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Wilson Duff fonds
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Tsimshian songs recorded by Dr. Viola Garfield

Item is a recording of Tsimshian songs recorded by the American anthropologist Dr. Viola Garfield (1899-1983) of the University of Washington. The songs in this recording were sung by Matthew Johnson (ca. 1867 - ?) who was one of the leading lineage heads of the G-spaxlo-‘ts tribe, and a great admirer of the lineage of the Tsimshian chief, Legaic” (Legaik, Legex). The title Legaic was carried by at least four chiefs of the Tsimshian Eage Clan. The last-known individual to carry the title took it in 1938.The cylinder numbers referenced during the recording are #14561, #14562, #14563, #14564 .

The Dr. Viola Garfield fonds is housed at the University of Washington Special Collections. She carried out field work in the summer of 1932, 1935 and 1937 at the Tsimshian village of Port Simpson, British Columbia. An Ediphone machine provided by the University of Washington Anthropology Department was used to record and store the songs on wax cylinders, which were deposited at the University. The recordings were transferred to the open reel format in 1971. More information is available in Dr. Viola Garfield's book Tsimshian Clan and Society (1939), available in the MOA Reading Room, call number 12.7 TSI GAR.

A document that accompanied this recording contains the following text:
Document text:
Cylinder 14561
000 - Song # 1 - Matthew Johnson - marriage song composed for the wedding of Legaik’s sister to ni•s nawa•
030 - Song # 2 - Matthew Johnson - entertainment and potlaching song, a song belonging to Legaik
080 - Song #3 - Matthew Johnson - supernatural power song ni•s nawa, Sky Spirit
137 - Song #4 - Matthew Johnson - a winant secret society power song belonging to ni•s nawa• Kilutsan chief
168 - Song #5 - Matthew Johnson – a secret society song or ludzista•l song
Cylinder 14562
190 - Song #6 - Matthew Johnson, a dog eater society song. nute•m, ni•s nawa, giluska’u
255 - Song #7 - Matthew Johnson –
300 - Song #8 - Matthew Johnson - boasting song for potlatch of Legaic’s tribe
Cylinder 14563
385 - Song #10 - Matthew Johnson - supernatural power song. Legaik, wiskani•st
475 - Song #11 - Matthew Johnson - dirge ni•s nawa• limkoi
530 - Song #12 - Matthew Johnson - dirge gispaxbts, gilutsa’u
588 - Song #13 - Matthew Johnson - dirge
Cylinder 14564
614 - Song #14 - Mrs. Marsden (sp.?) – wolf clan song of kitsees
665 - Song #15 - Mrs. Marsden - song belonging to the supernatural power name lugaxli’bam laxha belonging to ni•syagane•t
774 - Song #16 - Mrs. Marsden - ni•sgune (gitsecs) supernatural power song
825 - Song #17 - Mrs. Marsden – supernatural (naxnog) power song, house of welk

Lecture for Anthropology 304 “Deep Meanings in NWC Art” February 6, 1976

Item is an audio recording of a lecture given by Wilson Duff in his Anthropology 304 class, entitled “Deep Meanings in Northwest Coast Art.” Duff reports on the results of his research into the meaning of images in Northwest Coast Art and states his belief that works of art make statements. For Duff, the content reveals what the statement is about – the subject- and the structure and relationships, or “armatures,” communicate “what is being said about it” (Side A, 00:04:20). Duff argues that content has both literal and metaphoric meaning, used by artists to make statements at a deeper level. This lecture, the last in a sequence on Northwest Coast Art, was the precursor to a talk given at the Northwest Coast Studies Conference at Simon Fraser University in May 1976 with Bill Holm, who would speak on “Form in Northwest Coast Art.” Lecture is recorded on both Side A and Side B.

Recording of meeting between president of Kitwancool and Minister of Indian Affairs

From accompanying note, sent to Wilson Duff by Peter Williams, President of Kitwancool: "This is the recording made by Mrs. Edith Campbell, Gwas-Lam's Wife, at our meeting with the Honourable Minister of Indian Affairs Mr. Judd Buchanan in Kitwancool on the iith. day of November 1974, A.D. I present two briefs, the big one is the voice of the aborigines, the short oneos the coice of the Indian citizens of Canada. The records was so small but that was the best she can do and I had to transcribe it using my own recorder. I use 3 3/4 speed and the recorder is a four tracks stereo made in Japan called 'AIWA'. The Kitwancool people are very pleased for what you have done when you were in OTTAWA." Letter dated Nov. 13, 1974.

Wilson Duff fonds

  • 29
  • Fundo
  • 1919-1977, predominantly 1948-1977

The Wilson Duff papers consist of textual records, photographs, negatives, slides, maps, audio recordings, compact disks and one video tape that relate to Duff's activities, correspondences, and publications as one of the foremost researchers in Northwest coast Indian history, culture and traditions. Also included in the fonds are records relating to Duff’s work as an Anthropology professor at the University of British Columbia, his advisory and curatorial consultancy work, committee membership and the exhibit Images: Stone: B.C.

Records in the Wilson Duff fonds have been organized into the following seventeen series:

Series 1: Wilson Duff’s student papers (1949-1950)
Series 2: Correspondence (195?-1975)
Series 3: Published and unpublished articles (195?-1972)
Series 4: Site visits (195-)
Series 5: Northwest Coast research (195?-197?)
Series 6: Teaching materials (1965-1976)
Series 7: Committee and consultancy records (1966-1976)
Series 8: Personal records (1965-1976)
Series 9: Photographic records (195?-1976)
Series 10: Maps (1955-1976)
Series 11: Images: Stone: B.C. (1975-1977)
Series 12: Research notes and materials (196?-1976)
Series 13: Tsimshian files (1915-1976, predominant 1957-1971)
Series 14: Recordings (1962-1976)
Series 15: Creative writing (195? - 197?)
Series 16: Posthumous writings on Duff (197? – 199?)
Series 17: Ephemera (195? – 197?)

Wilson Duff

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