For those interested in exploring
Alaskan Native culture, Anchorage has plenty to offer. First of all, Anchorage
is home to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a cultural center and museum
sitting on 26 wooded acres (10.5 hectares). The attraction features educational
exhibits, traditional handicrafts, storytelling, films, Native dancing and
games, activities and demonstrations relating to Alaska’s indigenous peoples.
One highlight of a visit is exploring the life-sized village replica, which
features six dwelling recreations and represents 11 cultural groups in Alaska.
You’ll also be able to see artists at work as they create regalia and drums.
You can also visit the Anchorage Museum, which is home to a
number of exhibits and collections relating to Alaska Natives. The Smithsonian
loaned the Anchorage Museum hundreds of indigenous Alaskan artifacts, which are
on display in the new Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. Within the collection,
the main exhibition is Living Our
Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska, which features
600 hand-selected artifacts -- some of which include a 893 Tlingit war helmet
and a 1935 Inupiaq feast bowl from Wales -- that are interpreted with help from
Alaska Native advisers. Within the exhibits relating to Alaska’s history you
can also find permanent exhibitions like Alutiiq
and Aleut/Unangan History and Culture; Northwest
Coast Indian History and Culture: Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian; and Athabascan Indian History and Culture.
Additionally, don’t leave without viewing the beautiful works of Alaska Native
Another way to explore Alaskan Native Culture in Anchorage
is by perusing and purchasing Native artwork. Along with visiting the gift
shops in the two above-mentioned museums you can head to the Alaska Native Arts
Foundation Gallery. This fine arts gallery features traditional and
contemporary Alaska Native artwork, allowing you to explore indigenous culture
through artwork. A number of annual events also allow you to explore Native
artwork, some of which include the Alaska Native Arts and Craft Fair; Native
People’s Bazaar; Alaska Native Heritage Center Holiday Bazaar; and the
Charlotte Jensen Native Arts Market.