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The Duck Neck quilt is the most unusual made-in-Alaska quilt that was discovered during the Alaska Quilt Survey.
Jenny (Olson) Rasmuson, a missionary living in Yakutat from 1905-1912 made the quilt. The Duck Neck quilt was an artistic consequence of her subsistence life-style. Jenny and her husband Edward Rasmuson were both expert hunters and probably hunted duck to provide meat for the family. Jenny created the quilt to commemorate the familys time in Yakutat and because she thought the necks were beautiful. It took her many years to collect enough mallards, canvasbacks, pintails, bluebills and teals for the finished quilt. See the Ducks at a Distance website for more information.
Jenny learned the technique of salting the skins to preserve them from the Tlingit Indians, who used preserved skins in their ceremonial robes. She lined the skins with peppercorns to keep away moths. She used muslin (strong cotton cloth) as a backing to support the skins. Jenny donated the quilt to the Skagway Museum before her death in 1966. Jenny Rasmuson was the mother of Elmer Rasmuson and Evangeline (Rasmuson) Atwood. The quilt was loaned to the Alaska State Museum for the Alaska Quilt exhibit in Juneau. If you would like to see the quilt in person, you can visit the Skagway Museum.
Quilts of Alaska: A Textile Album of the Last Frontier website was developed by the Alaska State Museum to make museum materials more accessible to teachers and students of all ages throughout the state. To find out more about us, click here.
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