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Silver bracelet with incised killer whale design. [CAK 17/08/2009]

Related Collections

Photographic and manuscript collections in Archives

Display History

Displayed in Rank, Status And Prestige On The Northwest Coast Of Armerica, at PRM 1996.

Longer Description

Silver bracelet with incised killer whale design. There is a tail design depicted in the centre of the bracelet, with the whale's body wrapping around each side of the bracelet. The head (depicted as though split in two) is located at the back near the single clasp. [CAK 17/08/2009]

Research Notes

The following information comes from Haida delegates who worked with the museum's collection in September 2009 as part of the project “Haida Material Culture in British Museums: Generating New Forms of Knowledge”:
This bracelet was viewed alongside other items of personal adornment on Friday Sept 11, 2009. Nika Collison and Christian White identified the figure as a killer whale. Nika described it has having a forked tail, with each side of the head visible, and the dorsal fin being depicted coming down from above because it can not go up beyond the edge of the bracelet. She noted that having the head near the clasp is unusual: normally, the tail is depicted near the clasp. Ruth Gladstone Davies commented that she has seen silver dollars pounded to create bracelets. She added that not many modern bracelets have clasps. Candace Weir explained the Christian White has carved bracelets for little girls with clasps so that they do not come off as easily. Ruth Gladstone Davies and Christian White thought that the three bracelets in the collection were carved by three different artists. One delegate added that crests began appearing more often on silver bracelets as crest tattoos became less common/were discouraged. Delegates commented on the thinness of the older bracelets in comparison to the thicker ones made today. A discussion of bracelets can be viewed on Tape 6, time 8:15, 9:55 and 17:45 and Tape 7, time 27:20, which can be found in the Haida Project Related Documents File. [CAK 18/05/2010]

This object was viewed and confirmed as Haida by tribal members Vincent Collison, Lucille Bell, and Kwiiawah Jones on 7 September 2007 in preparation for a planned Haida community visit to PRM in 2009 [L Peers, 24/01/2008]

Primary Documentation

Accession Book Entry - Collection made by MISS BEATRICE BLACKWOOD in 1936-37 in NEW GUINEA & NEW BRITAIN & in the United States and in Mexico, 1939...1939. OCTOBER... - Silver bracelet, incised design of killer whale. HAIDA TRIBE, QUEEN CHARLOTTE IS. BRITISH COLUMBIA. Bought from some HAIDA Indians visiting PRINCE RUPERT, B.C.

There is no further information on the catalogue card. [CW 9 6 98]

Pitt Rivers Museum label - Silver bracelet, totemic design representing killer whale HAIDA INDIANS QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS BRITISH COLUMBIA coll. B.B. Blackwood. 1927. d.d. 1939 ii.1662 [CAK 17/08/2009]

Pitt Rivers Museum display label - "Silver Bracelets. Haida. Queen Charlotte Islands. Prior to European contact the Haida practised tattooing. Traditionally, Haida tattoos took the form of matrilineally inherited crests. After contact, these crests were reproduced in bracelets and other forms of jewellery. The Beaver crest appears on the upper bracelet here and the Killer Whale on the lower. At first such bracelets were hammered out of whole coins, but later coins were melted down and poured into simple moulds before being hammered and finished. Only the highest-ranking people could wear such bracelets. Upper: Donated in 1900 by Arthur J. Evans. (1900.25.2) Lower: Collected by Beatrice Blackwood in 1925 and donated by her in 1939. (1938.36.1727)"

Related Documents File - A discussion of bracelets can be viewed on Tape 6, times 8:15, 9:55, and 17:45, and Tape 7, time 27:20 within the Haida Project Related Documents File. The Haida Project Related Documents File contains video of research sessions and interviews with Haida delegates from September 2009 as part of the project ‘Haida Material Culture in British Museums: Generating New Forms of Knowledge'. It also includes post-visit communications that discuss object provenance. For extensive photographic, video, and textual records documenting the Haida research visit as a whole, including but not limited to preparations of objects for handling, travel logistics, British Museum participation, transcribed notes from research sessions and associated public events held at PRM, see the Haida Project Digital Archive, stored with the Accessions Registers. Original hand-written notes taken during research sessions have been accessioned into the Manuscripts collection, in addition to select other materials. [CAK 02/06/2010]

Item History

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