Té Hít (Stone House)

-- Haat iyagu´t

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English Name: 
Stone House
Audio: 
Download:File tehit.wav

A pyramidal structure built from three great slabs of granite near the summit above Rainy Hollow, Stone House is mysterious. It may have been built as a boundary marker by the Russian survey team during their 1838 survey, or perhaps by the Chilkats as their own territorial boundary. Local elders insist that, "When they reached the summit, the surveyors scribbled instrument readings while their Native guides lifted a one-ton table rock upon two up-ended slabs to denote the margins of their Chilkat domain. In the ensuing century, the Stone House became an important marker along the Grease Trail. The rock roof slid off one support, but today still leans on the other." [1] It also could have been an emergency shelter built by natives or white prospectors crossing over the pass. Frederica de Laguna [4] speculates that six post-like stone pillars arranged in a line near the Stone House may have acted as "scarecrows" in a caribou fence, if not boundary markers. In several places throughout southeast Alaska there are cairns of piled stones at the tops of mountains above timberline. Their origins predate the U.S. geological surveys of the 1800s, and even the oldest Tlingit elders of that era could not explain them. The Tlingit did believe that when the great Flood covered the Earth, those who survived moored their canoes there, and used the cairns as "nests" to protect themselves from the bears that were driven to the mountaintops by the rising floodwaters. The Stone House appears to be unrelated to these other stone cairns in the region due to its unique construction. [4]

Location

United States
59° 37' 48" N, 136° 35' 24" W
Video: 

Ikaduwakaa and the Storyboard are part of the Doorways to the Past; Gateway to the Future project, cooperatively supported by the Chilkoot Indian Association, Haines Borough Public Library, and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that fosters innovation, leadership, and lifelong learning.