HIGH RANKING INDIVIDUALS AT POTLATCH

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STATUS AND RANK AS RELATED TO THE HAMATSA SOCIETY
Last revised 27 AUG 2017

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. Can you spot the visitor from afar?

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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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DECORATING A HAT

  Francine Hunt decorates a hat.

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PERSONAL DISPLAY OF RANK

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

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TLINGIT HAT WITH AFFIRMATION RINGS

 

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HAIDA MASK WITH BODY PAINT AND LABRET

 

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MODERN MASK WITH LABRET

 

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CHIEF IN KILLER WHALE BLANKET STANDING BEFORE HOUSE POST

 

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ITEMS TO BE DISTRIBUTED AT POTLATCH

 

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ITEMS TO BE DISTRIBUTED AT POTLATCH

 

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CHIEF DISPLAYS WEALTH IN GREAT HOUSE

 

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TLINGIT COPPER

 

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DZOONOKWA WELCOMING THE FAMILY OF THE BRIDE

 

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SKULL

 

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