MODERN HAIDA COPPER

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Gallery of Masks Depicting Cannibal Woman


last update 09/21/2017 ~ more to come
LIFE CYCLE OF THE COPPER.

  1. The Lifecycle of the Copper. This page is devoted to the lifecycle of the Northwest Coast Copper, especially as regards its social and economic life within the Cannibal Woman Society.

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PREHISTORIC COPPER TRADE IN NORTH AMERICA.
 

EARLY COPPER TRADE IN NORTH AMERICA

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COPPER RIVER DRAINAGE
 

  3. Copper River Basin.

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COPPER DEPOSITS ALONG THE COAST OF ALASKA
 

  4. Copper Deposits along the coast of Alaska.

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COPPER DEPOSITS IN BRITISH COLUMMBIA
 

  5. Copper Deposits in British Columbia.

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MEN LOUNGING HUGE COPPER RIVER NUBBET
 

  6. The Copper River complete with a very large nugget.

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ALLUVAIL COPPER NUGGET
 

  7. Typical alluvial nugget of copper. For practical pruposes, alluvial copper was the sole source of copper prior to 1800 AD.

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COPPER CLADDING FROM 19TH CENT WRECK.
 

  8. Copper cladding from a 19th Century wreck in the Carribian. The wood has rotted away leaving an exoskeleton of cladding. Sometime in the mid 1800s, traded ships cladding and other forms of sheet copper became the primary source of copper used to make ritual objects such as coppers.

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COPPER-TIPPED POINT FROM ST. ELIAS PARK.
 

  9. Copper tipped barbed bone point, ca. 400 AD.

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COPPER MASK FROM MASSET INLET.
 

  10. Copper mask dug up from a midden by the people of Masset Inlet and subsequently used in their winter ceremoonies. Age unknown.

Below are two masks that are among the earliest collected from the Northwest Coast and which conform closely to the design of this copper mask.

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NISGA'A STONE MASK 1788-1830.
 

  11. Nisga'a stone mask collected between 1788 AD and 1830 AD. The Nisga'a live in the Nass River valley. The mask was probably used in winter ceremonials.

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BELLA BELLA WOODEN MASK 1788-1830.
 

  12. Winter ceremonial mask, most likely Bella Bella, collected between 1788 AD and 1830 AD.

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NORTHWEST COAST HAND MAULS.
 

  13. Hand mauls. Left: affiliation unknown; Right: Haida, ca. 1890.

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VISUAL HIATUS.
 

Here we have a visual hiatus. All that I have to give you is words.

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KWAKIUTL COPPER 1800s.
 

  14. Kwakiutl Copper, 1800s. Typical condition of early coppers.

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TSIMSHIAN COPPER 1860.
 

  15. Tsimshian Copper, 1860.

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TLINGIT COPPER.
 

  16. Tlingit Copper. Note the four holes that suggeste that this copper may once have have been displayed on a house post.

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NORTHWEST COAST COPPER.
 

  17. Typical copper. The whole copper is first painted with black lead paint. Then the design is scraped or incised through the point to reveal the copper beneath. Older coppers, such as this one, were designed to seen by the light of fires or karosene lamps. Hence, the black paint was applied thinly to show show glints of the copper in the background.

Select "view image" to see this copper in more detail.

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HAIDA COPPER.
 

  18. Haida Copper. In this example, selected design elements were painted red after the design was created by scraping.

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CONTEMPORARY NORTHWEST COAST COPPER.
 

  19. Modern Copper. The black is carefully painted on to form the design and the lead is gone from the paint. The surround was textured bnefore painting and the lower pannels contain designs, a feature that is uncommon in older coppers.

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COPPER BREAKER.>
 

  20. The Hamatsa Ceremony.

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COPPER BREAKER.COPPER BREAKER.
 

  21. Two copper breakers.

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BROKEN KWAKIUTL COPPER.
 

  22. Kwakiutl copper that has been "broken".

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TRUE WHALE.
 


  23. T'lakwa Gwa'yamkan, called True Whale.

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BROKEN COPPER.
 


  24. Broken Copper.

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BROKEN COPPER.
 

  25. Broken Coppper.

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BACKBONE OF A COPPER.
 

  26. A copper reborn from its "backbone".

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CUT COPPER CORNER.
 

  27. Small corner piece cut from copper.

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When something, like the copper, is deeply embeded in the culture of a society, it may be expressed in many different places and ways. Below are a few examples for the copper.

PENDANT IN THE FORM OF A COPPER.
 

  28. Small pendant in the shape of a copper.

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PENDANT IN THE FORM OF A COPPER.
 

  XX. Pendant in the form of a copper.

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HOUSE BOARDS DECORATED WITH COPPERS.
 

  XX. House boards decorated with images of coppers.

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PICTOGRAPHS OF COPPERS.
 

  XX. Pictographs of coppers.

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COMMEMORATIVE STATUE OF MAN WITH COPPER.
 

  XX. Commemorative statue of man with copper.

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CHAIR WITH COPPER DESIGN.
 

  XX. High Seat of the Chancellor of the University of Victoria incorporating a copper design.

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TLINGIT SANDSTONE COPPER.
 

  XX. Tlingit sandstone copper decorated with black paint. Burke Museum.

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Kwakiutl, Dzoonokwa by Ellen Neel, 1960.
 

  15. Tsimshian Copper, 1860.

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Kwakiutl, Dzoonokwa by Ellen Neel, 1960.
 

  15. Tsimshian Copper, 1860.

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