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Tlingit Collection

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.

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In This Section

Exhibit Prestige and the Distribution of Wealth This scene depicts a dramatic moment in a late 19th century potlatch, as the host, a Tlingit chief (right), offers valuable gifts... Exhibit Fishing and Hunting Salmon, a principal food, were trapped, harpooned, or caught with hook and line. Exhibit Spoons Tlingit made spoons and bowls out of mountain goat horn, which is black, and mountain sheep horn, which is light. Exhibit Chilkat Weaving Women of the Chilkat tribe, a division of the Tlingit people, wove the famous blankets called the Chilkat blankets. Exhibit Chilkat Textile Clothing Several items of clothing made of Chilkat blankets are displayed here. Exhibit Tlingit Basketmaking Tlingit women wove baskets of thin segments of spruce root of of flat or twisted cedarbark cordage. Exhibit Household Gear A number of common household implements are shown here. Exhibit Tlingit Woodcarving Tlingit men made boxes from two pieces of wood. Exhibit Tlingit Burial At death, the body of a Tlingit chief or a person of high rank was placed sitting up against the back wall of the house. Exhibit Adornment Men and women pierced the septum of the nose and the rim of the ear for the attachment of ornaments; women, in addition, pierced... Exhibit Weapons The surprise raid and the ambush were basic techniques for war in the Northwest Coast. Exhibit Tlingit armor Suits of armor highlight the importance of war, art and trade in the lives of Northwest Coast peoples. Exhibit Pipes Before the coming of Europeans, the Tlingit chewed a tobacco-like plant with lime made by burning sea shells; but they did not smoke... Exhibit Tlingit Masks Most of the masks displayed here were worn by shamans when they danced in various rites. Exhibit Painting The Tlingit painted house fronts, totem poles, masks, canoes, canoe paddles, rattles clothing, many other utensils and implements,... Exhibit Musical Instruments Drums and rattles were the principal musical instruments of the Tlingit. Exhibit Carvings The Tlingit carved in wood, bone, horn, and ivory. Exhibit Shaman’s Equipment Shamans, sometimes called “medicinemen,” controlled supernatural powers.