Tsimshian Society and Culture
Warriors before 1830 (when muskets were introduced) wore protective
clothing when going into battle. Leather jackets and tunics made of
sea-lion or bear skin protected their bodies, while helmets and visors
made of wood protected their heads and necks. These items of clothing
were usually decorated with crest images that identified their owner's
The warrior Nekt fashioned himself a suit of armour made of
grizzly-bear skin lined with pitch and slate. During raids, his
enemies mistook him for the mythical Grizzly Bear, who was invincible
because of his impenetrable armour and his magical war club called
"Strike Only Once". The story of
Nekt and his fort is often portrayed in art. Today, many Nisga'a and
Gitksan still claim him as their illustrious ancestor.
Man-crushing log-pole, portraying Nekt and his trophies.