Artifacts

Cedar Wood Carving
ITEM: No Provenance 3
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This is a typical ambiguous design carved into cedar wood from the Northwest Coast. This piece is likely to have been part of a bentwood box. Skilfully constructed bentwood boxes were often watertight to contain liquids. Others stored food such as dried salmon, halibut, shellfish, roots and berries. Chests were also made to store important possessions like masks and ceremonial garments and objects. The... read more

Comb
ITEM: 605
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This comb is made from light brown wood with the image carved in the form of totemic design resembling the bear. The upper part of this one represents Swaixwe, a mythical sky-being who descended on earth and lived in the lakes. It was likely to have been worn by a Shaman who never cut their hair as it was considered... read more

Curios Argillite Pipe
ITEM: 612
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The carvings on this argillite pipe document the interaction between the Haida and Europeans. The Haida created argillite pipes and sculptures to sell as tourist art, “curios” that explorers collected as souvenirs from exotic travels. From the 1800s onwards, argillite carvings were a new art form developed by the Haida. Many incorporate a traditional Haida style with motifs that are... read more

Green Bead Detail Moccasins
ITEM: NMEMG 18_1933
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Native American Moccasins were traditionally used as footwear to protect hunters and agricultural workers’ feet from the severe winter conditions throughout North America, so that they could contue to provide for their tribe. The decoration applied to moccasins helps to understand their specific purpose. Moccasins that were adorned with beads all over were a spiritual rather than a practical object. This is because the... read more

Haida Agillite Pipe
ITEM: 809
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This is an example of a Haida Argillite Pipe carved in a totemic design referring to the symbolic relationship between animals and humans. When analysing the motifs in Northwest Coast Art it is often difficult to identify humans from animals as aspects of both merge into one symbol. Argillite is a very soft, fine grained black stone yet despite the... read more

Moccasins with ties
ITEM: No Provenance 20_2
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Native American Moccasins were traditionally used as footwear to protect hunters and agricultural workers’ feet from the severe winter conditions throughout North America, so that they could contue to provide for their tribe. As they are a one-piece, soft soled pair of moccasins, it is likely that they are pre-1860, as later moccasins were made of two pieces, having a... read more