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Traditionally, artistic production was stimulated by the complex organization of clans, secret society performances and by potlatches, which are large feasts where name, rank or hereditary privileges are claimed through dances, speeches and the distribution of property.
Most Tsimshian art depicts myths, tales and the associated supernatural beings. Humans, animals, birds, and fish were also portrayed. Crests were represented through carvings and paintings on house poles, interior posts, totem poles, house fronts, beams, rafters and ceremonial entrances.
The style of Tsimshian art is said to be more closely related to that of the Tlingit than to any other group on the coast. Traditional Tsimshian colours include blues, reds, yellows, blue-greens, black and white.
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