APPEASING THE SPIRITS

Alaskan Coastal Cultures

"My grandmother taught me to sew my respect for the animal spirits into the boots and parkas I make." Lydia Apatiki, Gamble, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, 1988

In coastal Alaska, whale and caribou hunters, salmon fishers, hunters on offshore islands and residents of forested fiords thrived in a world where all aspects of the environment possessed spirits.

Hunters and seamstresses created footwear, clothing and tools that appeased and communicated with the spirit world. Amulets and designs on visors, kayaks, clothing and tools hid the hunter's identity, transforming the hunters into powerful predators, and protecting them from storms and other dangers.

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Waterproof sealskin boots made from seal poke

BSM P90.37