Tag Archives: armor

Tlingit War Helmet Rediscovered after 100 years

Tlingit war helmet recently rediscovred in Springfield Science Museum.  Source: SSM.

Tlingit war helmet recently rediscovered in Springfield Science Museum. Source: SSM.

This is the kind of cool story that makes me want to poke around in all the community museums I see.  A fantastic Tlingit war helmet has been recently rediscovered in the backroom of a museum in Springfield, Massachussests.  The helmet was accessioned in 1899 as an “Aleutian hat” and the designation was never questioned until now.  The news article about it suggests only 95 of these helmets are known, with the largest collections found in Russia.  They are part of an elaborate system of armour known from the contact and early historic period in Tlingit territory (Southeast Alaska – Alaska Panhandle).

Continue reading

Russian Plastic Tlingit Warrior Models. And more!

Model of a Tlingit warrior. Source: http://www.modelsculpt.org, click for original page.

Well, there’s another headline I never thought I’d write!  Don’t ask me how I found it but these Russian guys have a passion for modelling human figures and one of their subjects is a Tlingit warrior.  It’s actually pretty impressive, with slat armour faithfully rendered, a wooden helmet and the circular gorget or throat protector. Scroll around on that forum for more images of the model.  We’ve looked at Tlingit slat armour on this site once before, as well.  The narrow slit between the helmet and the gorget or collar might seem exaggerated, but it agrees with this picture (also perhaps exaggerated) and this drawing, both apparently from Russian sources.

But there was an ancillary benefit to looking through this Russian-language forum: one of the participants has scanned some amazing pages of Tlingit art and artifacts from a Russian book, stuff I had never seen before that perhaps has its origins in colonial Russian Alaska.

Continue reading

Replica Tlingit Armour

Replicated Tlingit body armour.

The Tlingit artist Tommy Joseph has replicated a traditional set of armour:

… body armor made of alder slats and rods and woven together with hemp. Wooden panels are stitched together with leather lacing. Moosehide straps. Two alder toggles fasten the armor around the body.

It’s for sale: $3,500.

I was looking into this because of a recent post on Linen Armour (!) at Heather Pringle’s blog — I tried to leave a comment there in response to a question about NW Coast armour but wordpress ate it — probably because I had a bunch of links.  Dan form there, if you read this, most likely the armour Simon Fraser saw was made of two or more layers of stiffened elk hide.

Nettle winding around wooden slats and rods plus toggle fastening.