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Northwest Coast Native American Art: Home

This guide is intended as a starting point for Art 101 students searching for information about Northwest Coast Native Americans and mythology.

The University received fourteen small totem poles from the Kenneth McGill Family Collection. Carved between 1890 and 1950 for commercial trade, these poles represent Northwest First Nations Material Culture. They were collected by Edith and Dr. Charles McGill and son Kenneth McGill over the last sixty years.  This collection of totem poles encompasses several different tribes from the Pacific Northwest, namely the Tlingit people, the skillful traders, hunters, and gatherers who inhabit the southeastern coast of Alaska.

For more information, see Totem Poles at Collins Library.

About Northwest Coast Tribes

In addition to the web sources listed below, there's a great set of books published by the Smithsonian called the Handbook of North American Indians in the reference collection on the main floor. Volume 7 covers the Northwest Coast.

North American Indians: Indians of the Northwest Coast from Encyclopedia of Religion

American Indians of the Pacific Northwest - University of Washington Libraries' Digital Collection of images and documents


Nehalem Confederated Tribes

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Cow Creeks of the Umpqua Tribe

Haida from Encyclopedia of Anthropology

Inupiaq (Inupiat) - Alaska Native Cultural Profile

Kwakiutl  from Encyclopedia of Anthropology

Makah from Dictionary of American History


Nuu chah nulth



Burke Museum's Ethnology Collection

Examples of Northwest Coast Art Books

See also the essay Native North American Art  in the Grove Encyclopedia of American Art.

Tip: Books beginning with the call letter E are located on the second floor.

Examples of Mythology Books

In addition to the sources below, there's an essay about ravens in the Oxford Companion to World Mythology.

Search Primo

Use Primo to find resources on your topic at Collins Library and beyond. Request books held by Summit libraries for delivery to Collins Library within 3-5 business days.

Examples of search terms to use:

  • Indian art Northwest Coast of North America
  • Indians of North America Northwest, Pacific
  • Indian mythology North America
  • Legends Northwest, Pacific
  • Indians of North America Folklore
  • Indian sculpture Northwest Coast of North America
  • Totem poles