Painting main content.


Part of Northwest Coast Hall.


The Tlingit painted house fronts, totem poles, masks, canoes, canoe paddles, rattles clothing, many other utensils and implements, as well as their own faces. Black paint was made of ground charcoal mixed in the oil of chewed fish eggs. Other colors were obtained by grinding minerals and mixing with fish oil. A dark blue color was made from the juice of blueberries. Brushes consisted of a wooden handle, usually carve, and short stiff bristles. By the 1880’s, paints obtained from traders had displaced the native paints.