Tlingit are Alaska Native tribes and Canadian First Nations people. Their name for themselves is Ling, meaning "people". The Tlingit are a matrilineal society that has developed a complex hunter-gatherer culture in the temperate rainforest of the coast of southeastern Alaska. (Bockstoce, T. John, R. 2005)
The Tlingit are a tribe of Native American Kolosh group of na-Dene languages??. They also say Kolosh, a word that comes from the Aleut kalohs or kaluga. They are divided into groups Auk, Chilkat, Gonaho, Hehl, Henya, Huna, Hutsnuwu, Kake, Kuiu, Sanya, Sitka, Stikine, Sumdum, Taku, Tongass, Tahltan, and Yakutat. When the Russians came in 1740, they spoke 14 dialects of the language, and there were approximately 10,000 individuals. About 1985, there were 10,000 in Alaska (950 of which were in Hoonah Reserve), and 500 in Canada , of which only about 2,000 speak the language.
In the census of the USA , in 2000, the Tlingit and Haida name go together, separated into several divisions. They are the neighbors and friends of the Haida and Tsimshian. Tlingit are the Indians living in Canada and the United States in the region of Alaska and Vancouver Island. They are regarded as the highest representatives of Northwest Indian culture. Long lived in villages surrounded by wooden planks with ornamental crests and totem poles , it seems that represented the ancestors and the social labels of its inhabitants. Needless Tlingit, variants are possible: the lingam, blades, means "people people". Tlingit distinguished themselves from their neighbors: Haida, Athabascan, Kwakiutl, Tsimshian, Chugach, and Eyakov. In 1805, there population among men was only 10000 and in 1930 it was 4,462 people. Their traditional beliefs include magic, totemism, shamanism, animism, which represent the holistic complex. Their first connection with white people was settled by the Russians. Following the issuance of Chirikov (1741), they set up a bridgehead in Baranov but kept tense relations with the Tlingits, which were known as formidable warriors. (Gibson, H. James, R. 2007)
This tribe was basically on the shores of the Gulf of Alaska. They were allies of the Haida and Tsimshian in the frequent battles with the Aleuts. The Tlingit of the coast have dominated the trade during the latter part of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. For about a century, the Tlingit of the Interior have left the region of the Taku River, on the coast of Alaska to settle in the southern Yukon and barter with the Athapaskan. (Tovell, Y. Freeman, M. 2008)
The description of the trade practiced in the nineteenth century between Tlingit and chilcats Chilcoot and Athapaskans Tutchone, allows highlighting the role of intermediary business communities of the interior vis-à-vis whites, which was their source of wealth. The Tlingit were very skilful traders, bartering skins, whale oil, shells and copper as well as with the Inuit (Eskimos) of northern coast with the interior Athapaskan. Their trade is known as maritime fur trade, captured in the Pacific Northwest from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. They were transported by ship to China, where ...