This Anchorage museum offers an in-depth look at Alaskan Native life—with a big focus on Alaska Natives. Watch dancing, listen to stories, meet carvers and explore recreated winter dwellings. The setting is so small and intimate that visitors are sometimes even invited to join the dancers on stage.
You'll see how Alaska Native history is not a collection of artifacts behind glass: this is a living, dynamic culture that you can experience firsthand.
Of course, you can also see plenty of crafts and handiwork: beautifully adorned moose hide boots, birch bark baskets, and tunics made from seal hide. Outside, you can check out the life-sized traditional native dwellings—like a Supiaq, a semi-subterranean home built by the Alutiiqs to shelter themselves from the harsh Alaskan climate.
Or, enter a Southeast Alaska Longhouse—large wooden constructions with no windows and only a smoke hole at the top—that generally housed several families. Inside you will find four beautifully carved posts that each represent a different culture. Each post is carved and painted with a different theme of respect; respect for family, environment, culture, and self. Aside from the beauty of the ornate posts, it is very unique to be able to experience four cultures in one house.
You can visit the center and the Anchorage Museum of History and Art with a special joint-admission ticket for only $29.95—a free shuttle runs between the two facilities, too.