Sign Detail of sign Left of Gallery Left center of gallery Center of gallery Right of gallery construction helmet Little Battles helmets full armor helmet vest dagger spear full armor helmet slat armor leggings dagger full armor helmet full armor war pick full armor helmet full armor dagger full armor helmet armor dagger full armor helmet vest war club Hoofnagle painting Glazman painting Holm painting Troll painting case of weapons armor daggers
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Tommy Joseph: Rainforest Warriors
at the Alaska State Museum
April 5, 2013 to October 12, 2013

“My art is a part of my culture that helped to make me the artist I am today.

My art is not mine to keep, but mine to share. My teachers are the old pieces.

This art is not a dead art form. It continues to evolve the way it always has.”

Tommy Joseph
2013

Photographs by Sara Boesser

Idle No More

Slat Rod Legging Armor (spruce and hemp);
Painted Formline: Raven

Near left corner of the Governor’s Gallery, going in.

Far left corner, showing four figures.

Far wall, showing a case of objects from the Alaska State Museum collection.

Far right corner, showing two figures.

Wooden Logger’s Hat

Tommy Joseph, Sitka, 2009

Gift of the Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Initiative 2010-32-1

Joseph, a noted totem pole carver, was readying himself to raise a totem pole in Sitka, and he realized he needed a hat to keep the rain off his head during the ceremony. He was from a family of Alaskan loggers, and remembering the brimmed hard hats that family members used to wear, he fashioned one for himself out of wood, thus symbolizing his connection to his family occupation.

For the Little Battles in Life

Helmet (Pacific Yew wood, opercula shells, copper, hair)

Four wooden war helmets as seen from the near end of the left platform.

Female figure with Marten Helmet

Marten Helmet (alder, copper, walrus whiskers, opercula)
Armor Vest (buffalo hide, Chinese coins)
Tunic (elk hide and sinew)
Knee High Moccasin Boots (deer hide)

Spear with Athabascan Dagger
Double Handle Copper Dagger

Marten Helmet (alder, copper, walrus whiskers, opercula)

Armor Vest (buffalo hide, Chinese coins)
Tunic (elk hide and sinew)

Double Handle Copper Dagger

Spear with Athabascan Dagger

Male figure with Brown Raven Helmet

Raven Helmet (alder, Sitka brown bear fur, copper)
Collar (alder and cowhide); Painted Formline: Raven
Elk Hide Tunic
Upper Body Slat Armor (alder and hemp); Painted Formline: Raven
Slat Armor Leggings (alder and hemp); Painted Formline: Raven Wing and Leg
Beaded Deer Hide Moccasins

Copper Dagger with Cowhide Sheath and Carved Raven Handle

Raven Helmet (alder, Sitka brown bear fur, copper)
Collar (alder and cowhide); Painted Formline: Raven

Elk Hide Tunic
Upper Body Slat Armor (alder and hemp); Painted Formline: Raven

Slat Armor Leggings (alder and hemp); Painted Formline: Raven Wing and Leg

Copper Dagger with Cowhide Sheath and Carved Raven Handle

Male figure with White Raven Helmet

White Raven Helmet (alder, polar bear fur, copper)
Buffalo Hide Tunic
White Canvas Moccasin Pants

Wolf Dagger with Sheathe (copper, alder, hide)
War Pick (yew wood, jade)

White Raven Helmet (alder, polar bear fur, copper)

Buffalo Hide Tunic

War Pick (yew wood, jade)

Male figure with Female Yew Helmet

Helmet Depicting a Female (Pacific Yew wood, New Zealand paua abalone, human hair)
Collar (yew wood, Haida Gwaii opercula shells)
Hide Tunic
Upper Body Slat Armor (Pacific Yew wood, sinew)
Deer Hide Moccasin Boots

Bear Design Dagger (Pacific Yew wood, copper, New Zealand paua abalone)
Bow with Arrow (Pacific Yew wood, sinew, red cedar, feather)

Helmet Depicting a Female (Pacific Yew wood, New Zealand paua abalone, human hair)
Collar (yew wood, Haida Gwaii opercula shells)

Upper Body Slat Armor (Pacific Yew wood, sinew)

Bear Design Dagger (Pacific Yew wood, copper, New Zealand paua abalone)

Male figure with Human/Man Helmet

Helmet, Human Depicted (alder, human hair, opercula)
Painted Tunic, Bear Design
Upper Body Slat Armor
White Deer Hide Beaded Moccasin Pants

Double-Bladed Dagger with Deer Hide Sheath

Helmet, Human Depicted (alder, human hair, opercula)

Painted Tunic, Bear Design
Upper Body Slat Armor

Double-Bladed Dagger with Deer Hide Sheath

Male figure with Human/Bear Helmet

Helmet, Human Depicted (alder, opercula, human hair)
Tunic (Chinese coin, buffalo hide)
Knee High Moccasin Boots (deer hide)

Eagle War Club (yellow cedar, sea lion teeth)
Bear Pommel Dagger with Sheathe (copper, alder, hide)

Helmet, Human Depicted (alder, opercula, human hair)

Tunic (Chinese coin, buffalo hide)

Eagle War Club (yellow cedar, sea lion teeth)

Keith Hoofnagle
Tlingit Warriors
Print

Collection of Tommy Joseph

Louis S. Glanzman
1804 Battle of Sitka
Print, 1988

Collection of Tommy Joseph

Bill Holm
Raven Warrior
Print, 1991

Collection of Tommy Joseph

Ray Troll
The Battle of Old Sitka
Print, 2002

Collection of Tommy Joseph

War

“The Tlingit waged war for several reasons – to defend clan rights, to avenge murder, theft, and insult, and to capture booty and slaves.

Men prepared for war as they did for other important ceremonial occasions; they fasted and took cold baths to harden and purify their bodies; they consulted the shaman on the outcome of their venture; and they painted their faces and donned ceremonial clothes.

Enemies settled their disputes with a peacemaking ceremony in which both sides exchanged hostages and paid damages. Payment was made in the form of trade goods, the rights to particular clan songs, crest objects, and hunting or fishing territories.”

- Tommy Joeseph -

Dagger

Tlingit (attribution),
19th century
Collected by Paul Rabut, n.d.
II-B-1890

Dagger

Tlingit or Haida,
19th century
Collected at the Old Kasaan,
Prince of Wales Island,
before 1963
II-B-1306

Bow

Tlingit or Haida,
18th or early 19th century
Deaccessioned from the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England
II-B-1896

Slat Armor Fragment

Tlingit (attribution),
19th century
Collected at Sitka by Dr. B.K. Wilbur, circa 1890-1901
II-B-690

Close up of Slat Armor Fragment

Tlingit (attribution),
19th century
Collected at Sitka by Dr. B.K. Wilbur, circa 1890-1901
II-B-690

Close up of two daggers

Left Dagger

Tlingit (attribution),
19th century
Collected by Paul Rabut, n.d.
II-B-1890

Right Dagger

Tlingit or Haida,
19th century
Collected at the Old Kasaan,
Prince of Wales Island,
before 1963
II-B-1306