50-year-old recordings surface in new Dena'ina CD

A newly published book and audio CD that documents rare Yupik and Athabascan dialect and songs has been given to the people of Nondalton and surrounding communities. The recordings were made in 1954 by John Coray, a white school teacher, as a sort of audio postcard to send to his parents in Los Angeles. He died when his small plane crashed in 1959. Recently his son Craig Coray put the songs together with a book of pictures, biographies of the singers and translations of the lyrics. Coray says its the first recording ever made of Dena’ina song and speech.

Craig Coray teaches music theory and northern indigenous music at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The book is not for sale, it was published through a grant from the National Park Service and given to the people of Lime Village Port Alsworth, Pedro Bay, New Halen and Nondalton.

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage