Edward S. Curtis, Totem found in the Nimikish village Yilis, on Cormorant Island, 1914, Library of Congress, Washington, DC. (SCAD Digital Image Database, http://did.scad.edu)
Curtis’s Landmark 1914 Silent Film of Pacific Northwest First Nations Culture—Restored, Re-evaluated, and Framed with a Live Orchestral Arrangement of the Original Score and a Performance by the Gwa’wina Dancers, Descendants of the Indigenous Cast.
This collaborative project approaches the film from two distinct but overlapping perspectives: As a scholarly recovery and restoration of the original melodramatic contexts and content of the film and musical score; and as an indigenous re-framing of this material given unique Kwakwaka’wakw perspectives on the original film, its specific cultural content, and its historical context of production.
Please visit: http://www.curtisfilm.rutgers.edu
The website functions as the gateway to partner institutions that are hosting public screening/performance events and related programming in June 2008 (in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Vancouver) and in November 2008 (in Chicago, Washington DC, and New York City). In addition, the site provides a thorough scholarly introduction to Curtis’s film, to the central role of the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) in its production, and to the new archival discoveries that have led to its current restoration. It also includes extensive media relating to the film’s production as well as contemporary Kwakwaka’wakw culture.