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Northwest Coast Totemic Art

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NORTHWEST COAST ART AND TOTEMS

Northwest coastal and southeast Alaska native groups created the basis of their art in woodcarving, utilizing primarily the red and yellow cedars that grew nearby. Although each indigenous culture had their own tradition, the similarities among native cultures from as far south as Puget Sound to as far North as the terminus of Alaska's inside passage is apparent in objects as diverse as wooden bowls, hats, dance rattles, and of course the most recognizable totem poles. The totem designs also were traditional on copper or silver jewelry, as well as clothing, knives, boxes, and other practical items.

 Today there is a flourishing traditional totemic style art produced throughout the Southeast coast of Alaska and northwest Canada, with native artists from cultures such as the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimsian, Salish, and more well represented.  Because of the market from collectors of indigenous art, the totem style native art has persevered and evolved from a utilitarian to a highly sought after decorative art. The finest Alaskan gift shops and Alaskan galleries represent some of the best native woodcarvers, and the Alaska Gallery within the Russian American Company in Sitka Alaska has offered authentic totem poles, hand-carved cedar wall plaques, hand-carved native silver jewelry, and other traditional totemic art for over 40 years. For authentic Northwest coast totem style art featuring unique one of a kind gifts, our collection of this iconic native art form is unsurpassed.