Rare Work on Russian Alaska
With Ethnographic Map of Alaska
This work publishes the ethnological and historical lectures by Henrick Johan Holmberg (1818-1864), a Finnish scientist who explored Russian America in 1850-51, particularly Sitka and Kodiak, and who was apparently connected with the Russian American Company. The volume includes his excellent ethnographic map of Alaska. The text also describes plant foods used by the Kodiaks, with notes on the use of pinus douglasii sabine among the Kodiaks and Tlinkits.
This work was reprinted from v. 4 of the "Acta" of Finska vetenskaps-societeten. A second volume, not present here, was issued in 1863 as a separate, taken from v. 7 of the "Acta."
The ethnographic map of Alaska - the first of its kind - identifies the major Native American First Nations of Alaska: the Tlinget; the Kodiak; the Dena'ina and other Athabaskan peoples; and the Aleut peoples, which Holmgren in turn subdivides into specific named tribes.
The map also provides a credible depiction of Alaska, drawn primarily from Russian sources, including most notably the work of Laurentii Alekseevich Zagoskin in the 1840s. The Fl. Jukchana' (Yukon River) is shown, albeit in limited form. The legend identifies:
- Festung' (forts)
- Volkane' (volcanoes);
- odinotschka (monasteries / missions)
- Berge' (mountains);
- Ansiedelung der Russen' (Russian settlements)
- Russischen Kreolon' (mixed Russian-Native American settlements)
- Eingebornen' (Native American settlements).
This work is rare in commerce. Notably overlooked by Lada-Mocarski, in his otherwise comprehensive bibliography of books on Alaska published before 1868.