Object photography

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Object description

  • Probably Tlingit artist
  • Fishhook, about 1800
  • Wood, bone, spruce root
  • Alaska, Pacific Northwest Coast, United States
  • L: 8 7/8 in, W: 5 1/2 in, D: 2 in (L: 22.5 cm, W: 14.0 cm, D: 5.1 cm)
  • Gift of Clifford Crowninshield and Mayhew Folger, 1802
  • E3548
  • Made to catch halibut, one of the largest fishes in the North Pacific Ocean
  • Usually carved by the fisherman, and imbued with supernatural powers to help with the catch

This V-shaped fishhook is comprised of two wooden arms lashed together; a bone barb is attached to one, and the fisherman's spirit helpers are on the other. On this hook, a human, with a spiny sculpin (fish) on his head, stands on top of a sea creature.

SPECIAL COLLECTION

East India Marine Society Collection

DESCRIPTION

This halibut fishhook is made with two arms of wood secured together with split spruce root. One arm (which is constructed from a soft wood, possibly spruce) is not ornamented and has a bone barb secured to the arm with split spruce root. The opposite arm (constructed from a dense wood, possibly yew) is decoratively carved with stylized figures, a human head standing on a sea creature. A spiny sculpin (type of fish) is on top of the human's head.

Exhibition History

  • Uncommon Legacies: Native American Art from the Peabody Essex Museum, Washington State Historical Society; October 11, 2005 through February 09, 2006