Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



sankeit “dance apron”
Language: Lingít

A kayéik kwshé axjéen aduleixéen akwshá?” (Its spirit was heard when someone is dancing with this, right?) / Aaa, hé gúl yéi. (Probably so, yes.)

—Clarence Jackson and Peter Jack, 2005

This dance apron was cut from a full-sized robe that was woven out of dyed mountain goat wool and cedar bark. Puffin beaks and leather fringes were added for sound and motion during dance performances. The Chilkat-style design represents a diving Killer Whale, according to Tlingit advisers. The head, including eyes, nostrils, and mouth, forms the two lowest tiers of the design. The central spirit face is the whale’s body, and its flukes and dorsal fin are represented by the double eyes and other elements at the top of the weaving.

Culture: Tlingit
Region: Southeast Alaska
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 90cm
Accession Date: 1928
Source: C. H. Popenoe (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E341202A