Copper shield - ROM2005_5286_1


Copper shield

Maker: Haida
Medium:Copper, paint
Geography: Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada; used at Gitlaxdamiks, Nass River
Date: early 20th century
69 × 3.5 × 109 cm
Object number: 927.37.81
Not on view
DescriptionPlates of sheet copper were hammered into shield-like forms called "coppers." Representing a symbol of wealth and prestige, coppers played a significant role in ceremonial life. This copper was made by a Haida artist for a Nisga’a chief (Gitlaxdamiks, Nass River). After more than a century of negotiations for territorial rights and self government, the “Nisga’a Final Agreement Act” was ratified in 2000. The copper was adopted as the national symbol incorporated into the flag, seal, and coat of arms of the Nisga’a Nation.
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