2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Fine Arts

Model Alaskan Totems, American Influences, and the Tourist Trade
Veronica L. Ory
Dr. Sara Orel, Faculty Mentor

A 1925 alumnus of Northeast Missouri State Teachers College, Wendell Cordle, donated a group of objects to the University in 1946 that he had collected while traveling and teaching. Among the objects in the Cordle collection there is a model totem pole that was carved by a member of the Tlingit tribe in Alaska. This object, like several of the objects in the collection, was specifically produced for sale to the tourist market. Its creation and sale demonstrate some ways in which Alaskan Natives responded to growing American control and influence over their lands and culture. While some artistic and cultural practices were restricted, the creation of art persisted through objects such as these, whose sale was carefully regulated by the United States government. An object like this model totem demonstrates how art and culture can in some ways thrive and develop under foreign influences.

Keywords: Alaskan Natives, Tlingit, Totem Poles, Non-Western Art, Tourism, Violette Museum, Wendell Cordle

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 29-4
Location: OP 2210
Time: 3:00

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