Fur Trade

Aboriginal Trade Networksnetworks 2networks 3

In the summer, Tlingit people from the coast travelled north into the interior to exchange dried seaweed, eulachon oil, shell ornaments and cedar baskets for caribou hides, fur and hide clothing and native copper with the people of the interior. People from the two groups established formal trading partnerships and even intermarried to cement alliances. From the early 1800s, the coastal people acted as intermediaries between European traders on the coast and the Athapaskans of the interior. Because of this relationship, some Yukon people had access to trade goods such as kettles, axes, needles and guns long before they first encountered white traders.

Courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Civilization,
no. 98086.

This mask, carved in a tree on a trading trail near what is now the Haines Highway near the Yukon-British Columbia border, marked the northern boundary of Tlingit territory.

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