Synopses & Reviews
Providing as much a historical monograph as an anthropological study, Jonaitis, director of the University of Alaska Museum and professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, details the history of the Nootka Whalers' Shrine, from its origins in Yuquot (Friendly Cove), to its acquisition by George Hunt in 1905, for the American Museum of Natural History, and its subsequent interest to anthropologists, historians, and even film makers.
"In 1905 George Hunt acquired a collection of materials from the Mowachaht band of the Nuu-chahnulth (Nootka) for the American Museum of Natural History. An assemblage of 92 carved wooden figures and whales, 16 human skulls, and the small building that sheltered them, the shrine had for centuries stood in Yuquot, or Friendly Cove, on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island, to be visited only by chiefs and their wives. Since its removal to New York, it has captured the imagination of individuals who have represented it in anthropological and historical writings, film, television, video, and newspapers."--BOOK JACKET. "Aldona Jonaitis investigates and reconstructs the history of the shrine both before and after it was acquired for the museum. She analyzes the various representations that have shaped the public's understanding of the shrine's significance and reviews the history of its acquisition, detailing Boas's almost obsessive desire for its purchase, as well as Hunt's dealings with its owners."--BOOK JACKET. "Taking the shrine's history up to the present day, Jonaitis addresses important contemporary issues, including the Mowachaht's desire to have the shrine repatriated to Yuquot."--BOOK JACKET.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 211-230) and index.
Table of Contents
Representations of the whalers' shrine -- Acquiring the shrine -- The whalers' shrine collections: photographs, artifacts, and narratives -- The Yuquot whalers' shrine -- A Nootka ceremonial house -- Correspondence on the whalers' shrine between Franz Boaz and George Hunt -- History of tão!wekç, who married p!espiatäs!EgwEm, the Wolf-Mother -- History of the ts!awEn tribe of motäs!at -- Belonging to ts!awen tribe story: whalers' prayers to the four chiefs.