Ceremonial staff - ROM2009_10980_2

ROM2009_10980_2

Ceremonial staff

Maker: Daniel Houstie, Heiltsuk (Bella Bella)
Medium:Hardwood, abalone shells
Geography: Bella Bella, British Columbia
Date: late 19th century
Dimensions:
105.5 x 17.2 x 8 cm
Object number: 902.2.37
Not on view
DescriptionAn elaborately carved L-shaped stick made of hardwood. Although the design is dynamic and complex, the carving is shallow and the figures are contained within the cylinder of the cane. The top (handle) of the stick is the head of a Cannibal bird which holds a small skeletal figure, the skull of which is carved from a natural burl in the wood, in its teeth. The cannibal bird has small ears and hands which are concave like the paws of a bear. Feathers are incised on its side, and its back is the indication of a backbone/snake. The Cannibal bird stands on the head of a human figure with upraised arms and slightly bent knees. This figure has feather designs incised on its wrists and feet, and in its body is a small human figure. Collected in 1901 by Reverend Dr. R.W. Large, Methodist missionary.
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