Charms and Rituals

Fishing societies often turn to charms, amulets, or totems as protective devices. In some cases, these objects are worn by an individual; in others, they serve as shrines for a crew, family, or community as a whole.

Spirit Protectors

Spirit protectors, Nunivak Island, Alaska, 1927

Wooden plaques of masked images were placed inside kayaks to serve as protective charms.
National Museum of Natural History

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman ( (301) 286-9428

Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)