Tlingit Chilkat Shaman's Dance Apron (Blanket Waist Robe), c. third quarter 19th century, tightly woven of cedar bark and mountain goat wool mounted on a hide foundation, most of the long fringe terminating with a brass thimble (some wool loss), wd. 42, lg. 25 in.
Provenance: Collected by the present owner's great-grandfather, Admiral Robert E. Coontz. Coontz was stationed at Sitka, Alaska, in the 1880s as a young U.S Naval officer. He married Augusta Cohen, the daughter of Abraham Cohen, considered the first American to settle in Alaska before the territory was acquired from Russia in 1867. Coontz went on to have a distinguished career in the Navy; two ships were named after him, the latest in 1961. The photograph, "Sitka Indians before a 'Pot Latch'" is reproduced in From the Mississippi to the Sea, the autobiography of Admiral Robert E. Coontz (1930). It is believed that the cape was given to Coontz during the Pot Latch in 1885.
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