Tlingit Hat Suite

(Deluxe Queen #605)

Woven spruce hats denote wisdom and prestige in Tlingit society and signify the wearer as a figure of great social importance.

ARTISTS: Sabina Hill and Mark Preston         INTERIOR DESIGNER: MCM Interiors


In traditional Tlingit society, finely woven spruce root hats were important symbols of status and family lineage. The number of rings on the crown of the hat indicated the wearer’s wealth and rank, as each ring denotes a potlatch given by the wearer or his ancestor. These important cultural accessories inspired artists Mark Preston and Sabina Hill to design the Tlingit Hat Suite. The hats are used to center the suite and are mounted above the headboard. Here they hover above guests as if placed upon their heads. The hats are decorated in Preston’s frog motifs. As a creature that inhabits two worlds – land and water – the Frog is revered for its adaptability, knowledge and power, qualities that well respected individuals in Tlingit society would undoubtedly have possessed in order to have earned the rings on their hats. Paying tribute to this unique aspect of Tlingit culture, Hill and Preston mean for guests to feel noble and important as they sleep beneath these many ringed hats. Being that Preston is of Tlingit ancestry, the Tlingit Hat Suite holds additional cultural significance for him.

The Tlingit Hat Suite was designed to evoke the Frog’s marshland habitat. The frog motifs created by artist Mark Preston and integrated onto woven hats by artist Sabina Hill inspired this design direction. To illustrate the nature theme, MCM Interiors chose an earth-toned palette. These warm colours complement the exposed fir planks, which were salvaged from the original building built on the Skwachàys Lodge site in 1905. Used to connect the headboard with the ceiling and desk area, the fir planks create a ‘cocoon’ structure around the bed. This dramatic wooden canopy frames the woven hats against the headboard and adds visual interest. Lantern table lamps illuminate the suite and play on the outdoor theme of camping and exploring the natural environment. Misty blue and green accent colours in the night tables, pillows and chair upholstery further evoke the marshland inspiration. The Tlingit Hat Suite is a calm and elegant space that showcases these important cultural symbols in a setting that celebrates the great outdoors.