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Square wooden comb with the top carved as a bird's face. [CAK 26/05/2009]

Longer Description

Square wooden comb with the top carved as a bird's face. Carved from a single piece of wood, the reverse of the comb is flat and smooth. The front of the comb is carved into a peak just above its midpoint. The peak forms the bird's beak. Shallow outlines of eyebrows, eyes and beak/mouth are carved on the top third of the comb. The middle third is plainly carved and smooth and slopes downward from the peak. The bottom third of the comb is carved into separate tines of roughly the same length. The tips of the tines have been squared. [CAK 07/07/2009]

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 comb was viewed alongside items of personal adornment on Friday Sept 11, 2009. Kwiaahwah Jones believed this was carved from yellow cedar. Another delegate wondered if it was carved from maple. Nika Collison thought it could have been made by someone learning to carve, or for sale as a tourist item because the quality is lower. Some delegates were uncertain if this was Haida. A brief discussion of this comb can be seen on Tape 7, time 23:45, which can be found in the Haida Project Related Documents File. [CAK 20/05/2010]

This object was viewed by Haida 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. **They were unsure if it was Haida or not. [L Peers, 24/01/2008]

Primary Documentation

Accession Book Entry - 'WELLCOME HISTORICAL MEDICAL MUSEUM, 28 PORTMAN SQUARE, LONDON, W.1...1951.6.56 N. AMERICA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, HAIDA INDIANS. Wooden comb, very roughly carved with human (or bird) face. 17 coarse teeth, cut from solid. Length 12.1 cm. breadth 8.5 cm. (R 10473/1936). Light soft wood, poor example.

There is no further information on the catalogue card. [CW 11 6 98]

Pitt Rivers Museum display label - BRITISH COLUMBIA. Comb of HAIDA type. Gift of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum. 1951.6.56 [El.B 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 7/10/2005]

Written on object - HAIDA type Gift of the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum 1951.6.56 R 10473/ 1936 [El.B 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 7/10/2005]

Related Documents File - Letter from E. Ashworth Underwood [Director, The Wellcome Historical Medical Museum] to T. K. Penniman dated 30 January, 1951, inviting the Pitt Rivers Museum to send a representative to select items from the Wellcome collection, housed temporarily at the British Museum. [GI 4/2/2002]

Related Documents File - A brief discussion of this comb occurs on Tape 7, time 23:45, 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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