Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Jules Dahlager: Chief George Johnson Portraits

Jules B. Dahlager

Jules B. Dahlager

Chief George Johnson (d. 1938), or Gut Wain, or Koch Teech, Northern Northwest Coast Native American Chief of the Southeast Alaskan Tlingit Gaanaxadi clan. Born at Tongass Village (south of Ketchikan, Alaska), Johnson inherited the position of Chief in 1902, and became a wealthy man through trade with other Tlingit tribes.  

In the photo, Chief Johnson is depicted in profile wearing a carved wood crest hat of a "kadjuk," a mythological bird whom was the house crest of Chief Johnson's clan and who was said to amuse itself by dropping stones on hapless groundhogs. The image, a beautiful period photograph in its own right, was also the inspiration for many paintings by Alaskan artist Jules B. Dahlager.

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