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Walking stick (or cane) carved, with abalone inlay. The handle has been shaped in the form of an animal’s head with a small, crouching human emerging from its jaws. Inset abalone eyes. Wrapped around the shaft are low relief carvings of bird and sea-creature imagery on the upper section; the lower section is plain.


The stylistic features of this walking stick indicate that the carver was from the Haida community of Skidegate. The long, narrow ovoid forms that define the eye, wing, and joint areas on this cane’s shaft and came to be characteristic of Skidegate painting and low-relief carving of the period. Skidegate artists creating works for community use and for outside markets in the latter decades of the 19th century included such accomplished carvers as John Cross (1867-1939) and Zacherias Nicholas (1861-after 1911), among others; both of these artists have been put forward as the possible maker of this cane because of the stylistic qualities of their work.

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