Chilkat blankets were the ultimate prestige objects on the Pacific Northwest Coast, being expensive and made of rare materials. Both men and women wore the blankets over the shoulder during dances and ceremonies.


Chilkat Blanket
Made by Tlingit people, Alaska
Dates to ~1850–1885




This blanket was made sometime between 1850 and 1885 by the Chilkat, a northern Tlingit tribe in Alaska. Chilkat blankets are prestige objects worn over the shoulder by men and women during dances and ceremonies on the Northwest Coast.

Designs spun in cedar bark and Mountain Goat wool represent the crest of the owner, which usually incorporates motifs symbolizing eyes and feathers. Our blanket represents a rare survival of a form that was first collected in the mid-18th century when voyages of exploration passed along the Northwest Coast.

Susan Milbrath 
Curator, Latin American Art and Archaeology*
Florida Museum of Natural History


On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.

Exhibit Area: Objects Tell Stories

Theme: Beautiful Artistry

Cover of the All Things Beautiful bookWant to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.

*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.

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