SHI acquired sacred Chilkat robe on eBay

Sealaska Heritage Institute said Wednesday that it has acquired a sacred Chilkat robe from an eBay seller who willingly took a loss on the transaction so the piece could be repatriated to the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian peoples.

“We’ve watched in sorrow before as our sacred objects at auction have commanded prices beyond our reach. But this time we were able to quickly raise some funds, and we were dealing with a very honorable seller,” SHI president Rosita Worl said in a statement.

Tribal members alerted SHI about the auction on Monday. SHI was able to raise the reserve amount of $14,500 through donors, and staff contacted the seller, George Blucker, asking him to sell the robe to SHI at the reserve price and immediately end the auction due to the significance of the piece.

After researching SHI and learning that the robe was sacred, Blucker opted to sell at the reserve price.

“When I found out that it had religious significance and it had a spiritual presence, that’s when I thought I would put it where it should go,” said Blucker, who purchased the blanket at a flea market in Illinois 25 years ago.

SHI plans to convene a group of weavers to study the robe.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of May 25

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, May 28, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Bill Thomas, a lifelong Chilkat resident and former state lawmaker, has filed as a candidate for the District 3 House seat that includes the northern half of Juneau on Wednesday. (Alaska State Legislature photo)
Former Haines lawmaker Bill Thomas challenging Rep. Andi Story for District 3 House seat

Challenger served in Legislature from 2005-13, been a lobbyist and commercial fisherman for decades.

The student band performs at Thunder Mountain High School. (Screenshot from student film “Digging a Hole in the School Budget”)
Thunder Mountain High School graduates win film festival award

Documentary by Jade Hicks, Hayden Loggy-Smith portrays human impacts of school consolidation plan.

The city of Hoonah, which is petitioning to incorporate as a borough that includes a large surrounding area that includes Glacier Bay and a few tiny communities. (Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development photo)
Hoonah’s petition to create Alaska’s 20th borough opposed by state boundary commission staff

Xunaa Borough would rank 8th in size, 18th in population; final decision, public vote still pending.

Ian Worden, interim CEO at Bartlett Regional Hospital, presents an update about the hospital’s financial situation during a board of directors meeting on Tuesday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Bartlett officials seek to extend interim CEO’s contract to end of year amidst financial crisis planning

Ian Worden took over temporary leadership in October; 39 applicants so far for permanent job.

The LeConte state ferry departs Juneau on Tuesday afternoon, bound for Haines on a special round-trip following two cancelled sailings due to a mechanical problem. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
LeConte returns to service with special trip to Haines after weekend cancellation

State ferry will pick up half of nearly 60 stranded vehicles, others may have to wait until July.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, May 27, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Anchorage pullers arrived at Wrangell’s Petroglyph Beach on May 23 for a canoe-naming ceremony. One of the canoes they will paddle to Juneau was dedicated to Wrangell’s Marge Byrd, Kiks.adi matriarch Shaawat Shoogoo. The canoe’s name is Xíxch’ dexí (Frog Backbone). (Becca Clark / Wrangell Sentinel)
Canoes making 150-mile journey from Wrangell, other Southeast communities to Celebration

Paddlers expected to arrive in Juneau on June 4, one day before biennial Alaska Native gathering.

Most Read