Tlingit Beauty


British Columbian Ceramic Pintray with Tlingit Orca Graphic by Ruth Meecham (LEO Design)


The Tlingit People is comprised of numerous tribes of Native Americans who live along the Pacific Northwest—in the areas now called British Columbia (Canada) and Alaska.  They are a matrilineal society; hereditary roles and property (which once included slaves) passed from mother to daughter.  Genetically, they have relatives from Siberia, Russia, though older DNA shows a link to the Japanese Ainu people.

Even before I knew much about the Tlingit Peoples, I was mesmerized by their stunning graphic works—carvings, textiles and paintings—utilizing bold, stylized animals (often in reds, whites and blacks).  I found the aesthetic bold, original and timeless; age-old designs look fresh and modern today.

The small ceramic pintray, shown above, was made in British Columbia by Ruth Meecham.  It is decorated with a Tlingit Orca—amongst the natural, living wonders which populated the ancient Tlingit world.  The pintray was made in the Modernist Sixties, though (to me) so many of the Tlingit graphics seem wonderfully ageless.  Click on the photo above to learn more about this little item.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248