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Headdress

shakee.át “headdress”
Language: Lingít

When you move, it’s like the wind is waving the bushes. It makes you grow.

—Minnie Johnson, in “Under Mount Saint Elias: The History and Culture of the Yakutat Tlingit,” 1972

Tlingit women dressed in beaded headwear for ceremonial occasions. One was this style, similar to the beaded caps with long tails that Sugpiaq, Eyak, and Ahtna women wore at dances and festivals. Another was the tćin, a net-like hair ornament made of beads and dentalium shells that hung down a girl’s or young woman’s back, covering her braids. It swayed behind her “like the wind is waving the bushes” and some were so long that they almost touched the ground.

Culture: Tlingit
Region: Southeast Alaska
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Length 82cm
Accession Date: 1906
Source: F. M. Covert (seller)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 010260.000