Thesis or dissertation
Date of this Version
Dr. Lucy Fowler Williams
Tlingit, Chilkat, Southeast Alaska, Shotridge Expedition, Penn Museum
This project aims to tell the life history of a Tlingit woman named Florence Shotridge (1882-1917) through both a written essay and a short film. Florence’s husband, Louis Shotridge, is a well-known Tlingit ethnographer and collector, but much of his work in his early career was done in collaboration with Florence - yet she is not often mentioned in these early years of his work. Her life story requires a deep understanding of the social organization, geography, names and naming, and regalia in Tlingit culture and society. These cultural values played a large role in the work she produced as a Chilkat weaver, volunteer Educator Guide at the Penn Museum, and anthropologist on the Shotridge Expedition. Her work has been neglected in comparison to her husband’s contributions, but much of his start in the field is thanks to Florence’s English speaking and Chilkat weaving skills. In addition to this paper that lays out the social contexts of her time, I have created an accompanying short film which aims to breathe new life into Florence’s story and to be shared widely in order to ensure her life and legacy extend beyond the periphery of the Penn Museum and the Tlingit community.
Link to the short film, Florence Shotridge (2021): https://youtu.be/dQTTGmLd63k
Date Posted: 26 August 2021