X65.4024 Crest-style frontlet headdress

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Object Name: Crest-style frontlet headdress

Artist: Unknown

Culture: Nisga’a

Place of Origin: British Columbia, Canada

Date/Era: 19th century

Dimensions: DIAM: 20.3 cm

Medium/Materials: Leather, vegetable fiber, sea lion whiskers, wood, abalone shell, paint, flannel

Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.

Accession Number: X65.4024

Description

Frontlets, fitted over the top of the head like a crown, function as important chiefly status symbols in communities of the Pacific Northwest. Artists carve them from wood, attaching long ermine skins, whiskers, feathers, and baleen collected from animals hunted in the area. Chiefs’ frontlets make visual references to the sea and the underworld, as well as to humans and birds from the middle and upper worlds.

Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.

See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.

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