Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest:

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Kristi Walker Medina Middle School Fourth Grade. Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest: . The Tlingit. Vocabulary:. Tlingit Potlatch Totem Pole Clan. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest:

Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest:

Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest:

Kristi WalkerMedina Middle SchoolFourth GradeThe TlingitVocabulary:TlingitPotlatchTotem PoleClan

The Tlingit (KLIHN kiht) are a Native American tribe who lived along the Northwest coast in a region called the Pacific Northwest.

TlingitGeographyThe northwest coast has a wet climate with mild winters and cool summers.Bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the west and forest and rivers to the east.The ocean and forests were rich in natural resources. Because food was plentiful, the Tlingit often traded their excess with neighboring tribes in return for other goods.


Ceremonial clothing was worn to potlatches:

A Potlatch is a special feast at which the guest receive gifts instead of the host.

Carved MasksPotlatch Hats

Dancing DressesChilkat Robes

PotlatchesPotlatches were held to mark an important event such as honoring a new chief or to celebrate a wedding.Special gifts were made or collected for every guest.A guests importance determined what type of gift they were given. Important guest might have been given a canoe or fur robe.Some potlatch celebrations lasted for many days.

Tlingits at a potlatch in Sitka, Alaska on December 9, 1904FoodSalmon was the most important food to the Tlingit.In early spring, millions of salmon swim from the salty water of the Pacific Ocean to the freshwater rivers to lay their eggs. The Tlingit called this event the salmon run.A family could catch over 1,000 pounds of salmon during the salmon run.Large portions of the fish was dried or smoked so it could be kept for future meals.

ShelterBuilt large plank houses from the vast forest in the area. Often planks were cut from trees without chopping the tree down.

Several families would live together in one house during the winter.Houses were decorated with bright, colorful pictures and designs that represented the familys crest.Many Tlingit lived in fishing camps during the spring and summer. During the winter they would live the fishing camps and live with other Tlingit families in large plank houses made from red and yellow cedar, yew, alder, maple, and Sitka spruce that were abundant in the region. The carved designs represented the familys crest. They typically depicted different animals or birds. Common crest included: raven, whale, salmon, frog, eagle, bear, shark, and thunderbird. These animal crest were often carved on the beams, doorways, and entrances of the homes. Wealthy Tlingit families had elaborate carvings on the interior of their house as well.8Totem PolesHuge wooden totem poles stood in front of each home.A totem pole is a pole carved and/or painted with symbols that represent a familys history.Totem poles were often raised at potlatches.Most were 40-60 feet tall but some were as tall as 100 feet.

Totem Poles

Family LifeThe families that lived together in the same house were part of the same clan. A clan is a group of families with a common ancestor.Clans were established through the mothers side of the family.Boys were sent to live with his mothers brother when he was 8 years old to learn how to hunt and other responsibilities.

Girls learned house traditions from their mothers and grandmothers.Both boys and girls learned about the Tlingit and their clans history & customs from their elders.

TechnologyTlingit did not have to spend much time surviving because there was an abundance of food and other resources where they lived.

This enabled them to spend time specializing in technology, or designing tools, ideas, or other ways to solve problems.Examples of Tlingit technology are the dams they built, traps for catching salmon, and making canoes.

Tlingit Fish TrapThe fish trap, the most common method used for catching salmon, was quite simple in theory. One variety was a wooden fence stretched across a stream or river, preferably at a rapids. Salmon swimming upstream passed through the openings and into specially woven baskets placed there by the fishermen. Another trap consisted of rows of posts placed closely together across a stream. These posts hampered the salmon on their upstream journey and allowed fishermen to spear them from wooden platforms.Used in conjunction with the fish trap or when fishing from a canoe, the salmon spear was an 11' to 16' shaft topped with a barbed iron [originally bone] point attached with a leather thong. When a salmon was struck with a spear, the point detached itself from the shaft, allowing the fish to thrash without breaking the spear shaft.A relatively primitive means for catching salmon, the salmon hook was commonly used from the shore or a canoe in shallow water. It was a long pole with an iron hook pulled through the water using a raking motion. Obviously, it was most successful in streams congested with salmon.The gill net, another traditional method for catching salmon, is very important today. A net with mesh designed to trap the fish by its gills was strung vertically across a stream like a curtain.12Video

This is a modern day Tlingit family performing a dance similar to that of their ancestors. Notice they are wearing traditional Tlingit clothing.This is a modern day Tlingit family performing a dance in traditional clothing.13Focus Questions& Extended WritingWhat role did salmon fishing play in the life of the Tlingit?

How did the Tlingit use the natural resources in their environment?

What was the purpose of a potlatch?

Suppose your class gave a potlatch. Write about your reasons for holding it an the activities you plan.ActivityMake a potlatch mask.