Tsimshian Bowl

North America | Canada

Tsimshian Bowl

Canada

Feast bowl for Potlach in a form of a beaver
Northwest Coast, British Columbia

Carved wood and pigments
Circa 1840s-1880s
Length: 11 ¼ in. (28.5 cm)
Height: 6 ½ in. (16.5 cm)

Old inventory numbers and label: #1846 & IHHH
Ex collection Douglas Reynolds, Vancouver, early 2000s
Ex private collection, USA
Ex private collection, France

Tsimshian Bowl 28.5 cm / Galerie Flak Price on request
In the Northwest Coast of Canada, feast bowl were reserved for formal occasions, including the ceremony of feasting, gifting, and mourning known as "potlatch". As stated by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University ("Feeding the Ancestors" exhibition), eating was a potent physical and spiritual act.
Depicting an animal or supernatural being / spirit helper, potlach feast bowls and dishes embodied the history and wealth of their owners. The foods they held - fish oil, seal meat, berries - made visible the rights to resources and territories claimed by the chiefly host.

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