Of all places, the Brooklyn Museum has amassed an impressive suite of NW Coast artifacts and art. Their online catalogue is mainly lodged under the “research” and “collections” tabs. One interesting thing about this collection is that any viewer can ‘tag‘ a picture, building up a folk taxonomy that cross-cuts more traditional museum categories. This has its advantages of course (e.g., items which are tagged “beards“, or “scary“), but also raises questions about just how comprehensive is any set of results? And how accurate – this rattle is tagged Tsimshian despite being collected in Bella Bella (Heiltsuk territory). Still, with a grain of salt it is an idea definitely worth pursuing. You can also click around on their “visible storage” map. The images are decent resolution and combined with the tag-surfing possibilities this is a fun and informative site.
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