Don McCune Library

Haida & Tlingit Cultures

Haida & Tlingit Cultures
90 minutes - $24.95

This DVD includes the three programs described below.

Land of the Haida
30 minutes - 1979

Exploration Northwest cameras fly to the Queen Charlotte Islands to document the Haida culture, past and present. Dramatic aerial close-ups of the rugged coastline show the remains of abandoned Haida villages where totem poles still stand, telling the legends of their culture.

Here's an excerpt from the show by writer/narrator Don McCune: "A land of toppling giants still haunted by the ghosts of the past. And pounding seas that once carried the war canoes of the Haida, master shipbuilders. The native American/First Nation Haida had carved an empire in wood; fashioning an elaborate culture unrivaled elsewhere in North America, and from this island stronghold, had struck terror in the hearts of their enemies. They raided far and wide in their war canoes -- as far south as Puget Sound. Wars were hostile operations for gain.. to secure booty or valuable resources.. to capture slaves. Etched with bold, sweeping lines that stubbornly resist the passing of time.. they stand as monuments to the passing of an era, and an empire which had been carved in wood. " Originally aired under the KOMO title "Skybird that Rattles".

Tlingit Indians
30 minutes - 1968

Chilkat Dancers in Haynes, AK The Exploration Northwest cameras capture a land where the rich harvest from the sea once supported a powerful and artistic nation in southeastern Alaska of the Northwest Coastal Indians. This episode includes the only film ever made of the famous sacred Whale House Totems of the Raven Clan. The Chilkat dancers perform "The Tide Woman dance" and artists tell the heritage of SE Alaska's Tlingit Indian crafts. Also seen is the ancient Tlingit village of Klukwan.

Here's an excerpt from the show by writer/narrator Don McCune: "A land where the rich harvest from the sea once supported a powerful and artistic nation. A land crowded by majestic mountains, draped with massive glaciers, and home of the famous Chilkat Indian Dancers. Here, where the Tlingits had once bartered for wealth and brought their slaves, the city of Haines now shares Portage Cove with the city of Port Chilkoot. By 1956 the art of the Northwest Coast Indian had lain dormant for more than 40 years. Today it thrives and flourishes among the land of the Tlingits thanks to the interest of the Indians, themselves and the dedication and effort of one man."
Originally aired under the KOMO title "Land of the Eagle".

Looking Back: The Life Of Don McCune
30 minutes - 1993

This KOMO-TV special, hosted by Dick Foley, looks at Don McCune's remarkable 50-year broadcast career with clips from The Captain Puget Show, Challenge and Exploration Northwest. Includes interviews of film crew and family, and some humorous out-takes from Exploration Northwest.

Even though Don had retired from KOMO 12 years earlier, KOMO TV produced this the week Don died in response to the flood of calls from fans.