G̱eisán (Top of Bay)

-- Haat iyagu´t

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English Name: 
Mount Ripinsky
Download: File gei_san.wav

This name is in reference to the bay that was at Yandeist'akyé before glacial rebound and silt deposition moved the reach of the sea four miles to the south. There was a trail that went over the mountain as a shortcut to Lkoot village. "While we were living at Yandeist'akyé there was a war.  We call that place 'War Canoe Cove.'  My people didn't know warriors had come in canoes from the south.  Whey they were cooking a big pot of food together, here they came.  "Hoo-oo-oo," they were yelling and my people started running.  We ran right up on top of Geisán.  When they got on top, the shaman asked his attendant, "Where's your drum?"  The young man said, “It’s still down there."  He sat with the blanket over his head, and he's still going to start signing, tapping the ground.  By doing this he is going to keep the eyes closed of the ones who came in the war canoes, so they don’t see him and they won't fall.  The shaman said, 'As soon as you get down there put your hand through the strap and start beating the drum.  I'll take care of it from there.'  So the young man went down.  All the enemy was there.  He did just what the shaman told him.  He put his arm through the strap and started beating the drum.  The drum was about flying with him on top of all the willows.  And the enemy didn’t get a chance to get him.  He kept running right up that cliff.  That’s how strong our shaman is.  That’s how some of our people were saved.  We use that name because we were safe there, and because we belong to that place."  -Austin Hammond [6]. In 1890, Geisán was renamed Mount Ripinsky in honor of Solomon Ripinsky, a local Polish school teacher.


United States
59° 15' 36" N, 135° 31' 12" W

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.