Our young woman could be someone of high rank, as she is wearing huge abalone earrings, a symbol of high social standing.
The Kwakwaka'wak cultures are highly stratified and status is of the essence. The wealthy sustain their social position by displaying and trading it at potlatch ceremonies, in which giving away is the main event. The higher your status, the more gifts (and valuable) you receive at a potlatch. One of my professors told us that she only received fake money, as children would do, as anthropologist don't really register as important people at these ceremonies.

The name Kwakiutl, the one by which some of this cultures are commonly known, is actually the name of a single tribe. Anthropologist Franz Boas qite carelessly popularized the term for all cultures in the Pacific Northwest area.
The Kwakwaka'wak's traditional economy was based primarily on fishing, with the men also engaging in some hunting, and the women gathering wild fruits and berries. 
As with almost all indigenous cultures, the Kwakwaka'wakw have had to survive the impact of meeting Western culture and diseases, and the transformation of their economy. 
Today, only 5,500 people remain, living in British Columbia, and only around 250 people still speak some of the languages in the Kwak'wala family.
Their whole culture has been under severe pressure until quite recently (which has included the banning of their traditional ceremonies and other acts of cultural extermination, such as forced internment of children), but their artistic production, consisting mainly of ornate weaving and woodwork, were and still are important crafts. The level of production has always been outstanding and absolutely breathtaking, and it reaches nowadays very good prices in the international market.

For the contest "British Columbia":
http://www.polyvore.com/british_columbia_canada_trip_65/contest.show?id=435094
Join the fun and explore the indigenous cultures!

Theodore J. Richardson is an American artist who painted totem pole villages in southeastern Alaska for two decades in the last part of the 19th century. From an objective point of view, his watercolours are historically accurate, competent renderings of Haida and Tlingit villages.
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Comments

15 comments

missanacreativityinstyle
Wrote three years ago
Perfect!!!

jazzy
Wrote three years ago
congrats on 1st place! this is beautiful and interesting and heartbreaking all at the same time! it reminds me of what the australians did to the aborigines - i was shocked to read about the swedes and norwegians - but the danes haven't been much better with the greenlanders - we are all so stupid and could have learnt so much from these people about sustainable living - let's hope @incogneato 's right - love the way you've done those abalone earrings :)

lillibunneh
Wrote three years ago
Congrats Carol !! It is a lovely set , for sure a winner ! <3

carolgrant
Wrote three years ago
Thanks so much, I had great fun creating the set, I guess it shows ;) @bb60477 & @duchessbee

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Around the World in 80 Sets (travel group- fashion , art , interior design )

Around the World in 80 Sets (travel group- fashion , art , interior design )

Travelers get ready! The goal is the go around the world in 80 sets. I will pick a place, and people can make a set about that place. Sets can be any type- fashion, art, interior design, any time period. We value gaining new knowledge about cultures and places. Respect for all! Please come join our voyage of creativity :-) BE ORIGINAL-anyone with stolen sets will be banned. Sets showing hatred towards others will also be banned.

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The Curio Shop

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1st place in group contest: British Columbia, Canada (trip #65)

1st place in group contest: British Columbia, Canada (trip #65)

38 sets from 26 members. Ended three years ago.
British Columbia, Canada! From Vanouver to Glacier park to the rugged coastline! So much inspiration! All styles welcome!

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