Jonaitis, Aldona, 1948-. Art of the northern Tlingit

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Title: Art of the northern Tlingit

Published By: Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1986. xiii, 188 p., plates: ill., map

By line: Aldona Jonaitis

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 1997. Computer File

Culture: Tlingit (NA12)

Subjects: Fauna (136); Representative art (532); Musical instruments (534); Status, role, and prestige (554); Accumulation of wealth (556); Shamans and psychotherapists (756); Ethnozoology (825);

Abstract: This is an art historian's interpretation of the art of the northern Tlingit. (70 plates depicting Tlingit artworks are appended to p. 2). Jonaitis outlines several theoretical approaches to the interpretation of ethnographic art specimens. Jonaitis has taken one of the more sociologically oriented approaches in an attempt to show how Tlingit art might be related to social structure, and to religious ideology and experience. More specifically, she relates the artworks to Tlingit sibs and moieties and the exchange relations among these groups (including the potlatch). Art used in this context is classified as secular art. Also included in the book is a detailed discussion of shamanism and shamanistic art, which Jonaitis describes as sacred art. This piece is highly interpretive and relies on the metaphor of binary oppositions to explain the relation of the works of art to Tlingit symbolism and rites of passage.

Document Number: 22

Document ID: na12-022

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 163-177) and index The 70 plates depicting the works of art can be found in category 532, with the exception of plates 10, 21, 33, 34, 54 and 69, which are indexed for category 531. Information on the potlatch generally was indexed for both 431 and 556. Where either gift giving, or ostentatious display and consumption of wealth is stressed, the information has been indexed 431 or 556, respectively. Finally, for information on Tlingit animal-spirits (YEK) see categories 136, 776 and 825

Field Date: no date

Evaluation: Art Historian-4

Analyst: Christopher Latham ; 1988

Coverage Date: not specified

Coverage Place: northern Tlingit Alaska, United States

LCSH: Tlingit Indians

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