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Dog blanket

łąįį ts’at “dog blanket”
Language: Gwich'in

At New Year’s time Rampart was a very popular place. Canada and American side, they all came to celebrate, because Dan Cadzow had a store there. So they came in with furs, and everybody started shooting up in the air, to celebrate…And at the same time they rang the church bell, and all the dogs just ran away.

—Trimble Gilbert, 2004

For special occasions, Gwich’in chiefs and wealthy men dressed their sled dog teams in beaded velvet blankets with sleigh bells and long yarn fringes. Blankets were usually made in sets of four or six to outfit the whole team. The right half of this blanket is decorated with small seed beads and the left half with appliquéd cotton braid. In addition, the dogs wore tall “antlers” on their harnesses, decorated with ribbons, bells, and fox tails.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Yukon River (upper), Alaska
Object Category: Travel
Dimensions: Length 66.5cm
Accession Date: 1928
Source: M. W. Pope (collector)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 161665.000