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Object Name

Box : food


Haida bentwood food box c.1840 This box has a deep relief carving of the head of an eagle at either end, its wings emerging from the sides. Eagles are crest figures for particular Haida families or clans. The curl at the end of the wings is a particularly unique and rare detail. Operculum sheets from turban snails are inset into the rim. The box and base are made from red cedar and are latched and tied together. Haida of the Northwest Coast of North America are skilled carvers in wood, slate and horn. For ceremonies called potlatches elaborate food boxes are made, usually in the form of a crest figure which includes an animal or supernatural being, and provided to guests. It's customary within Haida culture to provide gifts to guests as a source of payment to bear witness on special events.


wood : cedar : cowrie shell

Place Collected

North America; Canada; Columbia

Catalogue Number



National Museums NI