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Unknown maker, Haida
Wood, paint, metal
Likely collected by John Brady
Donated by Mrs. E. H. Harriman in 1912
American Museum of Natural History 16.1/1164

House models are known to have been made as ethnographic museum displays as well as for Native ceremonial use. The façade painting on this house may depict Wasgo, the mythical Haida sea wolf (seen also on the model pole and drawing). The frontal pole represents, from bottom up: a bear and human; a female shark; a bird (possibly an eagle); and a chief with coppers. The interior contains a ritual tableau of twenty-one miniature people, including a chief on the far left, women with painted lip-plugs, and an official speaker with a hand held to the mouth. Although little is known about the circumstance of its production, this house was likely implicated in networks of intercultural exchange. Despite the possibility of specific architectural or ritual prototypes, it was not common for Haida houses to have painted façades, much less roofs and backs. The presence of decoration both genuine and spurious suggests that this model may have been produced—or at least subsequently embellished—in order to appeal to Euro-American collectors rather than to embody a transfer of specific hereditary prerogatives.

Click here for a discussion about this object (Beau Dick)

Click here for a discussion about this object (Lyle Wilson)

Tags for Interactive Tag Cloud: hybridity, models, souvenir