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Sometimes the “Watcher,” a raven with an irregular wing, monitored carver Douglas Chilton’s progress on the canoe from an overhead perch. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit...
Douglas Chilton uses traditional carving tools to shape the Raven Spirit canoe. Chilton—a master carver and member of the Tlingit Nation—transformed the log into a 26-foot-long, traditional...
For over a decade, Smithsonian Arctic Archaeologist, William Fitzhugh, has been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Québec, Canada . The site and the artifacts recovered...
With an abundance of salmon, early hunting and foraging societies were transformed into settled villages with expanding social networks and elaborate festivities. The festivities often included...
Fish spears and fish weirs—fish traps placed in rivers—are traditional ways of catching salmon on rivers. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
Using traditional tools, master carver Douglas Chilton of the Tlingit Nation chisels a red cedar log from the Alaska forest, gradually shaping it into a canoe. More about raven spirit can be found in...
A 2011 excavation led by the Arctic Studies Center uncovered this fragment of decorated European stoneware called a bellarmine jug. Uncovering this fragment, that was likely manufactured in the 15th...
The Raven Spirit canoe is now prominently displayed in the Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Ocean Hall—a reminder of how native peoples of the North Pacific honored and depended on the bounty of the...
About 2,500 years ago cold climate brought the first Inuit peoples into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, off the coast of Eastern Canada. Early Eskimo groups, known as Groswater Dorset, occupied many sites...
Crafted from the skins of salmon, these mittens are naturally waterproof. They kept hands dry while paddling or working with fish nets. Learn more about Northwest Pacific cultures and marine life in...
Boats Connect Us to the Ocean More than any other objects, boats symbolize human connection to the ocean. As you look through the center of the Ocean Hall, past the model right whale , you can see a...
Sea ice is typically viewed as the domain of physical and natural scientists, the oceanographers, marine biologists, climate modelers, and navigators of the world. It is easy to forget another...
As these models show, traditional canoes came in a variety of shapes and designs. Some of the models even include paddlers. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
A still from Sun Come Up , part of the 19th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.
Smithsonian surveys along the lower north shore of Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada have revealed evidence of a long history of Native American occupation, beginning with the Maritime Archaic Indian...
Tlingit paddlers carefully lift the Raven Spirit canoe into Washington’s Potomac River for its ceremonial launch. More about raven spirit can be found in our Raven Spirit featured story.
A stormy sea lashes the village of Shismaref, Alaska, where the coastline has eroded 30–90 m (100–300 ft) in the past 30 years.
Decorated ceremonial regalia—like this eagle claw holding a salmon, and the sculpin headdress—symbolize the importance of ocean fish to Native communities. More about raven spirit can be found in our...
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