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

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

Club
ITEM: 732
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Clubs were used to kill salmon when hunting. The club is decorated with spots of fish skin showing respect for the fish that gave their life to feed humans. The first salmon season was especially treated with great respect, it was a tradition that all salmon bones would be thrown back to the water to ensure that salmon multiplied and... 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