Spoons and Feasts
Carved horn spoons were reserved for formal occasions, including the ceremony of feasting, gifting, and mourning known as the koo.éex', or potlatch. Elites used spoons to serve and eat bear, goat, seal, eggs, fish, berries, and oil out of carved wooden vessels. To the Tlingit, the head, mouth, and tongue were vital parts of one's body. Eating was a potent physical and spiritual act. As participants feasted, ancestral beings on spoon handles were nourished and honored. These spoons (see the three spoons on the right) would sustain Gunakadeit, the Sea Monster.