After seeing the Alaska Heritage Museum, we visited the Anchorage Museum, which is devoted to Alaska’s history and people. The highlight is the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center, with over 900 objects from Alaska Native Cultures.
This map shows the First Peoples of Alaska with cultural boundaries from about 1890, before most Americans arrived. Alaska Natives constitute over 15% of the state’s population.
The Iñupiaq inhabit the cold, north coast of Alaska, and their clothes reflect this.
People from more southerly regions have wood and grasses to make helmets and baskets.
The exhibit covers the history of the Alaska Natives and western influences that suppressed Native languages and culture.
From the rest of the museum, the woolly mammoth tusk and musk ox stood out. Woolly mammoths stood 15 feet tall at the shoulder. They lived in Siberia and Alaska within the last 75,000 years. Musk oxen disappeared from Alaska in the 19th century, and they were reintroduced from Greenland in 1930. With long, coarse hair and an extremely fine underwool, musk oxen are well suited for cold winters.