Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

Related Objects

Paint dish

gwáag “paint dish”
Language: Haida

This stone dish from Skidegate was used for blending oil-based colors to apply to the body and face, or for mixing paints to use on hats, masks, boxes, and other work. For the latter purpose, crushed salmon eggs were added as a fixative. Charcoal, roasted tree fungus, ocher, cinnabar, and berry juices were among the common coloring materials. The bottom of the dish is carved with a Sea Bear and Killer Whale, both crests of the Raven moiety.

Culture: Haida
Region: Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada
Village: Skidegate
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Length 23.8cm
Accession Date: 1883
Source: James G. Swan (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E089022