Longhouse Wall Screen Celebration
Scheduled for May 15, 2006
Our Longhouse Wall Screen Celebration Committee has established a date of May 15, 2006 as a tentative date for our celebration. This is a very important celebration for out community members to publicly recognize and thank the members that had designed and built our wall screen. Additionally this celebration will serve as a groundbreaking celebration for out first JKCHC tour season, and as such, our council had asked that we invite our Government dignitaries, including our Alaska Governor, to this celebration.
Our celebration committee is working on the funding for this celebration, and is asking community members for items to be raffled in the near future. Any donations of money or items would be greatly appreciated.
The Wall Screen illustrates the story elder Joe Hotch told at the celebration of the completion of the long house last fall. The story, Joe explained, is of an event that happened long ago. The clan house was rich-- full of a winter’s food supply, and ornate too, with decorative boxes and baskets for storage, Chilkat Blankets and more. The inhabitants of the clan house were not present when the thieves came to raid their home. The thieves loaded up their canoes and began to make off with their plunder when suddenly the canoes became empty. The baskets, the boxes, the Chilkat Blankets and all that was taken, just as suddenly re-appeared back in the clan house they had been removed from. This story, Elder Hotch explains, has been relived by our people today. Our culture, with all its wealth and richness, had been stolen from us, but now it is coming back to us with these young men learning the ways of our ancestors. The structure of the House (a replica of the style used by Tlingits prior to contact with outsiders) as well as the now completed wall screen demonstrate the return of our cultural wealth.