Thursday Doors: Way up north

Native culture in Alaska is rich and varied, yet all the native peoples of Alaska have developed the hardiness and ingenuity required to live in a harsh climate. In previous posts, I have featured native Alaskan cultures as tourists typically encounter them. Since it is very cold outside here now, I can imagine more clearly the ways people in the far north kept warm. So for this week’s Thursday Doors, I am focusing on the doors of the native peoples in Alaska.

In Haines, we visited a Klukwan (Tlingit) traditional knowledge camp, where we learned about some of their cultural traditions.

This is more than a door, but what surrounds the door is fascinating.

The main lodge or community house at Klukwan traditional knowledge camp in Haines, AK: The two clans, represented by the Eagle and the Raven, are on top. Underneath are the symbols of the subclans belonging to each of the two main clans.
Klukwan - smoke house
Klukwan traditional knowledge camp, Haines, AK: Smoke house
Door of the drying shed
Drying shed door at Klukwan traditional knowledge camp, Haines, AK

While in Anchorage, we visited the Alaska Native Heritage Center.  At the ANHC there is an outdoor museum featuring the various cultural groups in Alaska and examples of their houses.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Tlingit/Haida – Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, AK
ANHC, Anchorage, AK: Entrance to an Unangax/Alutiiq house.
ANHC, Anchorage, AK: Yup’ik and Cup’ik house
ANHC, Anchorage, AK: Entrance to an Inupiaq house



5 thoughts on “Thursday Doors: Way up north

  1. Thank you! The house built into the earth seems snug, with the earth protecting it from all sides. It reminds me of animal hibernation sites. But I imagine they must have had some sort of ventilation in the roof.

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