Downtown Juneau, Alaska
171 South Franklin St.
Juneau, AK 99801

Learn About the Tlingit Culture That's Inspiring Local Artists November 22, 2017

Downtown Juneau, Juneau
Learn About the Tlingit Culture That's Inspiring Local Artists, Juneau, Alaska

Many custom apparel pieces by local artists at Aurora Projekt in Juneau, AK, are inspired by the art of the Tlingit people. Tlingit tribes are believed to have crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia to settle in the Pacific Northwest many centuries ago. The influence of these fascinating tribes is found in many art forms today, including the local clothing available at this Juneau boutique. Take a moment and learn about Tlingit art and culture to help you recognize it on clothing and other items.

5 Facts About Tlingit Culture

local artists1. Salmon Was A Primary Food Source

Salmon was the main food source for Tlingits and other coastal tribes, with spawning seasons often providing enough fish to last the whole year. Other food sources included the halibut fish, shellfish, sea lions and otters, and hillside berries.

2. Totem Poles Were Decorative & Functional

The totem pole is a well-known symbol of Native American culture used by the Tlingit peoples. While they are not as plentiful in the northern regions of Tlingit territories, these poles were used by southern tribes for decoration and in the construction of homes.

3. Property Roles Passed Through The Mother

Property rights were passed through the mother in Tlingit societies. They have a matriarchal kinship line where all children born are considered of the mother’s clan, not the father’s. Hereditary rights are subsequently passed through the mother as well.

4. Art Pervaded Everything

Art was everywhere in Tlingit societies, from symbolic totem poles to the intricately-carved and decorated spoons, bowls, fishing hooks, and other everyday items. The homes of higher-born families were odes to cultural art and included artistic representations of ancestors, creatures from myth and legend, and spirit-helpers in human and animal form.

5. Tlingit-Style Artwork Made A Comeback In The 1940s

Artwork inspired by these coastal tribes became popular in the late 1940s and has continued to influence the art world. From silkscreens to coffee mugs to custom apparel to posters and beyond, Tlingit inspiration is seen throughout Alaska and other regions of the Pacific Northwest.

Find local clothing that pays homage to the Tlingit peoples at Aurora Projekt and feel great about supporting your local artists. Every item in the celebrated boutique is available for customization, and pieces can be designed with a loved one in mind. Call (907) 523-0405 with any questions or visit their website today. You can also see what customers are saying on Yelp.

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