Name: Raven’s Tail Bag
Sheldon Jackson Museum, Sitka ( ) Alaska
Materials: wool of mountain goat
A Raven’s Tail bag made by Teri Rofkar is the
’s Artifact of the Month for November. The bag, part of the museums Hands-on collection, is made with deer skin, white sheep’s wool, brown buffalo wool, yellow-green dyed wool, and trimmed with sea otter fur. The weaving in the center is “Shadow in Trees” pattern. Rofkar, a Tlingit weaver from Sheldon Jackson Museum has been weaving Raven’s Tail robes, and spruce root and cedar bark baskets for many years. Sitka
Although contemporary art is not, as a rule, collected for the museum’s permanent collection, a Raven’s tail bag has been on the wish list for many years. It will be of great value for the museum’s education collection, for use with school groups, and an example of modern regalia based on ancient techniques and materials. Each November the museum exhibits of one its Native American objects to highlight the diversity of Native cultures of
North America in recognition of National American Indian Heritage and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
Raven’s Tail, also identified as “Northern Geometric weaving” is one of the oldest forms of weaving by the Tlingit. Thigh spun warps and weft strands of wool from mountain goat make up the textile. These bags were used as medicine bags, ceremonial clan regalia, and dance bags worn over the shoulder and resting at the hip. The Friends of Sheldon Jackson Museum donated the Raven’s Tail bag to the museum’s Hands-on Collection after facilitating an exchange with Rofkar of Tlingit basketry materials which they had purchased.
The Raven’s Tail Bag can be seen at the
November 2 through November 30. Winter hours are Tuesday through Sheldon Jackson Museum
© Photo and text: Sheldon Jackson Museum