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Flask for gunpowder made from a seal's bladder. Plug or bung missing. [MdeA 20/11/2008]

Longer Description

Powder-flask made from a seal's bladder with a hemispherical wooden plug at the wide end and an incised copper alloy tube inserted at the narrow end. [LM 22/10/2007]

Research Notes

Russian, Spanish and British explorers arrived in the NW coastal regions in the mid- to late-18th century. In the early C19th, the trade of fur to foreigners brought the Haida many western goods, including firearms. The Indians used these against each other in tribal warfare (their owners often carving their crests into the wooden stocks) and also experimented with swivel guns on the side of their canoes although the force of the recoil often split the hull. [HA 19/09/2009]

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 powder flask was viewed alongside other weapons and tools on Monday Sept 14, 2009. Gaahlaay (Lonnie Young) identified this as a flask for musket powder. Christian White similarly confirmed the identity of this object as a powder flask. The metal on the end was identified as copper. [CAK 11/05/2010]

Primary Documentation

Accession book entry: 'From Rev. Ch. Harrison, 80 Halton Rd, Canonbury Sq. N. Collection of Haida objects collected by him.... - Bladder powder flask. £45. [Purchase price includes 1891.49.1-110]

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

Written on object - Seal's bladder powder-flask Haida C. Harrison Coll Purchased 1891. [MdeA]

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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