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Duck Neck quilt, c. 1905-1912, Jenny (Olson) Rasmuson, Yakutat, Alaska; preserved Alaskan species duck necks, pieced, 58” x 58”, Collection of the Skagway Museum.

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 family’s 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.

Poppy Detail
Quilt signed and dated “Z 1942,” Mary S. Zaldaris (Marjona S. Zaldariene) Pennsylvania; cotton, whole top applique, 74” x 88”, Collection of Edmund Zaldaris. This poppy design was a popular published pattern from the 1920s to the 1950s.

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.


Quilts of Alaska: A Textile Album of the Last Frontier website was developed by the Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. 2001. All rights reserved.

Project Coordinator:
Bruce Kato, Chief Curator, Alaska State Museum

Educational Developers and Writers:
Cristine Crooks
Annie Calkins

Designers:
Elizabeth Knecht, Alaska State Museum
Matt Knutson, InterDesign


Copyright and Other Restrictions
The Alaska State Museum is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other rights holders (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permission ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. For additional information contact the Alaska State Museum, 395 Whittier Street, Juneau, Alaska 99801.

The Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. 2001. All rights reserved.

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