"You have gathered the many powers...You have clasped them now like necklaces unto your breast." Enheduanna
The Northern Athapascan Indians occupy an area of coniferous forests that lie in a belt just south of the true arctic region. This covers the drainage areas of the Yukon and Mackenzie Rivers. Winters are hard and long, and snowfall is much heavier than along the coast. Most of the year they spend in small bands, or nuclear family groups fishing (of primary importance, although they hunted moose, caribou and birds).
Their clothing is heavily decorated with embroidery, beads, etc., to increase their personal power. Personal power was the most vital element in religious life, and only those with the most personal power became Shamans, whose primary duties were to cure disease, bring game, predict the weather and foretell the future. The Shaman also helped maintain the balance between hunters and their animal spirit helpers.
Our Northern Athapaskan Personal Power Talisman is designed after a powerful Shaman's Talisman unearthed in the Yukon River Delta. Inside a frame of banded Fossil Walrus Ivory hang three small chunks of bright green "as found" malachite and two dark, graduated Fossil Mammoth beads. The Talisman hangs from a Sterling Silver chain. 1 3/4 inch high and 1 1/4 inch wide.
Be sure to see the earrings that match this Talisman. Just click the picture on the right.