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Leggings

sit’imhlaamiskw “leggings”
Language: Nisga’a

Then he opened the bundle and took the leggings by themselves, saying, “Now, leggings, let a flash of lightning proceed from you!”

—From the story “Burning Leggings and Burning Snowshoes,” told by Henry W. Tate, “Tsimshian Mythology,” 1916

These Nisga’a dance leggings are pieces of a geometric Raven’s Tail blanket, woven from dyed mountain goat wool and shredded cedar bark. They represent a style of rich, elaborate clothing that high-ranking people wore during ceremonies. In the Tsimshian traditional story of Burning Leggings, a supernatural being appears in a flash of lightning that shoots out from his leggings, moccasins, and snowshoes, accompanied by thunder.

Culture: Tsimshian
Region: Nass River, British Columbia, Canada
Village: Kitladamax
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 32cm
Accession Date: 1907
Source: George T. Emmons (collector)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 014177.000