Home of Xóots

Although this hundred-mile long island is not named for an individual, I’ve long thought of it as the ultimate IWGN (important white guy name), honoring a whole roomful of IWGs (the British Admiralty).  At least its tallest summit—Eagle Peak, 4650 feet, thumbnail, right) escaped being named for another bureaucrat who never saw it.

East across Eey Tlein, big tidal currents (Kootznahoo Inlet), behind Aangóon, isthmus town (Angoon).

Tree size and logging in Xutsnoowú Province. Relatively small fraction of the original large-tree forest (dark green) has been cut.

By the way, in the interests of equal-opportunity place-name debunking, consider this quote from Harold Jacobs, in a chapter called Xoodzidaa Kwáan; inhabitants of the burning wood fort. (Will the time ever come? Hope & Thornton, eds, 2000). Note that x and x-underlined are pronounced differently:

“The name Xootsnoowú (“Brown Bear Fort”) is sometimes wrongly interpreted as the name for Angoon Kwáan, this having been done by people who, my informants have told me, ‘Do not have a great command of the language or the history of the area.’

Actually, the name comes from xoodzi, (which is burning wood or charred remains) not xoots (brown bear). This confusion with xoots has led to the misnomer, however widely accepted it may be, that the name of the territory means ‘Brown Bears’ Fort.’ It is in fact the Burning Wood Fort. Xootsnoowú, however, is a descriptive name that is often applied to
Admiralty Island.”

In this section

Áak’w & T’aakú Aaní: the natural history of resilience

Presentation for Evening at Egan On November 9th, 2018, I gave the second in a series of 4 lectures for…

Nov, 2018 | Richard Carstensen | 36 minutes

2018 flight, Juneau to Klawock

On July 1st, 2018, I flew from Juneau to Klawock in superb photography weather. Beautiful lighting after we passed out…

2018 | Richard Carstensen | 44 pages

Sen Brothers in Aangóon

Because our names both end in “sen,” Doug Chadwick began calling Bob Christensen and me the “Sen Brothers.” Our most…

22012 | Richard Carstensen | 181 pages, 17MB

Teachers at Kanak’aa (Seymour Canal)

Since 2001, under the initiative of our friend John Neary (then with Admiralty Monument; now at the glacier visitor center),…

2017 | Richard Carstensen | 68 pages, 11 MB

Clickable map of Southeast provinces

Hover over each numbered province; a click takes you to that sub-category

1997 fall newsletter. Admiralty impressions: Xutsnoowú through time

Twenty million years on Xutsnoowú, bear fortress (Admiralty Island). Back to the days before glaciers turned it into an island,…

5 | Richard Carstensen | 5 pages

Documenting change through repeat photography in Southeast Alaska

Carefully framed retakes of historical photographs documenting vegetation and landform change in response to natural or human disturbance. . Due…

2005/2013 | Richard Carstensen, Kathy Hocker | 39 pages