Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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Nose ornament

ggalkshihlooshk “nose ring”
Language: Tsimshian

High ranking men wore abalone shell nose pendants like this one. As young boys they received nasal perforations to hold pendants or pins, while girls had their lower lips pierced for labrets. Most abalone shell (also called haliotis) was acquired in trade from coastal tribes to the south, in exchange for eulachon oil, blankets, and spoons that the Tsimshian carved from the horns of wild goats and sheep.

Culture: Tsimshian
Region: British Columbia, Canada
Village: Port Simpson
Object Category: Ornaments, jewelry
Dimensions: Length 4.31cm
Accession Date: 1879
Source: James G. Swan (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E020633