Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dance staff

The Tlingit dance staff is an instrument used by the chief or song leader when dancing. The chief or song leader held the staff while dancing, moving it along with the beat of the song and tapping it on the floor. The one in the picture is entirety made of wood. The leaders staff or cane had another name for it depending on the animal that was carved into it. But the one displayed in the Anchorage Museum is made of milled wood, commercial dye and chicken feathers. The reason why I chose this object is because the staff displayed in the Anchorage Museum looks a lot like an eel stick, without the dye and feathers. An eel stick has the same shape and is about the same size and has nails on the sides. An eel stick is used to catch eels. The way you use it is like using a paddle but with rough strokes. You use this tool in early winter through a whole in the ice, just before the eels pass the village. Emmons, G. (1991). The Tlingit Indians. Seattle, WA.