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Chasing Voices

Chasing Voices
National Anthropological Archives / Smithsonian Institution / American Public Television
J. P. Harrington posing with three Cuna (Tule) people while making Dictaphone recordings of Cuna language and songs, 1924.

Mon. Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | From 1907 until his death, John Peabody Harrington dedicated his life to chasing the voices of the last speakers of Native America's dying languages.

Moving from one tribal community to the next, he collaborated with the last speakers to document every finite detail before their languages were lost forever.

“I quickly became aware of just how large the problem of traditional language loss is within our tribal communities,” says director and producer, Daniel Golding. “I realized that this man had accomplished all this work on Native American languages yet, virtually no one has heard of him. It was as if he was purposefully left out of history.”

Chasing Voices chronicles Harrington's ethnographic work and traces the impact of his exhaustive research on Native communities working to restore the language of their ancestors.

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