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Object Record

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Collection Fort Nisqually Permanent Collection
Object ID Number 1950.04.01
Object Name Chilkat Blanket
Description Chilkat Ceremonial Robe or Blanket, made by the Tlingit people of Alaska, circa 1880. This style of blanket was seen throughout the nineteenth century. The five-sided, handwoven blanket, made of dyed goats wool and cedar bark, is typical of Chilkat weaving, using the colors black, white, yellow, and blue. The mountain goat wool was spun over the strips of cedar bark, and the pattern was based on a design board painted by the men, woven by the women. The warps are of goat wool, with a core of yellow cedar-bark twine. The colors were produced by soaking Hemlock bark, copper, and lichen in a mordant solution of urine. The stylized animal features are arranged in a bilaterally symmetrical pattern, with a bold black background. The design on this particular blanket may depict a whale, with the large eyes, accompanying toothed mouths of the two profiles in the lower half and the two sides of the dorsal fin rising on each side of the inverted face at the center top. Other interpretations of this design are possible as well, for example it may also represent a mother bear and her cubs. The design is very old, possibly based on the first Chilkat blanket designs ever developed. Blankets like this one would be worn draped over the shoulders for special occasions or ceremonies, and was recognized as a sign of wealth and prestige. Measures approximately 70 3/4 inches wide, 24 inches long at sides, excluding fringe, 45 1/4 inches long with fringe. 35 1/2 inches long at center, excluding fringe, 46 inches with fringe. This robe is an outstanding expression of a rare Northern Coast textile art.


Date circa 1880
Year Range from 1830
Year Range to 1900
Search Terms Chilkat Blanket
Chilkat Ceremonial Robe
Robe
Blanket
Chilkat
Weaving
Native American arts
Tlingit
Alaska
Imagefile 006\19500401-2.JPG