Beaver Soapstone Figurine

A small beaver made from Soapstone by Hoonah artist Amos Wallace. Amos was a member of the T’akdeintaan clan, his Tlingit name was Jeet Yaaw Dustaa.

This Beaver sculpture is 16.7cm or 6.6 inches tall and made from Soapstone. Amos has used distinguishing characteristics to depict this animal. The large incisors, both paws holding a stick and the cross-hatched tail are typically used to identify this animal.

Soapstone is one of three types of stone used in Tlingit art. Argillite and Serpentine Stone being the other two. All three types can be carved with woodworking tools, and they take and hold details well. This piece was probably made for the tourist market while Amos was working for the Indian Arts and Crafts Board (IACB) circa 1962.

Cultural Narrative: 

S’igeidí (Beaver) is a crest that can fall under either Eagle or Raven moiety.  Yeil (Raven) and Ch’áak’ (Eagle) are the two moieties that make up the Tlingit nation.

Amos Wallace
Figurine made of carved and polished steatite depicting a beaver on a square wood base.

Acquired by Indian Arts and Crafts Board representatives in 1962 when the artist was employed during IACB arts and crafts
demonstrations at Juneau, Alaska; part of the IACB Headquarters collection (Department of the Interior, Washington, DC) until 2000
when it was transferred to NMAI.