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Soapberry Spoon-Raven Design - Yellow Cedar, Acrylic


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  • Hand carved and painted in Yukon by Eugene Alfred
  • Carved and Painted Yellow Cedar
  • 10 l x 1 1/2 w x 1/8 d (in)
  • Eugene Alfred is a artist/carver of Northern Tutchone and Tlingit ancestry, and belongs to the Crow Clan of Selkirk First Nation, located in Pelly Crossing, Yukon.
  • Yukon soapberries can be mixed into a foamy consistency with a spoon, then mixed with sugar and served as confectionary or dried into cakes and traded with people from the coast. An important tradition for the inland Tlingit First Nation who migrated to the Yukon from the coast. The heritage of this tradition is represented in the spoons resemblance to a paddle. Due to long periods of inactivity (soapberries only ripen in mid summer) the spoons were decoratively carved so they could be hung on the wall the rest of the year.
  • Dance, story telling and celebration are important elements within Yukon First Nation culture. Tutchone and Tlingit are matrilineal nations, divided into moieties, or kinship groups, these groups consist of two main clans, Crow (or Raven)  and Wolf. Social relations rest on reciprocal obligations between the opposite clans. These obligations are often played out during marriages or deaths at potlatches where the rich oratory culture is expressed through drumming, singing and story telling.