HIGH RANKING INDIVIDUALS AT POTLATCH

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STATUS AND RANK AS RELATED TO THE HAMATSA SOCIETY
Last revised 14 JAN 2018

HIERARCHY OF DESCENT GROUPS
 

HIERARCHY OF KIN GROUPS

Moiety: each of two social or ritual groups into which an entire people is divided, especially among Australian Aborigines and some American Indians.

Phratry: an exogamous group typically comprising several clans. "Exogamous" means that one must marry someone from outside the phratry.

Clan: a group of people tracing descent from a common mythological ancestor.

Lineage: a group of people tracing descent generation by generation from a common, founding ancestor.

Lineages are often organized into clans, and clans may be organized into phratries or moieties.

Social hierarchies are most complex at the heart of the Northwest Coast. They become less complex rapidly as you move to the north, south and west. This pattern corresponds roughly to population density, and to the stability and abundance of resources.


LOOK FOR THE STATUS & RANK MARKERS IN THIS IMAGE.

  Tlingit potlatch guests displaying their status symbols and arranged by rank.

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THREE CHIEFS ATTENDING A POTLATCH

 

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COMMEMORATING A FUNERAL

 

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COMMEMORATING A FUNERAL

 

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CHIEF HAMASOKA WITH STAFF

  Chief Hamasoka with his staff. Notice the coppers represented on his blanket.

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DECORATING A HAT

  Francine Hunt decorates a hat.

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PERSONAL DISPLAY OF RANK    FRANCINE HUNT 1914

  Francine Hunt in 1914 displaying symbols of her wealth and social rank.

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TLINGIT OR HAIDA HAT WITH AFFIRMATION RINGS

Tlingit OR Haida hat, ca. 1900, with affirmation rings and wooden crest.

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TLINGIT FROG CLAN HAT WITH AFFIRMATION RINGS

Tlingit Kiks'adi Frog Clan hat with affirmation rings.

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HAIDA CHIEF DISPLAYS TATOOS

A Haida Chief displays his tatoos.

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HAIDA DANCE MASK DISPLAYING TATOOS

A Haida dance mask that protrays facial tatoos.

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HAIDA MASK WITH BODY PAINT AND LABRET

Haida protrait mask with facial tatoos and labret

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MODERN MASK WITH LABRET

Modern mask with labret.

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CHILKAT ROBE CA. 1900

Chilkat Robe, ca. 1900. These robes could only be worn by chiefs and display their lineage crest, called a house crest after the great house, which was the seat of the lineage and the residence of the chief.

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CHILKAT SKIRT

Chilkat SKIRT worn by the wife of a chief for ceremonial purposes.

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CHILKAT TUNIC

Chilkat tunic worn by a chief when activity was required.

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CHIEF IN KILLER WHALE BLANKET STANDING BEFORE HOUSE POST

Chief wearing a blanket of unusual design.

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19TH_CENTURY_BUTTON_BLANKET

19th century button blanket with frog design.

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19TH_CENTURY_BUTTON_BLANKET

19th century button blanket with frog design.

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TLINGIT COPPER

 

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CHIEF DISPLAYS WEALTH IN GREAT HOUSE

 

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A LESSON IN STATUS

Charles James Newell (center) with his mother (right) and wife (left) photographed in 1899 at 'Yalis, British Columbia. His mother is a commoner and his wife, who is the daughter of Chief Lageuse.

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PEARLY KINGS FROM ENGLAND

Pearly Kings from England.

Learn all about the Pearlies here.

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SKULL

 

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Text & layout © 2010, 2017 by Charles M. Nelson
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