Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Alaska State Museum in Juneau

“Oh,” the docent laughed, “everyone asks about that old bear. He hasn’t been around for years. He got all patchy because all the kids touched him and his hair fell off.”

LOL. I know one of those kids. There was a big sign that said “Do Not Touch the Bear” but he was a snowy white polar bear and . . . irresistible. My Dad worked in the same building as this museum, in its old location, and I would meet him there for a ride home after going to the library.

I loved this museum.

This time, it was one of the highlights of the entire trip. This museum is rich in well-curated pieces, and they are beautifully arranged. A new museum is going up; I can only hope that when it opens, it is at least as well done as this one is. Both AdventureMan and I could spend a lot more time in this museum.

Carving at the entrance:



Bent wood box

Painted chest

Ceremonial robe

Everyday clothing

Upiq masks

Close up Upiq masks

Sun motif ceremonial outfit – look at the leg pieces – don’t they look like Sadu weaving to you?


Moon motif ceremonial outfit

Hand made hats. I was so surprised; these are like prayer caps in Oman and in Pakistan and I think in Indonesia. That they would be so similar in shape and geometric embroidery was amazing to me.


Eagle’s nest display, with eagle sounds. I love this! There is also a bear, but positioned so you really cannot touch . . . :-(



Corner pillars of Alaskan native houses used to look like this, not exactly totemic but with carved spirits:


There is so much more. I focused on the Alaskan Native inhabitants, but there are also exhibits of the coming of the Russians, the gold rush, the transition to territory and statehood . . . I can only take in so much at one time! Good thing we are going back :-)

395 Whittier Street
Juneau, AK 99811-1718
Tel: 907.465.2901
Fax: 907.465.2976

September 13, 2013 - Posted by | Adventure, Alaska, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Biography, Birds, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Heritage, Interconnected, Road Trips, Travel, Wildlife | ,

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