noun \ˈtliŋ-kət, -gət also ˈkliŋ-\
plural Tlingit or Tlingits

Definition of TLINGIT

:  a member of a group of American Indian peoples of the islands and coast of southern Alaska
:  the language of the Tlingit peoples
Tlingit adjective

Origin of TLINGIT

Tlingit łi·ngít human being
First Known Use: 1865

Rhymes with TLINGIT


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Northernmost group of Northwest Coast Indian peoples who inhabit the islands and coast of southern Alaska, U.S. The Tlingit language is thought to be related to Athabaskan. Traditionally the basic social unit was the lineage, based on maternal lines of descent; clans and larger units (moieties) were also important. Each lineage had its own chief, owned and exploited lands of economic importance, and functioned as a ceremonial unit. The Tlingit economy was based on salmon fishing, though sea and land mammals were also hunted. Wood, often decorated with stylized designs, was used for houses, totem poles, canoes, dishes, and other objects. The potlatch marked a cycle of rituals mourning the death of a chief. Early 21st-century population estimates indicated some 22,000 Tlingit descendants.


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