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About the Process
On September 25th, 2019, the Tlingit Kiks.ádi clan of Sitka, Alaska, conducted ceremonies to dedicate a new clan crest hat—only this hat was not really new. It was a replica made of Alaskan woods carved by 3D milling machines and ornamented with traditional materials such as deer hide and sinew, ermine skins, copper horns, swan down, and shell inlays. The clan held ceremony in Juneau to put spirit into the newly restored replica so that it could be danced again and put into use for clan ceremonies. The broken hat, in the form of a sculpin or bullhead fish, had rested in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for the past 135 years. The Smithsonian worked closely with the clan to study the broken hat, 3D scan and repair the hat digitally, carve it with a computer numerically controlled milling machine and then finish it by painting it and adding attachments similar to those which had originally adorned the hat. This collaboration is the first cultural restoration of an important religious object for an indigenous community using 3D digitization and replication technology.
To see how it turned out, click on the "Related 3d Models" box above.