Friday night WCA program preserves culture and traditional way of life


December 16, 2021

Sarah Aslam/Wrangell Sentinel

Tom Gillen Sr. playing a Tlingit drum he made. He was at last Friday's drumming and sewing session, organized by a WCA cultural program.

Friday night drumming at the Wrangell Cooperative Association's carving shed on Front Street brings together Tlingit elders and teens, different generations forming a circle around an overhead projector as instructor Virginia Oliver guided the group through the pronunciation of Tlingit song lyrics.

Oliver's son Tommy Rooney Jr., Luella Knapp and Tom Gillen Sr. were among the adults on drums, accompanied by children that included 14-year-old Keaton (Saak, "hooligan") Gadd, 13-year-old Boomchain (Galshāat, "hold together") Loucks, and 14-year-old Shelton (Duhūnxw, "older brother") Eklund.


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