Photograph that Tommy Joseph discusses in his interview.
Tommy Joseph (Naal xák'w) is a master Tlingit wood carver who was born in 1964 in Ketchikan, Alaska and currently lives in Sitka, Alaska. He is a member of the Kaagwaantaan Clan. He is in charge of the carving shop at the Southeast Alaskan Indian Cultural Center at Sitka National Historical Park where he restores park totem poles, works on his own carving projects, teaches carving classes, and mentors beginning carvers. Tommy designed and was the head carver for the Katlian Pole raised at the Fort Site in the Park in September, 1999. He is an innovative artist who carves totem poles, makes bentwood copntainers, creates masks, and also has replicated traditional Tlingit treasured objects and armor. Tommy Joseph has shown his pieces in exhibitions around the world and has received awards in recognitin of his skill as an artist, carver, and culture bearer of Tlingit traditions. He also teaches Northwest Coast Arts at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, Alaska.