Huna Tribal House Project- Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
Glacier Bay National Park is the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit clans who sustained themselves for centuries on the abundant resources of the land and sea. Although villages inside the Bay were overrun by the Little Ice Age glacial advance of the 1700’s, the Huna Tlingit re-established numerous fish camps and several villages in Glacier Bay soon after glacial retreat. The Huna Tribal House memorializes the clan houses that once lined the shores of present day Bartlett Cove, now the site of National Park Service headquarters in Glacier Bay. The project also provides an opportunity to revitalize Tlingit artistic traditions. Through a cooperative agreement between the tribal government and NPS, master craftsmen have trained a cadre of local apprentices and students in traditional Tlingit art and design, carving, adzing, and spruce root weaving. Over the past five years, carvers have crafted and installed the elaborately carved and painted cedar panels that adorn the house front, four richly detailed interior cedar house posts and an interior house screen which depicts the stories of the four primary Huna Tlingit clans. Raven and Eagle totems were completed and installed in 2017. These precious cultural elements impart spiritual value to the Tribal House, but as importantly, their design and completion has expanded the circle of tribal members who share in cultural knowledge.
The Tribal House serves as a box of knowledge to learn about Tlingit culture as well as for Tlingit communities and organizations to offer cultural workshops on topics such as Native art, woodworking, weaving, song and dance, healthy living, and more.
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