Artifacts

Argillite Figure
ITEM: 716
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Portrait-like figure of a woman and her child made from argillite stone. This woman is in European dress, possibly Haida herself, or perhaps a wife of a trader. Every detail in the dress of the woman is carved, from the pattern on her skirt to the bag she carries. If this sculpture is indeed a depiction of a European woman, then it illustrates the... read more

Bentwood Box
ITEM: NMEMG 1923_3_3
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This Bentwood Box has been attributed to the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe due to the use of red cedar and the bold, less symmetrical design. Likely to be a model of a box made in three sections with a cover. The bentwood box was a principle piece of furniture for houses on the Northwest Coast and had a number of uses as... read more

Bowls/Dishes
ITEM: 719
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Such bowls were used for preparation. Smaller examples held oolachen or seal grease into which food was dipped, enhancing the taste of dry smoked salmon. It is said that the more elaborately decorated – the more highly ranked the person was that owned it. Possibly carved from alder wood, the bowls are simple in design and shape.

Canoe Bowl
ITEM: NMEMG 1923_3_1
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This bowl carved from red cedar wood resembles the shape of the Northwest seagoing canoe, reflecting the importance of canoes to the Haida. The bowl illustrates the form of a canoe with flaring sides and finlike projections. The edges of the bowl, or the bow line, reflect the canoes design to cut into waves. The shape of the bowl with high ends and... read more

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

Charms
ITEM: No Provenance 03 and 04
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A pair of hunting charms in the form of a seal. These charms were worn to honour animals and were part of rituals that sought the co-operation of animal spirits. For native tribes of the North, hunting animals such as seals was a spiritual and harmonious practise. Once caught, every part was utilised in order to show respect. A common... read more