Wolf Amulet

Amulet used by an Íxt’ made of ivory and Abalone shell depicting a wolf.

This amulet is carved from ivory and has been inlaid with Abalone shell. The piece has been pierced so it can be worn as a necklace, suspended from the waist, or be sewn to a dance apron. At times it could be used by itself or with several other amulets. The large ears, protruding tongue, large bushy tail are characteristics that artists would use to depict a wolf. This is another piece stolen from a Hoonah Íxt’s grave by G.T. Emmons.

Cultural Narrative: 

The wolf is an Eagle crest, and it is an animal that was sometimes chosen to be a spirit helper for an Íxt’. Brown Bears and wolves were the most revered of the land animals and they were honored, respected, and feared by Tlingit people.

Gooch (wolf)

Traditional Knowledge: 

Wolves were treated with respect on the same level as humans. The Íxt’ who owned this amulet took the wolf as one of his yeik (spirit helpers). An Íxt’ would use the amulet to transfer power or absorb negative energy especially during a healing ceremony.

Shaman's charm of ivory, inlaid with haliotis shell, carved to represent a wolf.

Formerly in the collection of and probably collected by Lieutenant George T. Emmons (1852-1945, US Navy 1881-1899) in 1883; purchased by MAI from George T. Emmons in 1920 with funds donated by MAI trustees James B. Ford (1844-1928) and Harmon W. Hendricks (1846-1928). Provenience: Old log grave house on rock point at entrance to Port Frederick.