Haida carving

  • Exhibition Text

    • The Haida sculptor decorated utilitarian objects as carefully and elaborately as ceremonial equipment. The artistic merit of the carving on the dishes, spoons, and storage boxes equals that of the two ceremonials staffs. The designs most commonly depicted animals. Some carvings portrayed “crests,” that is, representation of animals or supernatural beings associated with the legendary ancestors of the owner. Like the heraldic devices of European nobility, the crests of the Northwest Coast symbolized ancestry and social position.

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