Cultural Artifacts and Modern Art in Whitehorse

I don’t spend much time inside in museums, which, I know, I’m missing out. This time in Whitehorse I not only went in several but paid attention and took a few snaps.

Yukon Visitor’s Center

What’s so helpful about visitor’s centers are the people working there who chat with you and give unexpected info you didn’t know to ask for. The Yukon Center at Whitehorse didn’t have anyone like that on the floor when we walked in; it’s quite polished.

It does sport this floor-to-ceiling raised topo map of Yukon, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The legend at hand-level has buttons next to each item, and when you press your button, the corresponding section of the map lights up. Tracy laughed at how long I stood there pressing buttons, seeing as how bad I am with other maps. I guess they all need to be more like a lite-brite.

Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

At first we hadn’t planned on walking in here because Google Maps reviews are just tourists complaining that instead of a museum, this is more a community center with meeting rooms and resources.

That’s exactly where you see what folks are up to now, though. We saw flyers for small music festivals and powwows, plus art that highlights missing indigenous women. (I didn’t take a photo of that; meetings were happening in glass-walled rooms all around us, and I was trying to be respectful while looking at the art on display in the hallways.)

This gorgeous meeting room is styled after a native longhouse.

This piece developed from a call for decorative moccasin tops for some community event; so many were made and donated, each with its separate story, that the extras were assembled into this multimedia piece of art. They remind me of my friend Karen Peacock’s multimedia larger-than-life women that I had the pleasure of having on my office wall.

Many headdresses were on display, created by a local artist, out of moose hide, wolf fur, abalone shells, and glass beads. Sorry for all the glare.

This dress was made for the inauguration ball of a woman elected to some governing body (wish I’d taken a photo of the plaque so I’d remember). Her mother, and a few other relatives, sewed by hand the pelts and fur and beadwork, plus the unique ravenstail weaving up top that leaves the ends free to swing.

We leave Whitehorse tomorrow (as long as the grey tank doesn’t leak tonight), and I’ll be glad to be back in the wilderness, frankly. The entire territory of Yukon has only 44,000 residents, but more than half of them live in Whitehorse.

It’s not the residents I’m ready to move on from, it’s the tourists, like me.

2 thoughts to “Cultural Artifacts and Modern Art in Whitehorse”

  1. You should invent the Lite-Brite Map App for folks like us who enjoy that added feature! And yes, I’m reading and loving the posts. Great places to get plenty of photography practice!