Symbolic Immortality: The Tlingit Potlatch of the Nineteenth Century
by Sergai Kan
Decades after its initial publication, Symbolic Immortality retains its status as the most comprehensive analysis of the mortuary practices of the Tlingit Indians of southeastern Alaska—or any other indigenous culture of the Northwest Coast. This updated and expanded edition furthers our understanding of the potlatch (koo.éex’) as a total social phenomenon, with emotional and religious as well as economic and sociopolitical dimensions. The result is a major contribution to both Northwest Coast ethnology and theoretical literature on the anthropology of death.