Spoons and Feasts

Long wood dish, PM 88-51-10/50461
Carved wooden food dish, PM 95-20-10/48406
Carved wooden food dish, PM 05-7-10/64532
Bird dish, possibly in the shape of a loon. PM 11-2-10/83834
Wood sea lion dish, PM 45-28-10/27706
Ceremonial spoon depicting Gunakadeit, the sea monster. PM 69-30-10/1732. The figure at the bottom of the bowl represents a rock; sitting on the rock is a figure representing Gunkadeit holding a halibut.
Ceremonial spoon depicting Gunakadeit. PM 14-27-10/85897.3
Tlingit ceremonial spoon depicting the sea monster Gunakadeit and a whale. PM 14-27-10/85897.2

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.