- dog race\ lynx -- price of\ trapping -- economy\ date of\ racers -- names of\ Joseph, James\ Corn, Dave\ Pitka, Bev\ McCarty, Bill\ Galena\ McCallen, Ed\ Nome\ Serum Run -- description of\ independent -- age of\ job-- wood cutter\ trapping\ fish -- cutting|

Section 2: fishing\ Kokrines\ fishing -- fish wheel\ marriage\ dogs\ fish -- income\ fish -- sale of\ dog teams -- uses of\ dog teams -- number of\ basket sled -- length of\ snow machines -- use of\ trapping -- Kokrines area\ trapping -- martin\ beaver\ income\ travel -- types of\ dog sled -- making of\ wife -- employment\ cook\ home -- building of\ trapping -- income\ wife -- trapper\ wife -- hunter\ subsistence -- lifestyle|

Section 3: traps -- type of\ trap -- deadfall\ trap -- handmade\ Native language -- \ guns\ revolver -- introduction of \ flintlock guns -- description of\ sibling -- death\ tobacco -- introduction of\ natural resources -- dependence on\ land -- uses of\ food\ shelter\ river -- uses of\ food\ travel\ fishing -- seasonal\ food sources\ hunting -- story\ meat -- necessity of\ river -- travel\ river -- name of\ trapping\ hunting -- accident\ camp -- description of\ grandfather -- hunter\ grandfather -- name of\ hunting -- route\ winter -- season\ moose -- discovery of\ flintlock gun -- jammed\ repairs\ moose -- hunting\ snuff -- uses of\ moose -- cow\ meat -- packing\ grandfather -- siblings\ brothers\ wood -- for fire\ grandfather -- moose story\ wolf -- story of|

Section 4: father\ Paul, Titus\ grandfather\ Old Paul -- grandfather's name\ Paul, Henry\ Titus, Henry\ brother -- Paul, Frank\ Titus, Frank\ names -- changes\ teacher|
 (background noise)

Section 5: Fall -- season\ ?, Donald\ Whitehorse -- travel story\ Tanana -- travel\ dog team\ travel-- length of\ trapping -- rabbits\ camping -- winter\ Novi River\ fish camp -- summer\ camp -- temporary\ hunting -- moose\ hunting -- temperatures\ freezers\ moose meat -- storage of\ subsistence -- lifestyle\ hunting\ trapping -- location\ river -- name of\ dog team -- type of\ dogs -- number of\ dog team -- purpose of\ trapping -- experience\ trapping -- importance of\ necessity|

Section 6: story -- telling of\ story -- origin of\ father\ background\ great uncle\ (Athabascan)| story -- timeline|

Section 7: ancestry -- background\ grandfather -- paternal\ great-uncle -- background\ community -- name of\ (Mosnovik)(?)\ community -- customs\ wives -- number of\ hunting -- tools\ gun -- revolver\ spear\ fall -- season\ moose -- rut\ moose -- hunting story\ rope -- type of\ rabbit skin\ tools -- bow and arrow\ travel -- river\ moose -- calling\ moose -- story of\ lake -- location of\ Frog Lake\ canoe\ moose -- sighting\ moose -- bull\ cow\ cow -- shooting of\ bull -- charging\ bull -- spearing\ bull -- killing\ great uncle -- bravery|

Section 8: story\ grandfather -- paternal\ father\ wood -- cutting\ story -- origin\ grandfather\ (Athabascan)|

Section 9: story -- translation\ father -- birth date\ birth place\ story -- date of\ moose -- incident\ timeline\ location\ wood cutting -- story of\ river travel -- steam boat\ supplies -- delivery\ supplies -- types of\ flour\ crackers\ wood\ fur -- types of\ condiments\ fishing -- tools\ Kokrines\ (Mosnovi)\ King Salmon\ fishing -- methods\ dip net -- setting of\ fisherman -- age of\ fishing -- season\ wood cutting -- reasons for\ income\ steam boats -- fuel\ grandfather -- axeman\ wood cutting -- location\ canoe\ wood -- size of \ wood cutting -- tools\ axe\ cords -- quantity\ cords -- storage of\ willow -- placement of\ burning -- willow\ willow fire -- reasons for\ fire -- signal\ signal -- steam boat\ steam boat -- travel\ pilot\ daughter -- Cleaver, Lena\ steam boat -- captain\ loading -- cords\ grandma\ cords -- sale of\ payment -- condiments\ flour\ crackers -- box\ drinks\ tea\ snacks\ ammunition\ leaf tobacco\ quantity of -- rationing|

Section 10: story -- origin\ grandfather\ (Athabascan)| (Tape ends before story is complete.)