Learning about cultures and places from those least disposed to value or understand them can be unsettling and convoluted. But it’s also an edifying exercise in sleuthing ‘between the lines.’ Without excusing their behavior, we may still appreciate unintended gifts of early Euro invaders of Lingít Aaní. I’ve done this extensively with maps and writings of Richard Meade, in 1868-69.
But the archipelago was thoroughly pillaged and suppressed by the time of Meade. For a glimpse of life before even first rumors of smallpox had reached the cultural backwaters, we press back 75 more years, to probably the first Euro transit of Áak’w & T’aakú Aaní. My 36-minute slide show on insights from British cartographers in 1794 has been ‘reloaded,’
(“Through alien eyes” titles a chapter in Frederica de Laguna’s masterwork, Under Mount Saint Elias: The history and culture of the Yakutat Tlingit. 1972)