American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Native American
Totem Knife

Haida Totem Knife
Haida Totem Knife.
ca. 1884
Reverse side of knife
Manuscript Division
Gift, 1918 (46C.2a,b)

More of an adventurer than explorer, Newton Chittenden's scrapbooks record his travels across the continent. He traveled 3,400 miles on burro and foot through the Southwest, Northwest Coast, and Central Plains. In his scrapbook documenting his travels through the Pacific Northwest and California, Chittenden recorded his observations of the Indians he encountered and on the artifacts of their past. This totem knife was carved by a member of the Haida tribe of Queen Charlotte Islands and given to Chittenden in 1884.

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