Alaskool -- Online resources about Alaska Native History, Education, Language, and Culture
Tsimshian Texts by Franz Boas, 1902 Page 1 of 1
of Franz Boas'
Tsimshian Texts is comprised of various Tsimshian stories recorded and translated by Franz Boas in the Nass River dialect in late 1894. The stories were published by the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1902. It should be noted that there has been recent controversy on the validity of the reporting that Boas has done. It is argued that the accuracy of the translation is poor because it reflects more of Boas' personal thoughts rather then the Tsimshian people who shared the stories (referred to as Philip, Moses, Chief Mountain, and Moody). For more information on this debate refer to the following url for this discussion http://www.talonbooks.com/Books/Transmission.html
The thirteen stories (listed below) are excerpts from Boas' book. These stories have been posted online by student assistant, Karla Booth.
An issue of compatibility between PC and Mac users arose as Karla proceeded with the work of inputting each story. Windows users should have no problems viewing Tsimshian words with the special characters in the stories. However, Mac users may have minor difficulties viewing the same Tsimshian words which may appear as symbols rather than the intended characters (specifically long vowels a, e, i, o and u with bars above the letters, and g followed by a mid-periods denoted by Boas as a palatalized g). The Tahoma font was selected for the special characters found in the stories because it contained nearly all the symbols from the book. It is recommended that Mac users locate a PC computer and print out the text for a readable copy to decipher what the letters should be.
We should also note Boas' book contains line-by-line transcriptions of each story which are not included in our web edition. Boas conceded in his introduction that these literal transcriptions were inconsistent. Refer to the pronunciation key for alphabet created by Boas.