Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


By CVN Staff 

Tlingit scribe to give presentation


June 16, 2011

Resident Sally Burattin will give a presentation on her early life as a Tlingit scribe 7 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at the Haines Borough Public Library.

Burattin’s presentation is titled "Speech, Life, History: Aux Xau you Gatugi, Being a Scribe in a Non-Writing Society."

As a 3-year-old, Burattin was chosen by the head of the Frog house to be trained as his personal scribe. Burattin does not know of any other living Tlingit trained as a scribe.

A person of importance such as a chief, head of house or matriarch would send a scribe to relay an exact message. Any mistakes could mean death for scribes, who were taught to emulate the original speaker. Their body language and movements were considered to be as important as the words.

Other upcoming library offerings include a hard-smoked salmon demonstration by Smith Katzeek on Wednesday, June 22, and a new series of computer courses 4 p.m. on Wednesdays: "Intro to the Mac," June 22; "The Internet and E-mail," June 29 and July 6; and "The Library Catalog and Using Your Account from Home," July 13.