Thursday, December 9, 2010


             I think that because the Deg Hit’an bordered with so many different natives, and they traded with the Eskimos and Holliachuk, is why the epidemic hit their region twice once in 1912 and again in 1927. 
Although there was a vaccination, the smallpox epidemic continued through the 1840’s.  The epidemic was still hitting the Yukon valley very hard.  By the time the vaccination arrived for the Deg Hit’an region it was to wide spread to get under control.  The Russians were worried about how the epidemic would affect the fur supply.
Before Anvik was hit with the small pox epidemic Glazunov vaguely recorded their population; he counted 10 sod subterranean houses and estimated around 240 residents.  Eight years later Zagoskin counted 120 Deg Hit’an’s living in 5 sod subterranean houses.  Even if the records were insufficient the total loses was devastating.  In 1843 and 1844, Zagoskin visited villages along the Innoko and Yukon River.  In Shageluk there were 5 sod subterranean housed and aproximatly70 Deg Hit’an people.  In Anvik there were also 5 houses and approximately 120 Deg Hit’an people.  In Bonasila had 3 houses with 44 Deg Hit’an people.  By 1930 Bonasila was no longer inhabited.  Usually one or two nuclear families lived in one sod subterranean house (Vanstone, 1976, vol. 71). 

According to the United States 2000 Census the following villages’ populations are:  Anvik, Shageluk 129, Holy Cross 227 and McGrath. 

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