Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The Athabaskan-speaking Eyak of the coastal Valdez-Cordova Census Area, Alaska (principally between Cordova and Controller Bay) traditionally subsisted on fishing and gathering, supplemented by hunting. The family household was the fundamental social unit, organized into moieties likely modelled after those of the Tlingit, and there were three distinct social strata: chiefs and their families, commoners, and slaves (mostly war captives). Settlements were comprised of family dwellings belonging to their respective moieties, each with its own chief whose relative power depended on the number of villagers in their moiety. Major settlements had and a palisade or fort for collective defense in times of war, and a potlatch house for each moiety where meetings and communal ceremonies were held.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


North America --Arctic and Subarctic


United States

OWC Code


Number of Documents


Note: Select the Collection Documents tab above to browse documents.

Number of Pages


Close Box