These are three very meaningful objects that represent Harper Buhs. This collection of meaningful objects all relate to family. Each object shows apart of Harper’s life and how it always comes back to family. Many would look at these objects and not think much of it, but to Harper it is about the stories and memories behind them. They all have sentimental value and show to type of person she has become.
This collection contains personal objects that can be found throughout Elizabeth’s room. All of these items show a part of both Elizabeth’s past and present. Many of these objects are things that most people would consider junk and things to throw away. However, to Elizabeth, they hold a lot of meaning and are things that she will keep for a long time. These items allow for more insight to Elizabeth’s personal life and her relationships, as well as her hobbies.
Josh Gibson has a big heart and a love for education. Gibson is a beloved member of our community. He values personal relationships and always is trying to better himself. Family has always been a major aspect in his life. Gibson enjoys the companionship of others, he is very social. Gibson spends the majority of his days with family, friends, and students. He always greets you with a warm smile and is excited to start any conversation. Josh Gibson's personality lights up any room with his contagious smile and positive attitude. Civic Memorial is blessed to have such a compassionate and intelligent staff member. Gibson's objects—silver medallion, school identification badge, and family photo— illustrate his love for his family, education, and teaching.
Gibson, Josh. Personal interview. 22 April 2019.
A collection of personal objects that delineate Mandy Drew. This collection contains objects that were obtained during her childhood and young adult years. She considers each of these objects to be important and meaningful in her life. The objects symbolize what takes up most of her time, music and family. All of these are things she was raised to hold close and in high standards. With these objects are some key memories of their origin and meaning in her life.
What Molly Williams, a junior at Civic Memorial High School, highly values among her items. Two of these items are gifts from her parents, and one is a hobby introduced to her by her sister, and has stuck with her ever since. All of these things make up the creative aspects of her adolescence and have, in some way, molded her to become who she is and who she will be.
The Things I Carry. Two turtles and a ring. Some odd small objects that mean more than the world to me. Each holding a specific memory, a specific piece of my heart.
These are some of the things that I carry with me in life and can act as a representation for who I am today.
This Collection contains resources to help students understand the three branches of government in the United States.
SWBT identify and describe the purposes of each branch of the United States government.
This collection includes a brief overview of Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. It focuses on the story of Laozi and his ideas about the Dao and the balance between yin and yang. It includes two short passages from the Dao de Jing, assessment questions throughout, and a final task where students create their own collection about Daoism.
Tags: Dao, Confucius, Tao, Buddha, Laozi, China, religion, philosophy
There is controversy over the Revolutionary War mainly discussing, was it revolutionary? Years before the war, there were many events that led up to its outbreak. The pictures that I included are artifacts and evidence that reveal the motive that colonists had for wanting to rebel against the British. Also, analyzing these events can help justify the purpose of the Revolutionary War.
By Rosita Worl (Tlingit), 2009
(This is shortened version of a longer essay from the Smithsonian book Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska.)
Sea, Land, Rivers
Lingít haa sateeyí, "we who are Tlingit," have owned and occupied southeast Alaska since time immemorial. When we say haa aaní, “our land,” we are speaking from the heart. Those words mean ownership, which we have had to defend through history. They mean identity, because this is our homeland. They mean the nourishment of body and spirit provided by bountiful rain forests, coasts and rivers. This land and its gifts have sustained us for hundreds of generations.
We believe that animals are our ancestors. Each matrilineal clan has its ancient progenitors. I am an Eagle from the Thunderbird clan, of the House Lowered from the Sun in Klukwan. I am proud to be a child of the Lukaax.ádi, or Sockeye, my father’s clan. The history of our lineages is portrayed by images of ancestral animals and by origin stories, ceremonial regalia, dances, songs and names. These things represent at.óow, or “crest” beings, to which each clan has exclusive rights. Mountains, glaciers and other places on the land are also at.óow, because they are linked to incidents in the birth of our people. For a Tlingit person at.óow embody history, ancestry, geography, social being and sacred connection. They symbolize who we are.
The Tlingit homeland extends from Icy Bay in the north to Prince of Wales Island in the south, some four hundred miles along Alaska’s panhandle. The population is about ten thousand, distributed among a dozen villages, cities and towns. The ocean spreads out before us, with a maze of wooded islands, fjords and channels that Tlingit seafarers historically traveled in cedar-trunk canoes. Behind us are high glaciated mountain ranges that extend inland from the coast.
Fish, especially salmon, is the most important and bountiful resource in the Tlingit region. Harvested in summer and fall and preserved by smoking and drying, it allowed the historical population to grow large, to live in permanent winter villages and to produce surpluses for trade. It is still the year-round staple of our diet. The winter is long, and we look forward to spring and to herring eggs. We pick spring greens as they come up. Through the summer people gather berries and put them away. Summer is the season for hunting seals, which are important both for meat and for their fat. Nutritionists note the exceptional quality of our traditional diet, which includes omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, cancer-preventing antioxidants in blueberries, and the rich vitamins and proteins of wild meats and fish. We’ve always enjoyed the health benefits and superb tastes of those foods.
Community and Family
Tlingit are divided into opposing and complementary halves, Eagle and Raven, which are called moieties. Each moiety is composed of large extended families that we identify as clans. The clans, in turn, are divided into tribal houses. In the present day, many Tlingit people introduce themselves to others first by personal name and moiety—Eagle or Raven—and then by clan name and house. We inherit clan membership from our mothers but call ourselves the “children” of our father’s clan. In the past, children lived in the house of their father. But when a boy reached the age of ten, he went to live with his mother’s brother, who assumed responsibility for the schooling of his young nephew. A girl remained in her father’s clan house until she married.
Although locally organized by village and clan, our region was never politically unified until coming into conflict with the West. When the Treaty of Cession was signed in 1867 our great-grandparents were astonished to learn that Russia had purported to sell Alaska, including our aboriginal lands, to the United States. Tribal leaders sent a lawyer to Washington to tell the government, “If you want to buy Alaska, then buy it from us, its rightful owners.” The struggle for our land continued for more than a century. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes, established during World War II, litigated for thirty years to reach a financial settlement over tribal property taken by the U.S. federal government to create the Tongass National Forest. In 1968, the Tlingit and other groups unified under the Alaska Federation of Natives to pursue both state and federal claims.
The Tlingit people, like all Alaska Natives, endured a long, hard fight for their civil rights. We were denied U.S. citizenship until 1922 and experienced decades of overt discrimination and segregation. Alaska’s own “Jim Crow” laws excluded us from stores, jobs, schools and public buildings. In 1945, the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood, based in southeast Alaska, finally won the repeal of discriminatory laws by the state legislature. To earn his Certificate of Citizenship, my grandfather had to pass an English-language and civics test administered by white schoolteachers and then have his application approved by a judge. To practice his rights as a citizen, including the right to vote, he was forced to show that he had given up his Native language and culture to lead a “civilized” life.
When he was dying my grandfather called me to his bedside. I was fourteen years old. He said, “I want you to build a fire in the clan house.” What he was saying is that my generation had to rekindle the fire of our culture and language. That became our responsibility. We have worked hard to help restore cultural knowledge, practice, pride and fluency among our people. We have had substantial success, as witnessed by the huge public expression of our cultures that takes place every other year during the regional Celebration gathering. Progress has been made with the Tlingit language as well, although I don’t know that we’ll ever speak it the way our ancestors did. I will tell you, though, that the voices of our ancestors will always be heard in our land. And our core cultural values will be maintained.
Ceremony and Celebration
One of our strongest values is the maintenance of social and spiritual balance between Eagle and Raven clans to ensure the well-being of society. In addition, we have spiritual obligations to ancestors and future generations, a concept of cultural perpetuation called haa shagoon. These traditional beliefs form the basis of ceremonies called ku.éex’ or potlatch in English. The most significant ku.éex’ ceremonies are memorials to those who have passed away. When someone of an Eagle clan dies, members of Raven clans come to assist the grieving relatives. They bring food, contribute to the funeral expenses and sit with the body through the night.
A year after the death the Eagle clan hosts a ku.éex’ for the Ravens, who come as guests. The hosts display their clan treasures, or at.óow. In this context, the word at.óow refers to works of traditional art that bear the images of crest beings. They include Chilkat blankets woven from dyed mountain sheep wool, button blankets, headdresses, carved and painted boxes, masks and drums. Clan ownership of these crest objects is revalidated by their presentation in the memorial ceremony, accompanied by a recounting of their histories and the origin stories of the crests themselves. Balance is maintained through the response of the Raven clans by presenting their own at.óow. The Eagle clan repays the Ravens, who came to the Eagles’ assistance, by distributing gifts and acknowledging them in oratory and song.
At a memorial ku.éex’ we name and honor the deceased person, our ancestors and others in the clan who have recently died. We feed these ancestors and departed relatives with their favorite foods, perhaps smoked cockles, gumboots (chitons) or deer meat. We transfer the food to the spirit world by fire or by giving it to the opposite side to eat.
If the person who died was a clan leader, his successor is named and assumes office at the time of the memorial ceremony. Therefore, a ku.éex’ has multiple functions: repaying the opposite moiety and reuniting with them, fulfilling spiritual obligations, and conducting legal and political affairs. This institution, which remains so vital and important in our contemporary lives, is far more complex than a stereotypical understanding of the word potlatch might imply.
Tags: Tlingit, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska
This collection was made for a Kindergarten Class that was exploring a common object, a toaster. The class started by using a thinking routine from Agency by Design, a part of Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero. The used the thinking routine Parts, Purposes, Complexities to thinking deeply about the toaster and generate questions about it. This collection provides additional toasters from different time periods to push the Kinder student inquiry further. The use of the thinking routine See, Think, Wonder also helps generate thinking about the objects.
The creation of the United States was catalyzed by the efforts of the Patriots, their allies, blacksmiths, and numerous others. Here, we examine the tools and weapons used by the parties at war during the decades leading up to the American Revolution, and their progression immediately afterwards.
A story about the race of the tortoise and the hare.
The Trail of Tears of 1830 was a series of forced relocation done by Andrew Jackson's "Indian Removal" policy. Prior to the removal , 125,000 Native Americans lived in Georgia , Tennessee , Alabama , North Carolina , and Florida occupying the land that their ancestors had occupied and cultivated for generations. Sadly , Native Americans faced discrimination from White Americans , because Native Americans seemed to be unfamiliar , alien people who occupied land they felt they deserved. The presumed solution to this "problem" was "civilizing" Native Americans. Civilization consisted of encouraging them to converting to Christianity , learning to speak and read English , and adopting European styles of ownership.
Following this motion , there were The Five Civilized Tribes that consisted of Choctaw , Chickasaw , Seminole , Creek , and Cherokee who embraced these customs. Unfortunately , no matter how "civilized" Native Americans were whites wanted the land and would do anything to get it. e.g. stealing livestock , burning homes and towns , and squatting on land that land that did not belong to them. Later on , cases aroused stripping Native Americans from their rights and violating their territory e.g. Cherokee Nation v. Georgia(1831) and Worcester v. Georgia(1832). Although laws were passed , they were often overlooked by President Jackson and by 1840 , tens of thousands of Native suffered from whooping cough , typhus , dysentery , cholera , and starvation or were driven off their land by the federal government.
The below items include the paper , and canvas collections of The Trail of Tears; the additional items are supporting Cherokee artifacts.
The Map of Removal
President Andrew Jackson
The Orders No. 35
The Land of Beulah (Cherokee Hymn)
The Treaty of Turkeytown
Trail of Tears Symbol
Trail Marker Trees
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a major event in history where millions of Africans were captured by Europeans and brought over to the Americas and the Caribbean Islands. The Trans-Atlantic Slave trade was primarily focused around money and control. The Europeans saw slavery as a way to increase productivity in crop cultivation (a lucrative business at the time) while capitalizing on the forced labor of the Africans). The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade has led to years of inequality and oppression of African descendants in western society. This collection is intended to go in-depth about the dynamics of the Atlantic Slave Trade in a somewhat chronological way. These images will discuss a variety of topics such as the rudimentary causes of the Atlantic Slave Trade, the the method(s) used to bring the enslaved Africans to the New World, and the condition of the slaves once they were brought over to the New World.
The Transatlantic Slave Trade was the journey from Europe to West Africa to acquire slaves then across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas then back to Europe during the 16th to 19th centuries. The objects that facilitated the functions of the slave trade made the trade simultaneously more efficient and inhumane.
The ships were very important because they carried goods from port to port whether it was slaves to the Americas, sugar and tobacco to Europe, or guns and cloth to Africa. Without the ships none of the transportation from port to port would be possible and as a result the trade would have been nonexistent. Middlemen were also integral to the slave trade as they were Africans who knew the interior thus they were able to capture slaves because most Africans lived on the interior of the continent. Without the middlemen the Europeans would not be able to capture the slaves because they did not know the land and the interior. The forts/trading posts also played a vital role in the slave trade as they facilitated the trade between the Europeans and Africans, the Europeans giving the Africans guns and cloth in exchange for slaves, gold and spices. The forts/trading posts also held slaves awaiting to be transported to the new world for several weeks.
The Tsimshian People and Their Culture
By David Boxley (Tsimshian), 2009
(This is shortened version of a longer essay from the Smithsonian book Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska.)
Land, Sea, Rivers
Most Tsimshian live along the coast of northern British Columbia between the Nass River and Queen Charlotte Sound. The shores and islands are covered by northern rain forests of hemlock, spruce, fir, red cedar and yellow cedar, woods that were the basic raw materials of our culture. Tsimshian territory extends into the mountainous interior as well, following the valley of the Skeena River.
At one time at least eight thousand Tsimshian lived there, located in twenty winter villages and many seasonal camps. Today about thirty-five hundred live in seven Canadian towns. In 1862, a Tsimshian group led by an Anglican missionary, William Duncan, broke away from Fort Simpson to found a religious colony at Old Metlakatla. Twenty-five years later they moved again, building New Metlakatla on Annette Island, in southeast Alaska. Generations have lived there since, and that is the community in which I was born and grew up. I was very fortunate to be raised by my grandfather and grandmother, Albert and Dora Bolton, who gave me a strong foundation in our culture. When I was young they took me with them to their fish camps and on trips all over our island for subsistence activities.
Most people still rely a great deal on fish, seals, berries and other traditional foods, supplemented by commercial fishing and other sources of cash income. In historical times, the year’s food gathering began in spring when the ice broke up on the Nass River and the eulachon began running there. People traveled from their winter villages to harvest the fish in nets, drying some and fermenting and boiling the rest to extract the oil. Trade in eulachon grease, which no other people could produce in such quantity, was one of the sources of Tsimshian wealth and prosperity. In spring they also gathered seaweed and herring eggs, fished for halibut, and collected bird eggs and abalone. During summer and fall they relocated to fishing sites on the rivers to catch salmon with weirs and traps, drying and smoking them for winter. At the winter villages they gathered clams, cockles and mussels, and if you visit those old settlements today you can still see the mounds of discarded shells. At different times of the year they hunted seals, sea lions, deer, elk, mountain goats and mountain sheep.
Archaeological sites in Prince Rupert Harbour demonstrate that this way of life goes back at least five thousand years. Crest objects such as chiefs’ headdresses and masks are connected to origin stories and to the succession of clan leaders who have owned and passed them down to their descendants, along with name titles and titles to land. This is important in British Columbia where the Tsimshian Nation is attempting to reclaim territories that were taken by the Canadian government in the 1870s. Crest objects and the histories attached to them validate those aboriginal claims and link the people to specific places on the land where they lived and harvested food in the old days.
Family and Community
My people are divided into four equal groups. Each is a pteex (clan) with its own principal crest: Eagle (Laxsgiik), Raven (Ganhada), Wolf (Laxgibuu), and Killer Whale (Gisbutwada). Crests are symbols of matrilineal connection, so whatever pteex your mother comes from, you will be the same. Because clans marry out, your father will be from a different one of the four. Within each pteex are multiple lineages, like branches on a family tree. Eagle, Raven, Wolf, and Killer Whale each have as many as twenty-five subcrests, a few available that are to everyone in the clan and the rest limited to certain branches. As a Laxsgiik, I may use the Eagle, Beaver, and Halibut crests; I inherited other, more restricted crests from my close maternal ancestors.
Crests represent social identity and its corresponding rights and privileges. Crest images appear on robes, button blankets, headdresses and other regalia that people wear at potlatches to show their ancestry. They are shown on ceremonial drums, staffs and rattles; on dishes and ladles used for serving food at potlatch feasts; and on the totem poles, house fronts, posts and screens of traditional lineage houses.
If you could go back in time to visit a coastal Tsimshian village of two centuries ago, you would see our social system at work. The community is built along the shore, with palisades around back to guard against possible attack from land. You arrive by canoe and announce your person and business while still afloat, waiting for permission to land. Jumping ashore without proper protocol would have been life threatening in those days. Coming up from the beach in the company of your hosts, you see the big red-cedar longhouses, lined up in a row with their doorways facing the water. Each is home to thirty or forty people, most of them matrilineal relatives but including wives and children of other clans.
The village chief’s house is the largest and is located in a central position. Its painted front panels show his crests. The other dwellings are positioned in relation to the chief’s house according to the social ranking of their household heads. In front of prestigious homes are totem poles, carved with crest emblems and figures. Poles are sculptural narratives, telling who lives in a house, the ancient origin and recent history of their lineage, and the achievements of their deceased chiefs and nobles.
Entering one of the longhouses requires that you stoop down to pass through a low door, a vulnerable position for any would-be attacker. Depending on the status of the house, the interior is lined with one or more levels of wood-planked sleeping platforms, like wide bleachers that step down to the central fire pit. The platforms are divided into family living areas, cordoned off with mats or boards. The house chief and his family have a private apartment at the far end of the house, behind a carved and painted wooden screen. Inside the house you see lots of preserved food—dried salmon and halibut, bentwood boxes filled with fish oil, seal grease, and berries; containers of dried meat. All of this came from hunting and fishing territories owned by the house members.
The original Tsimshian way of life began to change when British, Spanish and American fur traders arrived in the late 1700s. The Hudson’s Bay Company built Fort Simpson at the mouth of the Nass River in 1831, and missionaries of several Christian denominations came to work among the Tsimshian, Haida and Tlingit people who had gathered near the fort for trade. The missionaries were successful at converting a large part of the population, which was in rapid decline as a result of smallpox and other new diseases. The people gave up their traditional beliefs, ended their ceremonies and even cut down many of the totem poles.
The converts who followed William Duncan from Fort Simpson to Old Metlakatla and then to Alaska were making a new start, trying to survive in a world that was rapidly changing. Now, more than one hundred years later, Metlakatla is a pretty distinctive place. Little about its everyday appearance would remind a visitor of the lifeways of the past, but we are still proudly Tsimshian, with a strong sense of our unique identity. Our language, Sm’Algyax, has changed from the way it is spoken in Canada, and unfortunately Metlakatla has only a few fluent speakers left, all elders. That frightens me, and I’ve been trying very hard to hold on to what I know and to learn more. We are who we are, but we are what our language makes us, too.
Ceremony and Celebration
Halaayt is spirit power, which comes from above. It gave chiefs and high-ranking people the knowledge and strength they needed to be leaders and to make good decisions. Halaayt enabled them to be the link between their people and the next world, where our ancestors dwell, and to communicate with the spirits of animals. The frontlet of a chief’s ceremonial headdress was a symbol of his halaayt. The face in the center was a crest, surrounded by abalone, sea lion whiskers, feathers and ermine fur. The chief’s headdress, woven robe and Raven rattle all represented his leadership and spiritual power.
Historically, potlatch feasts celebrated events and transitions in the community – death, marriage, the completion of a new house, the raising of a totem pole, or the settlement of a dispute between clans. The largest and most important of these feasts were memorial potlatches, when new chiefs were installed and took the names of their predecessors. Potlatches have always been based on a whole system of reciprocity. During the feast, hosts of one clan recognize and repay debts that they have incurred through services given to them by people of other clans, who come as guests.
Three things are essential to a potlatch. First, it has to be done publicly. The guests are there to serve as witnesses to what is taking place, and that is what makes it legal. Second, the hosts have to gift every guest in payment for his or her witness. Finally, everyone must be fed and fed very well. More than they need. The food they take home with them is another gift.
In 1982, I set out to organize Metlakatla’s first potlatch. For our community it would be the revival of a tradition that we had left behind over a century before in the historical move to Alaska. Many potlatches have been held in Metlakatla since then, and one of the largest was in 1994. It was originally planned as a celebration of my grandfather’s hundredth birthday, but it became his memorial after he passed away at age ninety-eight. I realized that in order for the potlatch to happen on the scale that I had hoped, it would have to include all four clans. Their involvement not only ensured the amazing success of the event but also paved the way for the future, because so many participated and learned so much. We fed a thousand people every evening, three totem poles were raised, and over fifty-five button robes were dedicated on the first night alone. I feel lucky to have come along when I did, at a time when it was right for these changes to take place. The way I grew up, and the gifts of language and culture that my grandparents gave me, prepared me for the journey.
Tags: Tsimshian Alaska Native, Indigenous, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska