Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



They kept the weaving completely covered… Even if you’re weaving a form [i.e. an eye or other shape] in a week, you still have to cover it because it fades really fast. The dyes that they used are very fugitive. They used iron to make the black and mountain wolf moss to make the yellow.

—Delores Churchill, 2005

The technique of Chilkat weaving was originally perfected by the Tsimshian, but by the nineteenth century the art was centered at the Tlingit village of Chilkat. Women dyed the goat wool by boiling it with hemlock bark, urine, and iron or copper to produce black; “wolf moss” for yellow; and trade blankets or U.S. Navy uniforms for blue. They wove large fringed robes on looms, using twisted cedar bark and plain wool strands for the warp and dyed yarn for the weft. On this small weaving the warp strands are bundled in bags to keep them from tangling.

Culture: Tlingit
Region: Southeast Alaska
Object Category: Homes
Dimensions: Length (stick): 59cm
Accession Date: 1936
Source: William M. Fitzhugh Collection
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 193601.000