Box Item Number: Z 35092 from the MAA: University of Cambridge


Rectangular cedar box in the characteristic kerfed style. The box has a lip at the rear of the removable lid. The front and two sides have grooved panels while the back is plain. The edges have been bent and one edge pegged closed using wooden pegs. At the top of the two sides are two pairs of holes suggesting the box may have had a handle. Around the box is cedar bark rope tied in a net-like manner which was used to secure the lid in place. The cedar bark rope is rather frayed and fragile. The box appears to have been used judging by its external appearance, while inside the box is in relatively good condition. Inside the packing box is a piece of wood with a flange round three sides and two notches cut into the other. One side of the wood is painted with black stripes. This piece of wood does not appear to be connected with the box, and does not have an accession number, it is a mystery (G.Crowther).; Good


The original European tribal names and, where possible, current tribal names have both been given in separate GLT fields.; The kerfed storage boxes are characteristic of the Northwest Coast and exhibit a very high degree of technical prowess. The boxes were made from one sheet of wood which had grooves cut where the corners were later made when the sheet was steamed into a square. The open side was either sewn together with Spruce root or pegged with wooden pegs. The lids were usually removable, while the bases were pegged onto the sides. The undecorated storage boxes were used as domestic items for everyday use, such as for storing food and berries. Some were watertight and were used for cooking, i.e. dropping heated rocks into the water to boil the contents. This is in contrast to the decorated, carved and/or painted boxes which were used in a ceremonial context. It was from such a box that the mythic Raven stole the sun and brought light to the world (G.Crowther).