Arts of the Americas
Tlingit shamans of the Pacific Northwest Coast wore objects that were decorated with images of supernatural spirit helpers, or yeik, who assisted during curing ceremonies. These yeik could appear in either animal or human form and are represented on a variety of shaman paraphernalia, including necklaces like this one. The thirty-six-piece necklace contains ten elaborately carved figures, including a sea otter, a raven-eagle, a wolf, and a whale. It is uncertain if the necklace belonged to a shaman, or even if these charms originally belonged to the same object.
Los chamanes Tlingit de la Costa Noroeste del Pacífico utilizaban objetos que estaban decorados con imágenes de espíritus ayudantes sobrenaturales, o yeik, quienes los asistían durante ceremonias. Estos yeik podían aparecer en su forma animal o humana, y están representados en gran variedad de la parafernalia chamánica, incluyendo collares como éste. El collar de treinta y seis piezas contiene diez figuras elaboradamente talladas, entre ellas una nutria marina, un cuervo-águila, un lobo y una ballena. Se desconoce si este collar perteneció a un chamán, o si estos amuletos originalmente pertenecían al mismo objeto.
Bone, ivory, teeth
Brooklyn Museum Collection
This necklace is made from 37 pieces of bone, teeth and ivory that are presently strung on a cord. It is unknown whether they originally belonged together and were on this cord or they have been joined at a later time. Ten of the pieces are elaborately carved into complex figures. Eight of the short teeth have a dot design on them. Other teeth appear to have been left natural and unmodified except for piercing a hole for a cord on one end.
This item is not on view
Tlingit. Carved Necklace, 19th century. Bone, ivory, teeth, 31 7/8 in. (81 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum Collection, 05.271. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.271_acetate_bw.jpg)
overall, 05.271_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Why are three pieces of Alaskan art paired with a piece from Brazil?
Great question! The installation is by theme and use rather than country of origin.
What is the theme for this case?
The theme is talismans and charms. The necklaces may have been worn by a shaman or medicine man. Images of animals on the Tukano necklace from Brazil acknowledges the important relationship between humans and animals. All three pieces are made from natural materials found within these specific regions.
There is a case of musical instruments from different countries nearby that keeps with the concept of themes within the exhibition.
Okay, I'll check that out, thank you!