Fifteen Chinese coins, moose hide, dentalium shells, glass beads, sinew, four other coins; L 54 cm, W 14.5 cm
Kenai Peninsula, 1883
Beaded woman’s belt
The item represents the trade that was occurring with Dena’ina during the 19th century. It is highly decorated with signs of status and wealth through its use of beads, Chinese and French coins and dentalium shells. Although it is listed as a belt, it may in fact be a band of ornamentation for a tunic or dress. It was likely owned by a qiy’u, or rich woman.
Collection: Ethnological Museum Berlin, IVA 6110
Image: © Chris Arend/Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum