This museum was so interesting. I marvel that mankind can find ways to survive in the most challenging environments. I enjoyed the focus on all the Native Alaska Tribes. The Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center did an amazing job displaying how the availability of natural resources and materials subtly defined the cultural lifeways of each of the tribes. The displays of the fur-lined mukluks and the waterproof parkas made from walrus or seal intestines are not a far cry from today's manmade technical clothing for kayaking and winter survival. Simply amazing and profound. That tribes made carrying bags from the entire skins of the seal is an ingenious testament to survival. And yet despite this harsh existence, there was time spent in art and ornamentation. The carved walrus ivory implements, ceremonial capes and masks were beautiful.
The display of the role of aviation in Alaska history also was very interesting. It really shows that Alaska as one of our newest states is not so far removed from its raw and rough frontier days. Yes, there are shopping malls and highways like other states, but not too far afield, one needs access to air flight to deliver supplies and goods and services into the interior. To compare what is possible today with dogsleds of bygone days makes one pause. We are not so many decades from this.
I also enjoyed the display on the Alaska Pipeline. The sheer scale of technology it took to complete this is almost unfathomable.
Time will be very well spent to visit the Anchorage Museum. It is a testament to the character of the Alaska people from the long distant past to modern times. Very impressive.
On the practical side, there are lockers available to stow your coats, bags, and such. Simply insert a quarter to lock it and release the key. Insert the key to retrieve your belongings and your quarter. In other words, free coat check! A very wonderful museum.
Suggest starting at the top floor of the museum and work your way down to the different levels. I didn't realize it was organized this way, but my traveling companion is one to read directions first then act. Corrected my flight plan after we met up. Wished we had time to eat in the restaurant. The food smelled wonderful....
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