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An underwater archaeological stratigraphy reveals the different levels of soil in Hare Harbor, Quebec. The stratigraphy – a process archeologists use to help date materials by identifying soil layers...
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.
Master carver Douglas Chilton rides at the prow of his creation—the Raven Spirit canoe—at its ceremonial launch in Washington, D.C. The canoe is now on display in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall...
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...
Members of the Squamish Nation paddle their canoe to a 1997 festival celebrating traditional Native canoe arts. Native peoples of the Northwest Coast believe each canoe has its own spirit. Designs on...
As Chilton prepared the cedar for carving, he noticed a raven with an injured wing watching. Later, as he carved the canoe in Juneau, he again noticed a raven with an injured wing looking on. He...
For over a decade, Smithsonian Arctic Archaeologists have been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada . The site and the artifacts that have been recovered has...
For over a decade scientists have been investigating an early European whaling site at Hare Harbor in Quebec, Canada . Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, just south of the 16th century Basque...
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...
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.
At a ceremony on the edge of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., Douglas Chilton and other members of the Native community officially name the canoe Raven Spirit and launch the craft. More about...
Excavations between 2002 through 2011 at Hare Harbor have shown that this site was a whaling and fishing station occupied by Basque and Inuit assistants ca. 1680-1730. Archaeologists have uncovered a...
November is American Indian Heritage Month . Mark the occasion by learning about the Raven Spirit Canoe , a craft that was carved in Alaska by master carver Douglas Chilton of the Tlinget Nation. The...
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...
Travel to the ends of the earth—literally—and discover the polar ocean basins. Both the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean are defined by ice and dramatic shifts between endless day and endless...
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...
When a new canoe is put in the water, elders bless it with lighted sage, song, and traditional dances. Some canoes also receive a name. 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...
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