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Totem Heritage Center, Ketchikan

(4.4/5 based on 320+ reviews on the web)
The Totem Heritage Center is a museum operated by the City of Ketchikan in the U.S. state of Alaska.The Heritage Center houses one of the world's largest collections of unrestored 19th century totem poles. The poles were recovered from uninhabited Tlingit settlements on Village Island and Tongass Island, south of Ketchikan, as well as from the Haida village of Old Kasaan. The Center was founded in 1976 to preserve these totems and act as a cultural center. Sixteen of the museum's thirty-three totem poles are on permanent display, although the rest of the collection is available for research purposes.The Center also exhibits other Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian artifacts and art pieces, including work by world-famous Tlingit carver Nathan Jackson, and renowned Haida weaver Delores Churchill. In addition to functioning as a museum, the Totem Heritage Center preserves and promotes the traditional arts and crafts of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian peoples through a nationally-recognized program of art classes and other activities. Classes are held throughout the year, and the museum is open to visitors year-round, with extended hours during the summer.The location of the Totem Heritage Center was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (as "Alaska Totems") in 1971.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • very atmospheric. Choc full of enormous carved totems . Lovely welcoming informative staff who give free chats every now and then which are in fact magical story tellings behind the meaning of the pol...  more »
  • The heritage center was very interesting and full of very historical information about local totem poles. We really enjoyed seeing REAL totem poles and not just replicas.  more »
  • We happened upon this on our self-guided afternoon walking tour. Since we'd been at Totem Bight park in the morning, seeing and learning more about history and uses of totem poles, as well as some ver...  more »
Google
  • Wonderful place, meet the past. And peek into the future!!
  • Lovely seaside town - very nice and friendly people there.
  • They were closed when i got there, but the scenery and outside accessible information was worth it
  • Wonderful staff share Ketchikan's rich native culture with visitors and locals. If you are looking to learn about totem poles and the native cultures of Southeast Alaska, this is the place to come.
  • Great quick stop to discover a lot about totems.