Official State of Alaska Vacation and Travel Information

An Alaska Native man uses a traditional skin drum

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Potlatches may be given for a variety of occasions-a memorial for a deceased relative; a naming ceremony for a child; the completion of a new house or of clan regalia; a wedding; or the erection of a totem pole. A potlatch might also be held to rid the host of a shame or to elevate his status or that of his children. The feasting, singing and dancing may last many days. Guests are invited to witness the event, and are paid with gifts at the end of the celebration.

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