Tlingit Burial main content.

Tlingit Burial

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.


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. Mourning ceremonies of singing, dancing, and feasting lasted four nights. Property was distributed to guests who crowded the house during the mourning period and took part in singing. On the third or fourth day after death, the deceased was cremated; the charred bones and ashes were placed in a little box and stored in a grave house. A shaman’s body was not cremated but placed in a grave house. Some Tlingit tribes cut off the shaman’s head and placed it in a separate grave box.