Emmons, George Thornton, 1852-. The Tlingit Indians

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Chapter 1 The Land And The People

Physical Features Of Tlingit Territory *

Climate *

Flora And Fauna **

The Tlingit *

Name *

Origin Of The Tlingit *

Physical Appearance *

Character *

Health And Disease *

Population *

Chapter 2 Social Organization


Tlingit Tribes

Phratry Or Moiety



Display Of The Crest

Painting Of The Face


Social Classes


Authority Of Chiefs *

Slaves *

Law *

Trade *

Chapter 3 Villages, Houses, Forts, And Other Works

Villages *

Houses *

Domestic Life *

Other Houses And Shelters *

Forts *

Petroglyphs *

Stone Cairns

Chapter 4 Travel And Transportation

Canoes *

Manufacture And Repair Of Canoes

Appurtenances Of The Canoe *

Handling The Canoe *


Bags, Packs, Boxes, And Sleds *

Chapter 5 Fishing And Hunting

Introduction *

Religious Aspects Of The Food Quest **

Salmon Fishing *

Halibut Fishing *

Herring Fishing

Eulachon Fishing

Trout Fishing

Other Fish And Marine Invertebrates *

Seal Hunting

Porpoise, Sea Lion, And Whale *

Sea Otter Hunting **

Land Animal Hunting: Aboriginal Weapons *

Firearms *

Land Animal Hunting: Traps And Snares *

Bird Hunting

Hunting Dogs *

Chapter 6 Food And Its Preparation

Introduction *



Herring And Eulachon

Other Fish And Shellfish

Land Animals

Sea Mammals


Berries And Other Plant Foods

Tobacco *

Drink *

Fire Making

Domestic Utensils

Chapter 7 Arts And Industries: Men’s Work

Division Of Labor

Work In Stone


Men’s Tools

Work In Horn, Ivory, Shell, And Inlays

Work In Copper *

Copper Neck Rings

“coppers” *

Work In Iron *

Work In Silver And Gold *

Work In Wood *

Measurements *

Totem Poles *

Painting *

Art *

Chapter 8 Art And Industries: Women’s Work

Skin Dressing *

Sinew And Intestines

Basketry *

Spruce Root Hats

Basketry Designs

Spruce Root Mats

Cedar Bark Weaving

The Chilkat Blanket *

Chapter 9 Dress And Decoration

Personal Cleanliness *

Clothing *

Hair Dressing *

Ear And Nose Ornaments *

Labrets *

Bracelets And Necklaces

Face Painting

Tattooing *

Ceremonial Garments *

Chapter 10 The Life Cycle

Birth *

Infancy And Childhood *

Naming *

Girl’s Puberty *

Marriage *

Death *

Cremation *

Ceremonies After The Funeral *

Shamans’ Graves

Various Older Forms Of Disposal Of The Dead *

Recent Graveyards

Inheritance Of Property *

Afterlife: Spirits, Souls, Reincarnation *

Chapter 11 Ceremonies

Music And Dance

Tlingit Ceremonialism In The Eighteenth And Early Nineteenth Centuries *

House-building Ceremonies *

Dedication Of The House And Raising A Totem Pole

Dick Sa-tan’s Potlatch, 1891 *

A Major Potlatch *

Ceremony For The Children *

The Berry Potlatch Dance

Chapter 12 War And Peace

Early Encounters With Europeans *

Interclan Warfare *

Encounters With Americans *

Aboriginal Warfare *

Aboriginal Arms And Armor *

Arms, Armor, And Tactics, Described By The Early Explorers *

Making Peace

Early Accounts Of Peace Ceremonies *

Peace Ceremonies In 1891 And 1877

Chapter 13 Illness And Medicine

Diagnosis Of Illness

Cures For External Ailments *

Medicines For Internal Use

Other “medicines”

Omens And Amulets *

Chapter 14 Shamanism

Spirits *

The Shaman

Becoming A Shaman *

The Shaman’s Outfit *

The Shaman’s Practice *

Stories About Shamans *

Salmon Boy



Death Of A Shaman *

Chapter 15 Witchcraft

The Witch Spirit *

The Origin Of Witches

Shaman And Witch *

Witches, Shamans, And The Authorities *

Chapter 16 Games And Gambling

The Stick Game *

The Toggle [or Hand] Game

The Dice Game



Gambling In The Russian Era *

Chapter 17 Time, Tides, And Winds

Count *

Time: Seasons And Days **

“moons” Of The Year *


Winds *


Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information


Title: The Tlingit Indians

Published By: Seattle ; New York: University of Washington Press ; American Museum of Natural History, 1991. xl, 488 p.: ill., maps

By line: George Thornton Emmons, edited with additions by Frederica de Laguna and a biography by Jean Low

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

Culture: Tlingit (NA12)

Subjects: Clans (614); Gift giving (431); Representative art (532); Ornament (301); Boats (501); Shamans and psychotherapists (756);

Abstract: Emmons presents a broad ethnographic description of the Tlingit, primarily from the 1880-1900 time period. Luguna, as editor, supplements Emmons' descriptions with comments on Emmons' sources and additions from her own and other research on the Tlingit. The result is a very comprehensive description and analysis of Tlingit culture which includes subsistence activities, kinship organization, travel, arts, and religion. While the potlatch, ornamentation, art styles, maritime activities, and shamanism are distinctive aspects of Tlingit culture which stand out, Emmons and Laguna do not exclusively or unevenly focus on these aspects.

Document Number: 31

Document ID: na12-031

Document Type: Monograph

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 465-475) and index

Field Date: 1882-1907

Evaluation: Ethnologist - 5

Analyst: Ronald N. Johnson ; 1996

Coverage Date: 1700s - 1910

Coverage Place: southeastern Alaska, United States

LCSH: Tlingit Indians


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