Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

Related Objects

Tunic, hood, boots, gloves and knife sheath

ukaych’uk’a “it’s dangling tail” [man’s tunic]
Language: Dena’ina (Upper Inlet dialect)

Also called:
k’iyagi yes “knife case”
Language: Dena’ina (Upper Inlet dialect)

Also called:
seł “footwear”
Language: Dena’ina

Also called:
lugech’ “finger mittens”
Language: Dena’ina

Also called:
chik’ish “head hood”
Language: Dena’ina (Outer Inlet dialect)

Shahnyaatì‘, he’s a big chief. He’d bring in people from different areas in Yukon Flats. Everybody was coming from Northway, Eagle, Tanana, and everywhere…That’s the time they have celebrations, and they all wore fancy clothes. Big time, and competition too, wrestling and everything. So this is just for the special time.

—Trimble Gilbert, 2004

This complete set of summer ceremonial clothing, stylistically Dena’ina, is made of supple, brain-tanned caribou hide and includes a hood, tunic, moccasin boots, gloves, and knife sheath. A man’s tunic usually came down to about the knee and was pointed on the bottom in both front and back; a woman’s tunic extended to the ankles with a long point in back and a relatively straight hem in front, as on this example. Athabascan advisers suggested that a young woman may have worn this clothing during her puberty seclusion.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Alaska
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length tunic 141cm
Accession Date: 1926
Source: Museum Purchase
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 151481.000