Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Puberty collar

This woman’s necklace from the Tahltan people of the upper Stikine River in British Columbia is a wooden collar covered with tanned skin and decorated with beads, dentalium shells, and wool tassels. At the time when a girl first started menstruating she withdrew from the community for a year or more, wore special clothing, and underwent training in the skills of women. For her “coming out” when she reentered society, a woman of high rank and wealth would put on a beaded ceremonial collar like this one.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Stikine River, British Columbia, Canada
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Width 50cm
Accession Date: 1907
Source: George T. Emmons (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E248388