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On the Wings of Eagle and Raven: Tlingit and Haida Traditions

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 - 6:00pm to Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 8:00pm

The Tlingit and Haida are indigenous of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America, currently in both the United States and Canada. Their main territories are the Alaska panhandle (Tlingit) and Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the British Columbia coast. Little is known about the Northwest Pacific Native Americans before the 1840s--the contact period with British and Russian traders. The two groups traded and interacted socially but belong to entirely distinct language groups though they share considerable visual vocabulary.

Their traditional social hierarchy features dual clans or moieties led by chiefs and social hierarchies, largely within village units. Clan identity, under the animal sign of Eagle (alt. Wolf) or Raven passes from mother, and one must marry out of one's moiety. Clans subdivided into lineage groups with crests.

On the Wings of Eagle and Raven strives to use the Penn Museum collections to display the historical heritage of Tlingit and Haida art forms but also seeks to display current cultural vitality of these peoples through inclusion of recent works that build on their strong traditions. Works of the past generation feature carvings and prints, some of them from this very decade.


Lecture Schedule:

April 9, 6 pm
Robert Davidson, laureate Haida artist
"Haida Traditions and Modern Innovations"
Penn's Van Pelt Library, Kislak Center, 6th Floor

April 16, 6 pm
Gary Wyatt, director, Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver
"Northwest Coast Display in Ceremony and Gallery"
Penn's Van Pelt Library, Kislak Center, 6th Floor

April 22, 6 pm
Aaron Glass, professor, Bard Graduate Center, New York City
"Tall Tales of the Totem Pole: An Intercultural Biography of the Northwest Coast Icon"
Penn's Van Pelt Library, Kislak Center, 6th Floor

April 23, 5 pm
William Wierzbowski, Keeper--American Section Penn Museum
Gallery Talk
Arthur Ross Gallery

April 30, 6 pm
Robin Wright, professor and director, Bill Holm Center for Study of Northwest Coast Art, Burke Museum, University of Washington
"Charles and Isabella Edenshaw: Haida Master Artists"
Penn's Van Pelt Library, Kislak Center, 6th Floor