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Cropped Dragonfly Rattle

Northwest Coast Art: A Community of Tradition

September 8, 2017–December 31, 2017

For thousands of years Northwest Coast Indians including the Coast Salish, Haida, Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw, Makah, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Tlingit peoples represented in this exhibition, have made art expressing their cultural norms and values with precision, clarity, and artistic exuberance. Using indigenous and trade materials obtained in their homes along the coast of Oregon and north to Alaska, Northwest coast peoples mark elaborate ceremonial life, social rank, and prestige through their objects and art.

This exhibition explores Northwest Coast art through over 60 objects made by known and unknown artists, representing traditional and modern forms of cultural expression. From model totem poles and bentwood boxes, to spoons, prints, and silver bracelets, these objects were created for different purposes––utilitarian, decorative, and ceremonial. What all of them share in common is the desire to preserve and perpetuate Northwest Coast cultural heritage and community.


Curated by Dr. Gerald F. Schroedl, Professor Emeritus, UT Department of Anthropology.