The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, Written by the Apostle Matthew; Translated from Russian into Aleut (Fox Dialect) by the Priest Ioann Veniaminov in 1828 and Corrected in 1836; the Priest Iakov Netsvetov, Examining the Final Version, Provided Notes Making it Understandable also to the Akhintsy, Who Have Their Own Dialect

Ioann Veniaminov (1797-1879) was a Russian Orthodox priest who in 1823 volunteered to go to Alaska as a missionary. Settling with his wife and family in Unalaska, he built a church and school and began his lifelong task of studying the native languages of the region. With the help of the Aleut chief Ivan Pan'kov, Veniaminov invented an alphabet for the Unangan (Aleut) language and then used it to compose grammars and translate the Gospel of Saint Matthew. Traveling throughout the Aleutian Islands, Veniaminov collected ethnographic and scientific material that he used in published works on the Aleut and Tlingit languages. In 1840, following the death of his wife, Veniaminov was made bishop of the newly created diocese of Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands, and the Aleutians, which he administered from New Archangel (present-day Sitka). He was given the monastic name Innokentii (Innocent). This book, from the collections of the National Library of Russia, is Veniaminov’s translation of the Gospel of Matthew from Russian into the Aleut-Fox language.

Pow-Wow Princess Song

This song in the Omaha language was performed at the 1983 Omaha Tribal Pow-Wow in Macy, Nebraska, and was recorded by Carl Fleischhauer, an American folklife specialist at the Library of Congress. It was sung in honor of the 1983 Omaha Pow-Wow Princess, Melanie Parker. The song can be translated as, "I'm coming, I'm coming to you. Stand up when you see me coming, bringing something good to you." Each year a young woman is chosen as princess to serve the powwow committee and the Omaha community as role model and representative. Her selection constitutes an honor for her entire family, who help her acknowledge this through a gift-giving ceremony at the end of her term. The song is a typical Northern Plains-style dance song performed by a group of male singers seated around a large drum, having a song leader, a descending melody line, punctuating drumbeats at structural points, and a short coda. The princess and those who honor her will dance to the song, stopping exactly when the drum does.

"Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park," Colorado (Vertical Orientation) by Ansel Adams

In 1941 the U.S. National Park Service commissioned noted photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) to create a photographic mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the national parks and national monuments of the United States. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed. The holdings of the Still Picture Branch of the U.S. National Archives include 226 photographs taken for this project, most of them signed and captioned by Adams. Photographs of Kings Canyon National Park were taken in 1936, when establishment of the park was being proposed, and added by Adams to the mural project. The single photograph of Yosemite was a gift from Adams to the head of the National Park Service, Horace Albright, in 1933. Shown here is a view of Mesa Verde National Park, which was established by Congress and President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 to "preserve the works of man," the first national park with this objective. Mesa Verde, Spanish for “green table,” was home to an ancestral pueblo people for over 700 years, from 600 A.D. to 1300 A.D. The park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings.

Scenes of the Everglades

Businessman and adventurer Homer Augustus Brinkley produced this film in 1928 after living for several months among the Seminole Indians in the Everglades. He later used the film in a traveling show that featured a live, caged bear and himself dressed as a Seminole. Photographed by William B. Feeland, the film contains some of the earliest moving footage of the Seminole. Beginning with panoramic shots of vegetation, waterways, and abandoned structures, the film includes footage of wildlife, such as an owl, raccoons, water moccasins, alligators, deer, a wild turkey, and a bear. Scenes of Seminole life center on Camp Californee. They include two women grinding corn and close-ups of their clothing. Women and children are shown in chickees, open-sided huts with thatched palm roofs. Views of the landscape include orange groves and crops in the field, Seminoles walking through the forest, and canoe travel. A family returns from a hunt with the father presenting a brace of raccoons. One man wrestles an alligator in a clearing; others spear fish from dugout canoes. Also filmed are a woman called Princess Shimpollhiee and Chief Josie Billie. An elderly man prepares for the Green Corn Dance and there is the Catfish Dance around a fire. Other dances shown include the Sun Dance, Turtle Dance, and Buffalo Dance. Men, women, and children are shown playing a vigorous game of stick ball.

Seminole Josie Billie with Family and Dog

This photograph, taken in the Big Cypress Swamp in Florida near Deep Lake in April 1921, depicts Josie Billie and his family. Born on December 12, 1887, Billie was the son of the first Indian to receive a formal education in Florida. A Seminole medicine man and long-time public spokesman for the Florida Seminoles, Billie was also a Baptist minister. He was a frequent participant in the Florida Folk Festival and lived on the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Hendry County until his death in 1980. The image is from the collection of John Kunkel Small, a prominent American botanist associated with the New York Botanical Garden who specialized in the plant life of the American Southeast and documented environmental degradation in the Everglades.

The Western part of New France, or Canada, Done by Mr. Bellin, Royal Marine Engineer, in Order to Further Understanding of Present-Day Political Matters in America

This detailed map of the Great Lakes region of western “New France” by Jacques Nicolas Bellin was published by the Heirs of Homan in 1755, shortly before the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War, the conflict that resulted in the transfer of New France to British hands. Bellin was just one representative of a greater movement by French royal and military cartographers in the 18th century to map New France using the knowledge possessed by Native Americans. This map shows details not only of the Canadian waterways, but also of military, trade, and territorial information pertaining to the indigenous populations who lived in the vast territory. As most of this land was uncharted wilderness at the time, the alliance of the French with the Iroquois and Algonquian peoples proved essential to the mapping of sparsely populated or unsettled inland territories. The maps were used by fur trappers, Jesuit missionaries, explorers, and by the military in the final “French and Indian Wars” against the British, a struggle to retain Canada as a French territory that ultimately proved unsuccessful.

Elements of Christian Teaching, or a Short Sacred History and a Short Christian Catechism

Ioann Veniaminov (1797-1879) was a Russian Orthodox priest who in 1823 volunteered to go to Alaska as a missionary. Settling with his wife and family in Unalaska, he built a church and school and began his lifelong task of studying the native languages of the region. With the help of the Aleut chief Ivan Pan'kov, Veniaminov invented an alphabet for the Unangan (Aleut) language which he used to translate religious and educational material from Russian. This book, from the collections of the National Library of Russia, was first translated by Veniaminov in 1827. Veniaminov made corrections to the work in 1837. The Creole priest Iakov Netsvetov assisted in this effort, in part by adding explanations to make the work understandable to the inhabitants of Atka Island, who spoke their own Unangan dialect. Netsvetov was a protégé of Veniaminov who went on to train other native and Creole priests, such as Innokentii Shaiashnikov and Lavrentii Salamatov, who continued their religious and linguistic work even after the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867.

Showing the Way to the Heavenly Kingdom: A Sermon in the Aleut-Fox Language

Father Ioann Veniaminov (1797-1879) was the greatest of the Russian Orthodox missionaries to Alaska. A man of enormous linguistic talents, Veniaminov created an alphabet for the Unangan (Aleut) language and, with the help of the Aleut chief Ivan Pan'kov, wrote and published in 1834 an Aleut catechism, the first book published in an Alaskan native language. As Bishop Innokentii, Veniaminov encouraged the study of Tlingit and a variety of Aleut-Eskimo dialects such as Atkan and Central Yup'ik. This work, published in Moscow in 1840, contains religious teachings by Veniaminov in the Aleut language dating from 1833.

Ross Allen Reptile Institute

E. Ross Allen was a pioneer promoter and theme-park entrepreneur who achieved national and international fame for his animal wrestling. Born in 1908 in Pittsburgh, he was an Eagle Scout as a boy and later a stand-in for Johnny Weismuller in the Tarzan movies. He transformed the historic, natural tourist attraction of Silver Springs into a prototype of modern theme parks. Ross Allen’s Reptile Institute opened in 1929 and catered to Florida traditions (and mythology) while employing Florida residents, including Seminole Indians. The institute later shifted its emphasis a bit toward scientific observation: Allen’s studies of the American alligator were among the earliest work on the species. In this 1960s film, Allen wrestles an alligator in the water. Seminoles are shown playing and working at Silver Springs. Francis Osceola wrestles an alligator on land. A woman wears a boa constrictor. A boy shops for a snake and, after rejecting an indigo snake, purchases another. Ross and his son, Tom, wrestle a 20-foot anaconda in the water. A rattlesnake is milked. The film then shows the rest of Silver Springs, including Bartlett's Deer Ranch, Carriage Cavalcade, and Prince of Peace Memorial. The film ends with synchronized swimming and features underwater photography.

Traditional Seminole Song - Rev. Josie Billie

Josie Billie was a member of the Florida Seminole people who lived his entire life on the Big Cypress Indian Reservation in Hendry County, Florida. Born December 12, 1887, Josie Billie was the son of Connie Pajo, also known to Floridians as Billie Cornpatch, the first Indian to receive a Western education in Florida. A Seminole medicine man and long-time public spokesman for the Florida Seminoles, Billie later continued his medical work as an herbalist and became a Baptist minister. He was a frequent participant in the Florida Folk Festival, which was founded in 1953 and is one of the oldest folk festivals still in existence. This song was recorded at the 1959 Florida Folk Festival in White Springs by Foster Barnes of the Stephen Foster Center. The festival program described Billie as being of the Panther or Wildcat clan of the Seminoles. Josie Billie died in 1980.