Chilkat Blanket

CHILKAT BLANKET, or robe, is a unique form of Northwest Coast FIRST NATIONS weaving used as the regalia of high-ranking men and women. It is fringed on 4 of its 5 sides and woven by women from MOUNTAIN GOAT wool, which is spun into yarn and wrapped around strands of yellow CEDAR bark for strength. Representations of crests and more abstract figures are woven into the robes following pattern boards painted by men. The robe is worn like a cape on ceremonial occasions. According to tradition, Chilkat weaving originated with the TSIMSHIAN people and spread to the TLINGIT. The term Chilkat blanket was used by Europeans because, by the time trading began, such robes were mostly obtained from the Chilkat, a subdivision of the Tlingit. See also ART, NORTHWEST COAST ABORIGINAL.
Reading: Cheryl Samuel, The Chilkat Dancing Blanket, 1982.