Yakwdaat Aya: This is Yakutat by Kadashan is a collection of fictional tales masterfully woven by the author and seasoned by his own life experiences as an inhabitant of a small village of Tlingit Indians in southeastern Alaska. It is a remarkable and very illustrative painting of their culture, their people, and their struggles.
Don’t think, though, that Kadashan’s tales are fantastic and epic, nor are the challenges his characters face mythical beasts, made up for the sake of fun; no, Yakwdaat Aya: This is Yakutat allows us to see how the Tlingit have faced struggles that are common to us all – namely the day-to-day survival fight we all go through – but in a way harsher environment and how those hardships have shaped the secular Tlingit people. The author shows all that with impeccable writing, layered with beautiful descriptions of the character’s routines that offer us not just a glimpse, but a full-motion video of that time in rich detail. The description of actions and scenarios is so well-made, that it is easy to transport ourselves to the situations lived by each character.
I can’t stress enough how tasteful the “seasoning” of the author’s life and observations is to his tales. While you know the stories are fictional, there is just so much down-to-earth, passionate penmanship here that it’s impossible to think that they are entirely made-up. They are not, as I suspect Kadashan may have lived and met some of the people that inhabit the small, yet giant in itself, world of the stories. What crowns my suspicion is the final tale, which is dedicated to someone very real and exhibits an important figure’s whole soul through a few pages. I will not spoil it here, of course – all I can say is that it concludes the book by showing the core of the Tlingit spirit, and again, through a vast choice of words, yet so simple in its nature.
I recommend Yakwdaat Aya: This is Yakutat by Kadashan to pretty much everyone. It’s heartwarming, endearing, and definitely human. Have an imaginative seat with Kadashan and let him tell you the tales of a land of majestic bears, river fishing, and seal hunting. Amidst your trip through his words, you will find a portrait of the People of the Tides that you literally cannot find anywhere else.
– The Moving Words Review
Worth purchasing book on Amazon.
About the Author: Kadashan’s Christian name is Bertrand J. Adams, Sr. He is of Tlingit decent from Yakutat, Alaska, a village in the northern panhandle of southeast Alaska. He was given his birth name, Kadashan, by his grandmother who named him after her father, John Kadashan, who was a leader from Wrangell, located on the southern end of the southeast panhandle. The elder Kadashan, as a young man and was one of the guides to world traveler and naturalist, John Muir. Kadashan means “red tide coming.” Kadashan began writing when he was in college. He was encouraged to by his creative writing instructor, who recognized his passion for story-telling. Twenty years later his retired teacher visited him, read the stories he had stored in a drawer, and persuaded him to find a publisher. In time his rejection slips were thicker than his manuscripts. Eventually he was discovered by the publisher of the Alaska Native Magazine who began to feature his short stories and his water color paintings to illustrate his stories.
Shortly after, he began writing essays for the Tundra Times, a statewide Alaska Native newspaper. His commentaries dealt with Indian politics and tribal governments. Eventually he was under contract with the Juneau Empire and wrote a monthly column for the Capital city’s statewide newspaper. He tweaked these essays and self-published The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God in digital form His latest, Kadashan Speaks–Legal Plunder clearly demonstrates the adverse signs of the times in America and how the federal system is using legal plunder to make illegal issues legal. When Raven Cries is Kadashan’s first novel. It is out of print however Kadashan is working to have it reprinted. He is presently occupied with writing another novel and a non-fiction book about the history and culture of his Tlingit clan. Kadashan received his education from Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka and Brigham Young University in Provo Utah. He is a retired commercial fisherman, a salt water charter boat captain, and tribal government president. He lives in Yakutat with his wife near his children and grandchildren.