Archaeological Excavation

Tsimshian Society and Culture

Instruments of War
War Canoes
The Warrior
Wealth and Rank
Men's Activities
Women's Activities

Tsimshian Villages

Tsimshian Society and Culture


The Warrior

Warrior 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 clan affiliation.

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 - CD94-632-021 - 64376 Man-crushing log-pole, portraying Nekt and his trophies.