Tsimshian art, Vancouver Island art, Indigenous, native American art

The Tsimshian are mostly from coastal BC, far southern Alaska, around Terrace and Prince Rupert. The Tsimshian people consist of approximately 10,000 members of seven First Nations (including the Kitselas, Kitsumkalum, and the "Allied Tribes" of the Lax Kw'Alaams; the Metlakatla, Kitkatla,Gitga'at and Kitasoo). The Tsimshian are one of the largest First Nations peoples in northwest British Columbia. Some Tsimshian migrated to Annette Island, Alaska, where their descendants in the Metlakatla Indian Community number about 1450.

Similar to numerous Native American peoples, the Tsimshian have a matrilineal kinship system, with a societal structure based on a clan system. Early anthropologists and linguists had classified the Gitskan and Nishga as Tsimshian because of apparent linguistic affinities. The three were all referred to as "Coast Tsimshian," even though some communities were not coastal. These three groups, however, identify as separate nations.

Halibut Hook, Eagle design by Edward Earl Bryant

Halibut Hook, Eagle design by Edward Earl Bryant

Halibut Hook by Tsimshian Artist Edward Earl Bryant


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