Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

 
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Hat

dajáng “spruce-root hat”
Language: Haida

The Elders gathered the spruce roots, and when they were ready to quit they sang a song... The first one who started the song would go down and start the fire for the spruce root, the cooking of the spruce root…Then the next group would sing and they would be the ones who would help get the kindling. And it would go clear around, and when it reached the last ones they all went down the beach then and started the cooking…We pulled the roots through a stick that was forked, and that took the outer skin off.

—Delores Churchill, 2005

This woven spruce-root hat, made at the village of Masset in the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, is not painted with clan designs and was probably made for everyday wear and rain protection. Roots for weaving are roasted in a fire, stripped of their bark, split into strands, and softened by soaking in water.

Culture: Haida
Region: British Columbia, Canada
Object Category: Clothing
Dimensions: Length 43cm
Accession Date: 1883
Source: James G. Swan (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E088960A