Welcome to my blog.

My blog expresses my views and thoughts and in no way intends to offend however that does not guarantee it wont.

I write in a stream of consciousness and sometimes the odd typo or bad grammar may appear - please excuse these.

Please feel free to leave a comment if something inspires you to do so.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Totem Park Visitor Centre (Tlingit Display), A Retrospective Tale of Two Travellers Part 8A

One of the special places we visited was the  Sitka National Historical Park (aka Totem Park).  

To make it a little easier to read, I have typed out the text from the sign on the lawn before you enter the Visitor Centre and Park Headquarters.

On this site in 1804, Tlingit, Aleut/Koniag, and Russians met in a battle that decided the course Alaska's history. The Battle of Sitka temporarily forced the Tlingit from their homes, and allowed the Russians to establish New Archangel, capital of Russian America.  Today the Russians are gone; but the Tlingit, like the land, sea, and sky, remain part of Alaska.  In 1910 the President of the United States, in recognition of the significant events of 1804, proclaimed the fort site and the battle ground of the Battle of Sitka a National Monument, the first cultural and historical park in what was to become the state of Alaska

In Part A I have focused on the Visitor Centre's internal displays which are broken up into 4 areas, the foyer which is adorned with painted wooden art, then there is the second area which houses an exhibition of historical work and the stories of the Tlingit people.  

Off the foyer there is the third area, a corridor with glass cases on either side that features stunning carved pieces done by Tlingit people within the last few years, in fact at one time there was a wood working workshop within the Visitor Centre, unfortunately that is not functioning at present.  

At the end of this corridor you find the last area which features totems that are very significant and very old and they are kept inside to avoid further weathering. 

As I didn't want to offend anyone (past or present) we asked permission to take the photos below.  

What impressed me, apart from the amazing stories, was the skill in weaving, dying, silver and copper work and carving that has passed down through generations of Tlingit people, these were craftsmen and women of the highest order. 

Some of the detail in the carved work, is amazing and a lot of it is carved from a single piece of wood.

The Foyer (just some of the carved and painted wooden art)

A modern twist!!

The Tlingit Exhibit area (not brightly lit to protect the exhibits, hence some photos are quite dark)

Carved Raven's head one of the moieties of the Tlingit people.

Label from within the exhibit explaining the Tlingit society.

I'm not sure if the outfit on display is the exact outfit in the b/w photo but if it isn't it is a very good replica

Silver Bracelet

Woven Ceremonial Shawl

Woven Shawl

Warrior Helmet - wooden area at the bottom sits on the warriors head to make him appear taller
and fiercer there is the carved face atop that.

The Corridor displays

Caved wooden box

Carved mask

Carved Paddles

Modern version of warrior helmet?

The Totem Area

Sorry this isn't easy to read but basically totem poles are more than just tall poles and they are broken into 4 main categories - Crest Poles which portray the ancestry of a family, History Poles which record the history of a Clan, Legend Poles which illustrate folklore or real life experiences and Memorial and Mortuary Poles which commemorate individuals.

These three poles were donated back in 1903, so obviously date back well before that.

Part B will be also be slightly picture heavy showing some of the carved poles around the Visitor Centre and along the walk trail.

Thanks for popping by xxxx


  1. The Tlingit culture and history portrayed through their art and history is stunning--no other word does it justice.

    1. Thanks for popping by Susan, it is stunning and I look forward to going back and learning more next time we get to Sitka.

  2. Wow, wow and wow. Thank you so much for taking me on this journey. Incredible, and beautiful work.

    1. My pleasure EC, I'm sure you would enjoy being there and learning just as much as I did, I'm so glad I am able to share just a small part of what we saw. Thanks for popping by xxx

  3. Just so interesting and educational. Beautiful photographs and thanks for sharing. x

    1. And this was only some of what we saw, it was a small but amazing display and the work they have created it just stunning to see. Thanks for popping by xxx



Related Posts with Thumbnails