late 1800s–early 1900s
Horn, bone, copper, abalone shell inlay
Overall: 13 cm (5 1/8 in.)
The Harold T. Clark Educational Extension Fund 1953.386
An imposing eagle presides over the bowl of this impressive ladle.
Elaborate utensils, valuable possessions of Northwest Coast noble clans, were used during potlatch feasts. An imposing eagle hovers, patron-like, over this ladle’s bowl and the bounty it once served; a bear’s head appears on the underside of the bowl. Both may be crests, motifs that, like European heraldry, were exclusive to important families and referred to their histories and rights to control land and resources.
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