September 23, 2015
Master carvers share knowledge
Whistles, rattles, and clappers summon spirits and echo their voices during the dances and ceremonies of the indigenous peoples of Southeast Alaska. Carved from red or yellow cedar, these traditional instruments blend distinctive musical sounds with complex forms. Master carvers John Hudson (Tsimshian), Norman Jackson (Tlingit), and Donald Varnell (Haida) demonstrate how these instruments are made and share knowledge of their cultural meanings during the Voices from Cedar artists’ residency at the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. The artists will teach students and compare their own work to historical examples in the Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage exhibition on the second floor of the museum’s west wing.
Museum members and the public are welcome to meet the artists during open house hours from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8 and Friday, Oct. 9.