Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge



k’aat’ “staff”
Language: Nisga’a

This Nisga’a staff was carved from yellow cedar and ornamented from top to bottom with clan crest images, surmounted by a wolf which stands behind a human figure. Pieces of pearly blue abalone shell fill the eyes of the figures, probably attached with the halibut tail glue that was traditionally used for this purpose. Traces of red and black paint remain on the wood. Crest staffs were carried at potlatches and used to strike the floor to announce a speech.

Culture: Tsimshian
Region: Nass River, British Columbia, Canada
Village: Kitladamax
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Length 152.5cm
Accession Date: 1907
Source: George T. Emmons (collector)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 014365.000