Kluane Museum of History

They say never judge a book by its cover and that could not have been better said when talking about the Kluane Museum of History. This humble-from-the-outside museum houses a world-class wildlife exhibit, with animals, birds, and fish in diorama settings depicting their natural habitats. Included are displays of First Nations clothing, tools, and weapons, as well as Yukon minerals. This museum occupies approximately 530 square metres (5700 square feet).

The gift shop has many Yukon-made crafts, including beaded, fur-trimmed moccasins made of moose hide.

Spotlight: 

Potlatch Spoon

Potlatch spoon made from sheep horn with goat horn handle riveted onto it with copper rivets

This serving spoon was crafted out of goat horn for a ceremonial potlatch. An elaborate ceremony usually given by a family member of the same moiety (clan) one year after a person's death in order to commemorate the deceased and to thank those from the other moiety that helped with the burial. In the olden days, a guest would have had to bring their own dishes and cutlery to the feast as it was far too time consuming to make and provide cutlery for the guests. Feasting is a big part of the potlatch, a guest was meant to eat as much as possible and it was the only time eating in excess was acceptable.

The spoon was shaped by boiling or steaming the goat horn, this softened the material and made it easier to shape. The two pieces were hand riveted together with copper, a metal that was abundant in the area. Since copper was found in the riverbed, a spoon maker simply had to hammer the mineral into the desired rivet size. Horn material for the spoon was purposefully selected for aesthetic reasons. The contrast of the yellow sheep horn and the dark goat horn was considered a very desirable effect.

 

Address: 
Historic Mile 1093 on the Alaska Highway
Burwash Landing, YT
Hours: 

Regular Season: May 15th to September 15th, Daily, 9:00am to 6:30pm

Phone: 
(867) 841-5561