henry wellcome collection

Color post card. The Raven Totem, Wrangell, Alaska., 7/17/1916

Series: Photographs of the Inhabitants of Metlakatla, British Columbia and Metlakatla, Alaska, ca. 1856 - 1936Collection: Sir Henry Wellcome Collection, 1856 - 1936

From the item’s Scope & Content note:

Text on card: “At the top is the raven creator sitting on a chief’s box. Below is the young raven the creator of man, represented as a raven with a man between the wings showing his dual nature, the mother of the young raven, and Hi-Yu-Shon-a-Gu the Thlinget Atlas.” By permission of the author of “Totem Lore.” On reverse side of postal, in handwriting in space reserved for address is following: “Mr. Henry S. Wellcome, Ketchikan, Alaska.” On opposite side, in space for correspondance, is following: “Dear Mr. Wellcome: At last I have really seen one. We miss you on the boat – Miss E. Meyer.” The date of “Jul 17, 1916 has been rubber stamped on the card.


Some additional background on the Wellcome Collection, from the archival notes:

The photos and postcards in this series depict chiefly the inhabitants of Metlakatla, British Columbia and Metlakatla, Alaska and are a particularly rich source of ethnographic information for the Tsimshian Indians.

These records were originally donated in 1961 to the National Archives and Records Service by the Wellcome Trust of London, England which was created by the will of Sir Henry S. Wellcome. The records were originally accumulated in Sir Henry S. Wellcome’s Washington, DC office up to the time of its closing in 1936, shortly after Sir Henry’s death.