Crests are the most important symbols of the history and identity of Tlingit clans, acquired by ancestors in the ancient past and representing crucial encounters with animal persons and spiritual beings that determine the unique identity and character of clan members. In this collection of first-person narratives compiled by Chuck Smythe, Ph.D., clan leaders and spokespersons describe how different Tlingit clans acquired specific crest designs. The purpose of the publication is to provide images of clan crests for which duplication by non-clan members is a violation of Tlingit customary laws and practices.
Sealaska Heritage's Box of Knowledge series consists of essays, reports, and books that institute considers should be made available as a contribution to studies on Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures, history, and languages. They may be based on work carried out by researchers working in collaboration with SHI, contributions prepared by external experts, and work by staff.
For more on SHI's publications, visit https://www.sealaskaheritage.org/institute/culture-and-history/programs/research-and-publications