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Robes & At.óow

Photos: Caitlin Blaisdell

There are six robes that are newly crafted at.óow (ceremonial objects) of the Kiks.ádi Clan that have recently been revealed during the herring gatherings. Five of the robes are the Kaxátjaashaa X’óow (herring lady robes) and one is the Kaxátjaa X’óow (herring robe). They feature the shapes of herring, cut from metallic fabric, and designed by a local Northwest Coast Formline artist, Charlie Skultka Jr.

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The entire composition of fabric, buttons, and cutouts is the design and layout work of the Lingít artist, Jennifer Younger. She composed the shiny school of herring to span across the robes in an intertwined double helix, referencing that herring are a part of Lingít DNA. The herring converge on a portrait of the herring lady on the middle robe. Her head of hair resembles a forest of kelp with pearl beads adorning the locks in reference to the eggs laid in the hair of the Herring Lady.

The robes wouldn’t be possible without the help of countless, loving volunteers. In the weeks leading up to the gathering, Carol Hughey, a local ally and textile artist, opened her apparel studio for volunteers to assist in assembling the robes. Through the work of Carol’s textile craftsmanship, the artistic vision of Jennifer Younger, and hundreds of hours of volunteer time, the robes came to be.

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Tin'aas & Drum

In addition to the robes, there have also been two copper tin'aas created to honor the herring and the herring woman. A drum emulating the tin'aa with herring woman on it was also created.


Photos: Caitlin Blaisdell

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