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Wooden seal club carved with the head of an animal and long haft. [CAK 12/04/2010]

Longer Description

Wooden seal club carved with the head of an animal and long haft. The club is carved from a single piece of wood. At one end, the club is carved as the head of an animal with a snout, nostrils, mouth showing two rows of teeth and two large eyes. The club tapers slightly and has what appears to be a natural curvature to it. At the other end, the club flares slightly, enabling the hunter to maintain a good grip on the club. The club is unpainted. [CAK 12/04/2010]

Display History

PRM Display Label (1991 - 1995) - NORTH AMERICA, CANADA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLAND; NORTH WEST COAST, HAIDA. Carved seal club. Collected and purchased from Rev. C. Harrison. 1891.49.39. [SM 08/08/2007]

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 object was viewed alongside other tools on Monday Sept 14, 2009. Christian White identified this as a seal club made of yew wood. He added that Haidas used seals for meat, fur, fat and teeth. Billy Yovanovich commented that the fur of seal cubs is white, and that the clubs were made from a harder wood, either yew or crab apple. Jaalen Edenshaw and Gwaai Edenshaw both favoured crab apple over yew as the type of wood. Jaalen attributed the darker colour of the wood to handling. More generally, Gwaai thought that those clubs in the collection in the form of sea lions could be sea lion clubs. Billy Yovanovich wondered if the marks found under the chin of the animal carved on the club were a means of counting hunting successes. [CAK 12/04/2010]

Primary Documentation

Accession book entry (for 1891.49.39 and .40): 'From Rev. Ch. Harrison, 80 Halton Rd, Canonbury Sq. N. Collection of Haida objects collected by him.... - 2 seal clubs, carved. £45 [Purchases price includes 1891.49.1-110]

No additional information on catalogue cards. [JC 4 9 1996]

Written on object - Club for killing, seals, otters ect. Haida. C. Harrison coll (MS No. 17) Purchased 1891. [NM 21 2 1997]

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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