A Visit to the Art Museum


After studying the Native Americans for the past few months, I’ve been looking into what places we could go visit here in town to give us a more hands-on, more visual of the real artifacts and clothing from the tribes we’ve been reading and watching about.

So I scheduled a tour to the Portland Art Museum, to see their Native American Permanent Exhibit guided by a docent.  We went with a couple other homeschool family friends.

So we went a couple of weeks ago. DSC_0002-small

DSC_0008-small DSC_0010-small DSC_0011-smallAnthropomorphic Figure before 1750 – Largest known example of a Columbia River stone sculpture.  DSC_0019-smallA more modern anthropomorphic sculpture.DSC_0020-smallColumbia River Anthropomorphic Figure, pre-contact.



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We saw many real Native American possessions and artifacts that we’ve seen only on pictures until now.  Every time we’d see something we’ve talked about, or we had drawn or looked for a picture online… Siena and Lucas would look at each other, or look at me, like saying wow, they are real!

Like this Nez Perce horse saddle.


Or this Chilkat blanket (not a great photo, but will remind us of the real deal.)

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And this Tlingit Patlatch hat.


Oh! And these snow goggles from the Inuits.

DSC_0112-smallDifferent from the ones we made (I’ll get more details of our Arctic and Inuit block in the future.)  These are made out wood, rawhide and paint.

DSC_0098-smallSeeing these paintings, these drawings in person, they are so much more amazing than when you look at them on the computer screen or on a book.  I find the designs so beautiful!  The colors so deep.  I would love to put these on my living room.


DSC_0079-smallTlingit dish made out of sheep horn and abalone shell.

DSC_0094-smallTlingit Dance Headdress.  Made out of wood, flicker feathers, sea lion whiskers, cloth and abalone shell, paint and ermine skin.


I was reading in the sign in the museum, that in the Northwest Coast Tribes, there are these headdresses that are worn as part of ceremonies clothing.  Usually they are a circular piece made out of ermine or swan skin and they usually have a trailer.  On top they have feathers or whiskers (like the second to the last photo here above), and they are usually adorned with abalone shells that sparkle with the fire that it’s the center of these ceremonies.

That morning there were not that many people from the public viewing this exhibit.  I enjoyed our tour so much, that I have more pictures to share but will do that in other posts, because there’s just too many!  Enjoy!


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